Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

Download 6.47 Mb.
Size6.47 Mb.
1   ...   1132   1133   1134   1135   1136   1137   1138   1139   ...   1182


H. Gay: The Juilliard String Quartet (New York, 1974)



African popular music genre performed by the Yoruba of south-west Nigeria. Jùjú music combines indigenous praise-singing and proverbs, the flowing rhythms of social dance drumming and the traditional rhetorical role of the Yoruba talking drum with a variety of foreign influences, including electric guitars and synthesizers, African American soul music, country and western music and themes from Indian film music. Jùjú is performed in a variety of social contexts, including urban nightclubs and life-cycle celebrations such as naming ceremonies, weddings and funerals.

Jùjú music emerged during the early 1930s in the colonial capital of Lagos. The typical ensemble during this early period was a trio consisting of a leader who sang and played the banjo, a shekere bottle-gourd rattle player and a jùjú (tambourine) drummer. The melodic and harmonic materials of early jùjú were influenced by Yoruba folksongs, Christian hymns and contemporaneous urban genres such as palm wine guitar and ashiko music. The pioneers of jùjú music included Tunde King (b 1910), who in 1936 made the first recordings to bear the name of the genre, and Ayinde Bakare, a Yoruba migrant who began recording on the HMV label in 1937.

The first major change in jùjú performing practice was the introduction in 1948 of the talking drum, with its traditional repertory of proverbs and praise-names. The increasing availability of amplified instruments and microphones catalyzed an expansion of ensembles during the 1950s, enabling musicians to incorporate more percussion instruments without upsetting the aural balance between singing and instrumental accompaniment. By the early 1960s, a typical jùjú band included eight or nine musicians. The channelling of singing and guitar through cheap and infrequently serviced tube amplifiers and speakers augmented the dense textures and buzzing timbres of the music. The most influential jùjú musician of the 1960s was i.k. Dairo (1930–96), an Ijesha Yoruba musician who had a series of hit records around the time of Nigerian Independence (1960). Dairo's recordings for the Decca company were so popular that he was awarded the MBE in 1963.

The most important jùjú performer during the closing decades of the 20th century was ‘King’ Sunny Adé (b 1946), who expanded his group to include 16 musicians; the instruments used included five guitars, a keyboard synthesizer, two talking drums and a variety of percussion instruments, and the group also included four chorus vocalists. Adé, who was nicknamed ‘Golden Mercury of Africa, Minister of Enjoyment’, became one of a small number of Nigerian popular musicians to achieve significant success in the international market. In 1982 Island Records released the album Jùjú Music, which reportedly sold 200,000 copies worldwide; but subsequent releases were less successful, and Adé lost his contract with Island later in the 1980s. At the end of the 1990s, he continued to play to mass audiences in Nigeria and occasionally toured the United States and Europe.

A contemporary jùjú band comprises three main sections made up of singers, percussionists and guitarists. The singers stand in a line at the front of the band; the praise-singer or ‘band captain’ stands in the middle, flanked on either side by chorus singers. The percussion section includes from one to three talking drums, several conga drums, a set of bongos played with light sticks (‘double toy’), a shekere bottle gourd rattle, maracas and an agogo iron bell. Larger and well-financed bands may also include ‘jazz drums’ (a trap set). These large bands help to boost the reputation of patrons who hire them to perform at parties; they play a role in sustaining an idealized image of Yoruba society as a flexible hierarchy.

Download 6.47 Mb.

Share with your friends:
1   ...   1132   1133   1134   1135   1136   1137   1138   1139   ...   1182

The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2022
send message

    Main page