Indigenous Tanzanian Music Traditions in Roman Catholic Church and Changing Social Context

Kassomo Athanas Mkallyah


Abstract This article focuses on the use of indigenous Tanzanian music traditions in Roman Christian worship in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. The paper argues that the use of indigenous Tanzanian music tradition in church worship helps to make congregation members feel close to God and identify with their own African culture. The study focused on three churches: Msewe Roman Catholic, Manzese Roman Catholic and Kimara Roman Catholic. Congregation members and music stakeholders were involved to establish their perception of the changing social context of Tanzania’s indigenous music traditions used during church worship. It used in-depth interviews, discussions and participant performer were the methods to explore how music from different Tanzania ethnic groups brought cultural identity and changed social context in church worship. The findings suggested that the use of indigenous traditional music in Christian churches brought cultural identity in terms of melody, tune and rhythm although changes in text, language and the performance area are inevitable. Keywords: Indigenous music tradition - African culture – social context

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