Born a Musician: The Making of a Dùndún Drummer among the Yorùbá people of Nigeria


  • Cecilia Durojaye University of Cape Town



Dùndún, Indigenous Music Education, Indigenous Teaching Methods, Yorùbá Cultural Practices.


Due to its popularity and as an exemplar of the Yorùbá cultural practices, the dùndún (widely known as the ‘talking drum’) has received much scholarly attention for its musical and literary functions. However, there is a dearth of studies focusing on music education of the dùndún tradition. Conducting a qualitative study involving extensive observations and in-depth interviews, with dùndún drummers in different towns in south-west Nigeria, the study investigates the teaching-learning process in the world of dùndún. Findings reveal that, although dùndún musicians hold the belief that a musician is made through a combination of àje?bí (genetics) and è?bùn (a gift), several methods such as observation, participation, modelling, and verbal instructions are employed in the dùndún pedagogy. The paper concludes by highlighting the implication of the indigenous methods on contemporary music education in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Author Biography

Cecilia Durojaye, University of Cape Town

Doctoral candidate, South African College of Music, University of Cape Town


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