Folksong as a Mode of Communication for Trade Advertisement in Abraka Community

Efurhievwe, Akpevweoghene Margaret (2015-06-26)


The study examined the significance of folksongs as a cultural heritage and their functions in trade advertisement, discussed the contextual features of folksongs in trade advertisement and analyzed the structural features of the folksongs selected and used in trade advertisement. This was done with a view to identifying folksongs as an indispensable medium of communication in trade advertisement in Abraka community. The study employed descriptive and analytical methods. In collecting the data, the participant observation method was employed. For a period of two weeks, thirty two songs were collected and recorded on audio tape. These songs were collected from 'evening and 'day' markets of the thirteen villages and Abraka township that made up the Abraka community. A total of thirty informants comprising ten elders who were knowledgeable on the ethnography of the sampled area, ten advertisers and ten buyers resident in the community were purposively selected for interview. Books, journals and other relevant literature were also consulted to support the information derived from oral interviews. The collected songs were transcribed and analysed using ethnomusicological theory. Apart from informing and stimulating consumers' interest to buy the advertised goods, the results showed that it equally served as a medium of communicating ideas and knowledge. The songs functioned as an indirect source of education for the target audience in their homes and places of work. As the buyers saw and heard what was being advertised, their understanding o f the message(s) was enhanced and consequently, their willingness to purchase the advertised goods was stimulated. The songs helped the advertisers make better sales. The structural analysis of the sampled folksongs, which was based on rhythm/Beat, Scale/Tonality, Melody, Form and Harmonic Texture, revealed that free and strict Rhythm, definite and indefinite pitches, tetratonic, pentatonic and hexatonic scales were predominant in folksongs of Abraka trade advertisement. The melodies were undulating in progression, the harmonic texture was monophonic; andthere were instances of improvised accompaniment featuring the use of idiophones. The study concluded that folksongs played a significant role in trade advertisement and constituted a vibrant and living musical idiom in Abraka community.