Music of Polynesia


Music of Polynesia

Polynesia is a group of island chains spread across much of the Pacific Ocean, and includes many countries and territories. Internationally, Polynesian music is mostly associated with twinkling guitars and grass skirts, Hawaiian hula and other tourist-friendly forms of music. While these elements are justifiably a part of Polynesian history and culture, there is actually a wide variety of music made in the far-flung reaches of Polynesia.

Contents

Christian music

In the 1790s, Christian missionaries arrived in Polynesia for the first time. Hymns and other forms of Christian music were instituted, and native musical genres were driven underground and prohibited. Soon, traditional polyphonic singing was merged with Christian styles and church singing, and along with brass bands became an important part of Polynesian music culture across the Pacific.

Popular music

Some Polynesian islands have developed a cassette industry, most notably Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. In the 1980s, Fijian stars like Laisa Vulakoro and Lagani Rabukawaqa became popular across the Pacific.

Steel guitar

Popular Hawaiian inspired musicians include steel guitarists Bill Sevesi and Bill Wolfgramm who led popular dance bands during from the 1950s. [1]

References

  • Linkels, Ad. "The Real Music of Paradise". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 2: Latin & North America, Caribbean, India, Asia and Pacific, pp 218-227. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0
  • Hebert, D. G. (2008). Music Transculturation and Identity in a Maori Brass Band Tradition. In R. Camus & B. Habla, Eds. Alta Musica, 26, pp.173-200. Tutzing: Schneider.

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