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Influence of the church in select indigenious Niger Delta music

Samuel Jackson Udo
Eunice U. Ibekwe


This study analyses the performance techniques, instrumentation and songs of selected indigenized songs in Niger Delta region of Nigeria that are being influenced by the church. The aim of the study is to archive and document most of the rich indigenous music to increase the scanty ethno-musicological literatures existing in this ethnic group. The paper explores qualitative methodology to analyse the data collected from selected churches in Niger Delta ethnic group. It employs the ethnomusicology theory by Titon(2021), as its theoretical framework. This theory defines ethnomusicology as the study of people making music in their ethnic groups. People make sounds that are recognised as music, and people also make “music” into a cultural domain. The study employs the descriptive and analytical methods. It reveals that modernity and development have great influence on Christian church music performance techniques bringing about varieties of indigenous church songs; as well as the changes we see in instrumentations, songs, dance steps and contexts of performance. The study concludes that God is too vast to be contained within any one race of musical performance, even one gender, language, environment, culture, or ethnicity; or even within and by our individual or communal musical or artistic preferences.