Classical Music Personality Of The Day: Ayo Bankole


Ayo Bankole’s musical style takes a line from the cautious approach of Fela Sowande although later in his career he also, like Euba, saw the need to lessen the stylistic bond between his works and European classical music. Like Sowande, he maintained close links with European conventional practice in the use of forms and formal procedures such as the sonata, the fugue and the cantata.

Despite the relationship between his works and those of Sowande, Bankole’s style is defined by a personal approach to reinterpreting elements of traditional Yoruba music and their fusion with European idioms. Thus although his harmonic style generally remains within the bounds of tonality, it is frequently characterised by features such as whole-tone scales, modality, the interval of the tritone and much use of chromaticism, often within a tonal language defined through repetition and emphasis rather than orthodox harmonic procedures.

The affinity between these features and…

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