Yoruba Drum Poetry and the Theatre

Yoruba Drum Poetry and the Theatre

Author by Prof. Mobolanle Sotunsa

Journal/Publisher: Nigeria Theatre Journal

Volume/Edition: 8

Language: English

Pages: 299 - 307


Although an indigenous art, Yoruba drum poetry is not restricted to the traditional context. Its use in various contemporary art forms such as popular music, the media and theatre is evidence of its potentials for relevance in the contemporary society. This study explores the use of drum poetry in the theatre. The paper argues that while some scholars have recognised that drumming consist of music and poetry, music as rhythm is foregrounded while drum poetry is backgrounded. The study further contends that even though many writers overlook drum poetry in many modern plays, it contributes to the thematic and structural organization of the drama as evident in some plays. In view of its capabilities therefore, the resources of drum poetry should be further exploited to achieve a richer aesthetic experience in the theatre. Playwrights should consciously integrate relevant drum texts into their plays rather than leaving the art to the discretion of the drummers.

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