n African Performance Review - Dramaturgical importance of music in modern Nigerian drama

Volume 3, Issue 2_3
  • ISSN : 1753-5964


What constitutes modern drama in Nigeria today is a synthesis of several art forms - such as music, dance, acting, make-up, costume and other forms of spectacle. Consequently, the process of staging a play presents both formal and thematic challenges in terms of what goes into a production. While it is best to examine the range of modes and media of representation interacting in a single drama performance, this paper focuses on the role and use of music in its various ramifications in Nigerian dramaturgy. The methodological implication involves, among others, redefining the boundaries between speech and music within the African context while examining contemporary applications vis-à-vis the desired goals. It is clear from this study that while some Nigerian playwrights merely suggest music, others provide song texts, while only a negligible few provide music scores. The essay also shows where Femi Osofisan stands in all of this and concludes by arguing that the documentation of music as part of the play script makes for a more effective dramaturgy.

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