Original Research

Christian music in contemporary Africa: a re-examination of its essentials

F. Adedeji
Koers - Bulletin for Christian Scholarship/Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap | Vol 72, No 1 | a193 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koers.v72i1.193 | © 2007 F. Adedeji | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 July 2007 | Published: 27 July 2007

About the author(s)

F. Adedeji, Department of Music, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

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Christian music all over Africa (be it liturgical church music or gospel), in contemporary times has become so popular and well grown howbeit in divergent dimensions. As a result, there have been questions, debates and confusions both by insiders and outsiders of the Christian faith on what exactly constitutes Christian music. There then arises the need to theorise the fundamentals of Christian music, exhuming the Biblical, musical and socio-cultural basis for its performance practices. This article examines various principles that should guide contemporary Christian musicianship, especially as contained in the Scriptures; arguing that the practice of Christian music cannot be divorced from Bible even when the principles of musical sound organisation and the socio-cultural needs of the society have to be observed. The tension created by the superimposition of the three is also resolved. This article is therefore theoretical and prescriptive in focus and depth as it offers to the African audience the paradigms for understanding the art, gives guidance to the practitioners, and supplies scholarly information to the scholars and observers of Christian studies in general. The article concludes by recommending the indispensability of Biblical standards and skilful originality/artistry in contemporary Christian musicianship.


Biblical Music; Christian Music; Church Music; Music And Theology


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1. Music and Spirituality in Africa: Gospel Music, Spirituality, and Everyday Meaning-Making in Nigeria
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