Idoma musical instruments


  • Roger Blench Director, University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge



The Idoma are a cluster of peoples inhabiting a vertical strip of southern Central Nigeria, to the north and south of Oturkpo town (Armstrong, 1955a and Hansford et al. 1976). Their population was estimated at a quarter of a million in 1955, but has probably increased substantially since that time. ‘Idomoid’ is one of the principal branches of South Central Niger Congo and forms a co-ordinate branch with the Nupe languages. Abraham (1967) was the first author to study the Idoma language in detail, and the orthography of Idoma today reflects his original analysis, although it has undergone a certain amount of updating since then.


NCR refers to 'Nigerian Cultural Records', a series issued by the Institute of African Studies, University of lbadan, and pressed by EMI, Nigeria.
ABRAHAM, R.C. 1967. The Idoma language. 2nd ed. London: London UP, Akpabot S.E.
1975. Ibibio music in Nigerian culture. Michigan: Michigan State UP.
AMALI, S.O.O. n.d.a) Edigwu sings, Idoma funeral songs. (NCR) EPI.
n.d.b) STC2Alekwocinokwu. EMI, NCR 13, 14, 15.
1972(?) Onyonkpo, EMI, NCR 22.
ARMSTRONG, R.G. 1955a. "The Idoma-speaking peoples", in Peoples of the Niger-Benue confluence, Ethnographic Survey of Africa.
London: IAI. 1955b. "Talking instruments of West Africa", Exploration, 4:140-153.
1969 Ancient music of the Idoma, Asch Mankind Series, AHM 4221.
1972(?) Royal music from Idoma, EMI, NCR 18.
BALFOUR, H. 1948. "Ritual and secular uses of vibrating membranes as voice-disguisers", JRAI, LXXVIII: 45-69.
BEART, Ch. 1955. "Jeux et jouets de l'Ouest Africain", IFAN. Dakar.
DUVELLE, Ch. 1971. Musique Bisa de Haute- Volta, OCORA 58. Paris.
ECHEZONA, W. 1963. Ibo musical instruments in Ibo culture. Diss. Michigan State U.
GRIAULE, M. 1938. "Musikinstrumente der Hausa", Baessler-Archiv, Band XVI. HANSFORD et al.
1976. An Index of Nigerian languages, SIL, Ghana.
KRIEGER, K. 1968. "Musikinstrumente der Hausa", Baessler-Archiv, Band XVI.
NICKLIN, K. 1973 "The Ibibio musical pot", African Arts, VII, 1:50-55.
QUERSIN, B. 1973 Musiques du Nigeria Central, OCORA 85, Paris.
RANUNG, B. 1970. Music of dawn and day, Love Records, LXLP 513/4.
TALBOT, P.A. 1926. The peoples of Southern Nigeria. London.
THIEME, D.L. 1969. A descriptive catalogue of Yoruba musical instruments. Diss. Catholic U of America.
WILLIAMSON, K. 1972. Igbo English dictionary. Benin City: Ethiope Publishing Corp.




How to Cite

Blench, Roger. 1987. “Idoma Musical Instruments”. African Music : Journal of the International Library of African Music 6 (4):42-52.