Appendix 3 Lyrical Content Analysis Guide

In: Worship, Ritual, and Pentecostal Spirituality-as-Theology
Author:
Martina Björkander
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How can songs be categorized according to type? The categorization in Table A3.1 is inspired by a form-functional analysis of the Psalter, for example in Dillard Longman. The genre is sometimes implied although not spelled out. ‘God’ in the following explanations can refer to either the Godhead or any of the persons of the Trinity.

Song numbers and letters in the left column correlate to the songs in Tables A7.3 (Mavuno) and A7.4 (Woodley). For example, M1 = the first song in the Mavuno corpus, Table A7.3 (‘Angels we Have Heard on High’).

One song can belong to several types. The mark x shows which type(s) each song aligns with. Songs that encourage the act rather than express the act are marked with *.

Table A3.1 shows a small sample of the categorization conducted, and is meant to serve as a guide for structured research.

Table A3.1

Example of lyrical content analysis, genre/type

Song type

Doxology

Invocation

Thanksgiving

Sacrifice

Sacrament

Lament

Personal prayer

Testimony

Confidence

Proclamation

Teaching

Identity-building

Thematic

Description

Giving God honour and praise, declaring who he is

Calling on God to come, often collective and grand

Giving thanks for what God has done

Giving oneself or one’s song as gift to God

Expecting or encountering God’s presence in an immediate way through worship

Lamenting the hardships of life, the pain and suffering and affliction encountered

Formulated in a personal and intimate manner, close communication with God

Witnessing to what God has done for me/us in the past

Expressing trust in God for what is ahead in life, that he will take care of me/us

Proclaiming God’s kingship, authority and power in the universe

Didactic songs, preaching or teaching style, theologically dense

Focus on the community and unity between human beings

Songs with a specific thematic or seasonal focus

No.

M(n)/W(n)

M1

x

x

x

x

M2

x

x

x

M3

x

x

x

W1

x

x

x

W2

x*

x

x

W3

x

x

x

Etc.

Table A3.2

Example of lyrical content analysis, the names of God. What names and titles are used to address or designate God? Are these expressions used in the Old or New Testament? Are they common goods in Christian tradition? Is there a difference between names used in Swahili and English?

Name/Title

Used in songs number

Used in total number of songs

Old/New Testament /church tradition reference

Language

Comment

‘Baba’

Etc.

Table A3.3

Example of lyrical content analysis, person in Trinity. Which of the persons in the Trinity is addressed, directly or indirectly? ‘Trinitarian theology specified’ means that Father–Son–Spirit are mentioned together in the same song or that God is explicitly called ‘triune’. Songs can fall into more than one category.

Unspecified or general name/title

(‘You’/’God’

/Lord/Jehova)

The triune God

(Trinitarian theology specified)

The Father

(or equivalent)

The Son

(or equivalent)

The Spirit

(or equivalent)

Comment

No.

M(n)/W(n)

M1

x

x

M2

x

M3

x

x

Son is implied, ‘savior’

M4

Etc.

Table A3.4

Example of lyrical content analysis, use of Bible. What biblical texts are alluded to or quoted in songs? ‘Direct references’ means quotes or undisputable references, ‘indirect references’ are more vague but possible. General use of biblical language is not marked unless there is a specific text behind it.

Direct reference

Indirect reference

Comment

No.

M(n)/W(n)

M1

Luke 2

M2

Luke 2

M3

1 Pet 2:21-25, Isaiah 53:5

Etc.

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