Nigerian theatre makes extensive use of music. Often, this is simply traditional music used in a theatrical production without adaptation.However, there are also distinct styles of music used in Nigerian opera. Here, music is used to convey an impression of the dramatic action to the audience. Music is also used in literary drama, although its musical accompaniment is more sparingly used than in opera; again, music communicates the mood or tone of events to the audience.
An example is John Pepper Clark's The Ozidi Saga, a play about murder and revenge, featuring both human and non-human actors. Each character in the play is associated with a personal theme song, which accompanies battles in which the character is involved.
Traditional Nigerian theatre includes puppet shows in Borno State and among the Ogoni and Tiv, and the ancient Yoruba Aláàrìnjó tradition, which may be descended from the Egúngún masquerade. With the influx of road-building colonial powers, these theatre groups spread across the country and their productions grew ever more elaborate. They now typically use European instruments, film extracts and recorded music.
In the past, both Hubert Ogunde and Ade Love, of blessed memories, produced soundtracks of their movies using very rich Yoruba language. Modern day Yoruba film and theater music composers among whom Tope Alabiis the flag bearer have variously accompanied dramatic actions with original music.
Classical Music In Nigeria.
In the 20th century, Nigeria produced a number of classical composers; these include Fela Sowande, Joshua Uzoigwe, Akin Euba, and Godwin Sadoh. Sowande was one of the first and most famous African composers in the Western classical tradition, and founder of the Nigerian art music tradition. Sowande was also an organist and jazz musician, incorporating these and elements of Nigerian folk music into his work.