Highlife Music Highlife is a music genre that originated in Ghana in the 20th century and spread to Sierra Leone, Nigeria and other West African countries by 1920.
Styles of folk music are related to the multitudes of ethnic groups in the country, each with their own techniques, instruments, and songs.
Little is known about the country's music history prior to European contact, although bronze carvings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries have been found depicting musicians and their instruments.
Highlife is characterized by jazzy horns and multiple guitars which lead the band.
Recently it has acquired an uptempo, synth-driven sound (see Daddy Lumba). This arpeggiated highlife guitar part is modeled after an Afro-Cuban guajeo.
Nigeria's musical output has achieved international acclaim not only in the fields of folk and popular music, but also Western art music written by composers such as Fela Sowande.
Polyrhythms, in which two or more separate beats are played simultaneously, are a part of much of traditional African music; Nigeria is no exception.
Nigeria has been called "the heart of African music" because of its role in the development of West African highlife and palm-wine music, which fuses native rhythms with techniques imported from the Congo for the development of several popular styles that were unique to Nigeria, like apala, fuji, jùjú, highlife, and Yo-pop.
Subsequently, Nigerian musicians created their own styles of United States hip hop music and Jamaican reggae.
Nigeria has some of the most advanced recording studio technology in Africa, and provides robust commercial opportunities for music performers.
The African hemiola style, based on the asymmetric rhythm pattern is an important rhythmic technique throughout the continent.
Nigerian music also uses ostinato rhythms, in which a rhythmic pattern is repeated despite changes in metre.