The contributions of Cherubim and Seraphim Church Movement (Ayo ni o) choir oshodiapapa, Lagos district to the development of Nigerian gospel music
The study traced the historical development of Cherubim and Seraphim(C&S Ayo Ni O) Choir. It also assessed the contributions of the choir to the growth and development of Nigerian Gospel music. In addition, the study examined the socio-spiritual significance of the selected songs of the choir. This was with a view to explicating the impact of the group on the development of contemporary gospel music scene in Nigeria. The study employed both primary and secondary sources of data collection. Primary data were sourced from unstructured interviews with the Music Director and 15 purposively selected members of the choir of the church. Furthermore, five purposively selected pastors of the church were also interviewed. In addition, one month of participant observation at rehearsals, church services and other live performances of the choir was embarked upon during which audio-visual recordings were carried out with camcorder, digital camera, and digital sound devices. Secondary data were sourced from books, journal articles, magazines, newspapers and the Internet. Data collected were analysed within the ethnomusicological framework. The results showed that the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement (Ayo Ni O) Choir came into limelight as a gospel music choir in late 1970s and consistently rose to stardom in Nigeria. It was also revealed that the Choir contributed to the growth and development of gospel music in Nigeria through its songs which were presented in electic style but using indigenous compositional performance techniques. In addition, the choir introduced the consistent of use of Hawaii guitar playing, interludes by wind instruments, elaborate preludes, high falsetto lead vocal singing with the back-up chorus singing in a combination of bravura,allapatetico and spiritoso. It was further revealed that the music of the choir served as a source of spiritual inspiration and moral education for its fans both Christians and non-Christian alike. The study concluded that the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement (Ayo Ni O) Choir had created a musical tradition characterised by new musical content, compositional and performance techniques germane to the contemporary gospel music scene in Nigeria.