Ijeoma Forchu


Africa as a whole has a large collection of musical instruments; however different cultures use a small assortment of these. Some of the instruments are of local origin while others have been introduced from neighbouring communities. There may be local peculiarities in sizes, shapes, pitches, qualities, playing techniques, construction and tuning methods, but generally the various species show striking similarities. Depending on the geography and environment, historical facts, social and cultural considerations, the importance and usage of these instruments vary and may differ from place to place. Through their shapes, sizes, sounds, the materials from which they are made, and the concepts associated with these musical instruments, several socio-cultural roles and functions which have been ascribed to them by the societies, have been met in varying degrees. Even though African musical instruments have the capability of stimulating the process of sustainable human development, they are however often neglected in the contemporary society. The result is that their resources are not sufficiently approached, recognized and exploited. Thus, adequate attention is not paid to the preservation of these instruments.

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