Form and Structure of Early Indigenous Yorùbá Church Hymns
Indigenous Yorùbá hymn tradition began in the late 19th century as a result of the need for a viable alternative to translated European hymns introduced by European missionaries at the advent of Christianity in Yorùbáland. Several studies have been conducted on Yorùbá hymns produced by indigenous Church music composers. However, none of the studies has addressed form and structure of the indigenous Yorùbá hymns. The study of form and structure of indigenous Yoruba hymns is important, as it contributes to existing literature on the study of form and structure in African music. Utilizing the theory of Formalism, this paper investigates the form and structure of church hymns found in three purposively sampled Yorùbá Christian hymn books written by three prominent Yorùbá hymn composers: M'áyòòkún by A. T. Ola Olúdé, Má Gbàgbé Ilé by Dayòò Dédeòké and Yin Olúwa by G. P. Dòòpèòmú. It employed content analysis in the critical examination of the forms in the three indigenous hymn books. The phrase structure of the hymns in the three indigenous hymn books show binary and ternary formations, while the forms reveal short verse, multiple verses and multiple verses with refrain, occasional responsorial pattern and through composed form.
Keywords: Yorùbá native airs, Church music, form and structure, indigenous hymn