School of Music


Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology (MA)


Leon Neto


Vietnam, contextualization, Christian worship, traditional Vietnamese music, culture, instruments


Christianity | Music


The thesis addresses the concern of incorporating traditional Vietnamese instruments into Christian worship. Most worship done in Vietnamese churches in the US is primarily westernized, and it lacks cultural elements to reflect the Vietnamese culture. Another concern is that the younger generation does not know much about Vietnamese culture; this is an issue because many Vietnamese descents do not know which culture they belong to. The idea behind traditional Vietnamese instruments incorporated into Christian worship will encourage Vietnamese churches to use Vietnamese traditions to further God’s Kingdom so that the Vietnamese congregation can worship and glorify God in their native language. This idea also affects how Vietnamese descents will discover their cultural roots because most young people either do not know or appreciate their own culture since the diaspora in 1975. Vietnamese music is what brought its people together since they immigrated outside Vietnam. The songs and instrumentation draw the Vietnamese community because they remind them of home. With music, it can be possible for Vietnamese churches to incorporate traditional instruments because it can help its people to come to know God while embracing their cultural roots. As numerous Vietnamese churches are being planted in the US, the main concern is how Vietnamese music can be used in Christian worship. The answer is found in data that was gathered through online interviews, observations, and music research. All of the research materials enlighten ideas and possibilities that traditional Vietnamese instruments can be used in Vietnamese Christian churches, just as they were also used in numerous music performances.