A report on the use of stane clappers for the accompaniment of sacred songs: a practice found near the town of Iwo in the western region of Nigeria

  • Anthony King Lecturer in Music at the University of Ibadan.
Keywords: Music -- Nigeria, Lithophone, Lithophone music, Music -- Religious aspects -- Nigeria, Rock gong


This report is primarily concerned with the use of stone clappers at the village of Ikire lie, situated about 6 miles north of Iwo. However there is some slight evidence of the use of a rock gong just outside the town of Iwo itself, and the information on this latter practice is also included herein. Before proceeding further let me explain the meaning of the terms stone clappers and rock gong. The physical nature of some rock gongs has been well described by Bernard Fagg in a number of papers, and a brief description is thus all that is necessary in this report. A rock gong is any slab of rock which, when beaten with stones at a number of definite points, is used to produce a rhythmic background to traditional songs; there may be a number of beaters and they may beat either with one stone each or with two stones, one held in either hand; the beating produces a ringing sound from the rock and this may or may not have a definite pitch. Stone clappers, obviously related to rock gongs, consist simply of two conveniently sized stones which are held one in either hand; the smaller of the two stones is held in the beaters right hand and this is then used for striking the left stone to produce a sharp percussive sound; the clappers are usually employed in groups, i.e. two or more players, and supply a rhythmic background to traditional songs.
How to Cite
King, A. “A Report on the Use of Stane Clappers for the Accompaniment of Sacred Songs: A Practice Found Near the Town of Iwo in the Western Region of Nigeria”. African Music: Journal of the International Library of African Music, Vol. 2, no. 4, May 1961, pp. 64-71, doi:https://doi.org/10.21504/amj.v2i4.706.