The variety of Nigerian lifestyle, weather, trade, culture, and traditions are portrayed through musical instruments. In Nigeria, the differences in trade, tradition, social lifestyle, and environment are merged into a vibrant music culture.
Natural resources obtained from various places are used to build one-of-a-kind musical instruments that are in tune with the vibrancy and richness of traditional Nigerian music.
For instance, the dense vegetation of southern Nigeria makes it simpler for the locals to craft massive wooden musical instruments using wood from their forest.
Similarly, string instruments like the Goge are made in northern Nigeria using local materials like the skin of well-grazed cattle, along with bows that enhance the musicality of those instruments.
The Igbo ekwe is a hardwood musical instrument used in traditional music. The interior of the hollowed-out wooden drum has a rectangular cavity that has been cut out. In the past, Ekwe was used as a talking drum to announce crises like war, travel restrictions, important holidays, or special announcements. Ekwe can occasionally be used for musical festivities or cultural events. Ekwe is carved in a wide range of styles and dimensions, which largely dictates its function. While the larger sixes of the drum produce deep bass tones, the smaller sixes produce crisper pitches. The Ekwe drum is played with either a simple, straight wooden stick or a rubber-tippled mallet, and its playing style is quite easy and gentle.
In Hausa society, the kakaki is regarded as a royal-blowing instrument that is only performed by men. It is a four-meter-long metal trumpet that makes a powerful sound that can be heard far away. The instrument is made out of a straight metal tube that was joined by welding five separate pieces. The Kakaki is a renowned local trumpet connected to aristocracy. In Hausa society, it is only blown during ceremonies for the royal heads such as the Emirs and Sultans to add a new melody to their customary ceremonial music. In the north, festivals and religious rituals like turbanning the emir and the well-known Argungu festival depend on kakaki.
A common percussion instrument in Nigeria, particularly in the Yoruba culture, is the “Ṣẹ̀kẹ̀rẹ̀.” The instrument is a dried, polished gourd covered in a net made of colorful beads or cowries that is worn on the gourd. During religious services, traditional ceremonies, and cultural dance performances, “Ṣẹ̀kẹ̀rẹ̀” is utilized to amplify musical sounds. It is prepared from vine gourd that has been dried for a while. The shape of the instrument, which varies, largely impacts how it sounds. Other West African nations and Latin American customs both use the word “Ṣẹ̀kẹ̀rẹ̀.”