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Language in Nigerian Music Scholarship: The Dearth of Intellectualism

Association of Nigerian Musicologists
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  • Musicology


A critical study of history and practice of music scholarship in Nigeria reveals a declining trend rather than evolutionary or revolutionary, in terms of intellectuality. When one compares the quality of the works by the first, second and third generations of Nigerian music scholars with those of the present, the wide gap of difference is alarming. Having served as editors and reviewers for some academic journals in music, we observe that the quality of many papers being submitted for publication is very shallow and unscholarly. By all standards, an ideal scholarly paper should possess three elements: focus, depth and relevance. Quality language is needed to realize the three. This paper, in a prescriptive approach, attempts to re establish the indispensability of scientific and professional language in music scholarship, with the purpose of reviving quality works in our field. The paper apart from identifying the cause of the declining trend, highlights areas to be strengthened, language wise. It is a sine qua non for Nigeria to occupy its rightful position in global scholarship, which becomes more competitive on a daily basis.

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