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Let’s get started.          


A syllabus (/ˈsɪləbəs/; plural syllabuses or syllabi) or specification is a document that communicates information about a specific academic course or class and defines expectations and responsibilities. It is generally an overview or summary of the curriculum. A syllabus may be set out by an examination board or prepared by the tutor or instructor who teaches or controls the course. In the case of jamb Music syllabus, it is an official document containing outlines of relevant topic as mark out by Jamb (link) to aid student preparation for the unified tertiary matriculation examination simply known as UTME.


Easy Combat: Jamb Music syllabus contains RELEVANT AND HOT TOPICS to help you combat conundrum question you will found on your system in the Exam Hall, and believe me sincerely jamb examiners are very technical, logical and … when it comes to setting question.

Familiarizing yourself with the jamb Music syllabus is a sure bet to scoring high in jamb.

Studying the syllabus thoroughly before exam gives you the confidence that you are studying the right thing the right way at the very right time.

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THIS COURSE.                                                 

1.      Read from cover to cover, from topic to topic

2.     Create a study schedule.

3.      Attend jamb tutorials.

4.     Brainstorm with friends

5.     Have a positive mentality that you will come out in flying colours


The aim of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination syllabus in Music is to prepare aspirant of various higher institution in Nigeria whether university, polytechnics, monotechnics & colleges of education for the Board’s examination. It is designed to test their achievement of the course objectives,

Which are to:

 1. Appreciate and discuss music fairly and critically;

2. Identify, through written analysis, the features of the music of the different periods of Western and African music history, peoples, its forms and the media;

3. Appreciate the influence of socio-cultural factors on the lives and music of musicians.



1. The staff

 (a) The great staff

 (b) Ledger lines and spaces

 (c) Open score (vocal score)

 (d) C clef, alto (viola clef) and tenor clef.

2. Music Notes/Rests and their corresponding values.

3. Time/Time signature

 (simple and compound time signatures), the correct grouping of notes and barring of unbarred passages.

4. A – Key signatures and scales:

 (i) Diatonic major/minor (natural, harmonic and melodic)

 (ii) Names of the various degrees of the scale

 B – Determination of the key of a piece of music with or without key signature NOT exceeding two sharps and two flats.

5. (a) Keyboard setting and Enharmonic equivalents

 (b) Accidentals

6. Recognition of diatonic

 intervals and their inversions (e.g. perfect unison, perfect 4th, perfect 5th, perfect 8ve), major/minor 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th, diminished 5thand augmented 4th.

7. Definition of simple musical terms, abbreviations and expressions.

8. (a) Transcription of music from staff into tonic solfa notation and vice-versa

 (b) Transposition using the treble (G) and bass (F) staves NOT exceeding two sharps and two flats.


1. Triads and their inversions in major keys, NOT exceeding two sharps and two flats.

 (a) Primary triads in major keys.                                                                              

 (b) Secondary triads in major keys.



 (i) major triads are indicated with capital Roman numerals e.g. I

 (ii) minor triads are indicated with small Roman numerals e.g. ii

 (iii) diminished triads are indicated with small Roman numerals with a “o” sign, e.g. viio

 (iv) augmented triads are indicated with capital numerals with a “+”, e.g III+


 (i) In any major scale, major triads are I, IV and V

 (ii) minor triads are ii, iii and vi

 (iii) diminished triads is viio


 (i) In any harmonic minor, minor triads are i and iv

 (ii) major triads are V and VI

 (iii) diminished triads are ii and viio

 (vi) augmented triads is III+


 Primary triads are I, IV and V in major scales but i, iv and V in harmonic minor scales.

2. (a) Basic chord progressions in four part  vocal style (SATB) in major keys NOT exceeding two sharps and two flats.

 (b) Dominant 7th chord in root position only                                                                                                                                                                       

3. Kinds of motion;  Parallel, similar, contrary and oblique

4. Cadences in major keys NOT exceeding two sharps and two flats.

 (a) perfect cadence

 (b) imperfect cadence/semi cadence/half close

 (c) Plagal cadence/Amen cadence

 (d) interrupted cadence / deceptive cadence / evaded cadence / surprise  cadence

5. Non-Harmonic Tones/Non-Chord Tones; Identification And Application Of The Following:

 (a) neighbouring tones/auxiliary notes                                                                             

 (b) passing tones/notes


 Simple diatonic modulations (using a single melodic line only) from any given major key NOT exceeding two sharps and two flats to any of its closely related keys (dominant and subdominant).

7. Elementary Composition:

 (a) Setting of words to written melody:

 (b) Recognition of suitable answers to given musical phrases


1. Nigerian folksongs, types, forms and characteristics.


 (a) Types: cradle, folk-tales, games, war, satirical, dirges/funeral, elegies, historical, masquerade, praise and work song, etc.

 (b) Forms: call and response, strophic, through – composed, etc.

 (c) Characteristics: vocal styles, recitative, yodeling, ululation, incantation, heaving, whistling, etc.

 (ii) Scales/modes: tritonic, tetratonic, pentatonic, hexatonic etc.

 (iii) Metre/Rhythm: Metric and non-metric, polymetric, cross rhythm, syncopation,hemiola, polyrhythm, etc.

2. General knowledge of the features and forms of Nigeria traditional music and dances.

 (i) Festivals: e.g. Osun, Ifa, Ogun, Ekpo,Ofala, Iri-ji (New Yam Festival), Ovia Osese, Mmanwu (Masquerade), Ila-Oso,  Argungu (Fishing), Eyo/Adamu – Orisa,  Gelede, etc.

 (ii) Dances: Social, Ritual And Ceremonial

e.g. Masquerade, Koroso, Etilogwu, Ikperikpe (War dance), Egedeege, Kwaghir, Agbon, Nkwa Imuaghogho, Bata, Bori, Swange, Dundun, Kokoma, Abigbo, Okonko, etc.


Nigerian traditional musical instruments:


(a) Aerophones:

 (i) Kakaki, algaita, sarewa, pedete, obati, farai, kaho, imar, mongom, taluk, damalgo, etc.

 (ii) Oja, opi, pipilo, odu, nnuk, ugene, ofiom, akpele, etc.

 (iii) ekutu, teremagbe, ayeteode, odikakora, etc.

(b) Chordophones:

 (i) goge, kukuma, komo, kwamsa, kuntigi, lasha, molo, garaya, gurmi, etc.

 (ii) une, ubo-akwara, etc.

 (iii) goje, molo, etc

(c) Idiophones:

 (i) Kundung, karawa, shantu, etc.

 (ii) Oyo, ichaka, ogene, aja, ekpili, aja, ekwe, udu, ikoro, ngedegwu, okpokoro, ekere,  mgbiligba, ikpo, alo, ubo-aka, etc.

 (iii) Sekere, agogo, agidigbo, alo, oma, aro, ukuse, eromwon, etc

(d) Membranophones:

 (i) ganga, tambari, taushi, banga, balle, kuntuku, kalangu, gangan-noma, tandu,  etc.

 (ii) Igba, nsing, ban yogume, emoba, etc.

 (iii) ipese, igbin, bata, bembe, gudugudu,  kanango, dundun, agidigbo, gangan,  etc.

4. Knowedge of the lives and music of the following African tradition musicians:

 A. NIGERIANS             

 (i) Sani Sabulu, Sani Dan Indo, Hassan Wayam, Barmani Coge, Danlami Nasarawa, Garba Super, Dankwairo, Aminu mai Asharalle, Shehu Ajilo, Dan Maraya Jos, Dan Alalo, Mamman Shata, Haruna Uje, etc.

 (ii) Ezigbo Obiligbo, Seven-Seven, Morocco Maduka, Okechukwu Nwatu, etc.

 (iii) Kokoro, the blind Minstrel, Anikura, Tunde Alao etc.


 Vinoko Akpalu, Daniel Amponsah (alias  koo Nimo), Efua Basa, Kwaa Mensah etc.

5. Evolution and Development of African Popular Music:

 Highlife, Afro-beat, Fuji, Apala, Reggae, Makosa, Ikwokirikwo, Okukuseku, Ekassa, Awurebe, Waka etc.

6. Knowledge of the live and music of the following African Popular Musicians.


 Bongos Ikwe, Charles Oputa (alias Charlie Boy), Oliver De Coque, Nelly Uchendu, Osita Osadebe, Bright Chimezie, Bobby Benson, Victor Uwaifo, Sunny Okosun, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, I. K. Dairo, Victor Olaiya, Ebenezer Obey, Sunny Ade, Fatai Rolling Dollar, Bala Miller, Alhaji Uba Rawa, Zaaki Adzee, 2Face, Styl Plus, P. Square, Dijnee, Paul Play Dairo, Eedris Abdulkareem, Debanj, Sunni Neji, Lagbaja, Zule Zoo, Daddy Showkey, Majek Fashek, Ras Kimono, Jeremiah Gyang, etc.


 Manu Dibango, E. T. Mensah, Jerry Hansen, Kofi Olomide, Awilo Logomba, Papa Wemba, Salif Kaita, Angelina Kidgo, Lucky Dube, Yvonne Chakachaka, Brenda Fasie, etc.

7. Knowledge of the lives and music of the following African Art Musicians:


 W. W. C. Echezona, Laz Ekwueme, SamAkpabot, Ikoli Harcourt Whyte, Joshua Uzoigwe, Mosun Omibiyi-Obidike, Tunji Vidal, Ademola Adegbite, Yemi Olaniyan, Ayo Bankole, Akin Euba, Sam Ojukwu, A. K. Achinivu, Bode Omojola, Felix Nwuba, Christopher Oyesiku, etc.

 B. OTHER AFRICANS:  Joseph S. Maison, N. Z. Nayo, J. H. Kwabena Nketia, etc.


1. (A) Historical development of Western music styles in respect of the periods

 (i) Medieval/Middle Age – 800 – 1400

 (ii) Renaissance period – 1400 – 1600

 (iii) Baroque period – 1600 – 1750

 (iv) Classical period – 1750 – 1820

 (v) Romantic period – 1820 – 1900


 Palestrina, Claudio Monteverdi, Henry Purcell, J.S. Bach, G. F. Handel, W. A. Mozart, Franz Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Frederic Chopin, etc.


 (i) Binary, Ternary, Rondo, Sonata Allegro, Dance Suite, Canon, Free Fantasia, Theme and variation, etc.

 (ii) Orchestral and Band instruments and classifications

 (iii) The human voice (its types, ranges and qualities)

 (iv) Keyboard Instruments – the organ, piano and electronic keyboard, e.t.c.

 (v) Knowledge of the following instruments: Ukulele, banjo, guitar, mandoline, harp, accordion, xylophone, marimba, etc.


1. An overview of the following black musicians (composers, performers, etc) in the diaspora. Mighty Sparrow, James Brown, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, R. Kelly, Lorrinan Hill, Kirk Franklin, Tupac Shakur, Shabba Ranks, Quincy Jones, Boyz II Men, Sean Paul, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Brandy, Usher,Kevin Lyttle, Bobby Brown, M. C. Hammer, L. L. Cool J., Dr. Dre, Snoop Doggy, Mary J. Blige, etc.

2. Forms to be examined include negro spiritual, gospel music, jazz, rhythm and blues, soul, calypso, rock ‘n’ roll, reggae, afro-beat, tango, rap, chachacha, bolere, twist, hip-hop, etc.

3. The spirit of nationalism in Nigerian music.


Akpabot, S. E. (1986). Foundation of Nigerian Traditional Music, Ibadan: Spectrum.

Associated Board (1958). Rudiments and Theory of Music, London.

Cole, W. (1969). The Form of Music, London: The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Echezona, W. W. C. (1981). Nigerian Musical Instruments, Enugu: Apollo Publishing Ltd.

Ekwueme, L. (1993). Choir Training and Choral Conducting for Africans, Lagos: Lenaus Advertising and Publishing Company.

Holst, I. (1963). An ABC of Music, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hosier, (1961). Instruments of the Orchestra Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hunt, R. (1960). Elements of Music.

Inanga, A. (1993). Music for Secondary Schools Vols. I and II, Ibadan: Spectrum.

Kamien, R. (1990). Music: An Appreciation, McGraw – Hill Publishing Company.

Kennedy, M. (1985). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music, (Third Edition), London: Oxford University Press.

Kitson, C. H. (1978). Elementary Harmony Book 2, London: Oxford University Press.

Kofoworola, Z. O. And Lateef, Y. (1987). Hausa performing Arts and Music, Nigeria Magazine.

Lovelock, W. (1953). A Concise History of Music, London: Bell and Hyman.

Machlis, J. (1977). The Enjoyment of Music, New York: W. W. Norton.

Mensah, A. A. (Undated) Folksongs for Schools, Accra.

Morris, R. O. (1974). The Oxford Harmony, Vol. I, London: Oxford University Press.

Nketia, J. H. (1974). African Music, New York: W. W. Norton Company.

Palmer, K. (1965). Teach Yourself Music, London: The English University Press Limited.

Reed, H. O. (1954). Basic Music: A Basic Theory Text, New York: 19, N. Y. Mills Music Inc.

Taylor, E. (1989). The Guide to Music Theory, London: The Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music.

Warburton, A. O. (1955). Graded Music Course for Schools, Books I – III, London: Longman.




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