Music and Religion in Uganda

Since the early colonial period, Christianity has had an increasing impact on Ugandan society, and more than 60% of the population are Christians, mostly Roman-Catholics and Anglicans, but with a rapidly growing number of Pentecostal churches as well. Within all these churches, music plays a major role in the formation of the religious habitus.

Sylvia Nannyonga-Tamusuza and Nicholas Ssempija are already doing research on musical life in the Roman-Catholic church, and David Basoga investigates the use of music in Ugandan Pentecostal churches. Within the Anglican Church, however, only undergraduate research has been carried out so far. During his stay in Kampala, Jan. 2006, participating researcher Sigbjørn Apeland made preparations for a project on this topic.

During the last decades, Muslims have come to the forefront in Ugandan popular music. Conflicts of Islamic belief about music versus the promotion of the music industry as a strategy for poverty eradication will be investigated by Dr. Abasi Kiyimba. With former studies of the poetic nature of the Koran as a point of departure, Dr. Kiyimba has extended his research into Islamic music.

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