This article examines Catholic liturgical music in indigenous idioms in central Cameroon, focusing on a Sanctus by composer Jean André Yebnoun Ngann. We consider how musicians enact deference and authority through the sounding materials of music, discussions of music, and social interactions that allow music-making to occur, proposing that all of these might usefully be analyzed with the help of the linguistic concept of deixis. Study of four different performances of the Sanctus reveals how contemporary music-making elaborates forms of deference shaped not only by colonialism and Catholicism but also by older ways of leading and following.

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