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Ebre music in ibibio land – a study of its function and importance

Ebre music is used for community entertainment and commercial purposes. It is performed both in the villages and in urban centres. Its instruments do not however include electronic equipment. It is performed essentially by the Ibibio women. Since it does not have elements of international or inter-ethnic musical characteristics, apart from the use of words and expressions, Ebre music is considered as Ibibio traditional music. In consonance with Blacking’s definition, it is a popularly known traditional music typology of the Ibibio.

Ruth Stone (2002:58) argues that a practical music-situation is an “Even as object” of ethnomusicological research study. Sharing her experience, she remarks: throughout my career, I have focused my research on the musical event. Here I have found a conceptual place where sound and behaviour are created, appreciated, and critically evaluated. There is great scope for study within this focus. We have argued that only few Ebre records are available, but live performance as practical music events formed the principal basis for this study and presented real conceptual experiences. Nssio Fiagbedzi (1989:47, 49) argues the theory and philosophy of theory in ethnomusicology, stating that:

Theory may be conceptualized as an abstractive view in  explanation of, and not merely descriptive of, a phenomenon.  As such, theory takes cognizance of bare facts from which it  differs and for which it accounts by relating them in a way that  reveals the nature or character of that which it is an explanation  of. Usually theory allows for further articulation, elaboration, modification, or specification (p47).

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