Integration of Vocal Music, Dance and Instrumental Playing in St Matthews Apostolic Church: Maphopha Congregation


  • Morakeng Edward Kenneth Lebaka Department of Art History, Visual Art and Musicology College of Human Sciences University of South Africa (Unisa), PretoriaSouth Africa



St Matthews Apostolic Church; Maphopha Congregation; Limpopo Province; South Africa; Music; Identity


There are a number of different approaches to determining the functions of music. Members of St Matthews Apostolic church – Maphopha congregation in Sekhukhune district – Limpopo Province in South Africa identify themselves by their music and allow music to become a representation of themselves. In responding to a song, to a hymn, they are drawn into affective and emotional alliances. Their relationship to music is inevitably based upon their emotions and internal connection to a particular song. Emotionally intense songs are even used during funerals to cue specific emotions from the audience for suspense, heartbreak, or a peaceful resolution. Songs, then, become an active ingredient in their lives as they find ways to employ music as a tool to share in their life experiences and bring them to a desired emotional state. The purpose of this study was to contribute towards documenting and describing the integration of vocal music, dance and instrumental playing in this church. To achieve this aim, the study employed a naturalistic approach and data was collected through video recordings of church services, interviews and observations. The primary question the study addressed is: how is collective identity formed through music and how does religious music serve as a core part of culture? The results have shown that in this church, music is manipulated to serve congregational purposes. The investigation has also shown that identity is largely related to musical preference, and the congregants use music to understand who they are and define themselves internally as well as externally.




How to Cite

Lebaka, M. E. K. (2018). Integration of Vocal Music, Dance and Instrumental Playing in St Matthews Apostolic Church: Maphopha Congregation. European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 4(2), 34–44.