Our involvement, as musicians and musicologists, in grooming and mentoring scholars who could confidently handle the social, economic, political, educational, and spiritual demands on the 21st century is quite evident. Teaching, research, and community service are aspects of our duties as musicologists. No wonder the founders of this University included the Department of Music in their foundational considerations of vital areas of learning; hence, since its inception in 1960, the Department of Music of this University—the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa—has blazed the trail in producing world-class scholars whose contributions and services are highly valued, globally. We can say authoritatively that every musicologist in/from Nigeria today has a historical and academic connection with the Department of Music of the University of Nigeria. Reference is often made to the popular entertainment function of music, as if that aesthetic angle to music is the only value of music in the human life. But experience has shown that the utilitarian and contingent functions of music—especially in Africa—put music in the centre-stage of therapy, worship, patriotism, social mobilization and control, enlightenment, commerce, transcendental supplication, national development, etc. As a discipline that encompasses art and science, the centrality of music in the life of all living things place music and musicians at a delicate position. The instruments and equipment for music-making are as delicate as the psyche of the musicians and musicologists who function as both artistes and scientists. While bracing up to our responsibilities of teaching, research, and community service, the Department also boasts as the officially recognized institution for musical training of military and paramilitary personnel of the Nigerian armed forces. The Department of Music, University of Nigeria, Nsukka has since established a culture of excellence in scholarship and musicianship—recording numerous enviable achievements from the different fields of music and music-making, globally. On the 31st of August, 2016, the Department stood tall amidst other Departments of Music in Nigeria with first position in the All Nigerian Universities Classical Music Contest (Campus Classicals) held in Lagos, Nigeria. The Sam Chukwu Memorial Recording Studio (SCMRS) of the University of Nigeria, borne out of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Nigeria and African Digital Ethnography Project, Morehouse College, USA is distinguished as the first digital recording studio for training, educational and cultural documentation in a Nigerian university. Also, the University of Nigeria Digital Collection (UNDC) Repository—the first of its kind in West Africa—is the first digital archival repository to be curated by a Nigerian university. I warmly welcome you to the den of the Lion Band, Lion Orchestra, Lion Ensemble, and the Nsukka School of Art Music of the University of Nigeria—The Department of Music.
The Department of Music, University of Nigeria, started in 1961, is the first full-fledged Department of Music in Nigeria. From the beginning, the Department introduced what is called a “bi-musical” programme which placed the teaching of African and Western music at par. In 1965 the Department graduated its first set of four music students, with BA (Nig.) in Music. At the undergraduate level, the Department offers a 3-year Diploma in Music Education, 2-year BA, 3-year BA, and 4-year BA in Music programmes. The Department strives for a relaxed and uninterrupted academic atmosphere. The nature of music programme naturally demands fulltime and round the clock involvement of the students in practical and theoretical knowledge acquisition that enforces bearable academic atmosphere in the Department.
In 1988 the Department of Music, University of Nigeria, Nsukka started the postgraduate programme with specialization in Music Education, Music Theory and Composition, and African Music. However, in response to the emergent academic needs of our times, the Department has since expanded its postgraduate programme, at both MA and PhD levels, to eight areas of specialization; namely, African Music, Conducting and Music Directing, Music Education, Music and Mass Media, Musicology, Musical Instrument Technology, Performance, and Theory and Composition. In addition, the Department also introduced the Post Graduate Diploma in Music (PGDM), to benefit holders of HND and Third Class degree in Music/Music-related courses, as well as holders of degrees in other disciplines—who are subjected to audition and qualifying tests by the Examination Board of the Department, to determine their suitability for admission into the PGDM programme.