Singing and the Use of Songs in Worship

Origin and Early Forms of Music

Music has its origin from the sound produced from animate and inanimate objects: humans, animals, and plants inclusive.

The origin of music could be traced to the production of speech, human communication, work rhythms, play rhythms, clapping, mimicries, singing, human sound, the roaring of waves or oceans, blacksmiths, harmer, and anvil, and environmental sounds.

There are myths or legends connected to music in every locality or culture around the world. Some could believe that music was given to them by the spirits or was created a certain legend in their family.


People in the early times made use of drums, rocks, and sticks as instruments of music. Music was used for many community functions, including religious ceremonies. There was no notation of music but sounds were conveyed from one part of the world to the other. The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, the Chinese, Arabs and the Africans produced music in different ways.

The Egyptians:

In 4000 BCE, the Egyptians had harps and flutes for religious and secular activities. Music is part of Egyptian culture. In Biblical times, the ancient Hebrew,  while in Egypt,  played some musical instruments, like the harp, lyre, and the ram horn (trumpet-like instrument).

The Greek:

Music of the Greek was associated with mathematics and knowledge. Pythagoras the Mathematician developed the octave scale. In 350 BCE, Aristotle wrote on music theory scientifically. Boethius in 521 BCE brought the Greece system of notation to Western Europe enabling musicians to write accurately the folk songs of their land. He was the first to write an opera idea.


Music was a part of Roman culture from the earliest times. Music was customary at funerals, and tibia a type of woodwind instrument was played at sacrifices to ward off bad influences. Choir songs were used at secular games in 17 BC. The first music school in Europe started in Rome in 600CE. The Catholic Church created music for use in church services


Arabs music is unique and alive and has a history of interaction with many other regional musical theories of the Greeks.


Africans use music and playing of percussion instruments in everyday lives, farming, cooking, ceremonies, etc.

The black slaves in the United States sang their folk songs and indigenous songs, on the farm or religious activities. The fusion of African tones and Western scale formed the basis of jazz music.

Africans use music for the coronation of Kings, to ward off diseases, during warfare, etc. For Africans, music is life.

Music transforms society and its impact is great in relaying messages to the audience. From ancient times to the modern and contemporary world, music has evolved in different cultures with beautiful sounds and genres, so pleasant to our ears.


  1. Discuss any genre of music that you have heard or familiar with.
  2. Mention a few musicians who have unique music and have used their music or songs to influence the community positively.

For example, Fuji Music has its origin from the production of speech sound or Quranic lines from the recitation of Arabic words in the Yoruba language by the Imams and clerics. Early performances of this type of music drew their inspiration from such rhythmic sound, they added few instruments to it and thus evolved Fuji and Awurebe music.

Musicians and some of the performers include Dr. Ayinde late  Barrister Killington Ayinla, Salawa Abeni, Wasiu Ayinde Barrister(KWAMI).

30 Nigerian Praise and Worship Songs with Tonic Solfa for Music leaders, singers, and Musicians

30 Nigerian Praise and Worship Songs with Tonic Solfa for Music leaders, singers, and Musicians


Praise worship songs and choruses are melodious tunes incorporated into church music in Nigeria, and in other churches around the world. Christians from Nigeria take along with them some of these songs and practically use them in the culture they found themselves, irrespective of the church denominations.

Some of these songs are recorded on tapes and posted online, while the sources of a few are unknown.

Out of a huge number of these beautiful songs, we have written ‘30 Nigerian Praise-worship songs with tonic solfa’ for musicians and worship leaders who would need to play them on their instruments and sing as well. The songs are already in use for worship services in the churches and other outdoor programmes. We try as much as possible to notate the melodies to a near-perfect, for the copyright songs, and the songs by the unknown authors.

There could be one or few notes that are not quite sounding close to the way you may have known the songs; this could be easily changed with the aid of your instrument.

With the melodies written in tonic solfa, without the beat signs,  that could be a bit challenging, though helpful if the performer has a fore-knowledge of the songs and listen to the audio recordings.


A huge compilation of Nigerian praise and worship songs and tonic solfa, suitable for worship leaders, musicians and singers.

  1. We give you glory Lord, as we honour you

We give you glory lord as we honor you

You are wonderful; you are worthy, O Lord

You are wonderful; you are worthy, O Lord

         © Uche Agu

d d r m m m r m f m /2ce

s s f r d m m r m f m

s s f r d m d tᵢ d r d   (lower note- tᵢ)


  1. You are Yahweh, eh eh eh, You are Yahweh } 2ce

You are Yahweh Alpha and Omega

You are Yahweh Alpha and Omega

© Steve Crown

s s d¹ t l t d¹ l l s f s } 2ce       (d¹- upper note doh)

d m s r m d lᵢ(d)* d f m        *optional for chorus

m m s r m d d d r d

(m m s r m d d m d d) vocalist often changed the notes


  1. Alpha my beginning

Omega my very end,

You are worthy to be praised

Only You, only You.


O o, only You, O o o o, only You

You are worthy to be praised

Only You, only You.

© Femi Okunuga


m m  r m f m m

s f m s f m r

s f m d r m f

f r d   m r d


s l s f m  s l s m r

s f m d r m f

f r d m r d


  1. You are here moving in our midst

I worship you, I worship you.

You are here working in this place,

I worship You, I worship You.


Way maker, miracle worker

Promise keeper, Light in darkness

My God that is who you are.


© Sinach


m s l   l l l s m

d s d r d m d lᵢ  (lᵢ – lower note lah)


d¹ r d l  s l l l s m

d s d r d m d lᵢ


d d sᵢ d d d d sᵢ d d d sᵢ

d d r m d r  m r d r m d lᵢ


  1. You are God from beginning to the end,

There’s no place for argument

You are God all by Yourself.


You’ve got times and seasons in Your hands,

You called for light out of darkness,

You don’t need a man to be the God You are,

But You have chosen to call me Your own.

© Nathaniel bassey



sᵢ sᵢ d d r m r d tᵢ lᵢ

f f f f m r d

d d d tᵢ lᵢ tᵢ d


m f s d f m r d lᵢ

s s s f m m r

m f s s s d f m r d lᵢ

sᵢ m r d sᵢ d m r d d



  1. The bread of life is from You

The Bread of Life is You.

Mountains bow before You,

All the angels worship You.


O….ooooo! Yea, Lord we honour You’

Ooo! Ooo! Yea, Great and Mighty King.



Alagbara, you are the mighty God

Eyin la tobiju, you are the glorious God

© Onos Ariyo


f f f m r m m

s r m r d l

f f f m r m m

s s r m r d l


d… r d m r m    r

r m r d l


m f f m  d r d m d r

d r r m d lᵢ   d r d m d l


  1. From east to west, no other god

From north to south, I say there is no other god

Source: unknown


s l s m s r m f

f s f r s s r r f m r d


  1. I’m serving the God of miracle

I know, yes I know

I’m serving the God of miracle

I know yes I know

Source: unknown


sᵢ d d d m d r d lᵢ

sᵢ d m d r

s m m d m d r d lᵢ

s d m r d


  1. We lift your name, higher

We lift your name, higher

We lift your name, higher

We lift your name, higher.

Source: unknown


s s m s d d

s s m s f f

f f m f m r r r

s s r m r d d


  1. Glory be to the Lord, Halleluyah

Glory be to the Lord, halleluyah.

© Source unknown


m s f m f r s s s s

m s f m f r d d d d


  1. Casting crowns, lifting hands,

bowing hearts is all we’ve come to do

Adonai Adonai adonai You reign on high

We will rise in your Name

Adonai You reign on high

© Nathaniel Bassey


d¹ t l   d t l    l s m   s s s d r

d¹ t l    d t l    l s m  s s s d r


  1. You are great yes you are Holy One

You walked upon the sea you raised the dead

You reign in majesty mighty one

Everything written about you is great


Chorus: You are great (echo) you are great

You are great (echo) you are great

You are great (echo) you are great

You are great

You are great, (echo) you are great

You are great, (echo) you are great

Everything written about you is great

© Steve Crown


m f s s d d d¹ l f

m s s l s m m m d r

m s s d d d¹ l f

l l s s s f m r tᵢ d


d r m (echo) d r m

r m f    (echo) r m f

d r m (echo) d r m

t d r

d r m (echo) d r m

r m f (echo) r m f

l l s s s f m r tᵢ d


  1. Something more than gold /2ce

I’ve got something more than gold

If all I have is Jesus I’ve got something more than gold

I’ll tell it to the world Jesus is more than gold.

© Mercy Chinwo


d¹ d¹ t s l

l d¹ s s f r m

m f m r d d m s r r r d r m

f m d s s d r tᵢ d


14) We are the chosen generation called forth to show his excellence.

All I require for life God has given me I know who I am

I know who God says I am what he says I am

Where he says I am I know who I am


I’m working in power, I’m working in miracles

I live a life of favor

I know who I am


I’m working like a wonder

It doesn’t matter what you see now

I see his Glory I know who I am


Oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh I know who I am }2ce.


© Sinach


d d lᵢ d lᵢ d lᵢ d d      tᵢ tᵢ tᵢ d tᵢ tᵢ lᵢ lᵢ

d d lᵢ d lᵢ d lᵢ d d      tᵢ tᵢ tᵢ d tᵢ tᵢ lᵢ lᵢ

d d r m r d lᵢ r m r d sᵢ

r m r d r tᵢ d tᵢ lᵢ lᵢ


m l l l l m l l l s s    m s m s m r d r

tᵢ d tᵢ lᵢ lᵢ


l s f m s d m r tᵢ d tᵢ lᵢ lᵢ

l l l d d d r l t d d d r s

s d m r d r t d t l l


l s f m s d m r t d t l l .


  1. Receive our praise, o Lord

Receive our praise, o Lord

Glory and honor, we give unto you

Receive our praise, o Lord.

Source: unknown


m s s s l s m s s s l r m f

m m r m r d r d lᵢ d

m s f m r d


  1. You are the pillar that holds my life /2ce

(You are the) Master Jesus You are the pillar that holds my life

Master Jesus You are the pillar that holds my life.

© Source unknown


m m m m s f m r   2ce

(d d r) m r d t  lᵢ lᵢ lᵢ lᵢ lᵢ d t r d m

m r d t  lᵢ lᵢ lᵢ lᵢ lᵢ d t r d



17) Yes you are the Lord, Most High

Yes you are the Lord Most High.

©Denzel Prempeh


d r m d lᵢ r d

d r m d tᵢ r d



18) Higher higher everyday

I lift my Jesus higher everyday 2ce.

Source: unknown


m m m m m m r

d m r d t  lᵢ lᵢ r r d.


  1. Praising the Lord always

Praising the Lord always

Praising the Lord with all my heart

Praising the Lord with all my heart always

Hallelujah my Lord is good

Hallelujah my Lord is good

Hallelujah my Lord is good, he’s good to me.

Source: unknown


s s s m r d

s s s r l s

s s s m d r m f

l  l  l  s  l  s  f  m  r  d


s s f m    d d m r

f f m r      r r f m

s s f m      m m s f

f m r d


  1. Lift him up, Higher

Lift him up, Higher

My Lord is good I will lift him up, higher

Anywhere I go I will lift him up, higher

Source: unknown


s l s  m m

s l s  m m

s  d¹  t  l  d¹  d¹  t  r¹  d¹  s  s  (d¹ r¹- upper notes- octave)

d¹  d¹  s  m  f  l  l  s  l  s  m m


  1. Who has the final say?

Jehovah has the final say


Jehovah turns my life around

Jehovah turns my life around

He makes a way where there is no way

Jehovah has the final say.

© Source unknown


d¹ s m l l s

m s m r d r r d


m s m s m s m s

m s m s m s m r

d d d m r d lᵢ lᵢ d

m s m r d r r d


  1. It is well, it is well, and it is well in the name of Jesus

It is well with my soul today.

© Buchi


d  d  d  r  r  r  m  m  m  s  s  f  m  r

d d d tᵢ d r tᵢ d


  1. Miracle worker, You are the miracle worker

Come and do a miracle, a miracle today

Come and do a miracle, a miracle today.


Your name is Yahweh, Your name is Yahweh

You are the miracle working God, Your name is Yahweh.

© Glowreeyah Braimah


m  m  m  r  d      d  d  r  m  m  m  r  d

s  s  m  s  f  m  r    d  d  d  r  m

m  m  r  m  f  m  r  d  d  d  tᵢ d


d d m s m     s d¹ t l s

s  s  s  d¹  d¹  d¹  s  m  d  m  f  m  r  d


  1. Adonai, we worship you

Son of God, You are so good,

Almighty God hallowed be Your name

Your dominion is forever more.

Source: unknown


sᵢ  d  m  r  d  tᵢ  d

d  m  s  s  m  f  r

s  s  f  m  m  m  r  d  f

sᵢ  d  m  m r  r  d  tᵢ  d


  1. You have done so much for me, I cannot tell it all – na rekele mo

If I have ten thousands tongues, it still won’t be enough – na rekele mo

Chukwu Na po gba yele when you heal you heal completely – na rekele mo

Chukwu Na ro bimo isi ikendu le – narekelemo.



What shall I render unto Jehovah?

for he has done so very much for me

What shall I render unto Jehovah?

for he has done so very much for me

Nara Nara e narekele na rekele mo.


©Tim Godfrey


m f s s s s s m f m r d lᵢ – sᵢ d tᵢ r d

m f s s s s s m f m r d lᵢ – sᵢ d tᵢ r d

d¹ d¹ s l s m s  f f m r d r l¹ – sᵢ d tᵢ r d


s m s d¹ d¹  s s m s f

s t t t l s s l s m

s m s d¹ d¹ s s m s f

s t t t l s s l t d¹


d m r f lᵢ d r d lᵢ

sᵢ d tᵢ r d


  1. Onise iyanu, You are the God of awesome wonders, I’ve tasted of your power

Onise iyanu You have shown me so much mercies much more than I deserve


Omnipotent omniscience the One that does great things

Creation bows in awe of You, as we’ve come to give You praise

The word You speak turn things around

Your outstretched arm has lifted me

You took away the chains and colt that held me bound.



Onise onise /repeat

Iyanu iyanu/ repeat

© Nathaniel Bassey


m s s d l l  l t d¹ t l s s m

d¹ d¹ t l s s r

m s s d l l  l t d¹ t l s s m  d¹ d¹ t l s s

s s d d s l d d  d r m r d m r

s s d d s l d d  d r m r d m r


s f m d s f m m

s f m r d d r m

s f m d s f m m s l t t



l d d (echo) l d d /repeat




  1. This is the day that the Lord has made

I will rejoice and be glad in it

This is the day that the Lord, the Lord has made.

Source: unknown


d d s m d tᵢ lᵢ f r

d d s m d tᵢ lᵢ f r

d d s m d tᵢ lᵢ lᵢ f r d


  1. Jesus is a mighty God, he’s a mighty God} 2ce

All powers bow before him, he’s a mighty God.

Source: unknown*


d¹ d¹ d¹ t l l s   s s l l s } 2ce

s s s f r m d  d d r r d


  1. All thanks we give to You Lord

All thanks we give to You Lord

All thanks we give to you Lord, we give to you Lord, we give to you Lord

All thanks we give to you Lord we give to you Lord, we give to you Lord

Source: unknown*


sᵢ d d d r d tᵢ

sᵢ r r r m r d

s m m m d tᵢ lᵢ

f f r lᵢ d   s s s l s f

s m m m d tᵢ lᵢ  f f r lᵢ d

m m tᵢ r d


© for Tonality Music School

EXCESS LOVE- CHORDS with Tonic solfa   (C major)

EXCESS LOVE- CHORDS with Tonic solfa   (C major)


Download the doc file below:




Bible References: Exodus 14: 13-14;  Psalms 46: 10; Phil 3:10.   



‘And Moses said unto the people, fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever’. Ex. 14: 13

‘Be still’, in the Hebrew verse above is an encouraging word, (which literarily means, do not be afraid) given by Prophet Moses to the Israel nation at the brink of the red sea. The pilgrim-Israelites were told to be silent, trust, and see the salvation of God.

To ‘be still’ requires submission and also takes a lot of energy to retain the instruction, command or advice in a world that is full of violence, poverty, chaos, uncertainties, power tussle, slavery, terrorism and kidnapping. A world where we trust in science, riches, rational thought, self, idols, and heroes more than the power of the Living God.

In Psalm 46 verse 10, the psalmist uses a a strong tone, ‘be still’, the Hebrew phrase probably means, Enough (Stop)! The nations around the Israel nation and God’s holy city of Jerusalem must know that Yahweh is God and he dwells with his people; I will be exalted over all who wage war against my children; I will show my glory over the wicked as I did to Pharaoh and all the kings lording over my inheritance.

The unsettled nation, on a journey had lived for over 400 years in Egypt. They had been battered by the Egyptians. They had cried for a Saviour, and longing for the fulfillment of the promises made to their forefathers (Gen. 48:21; 15:13-14; Acts 7:6-7).

We might have experienced (or may be experiencing) such a state of confusion in our life, when we were gagged or caged in the midst of trouble.  For Israelites, seeing Pharaoh at the back, red sea in the front, and there wasn’t any route of escape implied a tragedy. To obey any words in a time of confusion may sound as a distortion in our spirit!

The question is? Do we see God as a Living Being who can be respected, acknowledged (know), worshipped, obeyed and followed? This is a big challenge that we face nowadays, just like the Israelites at the red sea.  We should however, be humble to accept the word: be still and know!


Looking through Psalm 46 verse 10, in parts: (1).’Be still (2), and know (3) that I am God.’

Re-writing the above verse in a reverse order:

(3). I am God, (2) Know this (3) and be still.

We shall consider the reverse order. May his light shine upon our hearts in Jesus’ Name.


  1. I am God. It is an affirmation of his sovereignty and ownership of his world, and all that is therein (ref. Ps 24:1). ‘I am’, is the Name with which God introduced himself to Moses: I am that I am’, (Ex. 3:14) the Ever Present God, Yahweh Elohim. The Lord Jesus repeated the two words: ‘I am’, to the Jewish audience; “Very truly, I tell you,’ Jesus answered, before Abraham was, I am!” John 8:58.

To know the Father is to see him through the person of Jesus. ‘Luther said, ‘ I do not bother my head with speculations about the nature of God. I simply attach myself to the human Christ, and I find joy and peace, and the wisdom of God in Him.’ (Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, New Edition, Luther M; as translated by Graebner, T., pg. 16, 1935)

Jesus is the complete revelation of the Father God to us, the express image of His person. To know him is to live. Amen. 1 Cor. 2:2; Phil. 1:21.

  1. Know: To know a person(s) in Hebrew thought, can mean an intimate and personal relationship with them.

The Hebrew meanings of ‘know’:

(i) used in the book of Genesis 4:1, ‘And Adam knew Eve his wife….’. It involves a personal (sexual) intimacy.

(ii) the second ‘know’ means- to have an element of understanding, (of a matter) that is profoundly linked with our deep thoughts-an insight bringing out truth to reality.  Paul, who once said, ‘ but we know in part’ (1 Cor. 13:9), also wanted it bigger: ‘ that I may know him (Jesus), and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffering…’. Phil. 3:10.

Seeking a deep knowledge of the Father and his Christ, his Person, character and attributes, his words of life, glory, his angels, creation, love, blessings, power, his heavens and kingdom and the new Jerusalem-our resting place after the sojourn in this world; is a duty for all Christians.

To know the worth of a person and what he does underpins a solid confidence.

In Psalm 46:10,  ‘and know’, means, to acknowledge the supremacy of God over the nations and his saving acts to Israel.


Useful advice for us on the essence of ‘knowing’:

  1. Prophet Daniel: Those who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits. Dan. 11:32.
  2. King Solomon: With all thy getting get understanding. Prov. 4:7.
  3. Our Lord Jesus: ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.’ John 17:3. Having the knowledge of God is a pathway to eternal life. Knowing the True God, his Son and the kingdom and plan for us is life. Walking in the understanding and knowledge of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus make us live in the reality of his purpose for our lives.
  4. Apostle Paul: For those who did not like to retain God in their knowledge, he has given them to a reprobate mind to do those things which are not convenient. Rom. 1:28. Really dangerous for the unsaved not to heed the knowledge of God.

Graham Kendrick’s song speak to us today:

Knowing You (All I once held dear)

  1. All I once held dear, built my life upon

All this world reveres, and wars to own

All I once thought gain I have counted loss

Spent and worthless now, compared to this;

Knowing you, Jesus

Knowing you, there is no greater thing

You’re my all, you’re the best

You’re my joy, my righteousness

And I love you, Lord


  1. Now my heart’s desire is to know you more

To be found in you and known as yours

To possess by faith what I could not earn

All-surpassing gift of righteousness


  1. Oh, to know the power of your risen life

And to know You in Your sufferings

To become like you in your death, my Lord

So with you to live and never die.

Graham Kendrick

Copyright © 1993 Make Way Music.


  1. Be still- (A command, instruction or an advice. Ps. 46:10)

Therefore, knowing that ‘I am’, is able to do all things, we should rest in the Lord, on his words of peace and be quiet. It would be rewarding to let go of our power pride to solve problems, with the little rich-ego and wisdom; allowing the Almighty Power to take over!

Therefore, we are admonished to,

(a) listen to the command of ‘be still’, God doesn’t request for our input to win the war, he only needs our trust in worship. He will fight and we will see his greatness. If he needs help he wouldn’t call you or me, for he is the Most High who does whatever he pleases. He brings glory to his holy Name.

(b) live a life of submission and surrendering to God, which will in turn help us to be at peace when in a dilemma or any challenges. A life that is devoid of godliness would seek for negative solution during crisis, and may not hear ‘be still’ even when the voice of the Lord is constantly calling.

(c) learn about the stillness of Mary, who, as well, receiving the words from the Angel agreed with the intention of God to give us the Word of God-Jesus. The Power of the Holy Spirit took over Mary, and she got the Son of the Highest.  A ‘yes Lord’ answer from the young lady revealed a life of submission and intimacy with God; a life she had been living till the moment of divine visitation. Luke 1: 26-38).

(d) Count it all for joy. ‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.’ James 1:2-3.


Ten questions to ask ourselves and reflect:

  1. If you were present at the red sea; how would you respond to the crowd’s blowing over Moses: ‘…you could have left us in Egypt…’ Ex. 14: 12.
  2. How would the Pastor’s message of ‘be still’ meet with the family who is grieving over a beloved one?
  3. How would you encourage the sick and make him/her cross over to healing?
  4. What are the assuring words to give to a Law or medical student who had spent 10 years of failed education?
  5. At what junction would you come in to help and lift the burden of the hungry widow and the orphans?
  6. Would the anointed church be able to speak peace to the confused church members?
  7. God is in our midst, can we see him in action, someone asked? How can we give an assurance of peace?
  8. The children and youths of the Israel nation were troubled about the impending danger and their future was about to terminate at the red sea. What should be done to bring assurance to the youthful generation today?
  9. To act as God’s prophet to a dying world, would you stand out?
  10. How much time can we sacrifice to know the depth of the One who loves and gave himself for us?


Conclusion: Progressive knowing of God is absolutely necessary, as we maintain our faith and trust in the All-knowing God.


*Be still; look up at the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire by day and night, indicating God’s presence. Ex. 14: 21-22.

*Be still, for the Angel of his presence is with us; we are in the season of Good news. Luke 1:19.

*Be silent before me, o ye island, let the people renew their strength…, I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he. Isaiah 41:1-4.

*Be still, for victory is certain for us. Praise the Lord. Psalm 107: 13-14; Psalm 46:9. Amen.

rudiments of music

Rudiments of Music

Reading a set of music pieces is strange to Shade, she is anxious and very unsettled at music rehearsals when others are reading the dots and flicking the papers.

Having known her instrument so well, that she could perform by intuition and be creative in her display, she is sometimes stucked during orchestra and hymns rehearsals.

The lesson here is that every musician should endeavour to study the rudiments of music, to enhance his/her performance. Rudiments are necessary basics to the knowledge of the theory of music and useful in practical sight-reading of musical notes on the staff.  These rudiments include musical notes and sound, rhythm, timing and duration of notes, accidentals, building of chords, intervals between notes, and dynamics. Rudiments of music are fundamental to creating melodies and block of extensive chords/harmonies.

It is important for the students and performing artistes to understand the transition between the reading of notes and playing of the instruments or vocals by interpreting and analysing the musical sound, pitch, notes, musical terms and signs before playing any music piece.

With the knowledge of the rudiments of music, one would be able to create the music piece and songs, and communicate to the public his/her ideas.

Study Theory and Rudiments of music @TONALITY Music School.

Between Talent and Training

“Wao! That’s an admirable performance. Can you see the dexterity of Ekpeyong on the violin? I had watched him play many times. He plays effortlessly.” Collins said to Tunde. “He is a rare breed. He’s got talent.” Tunde replied. “The guy is damn too good.  He must have spent many hours rehearsing.” Collins said, convincingly. “Collins, this is nothing but talent.” Tunde boldly registers his thoughts. “Man, talent may not be enough.

What I witnessed in Jack’s performance tonight further tells me that his musical prowess is beyond talent.” Collins said. And the argument went on between the duo of Collins and Tunde, who are both music enthusiasts.

Perhaps the argument may be succinctly captured thus: ‘NATURE vs NURTURE’. Take ‘nature’ to be ‘TALENT’ while ‘nurture’ represents ‘TRAINING/HARDWORK’.

Like Collins and Tunde above, many people, throughout the world, have divergent views on what makes one a real and very skillful musician. While some stand with ‘nature’, many others prefer to stick to ‘nurture’.

Let’s delve further into the issue.

Talent is a natural skill or ability for something. A talented person, ordinarily, would possess some, if few, natural endowments needed to carry out specific tasks.  Take a typical ‘talented’ pianist, for instance. He or she may have good ears for sound, longer fingers, etc. With some of these gifts, he/she might reach some heights conveniently, and also with fewer efforts.

Training denotes being prepared for a task or job. With training, a musician (whether or not talented) gains the right techniques of studying and performing music. Training could come in unique forms: formal and informal.

This writer believes that a trainee also indirectly gains discipline as a by-product of training. I took this stand in the light of the fact that in training, the trainee would, under normal conditions, have fashioned out strict practice routines and schedules, besides abiding by the ‘rules of the game.’ These, in some ways, may instill practice discipline, in the trainees’ mind, amongst other values.

Talent is a raw material. And like every raw material, it needs refinement. That refinement is gained through training. An unpolished talent will definitely hit some brick walls in the course of “duties”. That is a limitation. A talented musician who does not get trained and gives ample time for practice may dig the grave of his/her career without even knowing it.

Observation reveals that some talented people don’t give time for practice. They mostly leave their instincts to handle things for them. Resultantly, such people would constantly experience either stagnation or, worse still, retardation.

An untalented but trained and hardworking might, most probably, conveniently, outshine his/her supposed talented counterpart who does not polish his/her natural abilities, through practices and further instructions.

A talented folk, because of his/her endowments, get things done with fewer efforts in comparison with his/her hardworking fellow but not (too) talented counterparts. But if the former works hard and gets trained, he/she will outshine the latter who may only rely on ‘limiting’ instincts.

Many evergreen musicians that we know in today’s Nigeria, apart from being talented, also gained either formal or informal training. Take a look at King Sunny Ade, he was an apprentice with the late comic icon: Moses Adejumo, A.K.A. ‘Baba Sala’. Ebenezer obey too was not a lord to himself, he was, at a time, under the late Fatai Rolling Dollar. Sir Shina Peters once said during an interview that, “as an inexperienced boy, he once had a stint with Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey.”

As you have seen, talent, if not supported with good training and practice, can prove to be the undoing of a would-be or ‘supposed-to-be’ musical prodigy and/or icon.

So, take a cue from the veterans. Nurture your talents very seriously so you can reach your musical peak.

Babajide Ajayi is a trained Pianist, Organist, music theorist, and an Instructor with Tonality Music International.

Choir choral parts harmony

Choir: choral parts/harmony

A choir is a group of people singing together in different parts or harmony.

There are children, adult, women and men choirs singing in low and high pitches. Their rendition could be choral music, Gospel, Highlife, or traditional folk songs, depending on their vision and objectives; and a knowledge of music, composition, and arranging skills.

An ideal choir would have song leaders,  and an advanced choir team will require the service of a qualified Music director.

Vocal music is the music produced by a good number of singers. The songs could be in unison, or in parts (harmony).

Unison- all singers sing the melody of the song, that is the Soprano or the Treble part of the song.

Melody is the tune of a song, the original tune written by the composer.



  1. Soprano-S
  2. Alto-A
  3. Tenor-T
  4. Bass-B

The soprano is the first part of the choral parts or harmony singing.

In contemporary singing (Gospel, Worship, Pop, Raggae, etc),  choirs make use of only the first three parts: SAT.


Example 1: HYMN

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. Reginald Heber (1783-1826)

D Major

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty

Early in the morning, our song shall rise to Thee;

Holy, holy, holy, Merciful and Mighty,

God in Three Persons, Blessed Trinity.


Tonic solfa- tune

d: d: m: m: s:-: s:-: l:-: l: l: s:-: m:-:

s: s: s: s: d’:-: t: s: r: s: l:-. s: s:-:-:-:

d: d: m: m: s:-: s:-: l:-. l: l: l: s:-: s:-:

d’:-: s: s: l:-: m:-: f: r: r:-. d: d:-:-:-:



With the aid of a piano, sing the tune of the above hymn.


Singing and the Use of Songs in Worship

Singing and the Use of Songs in Worship

Singing is a human activity that transcends generations, a process that involves the mechanism of sound and rhythmic production.

Songs composed and written by individuals are borne out of the experience, historical past, present events, and futuristic, reflecting the intention of the composer or the writer.

Majority of the songs have their themes, with a message for the targeted audience. Though, the content and the lyrical composition determine the category of songs.

Every community enjoys a few activities like reciting proverbial words, story-telling, singing, dancing, drama, and sports. Out of all the activities, singing is a predominant factor,  in that,  it enlivens, facilitates, beautified, and makes the message meaningful to the societal events.

During religious festivals and other events around the world, singing is part of the rituals. (We shall discuss this later).


The church as well use songs in worship. Some of our churches are known for singing beautiful and well-arranged melodies. The Apostolic churches, C&S, Celestial church, ECWA, Anglican,  Baptist, and the Catholics sing classical music and indigenous composed songs.

It was said of a church worship service, that ‘music and singing would be the first item on the service programme, and the choir must be ready and prepare to lead the congregation.’


Praise and worship or Praise-worship?

The concept of Praise and worship could be a misleading ‘term’ in the charismatic-Pentecostal tradition. Though other mainline churches have also joined in the Praxis.

The Praise-worship idea was introduced a few years ago as new development to our worship structure and to highlight the difference in stylistic and scriptural approach to singing worship songs in a contemporary way!

It shifted a bit from the Mainline churches’ (Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Baptist..) and OAIC order of service which encompasses many themes and styles.

‘Worship that is biblical is that praise and adoration which has God as its source and subject. As the sun is the center of our solar system, so God is to be at the center of our adoration and praise…Worship, then, involves both animated praise and speechless prostration.’¹

Worship is all we do!

Worship consists of reading and obedience to scriptures, our Christlike lifestyle, communion, faith and works,  confession of the Triune God of Grace,  to whom we express our love and allegiance to in Praise,  adoration, thanksgiving,  petition, lament, and confession.

It does requires a humble, spiritual-worship leader of biblical and intellectual understanding to lead the people in the worship of God,  through these songs of different themes.

Each song has a meaning and what it stands for. If it can help us to connect with God, it is a worship song. How or when do we apply the song depends on the church worship leader, the pastor, and the worship planning team.

Suggested worship music (Hymns,  choruses and spiritual songs) or arrangement could be:

  1. Call to worship (scripture reading, instrumental music, and short spiritual songs)
  2. Adoration
  3. Confession
  4. Praise

A leader can change the order, to reflect the focus and objective of the service.

The utmost purpose of worship service is that ‘all should meet with God,’ our Father to help and order our steps in the new week,  to receive answers to our requests and have peace in this troubled world as we journey to meet Jesus, our dear Saviour in Eternal glory. Amen.

Songs in worship

Where do we place songs like, I have decided to follow Jesus, Blessed assurance, Wonderful Merciful Saviour, As the deer pants for the water, Praise to the Lord the Almighty, What shall I render unto the Lord?  Are they also referred to as worship service songs?

We don’t hear songs like, ‘All the way to Calvary’ too often. We have replaced such songs with songs that are theologically depleted and can make us jump and feel good, strong beat! That’s what we sometimes refer to as praise/worship songs.

Let every song serves its purpose of telling the truth about the gospel and the God of the Bible and the story of his people through history.

Keep singing!




¹ Extract from:

art of drumming

Art of Drumming 1 : Music Performance

The art of drumming involves the skills displayed by the performer in playing the drums. The person who plays the drum is called a drummer. He/she understands the styles, rhythm, and melody line of the drum.

There are many types of drums with different sounds and pitches.

For example,

  1. Gangan (talking drum)
  2. Iya-ilu (big drum)
  3. Djembe
  4. Omele
  5. Bata.
  6. Kettle drum.


We play the drums with hands or sticks depending on the type of drum. The drum can be used at various occasions to accompany and lead songs as well.

Does the drum talk? Yes, I know of African drums. For example, the Gangan (hour-glass), the talking drum of the Yorubas.

The drummer has an understanding of what he wants to tell his people; a message to pass across to the community or an individual. Without much academics, he rolls out the proverbial statements in various simple and complex rhythms. Only those with deep knowledge of the language and culture would understand!

Rhythms on different local drums could be compared to flowing patterns of many rivers linking the Atlantic Ocean.

The performer sometimes illustrates the classic improvised sound of different pitches on his talking drum (hour-glass), rendering the praises of the Almighty God or the praise-individual. He may have some back-up singers who would echo interpretation in Yoruba language, reminiscing a typical Yoruba talking drum cultural performance!

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God Save the Queen music and lyrics

God Save the Queen (Music and Lyrics)

‘God save the Queen’ is the British National Anthem sung at various Government functions and British Crown dependencies, National events, and Commonwealth meetings, for many decades.

The Anthem takes the title: ‘God save the Queen or God save the King’ depending on the gender of the reigning Monarch (male or female). The Royal anthem is captivating, so lovely with an interesting melody and lyrics.

I have been wondering for few years about the attitude of the football fans during the FA cup finals in the UK; how enthusiastic these football lovers chant the anthem, very emotional from the opening statement to the closing lines.

Having studied in England, I also joined in singing “God save the Queen ’’. I love that phrase since it is part of my duty to pray for the Monarch.

On one of my practice days, I found something interesting-like a soothing effect, within the harmony of the music piece. Therefore, I really took the time to read through the words of the anthem and carefully observed the beautifully crafted lyrics.

Though, the writers of the words and the tune of the exciting anthem were acclaimed to be anonymous. However, reference was made to Henry Carey as the authorship of the lyrics, and the tune was attributed to John Bull. The four-part harmony was made by Frederick Bridge. The anthem was first adopted and performed in 1745.

The harmonies in the 14-bar music were brilliantly arranged with stepwise passing notes, perfect cadences, partial modulation and syncopation of suitable dynamics, it is like the notes were swiftly moving like gallant soldiers on a ceremonial match past or rather, like movement in a chemical reaction!

The more I play the music, the better it sounds-good, with the accompanying bass part. It could be compared to a balanced diet.

Considering a few lines of the anthem:

                                                                ‘The reign of the Queen:

                                                                Gracious and noble Queen

                                                                Victories over enemies;

                                                                Confound their Politics

                                                                  Happy long to reign

The writers, as well as the modern-day singers voiced blessings upon the Queen who is regarded as the defender of the law, and ‘trusting in the Lord our God for her safety and long reign’. Her message does bring hope and encouragement to the people of the Great Kingdom.

Long live Queen Elizabeth: a mother, grandmother, and Great grandmother close to a centurion [100 years] and fulfilling the words of the echoed prayer in the anthem.

No wonder the anthem remains indelible through centuries. Should there be any need for a new anthem, in the future, these super-melodious words on the lips of many people groups, and the Commonwealth of Nations have made a profound impression.

God save the Queen’, reflects the beauty of a quality composition twined in a vision for a progressive society, binding love, prayer, and blessing on God’s chosen leader.

Music: a sweet melody, emanating sound with perfectly blended harmony strikes a chord in the human soul, establishing a deep, thoughtful and peaceful assurance that brightens the moment, and a walk through the future. – OLU Sam



Tonality Music School