Art Music in Nigeria – Indigenous Nigerian Music

Nigerian Music – Music are sounds that are arranged in a way that is pleasant to listen to. Anyone can write, play or sing music. Here, your going to see some of the Indigenous Nigerian Music.

Important of Music to Nigerian Society

1. Music aims at correcting social ills in Nigeria

2. Music creates job for singers and instrument producers to many Nigerian youths

3. It is a means of praising Almighty God

4. Music is useful for ceremonial functions in Nigeria, such as: chieftaincy, marriage, birthday, Burial and anniversaries.

Nigerian Musical Instruments

  • Idiophones
  • Xylophone (popular among the Ibibio and Tiv)
  • Thumb piano (popular among Igbo and Yoruba)
  • Rattles (Igbo, Itsekiri, Ijaw)
  • Calabash (Hausa/Fulani)
  • Membranophone (found mostly among the Yourba and Hausa).

         Indigenous Nigeria Music

Below are the indigenous Nigeria music:


Highlife had its root in the music of the freed slaves of West Indies where Calypso was widely embrace. Mighty Sparrow was formidable name in Calypso music.

Highlife became popular in West Africa through the efforts of E.T.Mensah of Ghana. Later, it flourished in Nigeria through the music of Bobby Benson, Victor Olaiya, Osita Osadebe, King Kenny, Jim Rex Lawson, Eddy Okenta, Roy Chicago, Dele Ojo, Orlando Owoh, Oliver De Coque, Nico Mbarga, Sir Victor Uwaifor, etc.


Orlando Julius and Fela Anikulapo Kuti was the chief exponent of Afrobeat who used it as a veritable tool to call the attention of military government to corruption and other social injustice.


This type of music is indigenous to Western Nigerian Yorubas. The music is heavily-laden with praise singing. Idiophones (sekere) and membranophones (drums) play great roles in juju music.

Prominent juju players in Nigeria include:

Ojoge Daniel, Tunde Nightingale, I.K. Dairo, Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi, King Sunny Ade (Adegeye), Admiral Dele Abiodun, Olu Fajemirokun, Sir Shina Peters and others.


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