School of Music


Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology (MA)


Michael Harland


Contemporary Christian music; Praise and Worship Style; Americanized; Indigenous Worship


Anthropology | Music


Motivated by the marketability of high-profile artists and bands, Christian churches worldwide may see the inclusion of profit-driven worship songs as a recruiting tool for their communities. This process of globalization or "Americanization" around the world, propagated by mass media, is yet to be thoroughly investigated. This trend is likely decreasing the use of indigenous styles in Christian worship. The primary purpose of this current study is to produce scientific data suggesting that “Americanized” worship is a trend in Brazil and is affecting the production of indigenous worship repertoire. An online questionnaire was developed and applied to Brazilian worship leaders. 68% of the participants (n=106) reported a high percentage of translated worship repertoire, and only 1% reported no use of translated songs in their worship repertoire. 61.9% of the participants said that "Americanized" worship discourages the production of original indigenous worship songs in their communities. Social media websites (42.3%) and streaming platforms (33%) are the primary sources for new worship songs. The results suggest that "Americanized" worship is widespread in Brazilian churches. The participants indicated that “Americanized” worship negatively affects the production of indigenous worship and that mass media is a factor in this process. Future research may develop studies applying the same methodology in multiple non-English speaking countries to assess if “Americanized” worship is a global trend.