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The Importance of Drumming in Churches and other Religious Groups.


Drumming is an act of playing drums: A percussive musical instrument with any similar hollow, cylindrical object spanned with a thin covering on at least one end, forming an acoustic chamber, affecting what materials are used to make it. Drumming has played a major role in the religious sphere since the medieval times, serving as a communicator between man and his god. In time past, drumming as a percussive instrument has played a significant role in the spiritual lives of people, holding a deep symbolic attribute to their religious lives. The original purpose of drumming in religion is to worship, honor and declare one’s devotion to the supreme god; the creator.

In modern times churches use drums in the act of singing hymns, psalms, preaching, praying, Thanksgiving and most of the time Lord’s Supper. Though in the Christendom, there have been debates whether it is actually right to use drums in churches backing up their claim with bible quotation like Psalm 150:3, Psalm 59:17, Psalm 61:8 and Psalm 66:2. One of these verses quoted as saying .” praise the lord with the sound of the trumpet, praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance,praise him with stringed instrument and organs…”. No drums mentioned! Be that as it may, some still consider the invention of drums into churches as one of the best things that have happened to gospel worship hence changing the orthodox way of Christian worship.

In modern times drumming has taken a new dimension in the religious sphere, as it has become a source of spiritual upliftment in many Christian gatherings. In Africa for instance, drums hold a deeper symbolic significance as they play a major role in times of peace, wars, birth, and death. Drumming has largely dominated the religious society so much that it presence pulses throughout their collective consciousness; it has been sowed in their genes. Drums are inseparable in modern religion hence it has become part and parcel of any religious worship.

As civilization enhances, the act of drumming transcends with it. Djemde drum, for worship, and warrior rituals. The Djemde also plays an important role in ushering them in the full moon, summer season, spring, harvesting time, weddings, baptisms, honoring of mothers (which happens quickly after Ramadaan).

The Udu drums are also wonderful instruments used in pagan worship by the Igbo people found in the western part of Africa. The Udu drum is believed by the Igbos to be a communication instrument used by man to commune with God. In the Igbo language, the word Udo means “Vessel”.

The Sabar is another type of drum with spiritual attachment. It has this unique elongated cylinder with tapered ends and can be played by hand or a thin long stick also known as “Galan”. Aside from serving the purpose of communication between another tribe in a long distance, it is also a powerful instrument in ritual rites, cleansing e.t.c.

All around us, there are always one or two things that trigger our spiritual consciousness, drumming, in essence, are seen to be a tool that ignites the heartbeat of God.