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Affects and Effects of Indigenous Tanzanian Traditional Music in Christian Worship in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Kassomo Mkallyah
Ethnomusicology
Vol. 60, No. 2 (Spring/Summer 2016), pp. 300-328
DOI: 10.5406/ethnomusicology.60.2.0300
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/ethnomusicology.60.2.0300
Page Count: 29
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Affects and Effects of Indigenous Tanzanian
Traditional Music in Christian Worship
in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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Abstract

This paper explores specific musical and cultural attributes that make indigenous Tanzanian music traditions effective in church worship in Dar es Salaam, the foremost metropolis in this East African nation. Based in empirical evidence, it argues that the power of indigenous Tanzanian music traditions, in heightening the religious experience of believers, is inherent in musical attributes--melody, harmony and rhythms--as well as the cultural aesthetics that facilitate the believers' identification with such local music. Specifically, the article shows how the power of indigenous Tanzanian music to arouse deep and demonstrable emotions among church members is attributable to the characteristics of traditional music and its cultural usage. Indeed, as the article affirms, the strength of these culturally-rich indigenous Tanzanian music traditions can be traced to their African origins and the traditional attributes and aesthetics that make them deeply religious and powerful in generating emotions.

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