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Music Evolution

As time passes,people begin to desire new ways of doing things. This is because people are increasingly becoming more enlightened and as it happens the old ways of doing things become primitive and unpleasant. Sometimes it is just that people are tired of old things and desire something to take away the boredom they bring.

It is for the same reason that music must change or evolve to conform to these changes in what is desired. If this fails to happen there is the danger of old music style getting abandoned. Where the new forms are not invented the people face the danger of losing their music identity. In Jamaica, reggae music never got abandoned. It only evolved. Hence when one listens to today's forms of Jamaican music he still can hear elements that link them to the old styles such as ska, rude boys, rock steady and the peak of Jamaican music Roots and Culture that remains the axis of the Caribbean Island's music In the US, it is still easy to perceive the interrelationship between the old styles and what prevails today. This means that music forms over there are never abandoned. They only change gradually with time. This is also true of South Africa and music from central Africa such as Makossa and sukooz. Hence the music has remained part of the lives of the people in these parts of the world.

In Nigeria it is difficult to say that this is true. Nigeria has some of the richest genres of music known around the world. These of course, are Highlife, Juju and Fuji. Music evolution was however forgotten at some point in the history of the industry. Rather than evolve Nigerian music seemed to have experienced jumps so that one cannot draw a link between what was played then and what is being played now. This has resulted in near extinction of those genres of the Nigerian music

A surviving octogenarian Highlife musician, the Rolling Dollars, once explained that the comatose state of Highlife music was caused by the civil war between 1967 and 1970. This is doubtful. Highlife musicians just continued to play the old thing without changing and this is largely responsible for the near death state of the music As people were becoming educated and life styles were changing, the music failed to change along with the evolving culture. Thus the Nigerian music fans started looking outwards for music satisfaction. At the time, Disco just came handy.

To bring about the evolution of Highlife music to produce a modern version of it will demand a careful study of the music to identify the primitive-sounding elements of the music and then refining them to meet the music needs of today.

Music evolution is a process and not an event. This is because life styles will always change and since music is an extension of the culture of the people, it has to change too. Only then can people relate with the music and the music endures, percolating down to later generations.

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