Beyond Telling the Mind’s Story and Minding the Story: Tracing Asonogun Music Ancestry in Esan, Edo State, Nigeria

Charles O. Aluede 

Issue: Vol.2  No.1 January 2021  Article 2 pp. 15-23
DOI : |   Published online 14th January 2021.
© 2021 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (


This article examines the evolutionary tendencies – the origin of Asonogun music genre of the Esan. This has become necessary in the light of earlier efforts which appear to be speculative. The focus of this present study is not to determine the age of this musical practice but to clear the seeming ambiguities peddled by previous researchers who believe that it is a spinoff of the music used in the worship of the god of iron in Esan. Of the thirty-five kingdoms in Esan, data was drawn from twenty towns that were adjudged to be still consistent in the performance of this music. Five major musical ensembles were later further investigated, one each from the five local government areas in eliciting data for this study. The study revealed that Asonogun is simply a recreational type of music and dance performed by both male and female participants whose origin has nothing to do with the worship of the god of iron. The study arrived at key conclusions that in this current era of globalisation, it is paramount that in-depth research is conducted before making public any findings because christening a social/ recreational musical genre fetish could generate apathy for the genre. This in turn could restrict audience participation and lead to the annihilation of the musical practice.

Keywords: Asonogun, Igbabonelimin, Igbaboasono, Ikhien

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Charles O. Aluede, PhD; MANIM is a Professor of Music at the Department of Theatre and Media Arts, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria.

Aluede, Charles, O. “Beyond Telling the Mind’s Story and Minding the Story: Tracing Asonogun Music Ancestry in Esan, Edo State, Nigeria.” E-Journal of Music Research 2, no.1 (2021): 15-23.

© 2021 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (