ORAL TO WRITTEN: AN ELECTRONIC APPROACH TO DOCUMENTATION OF THE NIGERIAN FOLK AND POPULAR MUSIC GENRES

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ABSTRACT

The development of the Musical Instrument Digital Interference (MIDI) system has been a major catalyst in the recent unpredicted explosion of music technology.  The MIDI provides new and time saving tools for music documentation. This work explores the MIDI and its prospects to the Nigerian setting as it concerns the use of modern technology to achieve proper documentation of Nigerian folk and popular music genres. Data for this study came from primary and secondary sources.  Oral interviews and practical demonstrations served as the instruments of the primary source.  Books, magazines, journals, and the Internet constituted the secondary sources. It was discovered that the Musical Instrument Digital Interference (MIDI) is a remarkable system that enables composers to manage quantities of complex information and allow synthesizers, computers, sound modules, drum machines and other electronic devices from many manufacturers to communicate with each other. The MIDI further enhances music notation, printing and publishing of folk and popular music styles and expressions hitherto limited oral traditions of transmission. The study concludes by offering useful recommendations as panacea for musicians,   music lovers and indeed the art community.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page
Abstract
Contents
Discography
List of Tables and Figures

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1      Background of the Study
1.2      Statement of Problem
1.3      Need for Study
1.4      Aims and Objectives of the Study
1.5      Research Question
1.6      Significance of Study
1.7      Scope and Delimitations
1.8      Research Methodology

CHAPTER TWO:   REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1      The Nature of Nigerian Folk Music
2.2      Existing Publications and Gramophone Records
2.3      Origin and Nature of MIDI
2.4      Development of Electronic music
2.5      Modern Trends in electro-acoustic music / computer music

CHAPTER THREE:  PROCESSES OF MUSIC DOCUMENTATION
3.1      The western staff notation and notating software
3.2      The application of MIDI in music Documentation
3.3      Sound recording and reproduction
   3.3.1   The magnetic method
   3.3.2   The Optical method
   3.3.3   Electromagnetic recording
   3.3.4   The high Fidelity Technique
   3.3.5   The Digital Recording
3.4      Sound synthesis and processing Techniques
3.5      Components involved in recording
   3.5.1   The Compact Disk
   3.5.2   The Amplifier
   3.5.3   The Loudspeaker
   3.5.4   The Tape Recorder

CHAPTER FOUR:  ANALYTSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF FINDINGS
4.1     Encounter with Pa Salawu Adeoyo
4.1.1    Documentation of Dundun Drums Music using MIDI and SIBELUS
4.2     Encounter with Mr. Akins Owolabi (a.k.a Mr. Loco)
4.2.1 Documentation by ‘Pasting’
4.3    Encounter with Mr. James Ohio
4.3.1 Documentation of Gbedu Music Notation

CHAPTER FIVE:  APPRAISAL OF RESEARCH FINDINGS
5.1    Problems of Notating and Transcribing Nigerian folk music
5.2    Civilization and Adaptation in Nigerian Popular music scene
5.3    Achieving Documentation of folk Music
5.4    Prospects and Future Developments in Electronic music
REFRENCES


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Music as a human phenomenon, though ethnic bound, has a universal appeal. This appeal is better understood and appreciated when it is documented in an easily understandable and readily retrievable form. A common belief is that African folk and popular music genres could only be paraphrased and not possibly put in their real pictures. On the contrary, however, Nketia (1993) opines:                         
What Africa needs at this period in her history are not only collectors but researchers who will combine collecting with scholarly studies, researchers who can see the implications of what they collect for culture and development, education and creativity or for scholarly investigation into traditional and contemporary problems in their particular field of African studies, Africans in full command of materials they collect (p. 5).

There is no future where there is no present; hence, the present affects the future. Man has always and will perhaps never relent in searching for facts yet unknown to him, for answers to questions yet unanswered. It seems paradoxical therefore that in this age of increased mass education in music and nationalism, Africans are seemingly less prepared than ever before to explore the music of their own time. The introduction of digital sequencing keyboards has brought a new dimension to music documentation. Electronic devices were desired and envisioned long before their production now that it is here in the form of software and hardware, infra-red and Bluetooth, keyboards and tone generating machines, altogether called computers. The question is whether it is possible for the musical sounds of African traditional instruments like dundun (the Yoruba talking drum), ekwe (the Igbo slit drum), or kakaaki (the Hausa trumpet) be properly notated and documented?   

1.1                    Background of the Study
Many composers from the 1960s to the present day have appreciated the immediacy and accuracy of performance and the variety of sounds that electronic instruments provide. Resources for the composition and performance of electronic music have recently been broadened considerably through the introduction and use of the Musical Instrument Digital Interference (MIDI). The MIDI is a remarkable system that enables composers to manage quantities of complex information and allow computers, synthesizers, sound modules, drum machines and other electronic devices from many manufacturers to communicate with each other. Originally of interest only to serious composers, today MIDI-based systems are used to write and perform film scores, teach music theory, create rhythm tracks for rap music, and provide music for computer games. Also with the MIDI, the numbers of ways in which the electronic synthesizer may serve composers seem limited only by the boundaries of human initiative and perception (Moylan, 2009).
1.2        Statement of the Problem
African music is arguably difficult to transcribe. Several attempts have been made at notating African music in a way that will achieve accuracy and satisfaction. Pantaleoni (1968) suggested a tablature system of notating Ewe drumming.....

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