Cover

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Half Title, Series Page, Title Page, Copyright, In Memoriam

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xvi

I visited the Cherubim and Seraphim Ayo ni o Church in Lagos on the first full day of my first visit to Nigeria in 2001. Though I was headed for Ibadan, where I intended to scout out potential sites for my dissertation research on religion, music, and urban experience, I was taken to the Lagos compound ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xx

The seeds of this project were sown during my first year of graduate study in ethnomusicology at the University of Washington. It was there that I met Bàbá I. K. Dairo, the renowned jùjú musician who was also the leader of a Cherubim and Seraphim congregation in Lagos. ...

Note on Language and Translation

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pp. xxi-xxiv

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1. Singing the Same Song

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pp. 1-22

Throngs of churchgoers wearing their white prayer gowns and clutching Bibles scurry toward the main hall of the Cherubim and Seraphim Ayo ni o Church in Lagos, Nigeria early each Sunday morning in order to attend worship services. As they move toward the building they encounter the sound of voices ...

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2. Onward Christian Soldiers

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pp. 23-51

A number of miraculous events are attributed to Moses Orimolade, the founder of the religious movement that would become the Cherubim and Seraphim. One in particular speaks to the way in which music and musical performance was to become central to Cherubim and Seraphim worship practices: ...

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3. The Voice of the Spirit

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pp. 52-74

In 1978, the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Ayo ni o Church choir, released its first commercial recording, an album containing two songs: “Paradise” and “Ohùn Ẹmí” (“The voice of the spirit”). With this release, the musical messages of the Cherubim and Seraphim moved from the hymnal to the grooves of a record—which was quickly replaced by an audiotape ...

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4. Take Control

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pp. 75-93

Sound recording and playback technologies facilitated and enhanced religious experiences and worship practices for members of the Ayo ni o Church. Between 1978 and 2005 the Ayo ni o Church choir released more than thirty albums. These recordings reproduced and circulated aesthetic values central to producing religious belonging and ethical forms of personhood. ...

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5. Straight to Heaven

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pp. 94-114

On a Sunday in July 2003, the sermon at the Ayo ni o Church was delivered by Most Senior Apostle Pastor G. O. Ogunleye, the church’s general secretary. Pastor Ogunleye was known among church members for his lively preaching and contagious spirit. The topic of the sermon was the importance of the white prayer gown that church members wore for worship. ...

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6. In His Steps

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pp. 115-141

These words were printed in the program for the annual festival of songs performed by the Cherubim and Seraphim Ayo ni o Church choir on April 26, 2003. It introduced the theme for that year’s event and the message that the performers hoped to convey through their musical and dramatic offerings. ...

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7. Living in the Spirit

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pp. 142-156

The congregation was stuffed into the rows of benches in the church, everybody touching someone else, as the amplified sound of the choir filled the air. Waves of music bounced around the church—organ, electric guitars, drums, and voices joining together in a fast-­paced upbeat rhythm. The entire congregation was standing, a sea of white cloth. ...

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8. Show the Glory of God

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pp. 157-182

On Sunday, September 21, 2003, the Ẹgbe Fògo Ọlorun Hàn (Show the Glory of God Band) at the Ayo ni o Church in Lagos celebrated its thirty-­second anniversary. Commonly referred to by church members as “Fògo,” the group’s membership was made up of senior men from the congregation who understood themselves to be crucial to the maintenance of church tradition ...

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Epilogue

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pp. 183-192

As I finish writing this book in 2016, the importance of singing the same song amid changing circumstances remains a central concern for church members. This is especially so given the profound changes to church leadership and organization that have occurred in the decade since I began my research with ...

Glossary of Yoruba Terms

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pp. 193-194

Bibliography

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pp. 195-200

Index

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pp. 201-211

About the Author

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