Decolonising Congregational Music

Muir, Pauline. 2024. Decolonising Congregational Music. In: Dulcie Dixon-McKenzie; Pauline Muir and Monique Ingalls, eds. Black British Gospel Music: From the Windrush Generation to Black Lives Matter. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 215-236. ISBN 9781032145853 [Book Section] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

Perusal of the Christian Congregational License International (CCLI) charts indicates that this musical worship canon, much like academic curricula, is authored by songwriters who are overwhelmingly male and white. While the CCLI is not a total representation of all congregational singing, it is perhaps the only mechanism we have of systematically assessing this area. The system is also reflective of those reaping the economic and prestigious benefits associated with incorporation. While some scholars have established that worship music has the ability to transcend geographical boundaries and connect worshippers to global networks, others such as Evans identified its deleterious impacts in undermining local contributions. Few, however, have examined this topic from a decolonial perspective.
Black Majority Churches (BMC) signified by their musical practices and expertise are deemed to be amongst the fastest growing branches of Christianity in the UK and their songwriters and worship leaders are one of the groups invisible within the CCLI. Using semi-constructed interviews with members of UK BMC churches and representatives from CCLI, this chapter will explore some of the complexities in regard to decolonising congregational
music in the UK.

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Book Section

Additional Information:

"This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in 'Black British Gospel Music: From the Windrush Generation to Black Lives Matter' on 29 May 2024, available online: It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.”

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)


4 June 2024Published

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Date Deposited:

06 Mar 2024 16:28

Last Modified:

03 May 2024 10:44


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