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A call for art works protection against piracy on World Music Day in Lagos
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By Bamidele Adeleye
June 22, 2012 16:59:58pm GMT      |      Views: 1149
Biodun Adebiyi, an artist and his band performing at the event marking the World Music Day at the National Theater, Iganmu, Lagos on Thursday 21 June, 2012.

WorldStage Newsonline-- The choice of the National Troupe of Nigeria's theme for this year's World Music Day, 2012 in Lagos, 'Music As Social Calendar' couldn't have been better.

At a period when pirates are reaping the fruit of the labour of most Nigerian artists, the National Troupe of Nigeria marked the day with a call on fellow Nigerians on the need to respect and protect art works against piracy.

The event on Thursday, June 21, its second edition, witnessed various musical performances including that of Biodun Adebiyi, who was described by a respected journalist, Benson Idonije as “the most experienced of the current music chaps, having traversed the bands of the masters of the Nigerian stage.”

Adebiyi, a trumpeter, a singer and the Principal Officer at the Department of Theater Art and Music at Lagos State University sang with so much confidence at the event.

Adebiyi who before now had worked with prominent Nigerian musicians, such as Fela Anikulampo Kuti, Majek Fashek, Lagbaja, Sonny Okosun, Tunji Oyelana and several others, was the guest lecturer at the event.

In his key note address on the theme, Adebiyi said World Music is a term with varying definition, but to him, “it is the traditional music or folk music of a culture that is created and played by indigenous musicians and is closely related to the music of the region.

“It can simply be referred to as ‘non-Western music’ or somebody else’s local music. The term was originally intended for ethic-specific music, but globalization has greatly expanded its scope.”

He discribed the two major underlying principles of the World Music Day as: Amateur and professional musicians are encouraged to perform in the street. The slogan faites de la musique (make music), is used to promote this goal; Many free concerts are organized, making all genres of music accessible to the public.

Two of the caveats to being sensitized by the official fete de la musique organization in Paris are that all concerts must be free to the public and all performances donate their time for free.

Explaining the theme of the event, he referred to calendar as a system of calculating days, weeks, months of the years and also as a schedule of events, usually covering a period of a year.

He said Nigerian music had also been used to document important events and that topical issues of the time were also sang about, while some had predicted future occurrences in their music, with Fela Anikulampo Kuti as a good example.

Chairman, Music Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN), who also was the Chairman of the occasion, Oritz Wiliki said music has come of age in Nigeria.

“I will say we had better times before, largely because of the structure that were in existence. We couldn’t handle it and every thing just went down. Now again we are shining, but not the money, “he said.

Wiliki, who expressed sadness over the rate of piracy in the country, particularly in the musical industry said it was not the duty of the Nigeria Copyright Commission alone to protect art works, that the owners of the works must be involved in the fight against piracy.

“For the law is very clear that they cannot actually prosecute without the permission of the owner, and so there is little to what the commission can do in terms of enforcement, because you need the owner to first of all identify the work,” he said.

He advised public users of musical materials to always identify the owners of the works they were using and show respect to them and their works, saying it was the only way to encourage them since “it is the only means of sustenance for them.”

He called on the Nigeria Copyright Commission on the need to be neutral and maintain respect for every organization that is set to do good job.

The Artistic Director, National Troupe of Nigeria, Mr. Martin Adaji who was impressed by the musical performance of the students of Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted, Surulere Lagos, encouraged all Nigerians not to stop forging ahead, no matter the state of their disability.

Adeji who emphasized the importance of artists and their works said they had in many ways helped in shaping the society, through their predictions which in most times had come to pass. He described them as physicians, philosophers and also as library.

“Fela for example was very conspicuous in terms of existing structure and he was vindicated. So, we should listen to our physicians, they are philosophers, they are our library, they are the conscience of the nation,” he said.

“You need to do a survey of what Jerigana did with music. He passed grass root messages to every level of government, of what government programs are all about through music.”

He encouraged Nigerians to pay for the music materials they used so that the owners can live meaningful lives.

He described music as a profession and that it can be used for good or for bad, and that it could also be used to get people to understand government programs.

He advised parents not to stop their children from going into music if they were passionate about it, adding that most people who wouldn’t have allowed their children to pick up football as a career before are now buying football for them because a lot of money is being made from the game.

On the quality of some of the up coming artists and their works, he said in every 12, there must be a Judas. He however advocated the need to create an enabling environment for them to practice.

He said the security situation in the country should be improved so that people can fell free to go to night clubs.

“If the audience are not there because of the fear of the unknown, so who are you singing for? So an enabling environment is very important,” he said.

He stressed the need for the up coming artists to be conscious of what they sing and also prepare very well before going for performance so that they would be socially relevant.

The World Music Day, first held in France in 1982, is now held globally in various cities on the 21st of June. It was introduced in Nigeria by the French Cultural Centre in Ikoyi Lagos in 1999.

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