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Music from Nigeria the first of four programs. The music for this series was recorded by Robert G Armstrong professor of linguistics and director of the Institute of African studies at the University of Ibadan. Professor Armstrong introduces today's program in the last 10 years we have seen the development of a new style of opera with drums among the young people of Western Nigeria and West Africa. By now almost 20 of these lively works are in the current repertoire of various theatrical companies and the names of the day the composer actors are famous in Nigeria. The palm wine drinker is a satirical folk opera by color which is based on the well-known novel but the opera was first produced at the Arts Theatre of the University of Ibadan in 1962. And you will be listening to a live recording made of
one of the first performances. We meet a palm wine drinker in the midst of a very merry party. He is wealthy has houses money children and servants. All of this is vanity he says because palm wine is his wealth. His wife and his life. Family is what they're singing about.
They tell riddle a lot.
On the surface of the water and not on land. I know. It's a reflection of this morning in the Stasi. What falls into the water without making a splash.
A big rock is in the middle of the river. It's.
The way the drives out the £50. It's. Nothing.
Like that. I think you will agree with me that the drum orchestra in these operas does everything for opera that the orchestra in an Italian
opera does for a vet is opera. At this point the guests have run out of palm wine. The longest sentence for his palm wine Tapper. He climbs a palm tree and after he's been at the top pee falls out of the tree and the guests remain without their palm wine or. Has reached the top of the tree. The bottom line Tapper is killed by falling out of the tree
and sing they sing his praises. I am my I'm. The God of broken the spilled
dead. What kind of a thing is this. And. That. Was. The palm wine is finished and the longest people bring in a big gourd of water. The guests try it spit it out. This is not good enough for them and they leave in some irritation longer the palm wine drinker just tries the water himself. He spits it out this isn't what he wants. He sings a satirical praise of palm wine and ends up by saying his palm wine Tapper must come back.
Oh. My oh my. OH MY GOD MY. God. Oh yeah he was there right. Yeah all right. You know you go. I go. I mean that was.
One of my little you know me. You know morning and you go is it true or is it a lie. We don't it is a town where the dead people live and one where one may find the dead people. If it is true I must find that town. I mean I must find my palm wine tap. You know it's such a town. What do you know my name. If it is so good oh I must go that
I must bring out about my home on top of back on I am not. He must come back he must come back. Right. And then Greene goes and starts his wanderings. He goes first into the forest and meets the king of the forest who gives him a medicine which will take him through all his troubles on his way to the town of the dead. He comes across to Spirit Europeans who give him some kinds of tests he passes these tests. He comes to a marketplace and finds the girl who is slated to become his wife.
She follows him through various troubles and finally they come to the place of the king of evil the king of cruelty. They sit talking and not knowing where they are and the evil spirit comes up and we hear the entrance of the cruel King. Having come into this place they are to be sacrificed by the king. They say from this fate by the girl who comes peddling illnesses peddling sicknesses. She has headaches for sale stomachache for sale worms and various diseases and the court hears of the cruel King gets so busy buying illnesses that they don't notice that long K. and his girlfriend b c slip out on one side and the king is very angry when he discovers this. What was.
Was. What. Was what. Was you know what. You. You're.
They praise the cruel King for loving to whip mothers of children. The king is determined to sacrifice long and his girlfriend B.C. to the king's God Langa is interrupted and his plea for his life by the girl who sells diseases and we hear the girl peddling diseases in the next hour. Yes.
I mean you know how much for one head it can be two pounds three shillings. Your Majesty. Well you know I have just bought a headache already when I die tonight. Mother which give me 60 anyway. You're mad. I have just bought six. I got one. Oh yeah yeah.
Now the king now asks for the two mortals who want us to get on with the sacrifice they have escaped the king is very angry. I know. That. Now his next adventure is to go to visit the kind mother the kind
mother arranges for a long married B-C and the marriage takes place. She helps him on to his final stage which is the town of the dead. He enters the town of the dead and we hear the voices of the dead and he asks there if he may see his his dead calm mind Tapper out about. There is a slow dance of the spirits of the dead in the background.
STOP RIGHT YOU GOING model. I like I want to do whatever he. Explains that he's looking he's looking for a late mind have run out about and asked if he knew I had to see him. He is told that on about his career and has only come recently so that line can talk to him much more. Long get metes out about the tapper and explains to him how much he wants and about to come back to life and tells him that all the people at home are awaiting his return very eagerly and thirstily. Alibaba tells him that unfortunately it is forbidden for him to
leave the town of the dead now that he has come there but he wishes lunkhead well and to give flunking a magic egg which will turn water into palm wine. Donkey returns to his native town and meets the
people there. He tries the magic egg with water. Change and changes water into very good calm wine which everybody drinks. They have a grand time but in the excitement the egg is dropped and broken. In the last scene of the opera. The people of his native village come upon him lying in the road. Just beginning to recover from the merry drinking party of the night before. And he comes gradually to realise that he has been dreaming and that the various scenes that we have accompanied him through and during the opera are in fact stories from your traditional mythology and the people of the town find they join in the cheerful song palm wine. All right. The.
The palm wine drinker was presented at the Algiers festival of African arts by the Nigerian team. And once more all Gamala played the pot of lime get up on line being good in the opera but she has written and produced before the international audience in Algeria's music from Nigeria recorded by Robert G Armstrong professor of linguistics and director of the Institute of African studies at the University of Ibadan. Professor Armstrong is also the commentator for this series of four programs the first of which was presented today. These programmes were produced by Linda clowder at W H A. The University of Wisconsin station in Madison.
Generally speaking this is the national educational radio network.
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Music From Nigeria #1
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-SUPPL (unknown)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:00?
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Chicago: “Music From Nigeria #1,” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
MLA: “Music From Nigeria #1.” 1970-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 25, 2024. <>.
APA: Music From Nigeria #1. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from