By Prof. Albert Oikelome

The Deeper Life High School Port Harcourt did a beautiful work with the ‘boom laka laka laka’ performance. Even though they have received a lot of backlash from people that feel they are not spiritual enough to discern the spiritual undertone of the message, I think we need to understand the musical intone of the song these wonderful singers have just made.

  1. They are a ‘High school choir’. The song they performed exhibits the character traits of high school students. Any performance below that falls short of the expectations of a high school.There are several genres in music that the students should be exposed to while in the secondary school, and music teachers are under obligation to put the students through them. They do not operate with the ‘social media’ or ‘public opinion’ curriculum.There are state guidelines the music teachers follow and they are bound to put the students through the stated guidelines, regardless of peoples opinion about them. They look at the bigger picture, and not the myopic understanding of a microscopic few.
  2. They have chosen a song and rearranged it for an audience. If that audience is not you, then you just listen and move on. Not all music are meant for all. There are some songs meant for there generation (the genzys). They resonate with the tune, message and performance practice of the generation they are meant to serve. That is why you are not under any obligation to react positively if you do not understand the language. It is just not meant for you.
  3. I really do not have any problem with the spiritual content of any song… Some songs may not have so much biblical texts and yet minister to people all the same. Ask David who only played in the harp. No biblical text. No words. Just played on the harp… And the spirit of the devil was cast out. There are instrumental music that inspires people and blesses them regardless.
  4. They have made attempts to adapt the secular song to their setting. That alone is a great achievement. The concept of ‘originality’ in music is very debatable. No matter how original you claim any sing it, you will still find some fragments of other peoples works they cannot lay claim to. Innovations still exists within the realm of adaptation. Inspiration can still come from your ability to hone already existing songs in a ‘coat of many colors’. That in itself is a gift that some people crave for.

Music is not a strait jacket ‘as it was in the beginning’ stuff. Several genres (that we call the spirituals) are giving way to other forms of music that can be understood and appreciated by the coming generation. While we try to guide them on the need to be intentional when writing their lyrics, we shouldn’t force them into our own music typologies that is odd to their generation. Lets encourage them to take some stuff from the secular music that aids their creativity and further improve on the gospel styles. You should note that not all secular music are worldly. The problem is the way you decide to look at it without blinking the eye. You will be shocked if the same hymns you claim are a blessing to your soul actually had their tunes adapted from secular tunes.

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