"Yahweh" by Jo-Ann Richards


Kristen Sturdivant/Unsplash

Originating from Jamaica, reggae is one of the many beautiful musical genres with African and African-American music dominantly in its ancestry. I had seen it imitated by a few Christian artists (e.g. TobyMac and Travis Greene), but I had had trouble executing the genre myself. An ethnodoxologist I knew recommended I talk with Jo-Ann Richards, reggae artist and worship leader of Jamaica, and also a member of the International Council of Ethnodoxologists. I interviewed her for Diverse Church Music, and she's commissioned me to transcribe many of her songs since then.


I would argue that the song most executable and congregationally singable is "Yahweh." It's slow but playful. It has simple and pleasant melodies and can even be sung in a round format. The chords are fairly simple, and the lyrics are theological and worshipful.

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