HARNESSING THE POTENTIALS OF THE TRADITIONAL HORN XYLOPHONE (KUNDUNG) OF THE BEROM OF PLATEAU STATE FOR CONTEMPORARY COMPOSITION

AUTHOR: OLISAEKE, FESTUS IFE

DEPARTMENT: MUSIC

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA

This research focuses on creating contemporary music with materials partly drawn from indigenous sources. A xylophone of Berom people of Plateau State called kundung which produces pentatonic tones was studied and used to provide accompaniment to the songs in the compositions. A startling discovery of the bastardization of the community’s scale system ushered in by civilization informed the researcher to expand the scope of his composition research to include upgrading the kundung xylophone to be able to play diatonic and chromatic scales. This is also informed by the inability of the instrument to accompany songs in churches. The researcher seasoned some good woods, cut to sizes and leveled them to tune. He equally gathered different sizes of cow horns which serve as resonators and tuned them. Missing notes were added to provide required diatonic and chromatic notes, and the instrument was coupled together in the fashion of a piano. The instrument was tuned with piano to be able to play in concert pitch for crosscultural performances. Compositions were made to include those set in pentatonic scales and others in diatonic and chromatic scales that the improved kundung can effectively accompany. The effort is geared towards helping the Berom community place premium on this instrument they are so much endeared to and which has been left forlorn due to this tonal defect vis-à-vis modernity and bring it back to the church. It is hoped that its usage in other music areas would equally increase. The researcher recommends among others that more should be done in other instruments in order to increase the melodic instruments of Africa for maximum modern compositional outputs. It is also recommended that music performers especially churches and Commissions for Arts and Cultures would find materials contained in the compositions here good resources to increase their repertories especially for competitions, music performances and general entertainment.

TO VIEW THE FULL CONTENT OF THIS DOCUMENT, PLEASE VISIT THE UNIZIK LIBRARY WEBSITE USING THIS LINK, http://naulibrary.org/dglibrary/admin/book_directory/Music/11514.pdf

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