Bringing Down the Spirit

Locating Music and Experience Among Nigerian Pentecostal Worshippers in Athens, Greece

Authored by: Evanthia Patsiaoura

The Routledge Companion to the Study of Local Musicking

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138920118
eBook ISBN: 9781315687353
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter discusses the relation between religious musicking and locality by looking at the ways in which music is made and perceived among members of a Nigerian Pentecostal parish in Greece. Central to Nigerian Pentecostal worship, music making is seen as a powerful means of spiritual engagement. Appointed music ministers carry special responsibility for directing the musical parts of services and conveying musico-spiritual skills to the congregation. However, the ethos of musicking in these services is deeply participatory, inviting the entirety of congregants to take an active part in musically articulated worship, praise, and thanksgiving. The author shows how participatory musicking in religious services can bring about a shared musico-spiritual experience. This shared experience creates a transcendent place, a locality not defined by mapped territories but rather by worshippers connecting with one another while reaching the divine.

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