Chima Albert Abiakwu


Ese and Uko ensembles have been handed on through oral tradition like most other native ensembles and quite like others, while the thematic, rhythmic and philosophical ideologies have lived-on, the performance techniques and dexterity of their performers have continued to dwindle. There is in fact a general opinion of a drop in skill-level among current performers of these ensembles. OmenkaAdibe, a renowned master of these art forms, saw beyond his time and recorded some of his performances. These recordings have become the canon for appraisal of Ese and Uko Performance Techniques in his native Ahiara, AhiazuMbaise. The researcher carried out preliminary surveys of native audiences, his musical heirs and former apprentices. This survey confirmed the general opinion of a dwindling dexterity. However, the survey revealed that Egbeahiaogu's use of Adibe's recorded performances during rehearsal sessions led to improved dexterity. The study therefore discovered from the surveys, that there is a positive relationship between the study of archived performance techniques of master performers on one hand and improved performance skill-levels of current performers on the other. It is the recommendation of the researcher that the works of OmenkaAdibe and indeed other master performers of other native ensembles be made available to current performers of Ese, Uko and other native ensembles for improved performance dexterity and skills which is the best way to ensure conservation, sustainability, efficient documentation and handing-on of these art-forms to younger generations.


Keywords: Performance Technique, Extemporization, Native Ensemble, Ese, Mbaise.

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