Many contemporary art music compositions are based on the use and transformation of materials sometimes, derived from purely traditional music background. Some of these materials which form the essential ingredients of creative and aesthetic sensibility in such works are significant catalytic structural innovations in diverse compositional styles which abound in contemporary African art music. However, most of such materials and the composers are rarely known in our music theoretical discourses.
Igede-Bell Bass, one of such materials which resulted from the innovative transformation of materials from purely traditional music practice, is derived from the sound spectrum of the Igede music of Nkanu people, Nigeria. Generated from an ordinary linear rhythmic module, “Igede-Bell bass” is catalytic in the creation of the pianistic style in the works of Okechukwu Ndubuisi, one of the “experimentalist” composers of contemporary African art music. This paper attempts to examine the conceptual basis of this melrhythmic - patterned and structural material which I refer to as “Igede-Bell” with a view to showing its tonal-rhythmic nature as a compositional and structural-theoretic resource. Evidence from the analyses of some works of Okechukwu Ndubuisi shows the transformation of “Igede-Bell” from the status of structural ingredients to a compositional technique. The discussion shows that this material has significant implication in the creation of motivic patterns and thematic configurations as well as the structural-aesthetic processing in Ndubuisi’s works such as “Agidigbo,” and the “Symbol of a Miracle,” among others. From this discussion, we will see how “Igede-bell” patterns may be understood and utilized as a viable theoretic-structural material in the discourse of the creative processes and products of pianistic styles especially in the works of composers of contemporary art music from Africa and beyond.