Basic musical instruments found across Nigerian churches that feature in worship musical performances are electronic keyboards of various capacities and quality, but a few big churches and Cathedral still have a big organ or pipe organ which they use for congregational singing or choir anthems. Other musical instruments are drum-set, guitars (bass and lead), saxophone, trumpet, konga-drum, talking-drum, put-drum, gong, maracas, and a few others that are peculiar to regions. 

The application or use of these sets of instruments in worship for performance could vary from one region to another according to the availability, and the level of competency of instrumentalists present to accompany the singing, irrespective of musical genre and style being performed.   

Indigenous Musical Instruments

Beside the Western instruments used in Nigerian churches are indigenous musical instruments. The church once rejected these instruments due to the influence of missionaries on the use of music and instruments in worship. However, with scholarship and a better understanding, most of these instruments have now been accepted for worship. Such instruments include the bata, gangan, agidigbo, agogo, rattles, and many others. These locally made instruments make more meaning to the worshipper, for music in Nigeria is largely connected with instrumentation and dance. Below are pictures of some of the instruments mentioned above.

(pictures coming soon.)

Contributed by Chesirri Talla Emmanuella.

Talking Drum

Several musical instruments are used during worship services to glorify God in Nigerian churches. Among them is the Talking Drum a Membranophone classification of African instruments found among the Yorubas. It is a lovely instrument that could talk because it makes three tones (doh me soh) and as a result, communicates, and also makes rhythm. Worshipers do enjoy it in that it makes them dance a lot. It communicates and people respond with dance or talking.

It is noticed that some worshipers are not fulfilled or satisfied until they hear the sound of talking drums during worship. That invariably suggests that some prefer it to western musical instruments such as the keyboard, guitar, etc. It requires good training to be able to play it well. Talking drum is used to accompany praises, hymns, choir renditions, and thanksgiving. This means, if the song is in a danceable beat or rhythm, then a Talking Drum is used.

Contributed by Emmanuel Olabisi.