The Use of Indigenous Musical Instruments in Traditional Christian Worship of the Yoruba, Nigeria

  • Emmanuel Fasipe The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville Kentucky


The use of indigenous musical instruments has played a significant role in the life and worship experience of the Yoruba Christians of Southwestern Nigeria. The early missionaries who brought Christianity to Yorubaland discouraged the use of indigenous songs and musical instruments in Christian worship. They believed that engaging in the singing and playing of indigenous musical instruments may lead the Yoruba converts back to worshiping their formal traditional gods and goddess. The indigenous musical instruments that were regarded as inappropriate for the worship of the Triune God of the Bible have become prominent today in Yoruba Christian worship. This study examines the transformation process of indigenous musical instruments used in Yoruba Christian corporate worship. The study also looks into some of the challenges and benefits of using indigenous musical instruments in Christian corporate worship.