Yorùbá Islamic Music as a Tool for Yorùbá Language Teaching

Abubakre, Samiat Olúbùnmi (2011)


The main thrust of this paper is to demonstrate that music is a veritable tool for language teaching. The paper starts with an overview of the functions of music in general and Yorùbá Islamic music in particular. The works of two prominent Yorùbá Islamic musicians, Abdullahi Akínbòdé and Qamardeen Odúnlámi (a.k.a Aiyélóyún) were used as examples. The selected musicians are outstanding among their peers in the area of linguistic competence and performance. In most of their waxed records, different elements of aesthetics contributed immensely towards various meanings as well as the overall pleasantness of their music. These musicians luxuriate in Yorùbá idiomatic expressions and grammar, folktales / stories and diverse linguistic manipulations that compel their listeners to pay serious attention to their music. The study revealed that the ability to strike meaningful balance between linguistic competence and communicative competence (performance) has enhanced the quality of the messages of the selected musicians. The theoretical framework for the study is sociolinguistics, the study of language use in the society. A lot of studies have been done on the various types of Yorùbá music, such as fúji, jüjú, sákárà, wéré, apala and traditional as well as Christian (gospel) music. The records show few attempts in the area of Yorùbá Islamic Music. It therefore becomes imperative to extend the frontier of knowledge through research on music as a universal language and popular culture among every member of the society. Our conclusion is that music can be used as a good resource material for indigenous language teaching in order to enhance the status and functions of the language. Yorùbá Islamic music is focused in this paper.