Authority, Deference, and Disregard in Catholic Liturgical Music in Central Cameroon

Dueck, Byron and Essele Essele, Kisito (2022). Authority, Deference, and Disregard in Catholic Liturgical Music in Central Cameroon. Ethnomusicology, 66(1) pp. 21–50.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5406/21567417.66.1.04

Abstract

This article looks at Catholic liturgical music in indigenous idioms in central Cameroon, focusing on a Sanctus by composer Jean André Yebnoun Ngann. We consider how musicians enact deference and authority through the sounding materials of music, talk about music, and the social interactions that allow music-making to occur, proposing that all of these might usefully be analyzed with the help of the linguistic concept of deixis. Study of four different performances of the Sanctus reveals how contemporary music-making elaborates forms of deference shaped not only by colonialism and Catholicism but also by older ways of leading and following.

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