Annotated Bibliography of Doctorate Degree
Music Theses in Nigeria (2011-2021)
Department of Theatre Arts,
University of Africa, Toru – Orua, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Dafe Bruno Ekewenu
Department of Music,
Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria
Charles Onomudo Aluede
Department of Theatre and Media Arts,
Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria
Department of Theatre Arts,
University of Africa, Toru – Orua, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Dafe Bruno Ekewenu
Department of Music,
Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria
Charles Onomudo Aluede
Department of Theatre and Media Arts,
Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria
Citation: IGBI, Oghenemudiakevwe, Dafe B. Ekewenu, and Charles O. Aluede. 2023. "Annotated Bibliography of Doctorate Degree Music Theses in Nigeria (2011-2021)." Accelerando: Belgrade Journal of Music and Dance 8:1
Quite a number of people have been very helpful in gathering the data subsumed in this research. Prominent among them are Adeogun Oluranti, Femi Abiodun, Bosun Adekogbe, Bernadette Ugochukwu, Stephen Olusoji , Kayode Samuel and Chinazor Okpokwasili . The authors are greatly indebted to all of you and your efforts are here acknowledged.
An upsurge in enrollment into postgraduate music courses in Nigeria in recent times, has resulted in an increasing number of research in different areas of music studies at the doctoral level. This trend has enhanced manpower development in Nigerian tertiary institutions. It is in this connection that the paper seeks to provide current data on titles of research conducted at the doctoral level in the field of Music in Nigeria in the last decade, (2011- 2021). This effort will help curtail the menace of recycling knowledge among scholars, which has become a cause for concern in recent years. Data were obtained through interviews, field investigation, the internet, and telephone contacts. The paper highlights some of the challenges plaguing the study of music in Nigeria at the postgraduate level, and thus provides relevant recommendations.
Keywords: doctorate degree, theses, music education, music scholarship, Nigeria
Formal education is one of the influences engendered as a result of Nigeria’s contact with Western civilization. Moves by the Europeans to acculturate Nigeria and take her round all aspects of foreign culture were palpable in economic, social, religious, and educational orbits. In the Europeans’ quest for an acculturated Nigeria, music education was not left out of the scheme of things, as the marks left by them have remained indelible.
The advent of formal music education in Nigeria dates back to the invasion of the Christian missionaries on Nigerian soil around the mid-nineteenth century, with the training of choirmasters and organists in the rudiments of western music. This has been explicated in Omojola (1995) and Idolor (2001). But since its inception in Nigeria, formal music education has undergone several phases. This began with the formation of mission schools, where music was used primarily. Also, the establishment of a Department of Music at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), and the introduction of music in the basic and secondary schools’ curriculum was a major watershed in Nigerian music education. Hitherto, only a privileged few had the opportunity of studying music abroad. In a bid to address the challenge of unavailability of formally trained music personnel in Nigerian, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, was saddled with the onus of producing the needed manpower for music at the time. The foresight of the government in ensuring that music was one of the courses approved for UNN to take off yielded instantaneous dividends, as soon as products of the music school at Nsukka, became very active in the Nigerian soundscape. As a result of this provided the impetus that led to the establishment of other departments of music in tertiary institutions in some states of Nigeria.
However, studies by Idolor (2001) and Adeogun (2018) still reveal a gross deficiency in the number of universities offering music as a course of study in Nigeria after many years. Alarming as the statistics might seem, as shown in the findings of the above authors, it will be fallacious to assert that there have (at least) not been some graceful strides since 1960 when UNN was founded. It is worth mentioning that more departments of music have sprung up since the findings of Idolor. These include those at the University of Port-Harcourt, Anambra State University, Uli, University of Jos, Alexander Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu- Alike Ikwuo, Bowen University, Iwo, University of Calabar, Mountain Top University, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt, and others. Aside from public universities, some private universities are beginning to see the need for music programmes to be run in their institutions. In addition, some private tertiary institutions that are yet to establish a full-fledged Department of Music had to engage the services of qualified manpower to cater for the music needs of their institutions. Some notable Nigerian professors and other younger music scholars can be found in some of these schools.
The drive to carry out research that seeks to document what has been done in the field of music at the doctoral degree level in Nigeria, is a follow-up to a similar study carried out by Aluede (2012). Since Aluede’s work about a decade ago, the number of doctorate degree holders in Music has increased massively. Put thusly, apart from affording researchers the opportunity of having information on studies done so far in the field of music, it will help reduce the multiplicity of thoughts in the same research direction, invigorate the culture of record-keeping, enhance a database where information could be easily retrieved, and enhance networking. We note the importance of this kind of investigation. For example, while investigating the history of Christianity in Nigeria from a bibliographic sense of secondary literature, Hurlbut (2017,1) maintained that:
As long as scholars have been writing about the history of Nigeria, they have been writing about Christianity. After more than sixty years, however, it is time to take stock of this vast body of literature, and get a sense of where we have been and where we are going. It is my hope that the compilation of this relatively comprehensive bibliography, and a brief discussion of some of the gaps that need to be filled in the literature, will inspire scholars to take their historical research in exciting and novel directions.
From the excerpt above, it is reasoned that periodically, it is advisable to take stock of literature in any given field to elicit what has been done, what is currently being done, and how what is yet being done can affect what is likely to be done in the future. In this vein, the paper captured different PhD theses’ titles from the Nigerian Universities that offer postgraduate courses in Music. The researchers carried out an extensive fieldwork in garnering the various titles that served as primary data for the research. For example, they visited the Departmental libraries of the institutions and made both phone and electronic mail contacts to the various Heads of Departments. During such visits and phone contacts, interviews were conducted on issues bordering on postgraduate music studies in Nigeria, and possible solutions that will facilitate addressing such challenges.
Data emanating from these efforts served as the basis for writing and analyzing the work. From the study was revealed that there has been an upsurge in the number of individuals patronizing postgraduate music studies in Nigeria since the early 2000s; a trend that has led to the production of manpower for the Nigerian educational system. It was seen from the study that since Aluede’s work in 2012, which showed an overwhelming preference for ethnomusicology as a stress area, there is now more interest in other areas like composition and music performance. The paper also recommends that postgraduate lecturers update themselves outside their areas of specialization, as this will enable them to make more meaningful contributions during seminar presentations and supervision.
Background on Postgraduate Music Studies in Nigeria
Postgraduate studies in music began in Nigeria at the University of Ibadan in 1980, with music as an area of specialization in the Institute of African Studies. Presently, nine universities offer postgraduate music courses in Nigeria, and they are: University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, University of Ibadan, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Delta State University, Abraka, Ignatius Ajuru University, Port Harcourt, University of Port Harcourt, University of Lagos (under the Department of Creative Arts), and University of Uyo. University of Ilorin award their postgraduate degrees in Performing Arts with specialization in music. These institutions have over the years produced manpower spreading across different areas of specialization in music.
Before the 1980s, the very few who had first degrees in music (from within and outside Nigeria) had to go abroad to further their education. These include Akin Euba, who studied at the University of California, Los Angeles, Laz Ekwueme (University of Munich and Yale University respectively), Sam Akpabot (University of Chicago, USA and Michigan State University), Bode Omojola, (University of Leicester, U.K), Dan Agu (Queens University of Belfast), Yemi Olaniyan, (Queens University of Belfast), Richard Okafor (Queens University of Belfast), A. K Achinuvu (Freie Universitaet, Berlin, Germany), and others. After their studies abroad, these scholars ‘brought Euro-American ethnomusicology to bear on Nigerian university music education’ (Adeogun 2018, 10).
However, the number of Nigerian music scholars with postgraduate degrees from overseas dating from the nineties upwards is intangible. In other words, more people have undertaken their postgraduate studies in Nigeria since the nineties, as a result of the introduction of postgraduate music programmes into more Nigerian universities. Christian Onyeji (University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2002), Godwin Sadoh (Louisiana State University in 2004), Ovaborhene Idamoyibo (University of Pretoria, South Africa, in 2006), Marie Ozah (University of Pittsburgh in 2008), Young-Sook Onyiuke (University of Pretoria, South Africa, in 2005), and Cordis Achikeh (Rome) are among the few who acquired doctorate degree qualifications in music from outside Nigeria since the 1990s.
This is an attestation that indeed the advent of postgraduate music studies in Nigeria has been of immense benefit. The following table offers a more elucidative insight into the various universities that offer postgraduate music programmes in Nigeria.
Table 1: A table showing the various universities
that offer postgraduate music programmes in Nigeria.
Authors and Titles of Completed Doctoral Theses in Music and Awarding Institutions
[Author. Affiliation. Theses. Institution]
Loko, Olasumbo. Lagos State University of Education, Otto Ijanikin.
Theses: “Liturgical Music in the Cherubim and Seraphim in Lagos State”, 2011. University of Ibadan.
Onyekwelu, Joseph N. Retired from University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Theses: “A Study of Oja in Igbo Culture: Its Local and Global Prospects”, 2011. Delta State University, Abraka.
Ojukwu, V. E. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Theses: “Dysfunctional Music Education in the Junior Secondary Schools in Anambra State, Nigeria”, 2011. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Forchu, I. University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Theses: “Implications of the Relationship between Musical Preferences and Behavioral Patterns of Nigerian Adolescents towards Human Development: A Study of Enugu Town”, 2011. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka
Nwobu, Stella N. Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Ulli.
Theses: “The Ufie Instrument in Igbo Culture: The Socio-Cultural Implications of its Music in Awka South Local Government Area; Anambra State”, 2011. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Akpakpan, J. University of Uyo.
Thses: “Contemporary Compositional Approach to the Creation of Ekpo Spirit-Manifest Music of the Annang People”, 2011. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Ugochukwu, Benerdette C. Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolemini, Port Harcourt.
Theses: “In-Class and Out-Class Teaching and Learning of Music among the Disabled in Port Harcourt Special Education Schools and Cheshire Home”, 2011. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka
Olisaeke, F. I. Federal College of Education, Pankshin.
Theses: “Harnessing the Potentials of the Traditional Horn Xylophone (Kudung) of the Berom of Plateau State for Contemporary Composition”, 2012. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Olorunsogo, I. Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Theses: “A Model of African Music Curriculum for Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme in Nigeria”, 2012. University of Ibadan.
Olaleye, O. University of Ibadan.
Theses: “The Social Context of Selected Yoruba Traditional Musical Forms”, 2012. University of Lagos.
Kehinde, S. University of Lagos.
Theses:“Chromaticism in the 19th and 20th Centuries in the Selected Works of Robert Schumann and Arnold Schoenberg in Relation to Some Musical Pieces in African Cultures”, 2012. University of Lagos.
Okonkwo, V. N. University of Port Harcourt.
Theses: ”Manpower Development of Music in Anambra State Secondary Schools”, 2013. Delta State University, Abraka.
Ubani, Anozie. Deceased.
Theses: “An Analysis of the Compositional Techniques of Daniel Christian Chikpezie Agu”, 2013. Delta State University, Abraka.
Ibude, Isaac. University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Theses: “Music in Kalabari Funeral Rites”, 2013. University of Ibadan.
Titus, S. O. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Theses: “Structure and Function of Iregun Music in Yagbaland, Kogi State, Nigeria”, 2013. University of Ibadan.
Anya, Njoku, M. C. University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Theses: “The Contributions of Teachers to the Unpopularity of Music as a School Subject: A Study of Federal Government Colleges in Enugu Education Zone”, 2013. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Okafor, Enoh. University of Delta, Agbor.
Theses: “Ten Contemporary Compositions Reflecting Urhobo and Western Idioms”, 2014. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka
Ekezie, Ngozi L. Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri.
Theses: “Contemporary Art Music for Christian Worship in Igbo Liturgical Setting: Original Compositions”, 2014. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Akponome, Abel O. Diseased.
Theses: “Folk Music in Contemporary Nigeria: Continuity and Change”, 2014. Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.
Uche, M. A. University of Delta, Agbor.
Theses: “Effects and Socio-cultural Implications of Song-Texts among Communities in Oshimili South Local Government of Delta State, Nigeria”, 2015. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Oguoma, Patience U. Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri.
Theses: “The Musical Activities of the Adolescent Girls in Alaenyi and Uzina Abosi Traditional Societies of Imo State, Nigeria”, 2015. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Ofuani, Sunday. Delta State University, Abraka.
Theses: “Iwa Ji Ofuu-Cantata and Four Instrumental Solos: A Compositional Research on Nationalism, Interculturalism and Individualism”, 2015. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Owoaje, Tolulope Olusola. University of Ibadan.
Theses: “The Yoruba Native Air Tradition of Choral Music in Christian Liturgy, 1920-1980”, 2014. University of Ibadan.
Ogunlade, Julius D. (affiliation unknown)
Theses: “Church Choral Directing: In African Tradition”, 2014. Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso.
Ogunleye, Adeolu A. Good News Baptist Church, Surulere, Lagos.
Theses: “Sacred Musicological Analysis of Alewilse, an Oratorio Based on Genesis Chapters 12-21”, 2015. Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso.
Oyeniyi, Gabriel A. Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso.
Theses: “Exploring Yoruba Sacred Musical Compositions for the Edification of Church Members: A Case Study of Jesu Olugbala, an Indigenous Cantata”, 2015. Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso.
Babalola, S. O.Lagos State University of Education, Oto/Ijanikin, Lagos.
Theses: “Legacy of Zangheto Music among the Ogu of Badagry, Lagos, State, Nigeria”, 2015. University of Ibadan.
Oludare, O. University of Lagos.
Theses: “An Analysis of Thematic Development in Selected Yoruba popular Music since 1930”, 2016. University of Lagos.
Odunuga, A. F. Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo.
Theses: “Impact of Teachers’ Competence on Students’ Academic Achievement in Music in Upper Basic Schools in South-west”, 2016. University of Lagos.
Agbo, B. N.Music Department, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Theses: “The Inculturation of Liturgical Music of the Roman Catholic Church in Igboland: A Compositional Study”, 2016. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Adeola, Taye. Department of Performing Arts, University of Ilorin.
Theses: “Towards a Theory for the Nigerian Gospel Music”, 2016. University of Ilorin.
Giami, Evangeline. Ignatius Ajuru University, Port Harcourt.
Theses: “Leela: Contemporary Vocal and Instrumental Compositions for Religious and Entertainment Purposes”, 2017. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Okpara, M. U. Music Department, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State.
Theses: “Indigenous Compositions and Arrangements in Different Media for Igbo Anglican Churches and Secondary Schools”, 2017. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Adeoye, Julius O. Osun State College of Education, Ilesa.
Theses: “Evaluation of the Personality and Role of Women in Nigerian Music Education in Selected Colleges of Education”, 2017. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife.
Babarinde, Damilola M. (affiliation unknown)
Theses: “The Hybridisation of Christian Gospel Music in South-West, Nigeria”, 2017. University of Ilorin.
Akinyemi, Akinwunmi N. Shepherd hill Baptist Church, Obanikoro, Lagos.
Theses: “Historical Development and Musico-Theological Analysis of Indigenous Hymnody of Christ Apostolic Church, Southwest, Nigeria”, 2017. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife.
Abolagba, John A. College of Education, Ekiadolor.
Theses: “A Comparative Study of Music Programmes of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka”, 2017. Delta State University, Abraka.
Dick-Duvwarovwo, Ereforo. College of Education, Warri, Delta State.
Theses: “An Ethnomusicological Study of Indigenous Recreational Music of the Urhobo in Delta State”, 2017. Delta State University, Abraka.
Thikan, Nathan D. D. Providence-Delta Baptist Conference.
Theses: “A Study of Church Music in Egbemaland in Edo and Delta States of Nigeria, 1938 – 2014”, 2017. Delta State University, Abraka.
Bolaji, David. University of Port Harcourt.
Theses: “A Creative Approach to the use of African and Western Idioms in Campus Life: A Musical Satire”, 2017. Delta State University, Abraka.
Igbi, Oghenemudiakevwe. University of Africa, Toru-Orua.
Theses: “An Eclectic Approach to Creating African Art Music, with Special Reference to the Oratorio”, 2017. Delta State University, Abraka.
Okpeki, Philo I. Department of Music, Delta State University, Abraka.
Theses: “The Evolution of Music on Television in South-Western Nigeria: 1959-2014”, 2017. Delta State University, Abraka.
Efurhievwe, Margaret. Department of Music, Delta State University, Abraka.
Theses: “Music Production Practices in Recording Studios in South-South Geo-Political Zone in Nigeria”, 2017. Delta State University, Abraka.
Amao, Timothy A. Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso.
Theses: “Exploring Music Composition for Peacemaking among Christians in Ogbomoso Baptist Conference”, 2017. Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso.
Alaba, Opeyemi Ricketts. Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso.
Theses: “Analysis of Selected Piano Music as a Vehicle for Diverse Congregational Worship Experiences”, 2017. Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso.
Ofili, Doris K. University of Port Harcourt.
Theses: “Music Pedagogy for Pupils and Students with Special Needs in Christie Toby Inclusive Centre, Port Harcourt, Rivers State”, 2018. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Amaegbe, Esinkuma J. University of Port Harcourt.
Theses: “An Appraisal of Technology-Based Music Courses in Nigerian Universities”. 2018. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Albert, Alfred G. University of Port Harcourt.
Theses: “Unity in Diversity: Original and Arranged Vocal and Instrumental Works”, 2018. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Ajayi, O. V. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Theses: “Musical Structure and Cultural Identity of Highlife Music in Southwestern Nigeria”, 2018. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife.
Adekola, Olaolu E. Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo.
Theses: “The Dynamics of Agidigbo Music among the Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria”, 2018. University of Ibadan.
Ayoade, Jacob E. Federal College of Education, Okene.
Theses: “Analysis of Styles and Performance Practices of Adamo Music in Ijesaland”, 2018. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife.
Olusola, Kayode O. City of Knowledge Academy, Ijebu Ode.
Theses: “A Study of Cultural Concepts and Creativity in Orlando Owoh’s Juju Music”, 2018. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife.
Akperi, Y. A. Baptist Seminary, Benin City.
Theses: “An Appraisal of the Philosophy of Tertiary Music Programmes in Nigeria: (1962 – 2010)”, 2018. Delta State University, Abraka.
Ekewenu, Bruno D. Department of Music, Delta State University, Abraka.
Theses: “An Ethnomusicological Study of Igbe Music of the Urhobo”, 2018. Delta State University, Abraka.
Ekpo, Ime S. Department of Music, University of Uyo.
Theses: “A Study of Indigenous Methods of Teaching Efik-Ibibio Traditional Music as a Model for Formal Music Teaching in Nigeria”, 2018. Delta State University, Abraka.
Odogbor, Peter. O. Department of Theatre Arts, University of Benin.
Theses: “A Study of the Production Process of Nigerian Popular Music Videos in Southern Nigeria”, 2018. Delta State University, Abraka.
Okoro, J. C. 2018. Department of Music, Delta State University, Abraka.
Theses: “Abigbo Music in Mbaise: A Study of its Philosophy, Inventiveness and Values”, 2018. Delta State University, Abraka.
Sunday-Kanu, Rita A. University of Port Harcourt.
Theses: “Media and Indigenous Music Performance Practices in Rivers State: An Evaluation of the Cultural Policy for Nigeria”, 2018. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Nnam, Jude C. National Music Director, National Catholic Liturgical Music Council of Nigeria.
Theses: “Egwu Nganga: A Set of Original Contemporary Choral Compositions”, 2018. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Osele, Angelina A. (affiliation unknown)
Theses: “Ojorima Cultural Bongo Music in Owerri: An Expository Study of the Life and Works of Opara Hyacinth Armstrong”, 2018. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Olubukola, Oluwatade J. Mountain Top University, Ibafo, Ogun State.
Theses: “Analysis of the Modification in Selected Yoruba Folksongs”, 2019. University of Lagos.
Omuku, Precious A. University of Port Harcourt.
Theses: “Systemization of Choral Pedagogical Approaches amongst Selected Choirs in Port Harcourt”, 2019. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Olaosibikan, Oluwarotimi.The Polytechnic Ibadan.
Theses: “Emergence and Development of Tungba Gospel Music Style in Ibadan, Nigeria”, 2019. University of Ibadan.
Ossaiga, Udoka P. Music Minister, Baptist Church, Ugbori-Warri.
Theses: “Conducting Practices of Selected Formally Trained Choral Conductors in Southern Nigeria as Demonstrated in a Concert”, 2019. Delta State University, Abraka.
Olorunsogo, Adetutu. Federal College of Education, Osiele Ogun State.
Theses: “Contemporary Song Repertoire of Children: A Study of Selected Schools in Ogun State”, 2019. University of Lagos.
Ogunrinade, David. (affiliation unknown)
Theses: “Assessment of Curriculum Implementation in Selected Secondary Schools in Lagos State”, 2019. University of Lagos, Nigeria.
Modeme, Eyiuche R. University of Port Harcourt.
Theses: “Contesting the Extremes of Digital Divide between Music Teachers and Students in Selected Secondary Schools in Anambra State, Nigeria”, 2019. University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Akalazu, Geoffrey C. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Theses: “Impact of Church Music on Students’ Achievement in Music among Selected Secondary Schools in Enugu”, 2019. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Falusi, Jacob O. (affiliation unknown) “Implementation of Music Education Curriculum in Deeper Christian Life Ministry’s Schools in South-West Zone, Nigeria”, 2019. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Nnam, Glory N. Joint Admissions Matriculations Board
Theses: “Panacea for Music Education in Nigeria: A Case Study of Senior Secondary Schools in Enugu State”, 2019. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Okpararuekwe, Peace I. (affiliation unknown)
Theses: “Applying Collaborative Learning Techniques of Agbani Music to Ensemble Studies in Creative Arts Department, Federal College of Education, Zaria”, 2019. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Omotosho, Mary T. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Theses: “A Study of the Compositional Techniques in Hubert Ogunde’s Theatrical Music”, 2019. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife.
Ibidun, Reuben O. Federal College of Education, Okene.
Theses: “A Study of the State of Universal Basic Music Education in Kogi State, Nigeria”, 2019. University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Adeolu, Abe. Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo.
Theses: “Musical Study of Some Operas by Professionally Trained Nigerian Composers”, 2020. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife.
Ajose, Samuel T. Department of Music, University of Ibadan.
Theses: “Dynamics of Musico-Cultural Engagements in Selected Prayer Mountains in Osun State, Nigeria”, 2020. University of Ibadan.
Ekpo, Omotolani E. Federal University, Wukari.
Theses: “Keku, a Contemporary Symphony Based on Jukun Traditional Dance.” 2020. University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Igwe, Victor O. Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt.
Theses: “Enhancing Music Graduates’ Employability for Nation Building in Rivers State of Nigeria”, 2020. Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt.
Ukor, Victor M. MTN, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Theses: “Comparative Analysis of Undergraduate Curriculum C ontent and Strategy towards Industry Relevance in South-South Nigeria”, 2020. Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt.
Amole, Blessing A. Alvan Ikokwu Federal College of Education, Owerri, Imo State.
Theses: “Igala Music in Oyoland: A Case study of its metaphysics and Performance Practices”, 2020. Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt.
Esemudje, Andrew A. Rivers State Baptist Convention, Port Harcourt.
Theses: “Indigenous Musical Instruments in Ikwereland, Rivers State of Nigeria: Socio-Cultural Beliefs, Utility and Gender Discourses”, 2020. Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt.
Abugu, Peace T. University of Delta, Agbor.
Theses: “Continuity, Change and Adaptation of Udje Musical Ensemble and Tradition among the Urhobo, Delta State”, 2020. University of Ibadan.
Adedayo, Ezekiel B. (affiliation unknown)
Theses: “Yoruba Islamised Gospel Music”, 2021. University of Ibadan.
Soretire, Eyitayo Aderonke. Federal College of Education, Abeokuta
Theses: “Investigating Choristers’ Needs for Effective Transfer of Musical Knowledge among Mainline and Pentecostal Christian Churches in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria”, 2021. University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Famakinde, Tolulope T. West African Examination Council.
Theses: “The Social Cultural Context of Festival Music Performance of Igede Ekiti, Ekiti State of Nigeria”, 2021. Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt.
Dada, Olatunji. University of Ibadan.
Theses: “The Standard Pattern Rhythm in Selected Naija Hip Hop Music”, 2021. University of Lagos.
Udok, Ekaette C. University of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State.
Theses: ”Ibibio Women’s Music Culture: Past and Present”, 2021. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Umeojiaka, David S. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Theses: “Impact of E-Learning in Academic Performance of Students in Music: A Case Study of Selected Students of Four Universities in South- East Nigeria”, 2021. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Okunbor, Dora. University of Delta, Agbor.
Theses: “Investigation of Students’ Gender in Relation to the Study Music”, 2021. Delta State University, Abraka.
Okpala, Hope Nkechi. Odumego Ojukwu University, Igbariam.
Theses: “Dance Music in Igbo Culture: A Study of Iduu Cultural Dance of Akpo and Odezuruigbo Cultural Dance of Awka”, 2021. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Ezebube, Augustina C. Ignatius Ajuru University, Port Harcourt.
Theses: “Social and Educative Roles of Bari Bii and Kanulele Music Groups of Ogoni, Rivers State”, 2021. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Ogunsanya, Adeolu Olowofela. University of Ibadan.
Theses: “Musical Motifs in the Dramatic Works of Wole Soyinka and Femi Osofisan”, 2021. University of Ibadan.
Jayeola, David. Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
Theses: “Performance Styles and Roles of Nkwa Umuagbogho Music and Dance in South East Nigeria”, 2021. Delta State University, Abraka.
Madu, F. N. University of Delta, Agbor.
Theses: “Computer Applications in Music Pedagogy: A Study of its Use in Tertiary Institutions in Delta and Edo States, Nigeria”, 2021. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Some Challenges Facing Postgraduate Music Studies in Nigeria
When undergraduate music studies began in Nigeria at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), in 1961, the pioneer students and others that followed must have anticipated that they will get access to postgraduate education shortly after the completion of their studies. But to their chagrin, this was not to be as it took upwards of thirty years after their first degrees for postgraduate programmes in music to commence in Nigeria. Even when it eventually kicked off at UNN, their alma mater, in the 1980s, it was only at the Master Degree level. It again took over twenty- five years to commence the doctorate degree studies in Music.
As a result of the prolonged start of the studies, some of the pioneer graduates and others resorted to pursuing their postgraduate degrees overseas. Notable among these are, Meki Nzewi, Dan Agu, Richard Okafor, Kalu Achinuvu, Azubuike Ifionu, Raymond Okenrentie to mention but a few. Earlier in 1980, the University of Ibadan became the first to commence postgraduate degree programmes in African Studies with specialization in Music; but it took twenty- one years, precisely in 2001 to have a graduate (Emurobome Idolor) from the programme. Interestingly, Emurobome Idolor became the first Nigerian to have a doctorate degree in Music from a Nigerian university. This further paved way for many others to complete their doctorate degrees in Music.
But despite the successes recorded since then in terms of manpower development and research output, one cannot refute the fact that several challenges have bewildered the development of the studies in various facets from moving to more enviable heights. Some of these challenges are discussed hereunder under the following captions: Protracted delay in graduation, unavailability of supervisors and areas of interest to specialize in, degree nomenclature, inadequate manpower/facilities and lack of funding, sponsorship, and research grants.
Protracted Delay in Graduation
Everyone who seeks admission into an academic programme usually looks forward to graduating at a stipulated time. But in most cases in Nigeria, students spend beyond the minimum duration for a programme in their quest for higher degrees. Unlike the undergraduate students who can envisage when they begin their studies and graduate, postgraduate students are in usually unsure of when they will complete their studies. This is due to a number of reasons which could be caused by the student or university system of running their courses. An example is the number of times students’ works are expected to be presented before panels at different levels from the department to the postgraduate school.
Until recently, doctoral students in Music at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, only had to present their works two times (internal and external defense) before a panel. This system was effective as it enabled many students to graduate on record time. At the Delta State University, (DELSU), the narrative is different, as students are required to defend their works at different levels between six and seven times. On the average, many Nigerian universities ask students to defend their PhD works three or four times. The system in DELSU where students are made to present their works before a panel of very senior lecturers a minimum of six times (excluding seminars) though likely to enhance the quality of research, is time killing and it has been observed that in most cases, that the practice ends up keeping the student beyond the projected year of graduation. At the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt, PhD students undergo four stages of presentations, namely: Departmental Defense, Faculty Defense, Postgraduate School defense and External Defense. In formulating policies for courses, postgraduate departmental and faculty board of studies should be inclined towards quality of research and prompt graduation from the courses. Having too many presentations of a research seems superfluous and breeds monotony and unnecessary repetition.
Unavailability of Supervisors and Areas of Interest to Specialize in
For several years, Nigerian music graduates who sought postgraduate qualifications only had the choice of specializing in Ethnomusicology, Music Education and Popular Music at the University of Ibadan. Even when other universities started running postgraduate programmes, there were only few areas of specializations like music education and composition. At the Obafemi Awolowo University Ife, new areas like music criticism and music production were introduced. In 2006 when their postgraduate programme in Music took off, Delta State University, Abraka, took the bold step to pioneer areas like Music Media, Music Management, Music Technology, Sacred Musicology, Analytical Musicology, Music Performance (including voice, piano, saxophone, etc.) and Conducting and Directing, (see Ogisi 2015 and Igbi 2017). Even though other institutions like University of Port Harcourt and Ignatius Ajuru University, Port Harcourt, have followed DELSU’s footsteps by introducing some of these areas in their postgraduate music programmes, many institutions are yet to do so. The reason for this may not be farfetched; there seems to be the impression among some scholars that areas of specialization is contingent on availability of qualified manpower. For example, the belief is that one who has a PhD in African Musicology has no business supervising someone specializing in composition, whereas some advocates of this tradition are themselves products of supervisors who had their doctorate degrees in other areas different from that which they offered.
Before the demise of Professor (Mrs.) Mosunmola Omibiyi-Obidike, she successfully supervised about sixteen students at the PhD level at the University of Ibadan (Idolor 2014), with most of them specializing in African Musicology. However, it is noteworthy that Mosunmola Omibiyi-Obidike’s PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1972 was in Music Education. Imagine what a setback it would have been for music scholarship in Nigeria if she shared such opinion that she was not qualified to supervise theses in African music because of her PhD. But as a result of her scholarship abilities, personage and in-depth researches in different aspects of African Musicology, she braced up to the challenge and supervised many researches in African music at the Master Degree and PhD levels at University of Ibadan. Today, most of her PhD supervisees like Emurobome Idolor, Femi Adedeji, Charles Aluede, Arugha Ogisi and others have in turn produced many other doctorate degree holders, and served as external examiners to countless postgraduate candidates.
Another notable scholar is Professor Dan Agu, who despite having a PhD in Ethnomusicology from the Queens University of Belfast, spearheaded the PhD programme in Music at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, where he supervised many candidates specializing in composition. As an astute scholar and creative musician, he was able to supervise individuals like Agatha Onwuekwe and Alvan Nwamara in the area of composition. Today, these two are professors of composition, and have also successfully supervised many composition students at different levels. It is this same ideology that may have spurred curriculum planners like Emurobome Idolor and Arugha Ogisi, to include as many areas as possible in the DELSU postgraduate programme for Music, even though there was paucity of manpower. The thinking was that a supervisor at the doctoral level should be able to get him/herself updated in any area of music, to be able to guide a student in undertaking research in such area. Thus, some of the departments that pioneered these areas, relied on manpower from elsewhere, and those who had the experience to teach courses in those areas.
As central as music performance and conducting are, holders of postgraduate degrees in the areas are scanty. After almost forty years of postgraduate music studies in Nigeria, there is only one Ph.D holder in conducting, none for voice, piano, violin performance (as at the time of this research). Some scholars are against the school of thought that lecturers who are experienced but without PhDs can supervise students in those areas. They argue that products of such supervisors are likely to be deficient in their areas of specializations since they were not supervised by ‘certified experts’.
While this argument sounds correct at the first instance, events and available facts have proved it to be untrue. Therefore, a scholar who holds a PhD in African musicology for example but has garnered significant theoretical and practical experience in an area like composition, performance, conducting should be able to guide a student specializing in these areas. Besides, the candidate’s external examiner could also be well versed in the candidate’s area and thus be able to make meaningful contribution to his research and practical demonstration. The point here is that one can be a specialist in an area of music either by theory or practice.
Of Degree Nomenclature
In the quest to run postgraduate programmes, by some institutions in the Nigerian universities, we observed that in a strict sense, some of such institutions could be seen as selling what they have not. As Universities Professors who should be gatekeepers in terms of quality of knowledge dissemination in teaching, research and award of degrees, it is considered important to draw our attention to this fact- the names of degrees often awarded. For example, we need to understand that the name of degrees awarded flow from the awarding department. This is why a Department of Music will unequivocally award degrees fully music. Elsewhere in this paper, we opined that Emurobome Idolor had a doctorate degree in African Studies (Music). This is so because he read at the Institute of African Studies. This model should guide others who are probably in the departments of cultural and creative arts, or department of Theatre Arts and Music. Degree labels should be exact, lest they be seen as selling what one does not have.
Music is one of the most affected in terms of inadequacy of manpower and facilities. Not until recently when the number of doctoral degree holders in Music increased significantly, there have been an abysmally low number of available lecturers to teach and supervise postgraduate students. For example, after almost two decades, the Music unit of the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ibadan had only one fulltime lecturer who taught and supervised theses. In the early and mid-1980s when the situation seemed better, the music personnel in the institute were just two – Samuel Akpabot and Mosunmola Omibiyi-Obidike. Because of inadequate manpower, the University of Ibadan and Delta State University, Abraka at some point relied on manpower from other universities to run their postgraduate studies. According to Ogisi, (2015, 136):
It is widely known that no Department of music in Nigeria is self-sufficient in its manpower needs especially at the postgraduate level of studies. Were the departments to wait for their manpower needs to be met before commencing studies at the postgraduate level of studies, they would have waited indefinitely and nothing will be done.
The Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt has also adopted this approach with adjunct lecturers to help strengthen their postgraduate studies in music. Although there is still the challenge of scant facilities for students’ use, some of these challenges are surmountable. Apart from the benefits of internet that students can access, the Department of Music, Delta State University, Abraka, in a bid to address this challenge, compulsorily send their postgraduate students for industrial training (I.T) in order for them to have a firsthand knowledge of facilities, and a field experience of their areas of specialization (Igbi 2017; Adeogun 2018). Virtually all the Departments that offer Music at the postgraduate level in Nigeria are presently posed with the challenge of understaffing. However, there is hope that the situation will improve with the increasing number of PhD holders that have been graduating since the past decade.
Lack of Funding, Sponsorship and Grants
There is no serious research endeavor that does not require huge capital or at least some amount of money to execute. Collection of primary and secondary data usually involve travelling, hiring of field assistants, equipment, and in some cases, honorarium for key informants. As Idolor (2001, 148) rightly notes, ‘an ideal research is capital intensive because it involves series of trips, collection of data, extensive analytic process and ordeal of publishing research findings’. The Federal government of Nigeria through the Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND) has been of some help in this regard as they occasionally sponsor lecturers for various postgraduate programmes in Nigeria and overseas, and sometimes bear the burden of publishing research.
While a number of people have benefitted from the scheme over the years, there are many who have been unable to access it not just because of inadequacy of funds but that most institutional heads often feel it is their prerogative to determine who benefits from the exercise. This notwithstanding, postgraduate students can take advantage of available foreign sponsorships and research grants. This will help them grow academically and improve their visibility in different parts of the world. Postgraduate lecturers should also provide the needed mentorship to their students that will aid them in accessing such opportunities
Analysis of Findings
In an attempt to calibrate the ninety-three theses defended at the various Nigerian institutions for a decade (in the period under review), apt information was elicited which are considered consequential for discussion. They are that we have produced:
Results of the above analysis reveal the high patronage of ethnomusicology, theory and composition and music education as a stress area. This has led to a shortage of manpower in other areas. It is considered somewhat superfluous to go into any form of extraneous analysis of the obvious. From these graphs, it is advised that various music departments should endeavour to strive at a balance in their staffing position lest certain courses will be perfunctorily taught by persons whose expertise may be tangential to the students’ needs. For example, Music technology and Music therapy appears to be out of the current gamut of music scholarship in Nigeria. However, Idolor (2020) argues that a music scholar can be an expert in an area either by theory or by practice. Then in cases where there are shortages of man power, an individual with a doctoral degree in composition, for example, who has over the years acquire considerable practical experience in conducting for instance such a person should be able to read book article on the contemporary treads in the area he can now combine such effort with experience garnered over the years to supervise a postgraduate candidate. Same goes for other areas. This therefore means that while allocating courses to lecturers outside their areas of expertise should not be a challenge if the lecturer has gained sufficient practical and theoretical knowledge, having experts to handle such courses is still likely to have its benefits.
It was not until the early and mid-2000s that Nigeria had experts at the doctoral level in composition and performance with Christian Onyeji (DMus, University of Pretoria) and Godwin Sadoh (DMA, University of Pittsburgh). Even at that, they were not produced in Nigeria. Till today, there are insignificant numbers of persons in areas like Conducting and Directing, Performance, Music Therapy, Music Media, and so on at the doctoral degree level in Nigeria. There are brilliant composers and performers like Akin Euba, Meki Nzewi, Arugha Ogisi, Oluranti Adeogun, Dan Agu, Laz Ekwueme, Joshua Uzoigwe, Emurobome Idolor, Timothy Eru and others who do not have university degrees in composition and performance, but have excelled in the art, and can also be referred to as experts in the areas. Music is both a theoretical and practical profession. Because of the practical experience garnered by scholars like Dan Agu, Emurobome Idolor, Ovaborhene Idamoyibo, Femi Adedeji, Arugha Ogisi, they have been able to supervise individuals in these creative areas of Music. Dan Agu, for instance, is a professor of ethnomusicology and composition – a rank he attained because of his superlative scholarly and creative output. But despite these, evidence from this research still shows the gross deficiency of manpower especially in the creative areas of music.
Data collected from the study reveals that music postgraduate studies in Nigeria have grown steadily over the years. The number of doctorate degree holders in Music who graduated during the period under study is indeed commendable. The challenges discussed in the paper are not insurmountable. Findings from the research reveal that majority of the doctorate degree holders specialized in ethnomusicology, music education and composition. The analysis reveals that scarcity of manpower in areas like performance, conducting, music media and music production in the period under review. One cannot also rule out the fact that there exists a symbiotic relationship between African music, composition and performance as stress areas. In order to reduce the rate of lopsidedness towards African musicology, the paper recommends that prospective postgraduate students should consider running their postgraduate programmes in diverse areas of specialization within the music profession. This will give room for diversity in the profession, help in job creation, and leave prospective postgraduate students with different choices in choosing an area to specialize in. Universities who have few areas of specialization in music should also review their programmes to include other areas. However, while efforts should be made to get qualified manpower with doctorate degrees in different areas of specialization, experienced scholars who have acquired sufficient knowledge through practice could also be engaged to supervise students. In situations where such are not readily available, there should be collaboration with expert lecturers from elsewhere to teach and supervise students. If many universities had adopted this approach long ago, perhaps, by now, postgraduate studies in music would have produced more manpower to meet the deficit of competent lecturers of Music in Nigeria. As a follow up to this study, the Association of Nigerian Musicologists should urgently host an online database of all the doctorate degree theses titles and possibly their abstracts, to enable quick access by researchers and scholars.