You are on page 1of 13
The Drum and Its Role in Yoruba Religion Author(s): Ademọla Adegbite Source: Journal of Religion in09/201 3 09:24 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, re searchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. . BRILL is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Journal of Religion in Africa. http://www.jstor.org " id="pdf-obj-0-2" src="pdf-obj-0-2.jpg">

The Drum and Its Role in Yoruba Religion Author(s): Ademọla Adegbite Source: Journal of Religion in Africa, Vol. 18, Fasc. 1 (Feb., 1988), pp. 15-26 Published by: BRILL

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1580834 .

Accessed: 27/09/2013 09:24

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

.

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

.

The Drum and Its Role in Yoruba Religion Author(s): Ademọla Adegbite Source: Journal of Religion in09/201 3 09:24 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, re searchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. . BRILL is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Journal of Religion in Africa. http://www.jstor.org " id="pdf-obj-0-33" src="pdf-obj-0-33.jpg">

BRILL is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Journal of Religion in Africa.

http://www.jstor.org

THE

DRUM

AND

ITS ROLE

IN YORUBA

RELIGION

BY

ADEMQLA

ADEGBITE

(Qbafemi

Awolowo

University,

Ile-Ife,

Nigeria)

The drum is the foundation of Yoruba instrumental music. Early references to Yoruba music seem to place a high value on its use. Describing the pomp and pageantry that characterized Yoruba nobility, Richard Lander (1830) in one of his visits to the palace of a Yoruba traditional ruler, reported:

The

chief was seated

outside

his house

under

its verandah

surrounded

about

a hundred

of his wives

and musicians

with drums

and

fife

'

by

Witford2 described the hourglass drum as "the principal instru-

ment" while Ellis3 described the Gb'du as an important drum found

mostly in the courts of the Yoruba

nobility.

Similar

descriptions

of

rulers and in the homes

of the

the

extensive

use of drum

ensembles have been given by Johnson4 and the late Qba Laoye I, the Tlml of Ide.5

It is to be noted here that the use of the drum is not limited to the Yoruba royal families and traditional rulers alone; nearly every Yoruba Orisa also has his own special drum ensemble and often this

drum

group

is

said

to

be

the

group

particular

deity

enjoyed,

danced, or listened to during his earthly life. Thus, the significance

of

drums

and

their

liturgical

function,

especially Apart from accompany-

in

ritual

ceremonies, cannot be over-emphasized.

ing songs and chants which the devotees

of

the Orisd use during

ritual and ceremonial occasions, drums also provide the medium through which the worshippers are in constant ecstatic communica- tion and communion with their God and gods. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to examine some of these drums and their role

in Yoruba religious worship.

Yoruba

drums can be grouped

into two main categories.

The

first group includes all the varieties of what Ortiz (1980)

refers to

as unimembranophonic drums. These are single-headed drums or drums with fixed membranes and a membrane head on only one

  • 16 Adempla Adegbite

end of the shell. These drums are unipercussive in that they are hit on one membrane. They are open with a wooden body of conical

shape with permanent tension held by peg cordage. Igbin, Agbd-

Iledi, Osugbo,Ipese, Gb'du, and Agbd-Qbaluf3nbelong to this category. Some of these drums are carved in such a way that they are referred

to as "having legs" on which they are set during a performance.

Some drums are played during religious festivals.

For example,

and

the

the Igbin drum ensemble

is played during the religious worship of

Qbdtald, the Yoruba Orisd of creation.

Qbaluf3ndevotees,

Agbd-Qbalufn is used by the

the Ipese drum set by Ifd worshippers,

Agbad-Ildi drum

ensemble by members of the Ogbdni cult. On the

other hand, the Gb'du, a royal drum ensemble

and an epitome

of

Yoruba aristocracy, is found in the palaces of Yoruba traditional rulers. It is played on important occasions that involve the rulers

and their subjects.

The

second

group

of

drums

comprises

bi-membranophonic,

unipercussive or ambipercussive closed types with a wooden body of conical or cylindrical form of permanent tension by bi-tensorial cordage6 made from strips of leather. A drum is bi-membran- ophonic if it has two fixed membranes whose vibrations produce its

sonority. An ambipercussive drum, on the other hand, is a drum

that is hit on both membranes

or patches with open hand

or with

a combination of hand and stick or leather straps. Drums are said to have permanent tension if the fixed skins are held by structure of longitudinal bi-tensorial strips (awp) made from goat, deer, or antelope skins fastened and pulled tightly over them in a transversal way so that they are obliged to adhere to the body and so increase their bi-tension.7 Bdtd. B'mbe, and Dundun aptly fit the above des-

cription.

description Yoruba religion help to show that the devotees of the Orisd do not

The

above

structural

of

various

drums

used

in

use drums indiscriminately.

Appropriate

drums must be used for

particular Orisd, otherwise they will incur the wrath of their tutelary

deity.8

References

made

to the drum in Yoruba oral tradition credit

Ayan Agalu,9

as the originator of some Yoruba drums. It is not

known when Aydn introduced the drums to Yorubaland and what types of drums he introduced. But from all indications, it must have been in recent times and the drums in question is not likely to have

been unimembranophonic but a variety of a bi-membranophonic

The Drum and its Role in Yoruba Religion

17

unipercussive drum.

This

assumption

is based

on

two

reasons.

First, it must be noted that unimembranophonic drums are used for

ritual

and religious ceremonies

are said

to be the drums

such as Igbin, Ogiddn, Ipese, or Bdtd.

They

which the Orisd themselves brought

into being and to which they loved to dance during their earthly

lives. Oral tradition says some of these drums were originally

human beings10 for example

the component

members

of the Ipese

drum set which include the four wives of Ifd, otherwise known as

Orunmila, the Yoruba Orisa of wisdom. Their existence in Yoruba culture, therefore, cannot be of recent development.

Second, bi-membranophonic-unipercussive drums of which Dutndzn is an example, are widely distributed in West Africa,

though known by various names. This type is predominant in the Muslim communities of the savannah belt. In Northern Nigeria,

for example,

it

is

known

as

Kdlkngu. Among

the

Yoruba

of

Southern

Nigeria,

it is called Kntango, Gdngan, or Dutndun,depen-

ding associated with Islam,

on

the

size

of

the

drum.

Although

this

drum

is usually

there seems to be no available evidence

to

support its existence in Arabia. However, in North Africa, from where Islam was brought to the Savannah Belt of West Africa, bi-

membranophonic-unipercussive drums are commonly found.

Furthermore, the fact that the shape and stype of playing Yoruba

Kdndang are similar to Hausa

Kdldngu gives some credence

to the

theory that it might have been introduced by the Muslim Hausa

from the North

who,

incidentally

brought

Islam to Yorubaland.

Knaingd,

the

then, may be seen as the forerunner of all the varieties of

Despite the differences of

tension drums found in Yorubaland.

their origin, however,

these drums are used in Yoruba

religious

worship. But unlike the traditional drums which are used strictly

for ritual and ceremonial events, the Dundun drum ensemble for both social and religious occasions.

is used

It will

be seen from the above explanations that the Dundun drum

does not fall within the category of Orist drums such as Igbin or Ipese

in that it was not created by Orisa at the beginning of time while

the presence

of

this

type

of

strengthens

the argument

Yorubaland

from those areas.

drum

in

North

and

West

Africa

into

that it must have been introduced

Be that as it may, the Yoruba drummers believe that AyaTn is the

originator and the Orist of drums. This explains why every member of a traditional drummer's family, especially the Batd and Duindun

  • 18 Adempla Adegbite

drummers, carry the prefix Aydn in his or her name to denote the tutelary divinity of the family. Thus AydnsVld, Aydngdde, and

Aydndele are given to male children while Aydnsik', iAydnrzikf and Aydnyemi are given to female children. This seems to fall in line with

the Yoruba system of naming in which the Orisd of a family is usually reflected in the name. A child from Sdngo devotees' family

is Sngddele, Sdngonzyi,Sdngonide while Estibzi, Esuigbdml,Ogunwande, Ogunkdnmi are the names of members of Esui, otherwise known as

t4l?gbda, and Ogu'nworshippers' families. It must be noted, how-

ever, that most modern popular musicians neither come

from

drummer families nor carry prefix Aydn in their names. This is because in modern Yoruba society, one does not have to come from

a musician family to qualify to go into the music business, very much unlike the traditional system in which the art of music- making ran in families.

Drums in Yorubaland are constructed by skilled drum makers, but no two parts of any one drum are made by one individual. The drum frame is carved by professional carvers (plVna) or by those who were once drummers themselves but who no longer perform

actively for one reason of the other. The brass

caster (asude) makes

the bells that are tied around the master drum (Iyd 'lz). The job of covering the drum frame with the membrane (awe) is done by the

drummers themselves. Traditional decoration is also part of the

drummaking

process. This is usually done on the drum frames of

the upright drums such as Igbin, Gbedu, and

Osutgbd,bearing the

insignia

of royalty (in

Igbin).

Traditional

Yoruba

the

case of

Gb'du) or a deity

(in

the case

of

believe

that each

of these

steps of drum-

making requires certain rituals which must be performed so that the spirits in the materials from which the drum is made may be placated and that the drum may function well. This idea stems from the Yoruba concept of nature and its relationship with religion. They believe that nature is alive and that there are certain forces or powers superior to man which direct and control the course of nature and of human life in it. In many cases these powers that are superior to man inhabit prominent natural objects such as moun-

tains, rivers and trees. These are generally regarded as the temples

or abodes of gods and spirits.

But the world of nature

as a separate entity.

The world of gods and goddesses,

is not

seen

the world

of ancestors and heroes, the world of human beings and the world

7lie Drumtand its Role in YorubaReli'gion1

19

of nature form a unity.

Each

world

is alive,

inter-related,

and

dependent upon each other in one vast circling stream of power in

which visible and invisible forces interact.

Thus,

the

first step

in

the

making

of

a drum

is the ceremony

which placates the spirit dwelling in the wood from which the drum is subsequently made. Trees near the village or where human

voices are frequently heard are always considered the best choice, otherwise the drum will not "speak" well. In the same way, a ritual

ceremony is performed to the spirit of the animal whose skin is used as the membrane of the drum. But two drums may not necessarily function in the same way, especially if the wood of one came from a tree near a village, and the other from a forest tree or if the necessary ceremonies were not performed in one or another case. It is important to note here that a traditional Yoruba man does not

recognize

any

activity

as being

profane

whether

it

is hunting,

war, and

only if

of time.1' When

fishing, farming, games or sexuality. struggles have rituals causes and functions struggle between divine and cosmic forces.

To the traditional man, therefore,

Even

conflicts,

in that they repeat the

a ritual is meaningful

it is seen as repeating acts which were originally performed by the

Orisa, the ancestors of the heroes

at the beginning

Yoruba drum makers perform rituals to the spirits of the materials from which the drum is made, they are merely repeating a primor-

dial gesture.

Communication

between

the traditional

Yoruba

and the Orisa

occurs in different forms. It is sometimes done through private rituals which only the initiated members can attend; or it may be

through rituals which are open to the general public. In each case, the indispensable role of music find expression. This role is clearly manifested in the liturgical procedures which are based, among

other things,

on chanting, recitation, singing, drumming and

dancing. The most vital aspect of these procedures is the playing of

musical instruments,

notably drums.

Three types of drums are used in Yoruba religious ceremonies.

There are, first, the drums which

the Orisa themselves

to have created and which

they loved

to play,

hear,

are believed or dance to

when they were in physical human form. Some of those drums are known to us today only by their names; others have been com-

pletely

forgotten.

Some

are now

abandoned

at shrines

because

there are no competent drummers who can play them. Among the

  • 20 Adempla Adegbite

surviving ones are Igbin, created by Obdtald;Ipese, created by Qrun-

mild; Bdta, by Esu;

Ogidariby Ogun; and Agbd-QbalufOn,by Qbaluf{n.

The second type of drums includes those that are later adopted

and used

by the devotees

of certain

Orisd. Such

drums

tend

to

overlap in their usage.

For example,

Bdtd, which

is used

by

the

devotees

of Esu,

is

also

used

for the Egungun and Sdngd rituals.

Obviously,

the

devotees

of

the

latter

deities,

or

the

deities

themselves are

likely to have adopted the use of Bdtd because

of the

fact that Esu is one of the Yoruba's major gods, a primordial being like Qbdtald and Qrunmild who has existed since the beginning of

time. His devotees must have been using Bata long before Sdngd, one of the Alaafin of Oyo, became deified.12 The third type of Yoruba religious drums consists of the ones

recently introduced into Yoruba society and subsequently adopted

for religious and social purposes. Notable among these are the

Dundun drum ensemble,

Apald, and Sakara. Dundun drums play a

prominent role in the ceremonial music of Qbdtald,Esu, Qsun, and

Ogun worshippers. Hunters also use the Dundun set on ceremonial

occasions,

in a religious

context,

devotees

and

serious level,

 

particular Orisd that is

Thus,

Igbin drum

particularly in a type of dance rhythm called Apgnrgn.

that when the Dundun drum is used

in activities

which involve

the

it is the drum

of a

such

ritual and

Igbin set

patterns

on

the Dundun

relevant. At the most

It must be stated, however,

it

is mostly

the public

that it becomes

that is at private or secret rituals,

more

music

likely

to

be

is

heard

used.

during

ceremonial occasions as the annual festival of Qbdtald. The consists of lyd rild, lyd dgan, Kekf and Afere. The rhythmic

produced by Igbin drums can also be produced

drums. The only difference in the style of playing them is that the

tension strap of Igbin is fixed and cannot be easily manipulated to produce the three tone levels of Yoruba languages'3 (i.e. low-mid-

high tone levels), whereas the Dundun can. Because of its capability to produce Yoruba words, ecstatic communication between the worshippers and their Orisd becomes a more meaningful event on

the Dundun drum. This is true of other drums for which the Dundun

set is used as a substitute

(such as Bata, Afiri and Ogiddn.)

The reason for the adoption of Dundun drums by some religious

sects is that it is easier to understand the language

of the master

drum, Iyd'lu, when she "speaks" the traditional phrases. These

phrases, however,

sound intelligible only to those who understand

the language

of the drum.

The Drum and its Role in Yoruba Religion

Hence,

the phrases:

Baba aruigb6 gb'obi j',

gb'obi

Orisa gb'obi j?, gb'obi

Qbatala gb'obi jV, gb'obi

Meaning:

Orisa gb'obi jv, gb'obi

Old man'4 accept the kola nuts

21

Accept, Orisa accept the kola nuts, accept

Obata'ld accept the kola nuts,

accept

Orisa accept the kola nuts, accept.

These phrases are frequently repeated by the Iyd 'ild of the Igbin

set during a performance.

Owing to the subdued nature of Igbin's

pitch variations these phrases are hardly understood by an average listener. This is not to suggest that Iyd a'ld of Igbin or of the various other ensembles cannot "speak" their texts. What we are saying is that the phrases sound clearer when they are played on yda'lu of the Dutndunset. It is important to note that Yoruba drums, like most

African musical instruments, are text-bound even though the

degree to which instruments

are capable of communicating

may

vary from one

ensemble

and

to

the

other.

For example,

Dutndun can

while Iyd 'ild speak certain

Iyda'lu of

of Igbin

phrases

intelligibly,

the Iyd'a" of the Bdta set needs the help of Emele akp to

be able to be intelligible

when playing these

reason that Iyd'lu of Bdtd is often referred

phrases. to as akd 3161 (i.e.

It

is for this

a

stammerer). The Bata' drum set which consists of Iyda'lu, emele akp, emele abo,

and kudi features prominently

in the music of Esui and Sdngo wor-

ship. The Bdtd drum set is perhaps the only drum set whose

rhythmic patterns cannot be reproduced by the Dutndundrum. This

is due, in part, to the stammering

nature of Iyd'ltu. It is also due to

the rhythmic pattern produced by each instrument in a perfor- mance. Batd is the most widely used traditional set in religious as

well as social contexts. In Cuba, Btad is the only surviving Yoruba

musical instrument.15 Ipese is the name given to the drum ensemble used by Ifd worship- pers. There are four instruments in this ensemble, namely Ipese, Aran, Afere, and Agogo. The Ipese set is used as an instrumental

accompaniment

festival

of Ifd.

to

the

It

is also

recitation

performed

of

Odui Ifd during

the

annual

when

there is an outbreak

of

pestilence

in which

rituals have

to be performed

to appease

the

  • 22 Adempla Adegbite

gods. Ogiddn is Ogudn's (the Orisa of iron and war) drum set. Like Igbin, Ipese, and Bdtd, it is used by Ogiun's adherents for ritual and ceremonial purposes. It is heard during the annual festival of Ogun

or

when

rituals

are

being

performed

in

commemoration

of

a

deceased worshipper. Here, the Ogiddn drum bridges the gap

between

the worshippers and the departed spirit.

As a keen hunter,

Ogun also loved to dance to Agr,

a type

of

instrumental music associated with hunters. The Agere ensemble

consists of AgOra, and

a flute (Tioko or kkuiuju). Agere rhythms are

sometimes played by the Diundn ensemble, consisting of Iya'lu,

Isaajiu, Gdngan, and Guduigdui.Agre, like Ogiddn, is played

during

the annual festival of Ogun but it also features at the Isipa 9pde,16 the

last ritual ceremony that is performed for a deceased hunter.

One interesting

aspect of these drum ensembles

is their hierar-

chical structure, which reflects the traditional Yoruba family system

in which the father is the head of the family

while the mother and

the children are the members of the household.

Thus, in every

Yoruba drum set there is always a "father" drum, and other drums

which may be considered as the children. In the Dundun ensemble

for example, the Gudugudud is

considered the father of the ensemble

while the master or lead drum is the mother of the drums, namely

yda'luDulndun, yda'lulBdtd, Iyd nldaIgbin, and so forth. In the Bdtd

ensemble, there

emele), a pattern Again, the

is the emele akg (male emele) and emele abo (female that further reflects a family system.

dichotomy

between

Olddumare (God)

and Il-Ogirf

(Earth) in Yoruba philosophy

is also reflected in the pattern. The

Earth is female, "Mother Earth", and represents the physical

world, while God is male and represents the non-physical world.

Since the non-physical

world has priority over the physical world,

that is, the world of spirits over the mundane

of the male

head of the family

is a reflection

world, the position of the pattern that

exists between the God of the non-physical world and Mother

Earth. It will be seen from this brief explanation that though the mother drum plays a leading role that attracts immediate attention

in a performance,

the drum that controls the ensemble is usually

the male drum, Gudzguidu, in the case of Dundun, and Emele akp, in the case of Bdtd.

Drums are often used to evoke the presence of the deity during

annual

festivals

or special

ceremonies.

As

stated

earlier

in

the

discussion, the Yoruba are quite aware that their Orisa are lovers

The Drum and its Role in Yoruba Religion

23

of music and that on the more serious level, that is the ritual and religious levels, music can be used as a vehicle of communication between man and these Orisd. In order to communicate with them,

the Orisd must be in good mood. One way of getting them

into

a

accompani-

good mood is to recite or chant their orz'ki17 (praise poem) either

vocally, instrumentally

or vocally

with instrumental

ment.

The chanting

of the Oriki of an Orisd invokes his presence

during a ritual or ceremonial occasion. Like Yoruba oriki, the oriki

of the Orisd often

give the most salient characteristics of the Orisd

in very figurative and hyperbolic language. the oriki of Orunmil:.

The following is from

Meaning:

Qruinmila,

lrlri ipin; (igbakeji) Olodumare

A jV ju oogun, Obiri a pa'j0 Qrunmila, witness of creation, next in rank to Olddumare, The culmination of medicine

iku da'8

Obiri the power that changes the date of death.19

The leading

At

no other

drum usually recites the

oriki of the Orisa as other

instruments accompany it. As the tempo increases, the atmosphere becomes charged and this often gives both concrete and mystical

position

of drums in Yoruba

shape and form to such ceremonies.

time can the unique

religious be more appreciated

than during the annual festivals of

the Orisd which often last for about a week. During that period, the

whole community is thrown into a festive mood. The annual festival affords the opportunity to hear various types of music per- formed either vocally, with or without an instrumental accompani-

ment, or purely instrumentally. A by-product of these various types of instrumental music is that it fuses the community into one unit, an indivisible whole. It should be noted in passing that ritual Orisa

music is performed exclusively by the devotees of the Orisd, while

on ceremonial

occasions

such as the annual festivals,

professional

may be engaged

to play

situation,

the drummers

must have a great reper-

musicians who are usually non-devotees the particular Orisa ensemble. In such a and more especially the master drummer,

toire of the orzki of the Orisd. He must know the or'ki of the Orisd whose music he is playing very well, and he should be able to recite them on his drum when need arises. He does not usually sing at the

  • 24 Adempla Adegbite

same time as playing the drum. The expression a lu Btad or Dundun

ki i dd'rin (a Btad or Dundun drummer does not lead a song while

playing) is a common one among the Yoruba.

The expression

is

often used when a person is trying to overdo something. To the untrained ear, the complex rhythms produced by various

drums in a performance may be difficult to comprehend. But, to those who understand the language of the drum, the sound pro-

duced by each drum is unique, and the resultant music of the pat- terns of the individual member drums is still more unique. This

resultant

music

dancing. Drum

is

usually

interpreted

through

the

medium

of

music may not be interpreted only by way of

dancing; it can also be interpreted textually. This means that the

drum, expecially the leading drum, is capable of playing phrases or even sentences verbalized by a reciter or a chanter. This is possible

because when a Yoruba master drummer recites the orzkiof an Orisd

on his drum, he does

not merely

play

a set of rhythms

like most

other drums do within an ensemble; he verbalizes his knowledge of the oriki of the Orisd on his drum. The tonal characteristics of the

Yoruba language

make the reproduction

possible.

Thus,

it can be stated that the Yoruba drum is closely related to

vocal music, even though on many occasions, the "voice" is not that of human beings but of the drums. Futherrnore, all drums are identical structurally. It is the rhythmic patterns which are played on each set that differentiates one drum set from another. For

example,

it is possible

for the Gbedu drummers

to play

the

rhythm on their drums, just as Qbaluf{n drummers

can also

Ipese

play

Qbtdald drum rhythms on their drums. However, tradition does not

allow such a practice. mances frequently. If at this stage

we

Yoruba religion,

the

That

is why

one

does

not hear such perfor-

is in traditional summed up as

ask what

answer

the role of the drum be

might

perhaps

follows: in Yoruba religion,

drums have two closely related func-

tions. One function is to enable the devotees of the Orisa to bridge

the gap between the visible and invisible worlds and thus bring them into direct contact with all those psychic forces that control the destinies of man. Apart from their role as instrumental accompani-

ment to recitations, chants, and songs during religious ceremonies,

drums provide the medium

through which the worshippers are in

constant ecstatic communication with their Orisd. They are used

to

evoke the presence of the Orisa. Here, Yoruba drums can properly

The Drum and its Role in Yoruba Religion

25

be compared to an audio-visual

system that is capable of bringing

the dwellers of a remote planet, the world of Nature,

and of mother

earth, right into one's home so that intelligible communication can take place between them face to face. In other words, drums are

metaphysical agents in the sacred relationship between the Orisai and their devotees. Participants in Yoruba religious ceremonies are known to have been charged to the point of frenzy when their orz'ki or that of their Orisd are recited by the drum. The Sdngo worship-

pers, for example, often become possessed by the spirit of Sdngd and

go into a trance (guin Sdngo) when the tempo of Bdtd is high during

a performance.

In the same way a member of the Jsf lineage may,

at times,

go into frenzy when the oriki of the lineage

is recited on

the drum at an appropriate occasion.

A by-product

of traditional drum music is its capacity of fusing

a community together. It does this by requiring, engendering, and both in the fashion-

fostering a corporate spirit, a "togetherness",

ing of the materials for music-making

and in the actual making of

music.

 

NOTES

AND

REFERENCES

1.

Richard

Lander,

Records of Captain Clapperton's Last

Expedition in Africa,

London:

Henry

Colbum

and Richard

Bently;

Vol.

I,

1830 p.

91.

2.

John Whitford,

Trading Life in Westernand Central Africa, London:

Frank Cass

& Co.

Ltd.;

1967,

p. 98.

3.

Alfred Ellis,

The Yoruba Speaking People of the Slave Coast of West Africa, Lagos:

Pilgrim

Books;

1966,

p.

159.

4.

Rev. SamuelJohnson, The History of the

Yorubasfrom theEarliest Times to the begin-

ning of the British Protectorate, ed. by Dr. O. Johnson, London: Lowe & Brydone

Printers

Ltd.;

1937,

p.

297.

5.

Qba Laoye I, the Timi of lde, "Yoruba Drums" Odu: A Journal of Yoruba

and Related Studies, No. 8, Ibadan: Publication Section, Ministry of Education,

1959.

p. 5-13.

6.

These are the leather

straps which

are used to fasten the membrane

to the

 

pegs attached

to the drum frame.

 

7.

Fernado Ortiz uses these terms to describe the Bdtd drum in his Batd in Cuba

translated into English by John Turpin

III

& B.

E. Martinez

(1980).

8.

This information was given by Iyd Sdngd Qplapetan Sang6bunmi during the

Sango6 festival

9.

at Ilobu,

was

a

Qy9

State,

in 1979.

Yoruba

hero,

an excellent

drummer

who was deified

as

Ayan Agulu the Orisd of drums

by

the people.

This

information

comes

from oral interviews

with Mr. Ayanrins9la

Ajagbe of Adeptan

House,

Taraa Compound,

Ogb6m'sO,

1981 and

Messrs

Muraina

Oyelami

and Ayanleke

both

of The

Department

of

Music,

University

of Ife,

Ile-Ife,

Nigeria,

1983.

10.

From oral interviews

with Pa. Awol9la

of Oko, Ogbom9sp,

Pa. Awotunde

of African Languages and Literature,

University

of Ife, and from Lecture

Notes

given by Chief Fela $owande at the University of Pittsburg, Pa. in 1975.

26

Adempla Adegbite

11.

See

Mircea

Eliade,

The Myth of the Eternal Return: Princeton: Princeton

University

Press,

N.J.

p.

22,

1971.

12.

Sang6

was the third Alaafin

of Qy9

and the fourth Yoruba

King

(1137-

 

1177) who was deified after his death.

For details about the deification

of Sang6

in Yoruba history, see E. B. Idowu, Olddzmare. God in Yoruba Belief London:

Longman,

1962.

See also Rev.

S. O. Johnson,

The History of the Yorubas from the

Earliest Times to the beginning of the British Protectorateed. by Dr.

O.

Johnson,

London: Lowe & Brydone Printers Ltd., 1937.

 

13.

The Yoruba Language is a tonal language, that is, a word in Yoruba can

have several different meanings, depending on the tones on which the word is pro-

nounced.