The people of Delta State enjoy making and listening to music which is predominant in all their ceremonies - religious and social. Music is employed to reflect many moods; the drumming for example, can signal the emergence of war. A musician is expected to be dexterous with the use of various drums as well as be a poet/singer. His songs are expected to be a poetic creation. "Udje" songs (long poetic renditions) among the Urhobos are a good example of the peoples' expectation of their music maker. The songs and drumming are fused into a harmonious blend. The songs make use of repetitions to create a desired poetic effect on the listener.
The people of the state enjoy dancing, being ever so lively and the dances range from the vigorous types like "Udje" and "Ikpeba" by the Urhobo, "Idegbeani/Egwu Agbala" and "Igele/Egwu-Amala" by the Igbos to the graceful and rhythmic dance movements of the Itsekiris and Izons. Also, popular among the Urhobos is the "Opiri" dance which in recent times has been modernized. Among the vigorous dances is "aribofu" commonly enjoyed by the women.
One dance that does not fail to capture the attention of the audience is the "Ikenike" (stilt dance). It used to be an all-male dance among the Urhobos but the women have now invaded this preserve of the men. The most notable is the women Ikenike of Oghara.The Izons, Urhobos and Itsekiris are reputed for their very colourful masquerades whose dance steps are dictated by vigorously beaten drums.
The Izons and Itsekiris are also noted for their boat regatta usually organized to honor prominent people and for special occasions. Many professional traditional dance groups exist in the state. The Midaka and Ikenike cultural groups based in Sapele and Oghara respectively have won several laurels at national and international competitions.The state government, individuals and the ethnic groups are engaged in promoting the cultural dances of the people as a means of keeping them alive.
The use of various drums cuts across the state. The Igbos use flutes (akpele or opi) in place of the talking drums of the Yorubas, while the Urhobos and Igbos again blow the elephant tusk to achieve the same purpose of communication.
The 'agogo' (gong) is a popular musical instrument which also cuts across the various ethnic groups in the state. Among the Igbos and Isokos, large earthen pots and locally manufactured keyboards are dexterously manipulated and blended with other musical instruments to produce harmonious music.
The Urhobos, Isokos, Itsekiris and Izons wear identical dresses. For formal occasions, a man ties a wrapper, a shirt-like attire and a hat to match. Usually he wears coral beads or gold chains and holds a walking stick. The woman puts on what is known as "up and down" (called "osiba gba aniku" among the Urhobos), a blouse and a head-gear to match. Like the man, the woman also wears coral beads or gold chains and shoes.
Among the Igbos (except the Ukwuanis whose dress is akin to that of the Urhobos) the ceremonial dress is "akwa ocha" (hand-woven cloth) tied by both men and women. The man wears a shirt over "akwa ocha" wrapper, with another one arranged across the shirt and held in place over the left shoulder like a toga He then puts on coral beads and a pair of shoes.