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Yoruba Indigeneous Music as a Medium of Communication in Yoruba Traditional Religious Sacrifices

Olufemi A. OLALEYE & Adegorioye O. ADEYEYE, Volume 1 Issue 1, July 2020 Pages 128-136, Published: 2020-07-28


Human beings are spiritual creatures with instincts and consciousness that are usually communicated through the medium of music in worship, prayer and sacrifices. Music is the agglomeration of physical and spiritual experiences of human beings which are extremely diverse and expressed through the sound of music. Therefore, traditional music and sacrifice are indivisible twin-sisters that occupy a uniquely central position in religious traditions all over the world. In Yoruba traditional belief system, music serves as a medium of communication through which sacrifices are transported to the throne of God. The centralization of music in sacrifice, among the Yoruba’s, is not in doubt because all the sacrificial wishes are made known to gods through the sound of indigenous music. This study critiques Yoruba traditional music as a means of transporting sacrifices to the presence of God. An attempt is made to analyze the various circumstances in traditional religion that demand sacrifice with musical accompaniments. This study relied on two different ethnographic methodologies of data gathering, which are observation techniques and key informant methods. The direct observation of Yoruba musical performances during sacrifice exposes the researchers to various methods of performances, and the key informants enable the researchers to have access to important places, performances and sacred information and objects. The sources of data are both primary and secondary. Primary data was collected through direct observation of music performances, and secondary data were sourced through libraries and recorded music. The study adopted the qualitative method in the presentation and analysis of data. This study interprets the Yoruba cultural practices as factors that shape the musical forms and proffers answers to the research question: what is the place and role of traditional music in the Yoruba traditional religious sacrifices?