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ABSTRACT: The research appraised the use of drum as a medium of communication among people in Imesi-Ile community because traditional means of communication otherwise known as trado-media communication has been part and parcel of African society and Yoruba people during occasions such as coronation, funeral ceremony, traditional festival, naming ceremony among other community-based events. The study was anchored on Medium Theory and Theory of SMCR in Drumming. The study used survey research method and questionnaire to elicit responses from the 250 respondents within Imesi-Ile community who were accidentally selected through non-probability technique out of which 226 copies of questionnaires were correctly filled and analyzed using frequency and percentage. Findings show that drum particularly talking drum is still popular in Imesi-Ile. Although, the adult understand the drum messages, unlike many youths who see it as mere noise. On average, many Imesi-Ile people exposed to drum messages regularly. Though, many of the respondents (68%) were neither drummers nor dancers but they (63%) often opportune to watch or listen to drum messages at different occasions and events. Also, drum entertains (37.6%), promote culture (47.8%) and educate sometimes. In short, the use of gangan (40%)  bata (27%) and sekere (39.8) is high at occasions like coronation, traditional festival, funeral and naming ceremonies. It was recommended that children should be taught the art of drumming or how to interpret and understand drum messages. Also, the media should as a matter of urgency help promote the drumming by design programmes on African communication system where drummers display the skill and somebody doing the interpretation.

Keywords: USE OF DRUM


1.1 Background to the Study
Various media of communication existed in Africa before the birth of modern mass media. This media is commonly referred to as the traditional channels of communication assisted our forefathers, traditional rulers and members of the communities to share and exchange ideas. Traditional communication is also known as Oramedia, it was formed as a result of the interplay between traditional community, customs and conflicts, peace and strife, cultural similarities and differences, symbols and codes and moral traditions which include mythology, oral literature (poetry, story-telling, proverbs) masquerades, witchcrafts, rites, virtual, drums, music, dance, costumes and similar abstractions and artifacts which encompass people’s factual, symbolic and cosmological existence from birth to death and even beyond death. (Ugboajah 1989).

Ekwelie and Okwonkwo (2013) note that Oramedia have survived from the earliest of times and made an adjusted transition into the electronic age and this form of communication has possible ways of attracting attention such as facial expression and gestures, touch, pictures and visual signs, symbols, drums, music, danced and works both written and unwritten.

Drum, according to Encyclopedia (1996) is a percussive musical instrument spinned with a thin covering on at least one end for striking. It belongs to the line of ‘oramedia’ which are indigenous means of communicating in the various countries of Africa. Imesi-Ile is a small community in Obokun Local Government of Osun State. It is bordered in the North by Okemesi town, in the South by Otan-Ile community, in the West by Otan-Aiyegbaju and in the East by Esa-Oke. With a population estimate of about 11,155 people according to 2006 population census, Imesi-Ile could be termed to be a rural setting which comprises of farmers, traders and artisans. Talking drum is a major means of communication in Imesi-Ile community, it is a local means of passing information across to the villagers, and remains what essentially sustain the information needs of the people. It also serves as a way of entertaining people at public functions and traditional gatherings as it represent their culture and tradition.

According to MacBride et al (1981) starting with the simplest vocal and gestural signals rooted in their physical structure, human beings developed a whole range of non-verbal means for conveying messages; this could be in form of music or dance, drumming, signal fires, drawings and other forms of graphic symbols. He stressed that ‘Oramedia’ in this modern age is very important as they can be transmitted from one generation to the other. “People grew up with them and they get accustomed to them in their day-to-day interactions”. It is against this backdrop that this research study tries to appraise the use of drums as means of communication in Imesi-Ile community, with a view to understand the intricacies of this instrument and it exact role in fostering relationship among people.

1.2      Statement of the Problem
Drum is one of the tools of communication in the primordial era. It is regarded as one of the means of getting information across to the people who are mostly inhabitants of a particular village. However, today’s omnipresent and mighty media (radio, television and others) are merely big branches of the giant tree of orality and other pre-industrial age means of communication. McLuhan, cited in Aina (2003) concurs with the above assertion by saying that modern media are technological extensions of the oramedia (talking drum, gong, town crier and so on). Also, Ugboajah (1985) opines that the folkmedia; otherwise called oramedia is still the chief means of communication in the rural communities inspite of the huge presence of new media.

Consequently, the advent of modern media has outshined the oramedia which has been in existence for long. The importance of thee oramedia cannot solely be determined by sheer size, but by the objectives and effect it has on the audience. This research study therefore tends to appraise the use of drum which is an oramedia, as a means of communication among people in Imesi-Ile community.

1.3      Objectives of the Study
i. To appraise the use of drums as a means of communication among people in Imesi-Ile community.
ii. To examine the effectiveness of drum as a medium of communication among people in Imesi-Ile community.
iii. To ascertain whether drums are still relevant in this contemporary age.

1.4      Research Questions
i. To what extent has use of drums aids the means of communication among people in Imesi-Ile community?
ii. How effective are drums as a medium of communication among people in Imesi-Ile community?
iii. Of what relevance are drums as a communication tool in this contemporary age?

1.5      Significance of the Study
The research will benefit different people, organization, government, and other agencies, parents and traditional institution will seek reason why they should keep educating and use indigenous communication so that it will not face off.

It will form part of the research materials that will be use in the future especially those that will be working on the related topic or aspect.

The research will be value to students and scholars of mass communication and people who seek to impact on the indigenous communication.

1.6      Scope of the Study
The research titled “Appraising the use of drums as media of communication in Imesi-Ile” has been narrowed in scope to Imesi-Ile community due to its proximity to the researcher and the difficulties to study the entire country, as a result of time, reference material, funds and other logistics. However, since the population of this study is limited to Imesi-Ile community, the findings may not be enough representation of the situation across the country. Therefore, this research project can only serve the purpose of a pilot exercise which may lead to a bigger research in the future.

1.7      Operational Definition of the Terms
Appraising: A judgement or assessment of the value of something, especially a formal one.
Communication: The state of exchanging data or information between entities.
Drums: A percussive musical instrument spanned with a thin covering on at least one end for striking.
Imesi-Ile: A community located in the eastern part of Osun State which is bordered by communities like; Otan-Ile, Esa-Oke, Okemesi and Otan-Aiyegbaju.
Media: Collectively, the communication means, especially television, radio and newspapers that reach a wide range of people.


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