List of Oceanic and Australian folk music traditions

List of Oceanic and Australian folk music traditions
Lists of folk music traditions
Sub-Saharan Africa
Central America
Middle East & North Africa
North America
Oceania and Australia
South America

This is a list of folk music traditions, with styles, dances, instruments and other related topics. The term folk music can not be easily defined in a precise manner; it is used with widely-varying definitions depending on the author, intended audience and context within a work. Similarly, the term traditions in this context does not connote any strictly-defined criteria. Music scholars, journalists, audiences, record industry individuals, politicians, nationalists and demagogues may often have occasion to address which fields of folk music are distinct traditions based along racial, geographic, linguistic, religious, tribal or ethnic lines, and all such peoples will likely use different criteria to decide what constitutes a "folk music tradition". This list uses the same general categories used by mainstream, primarily English-language, scholarly sources, as determined by relevant statements of fact and the internal structure of works.

These traditions may coincide entirely, partially or not at all with geographic, political, linguistic or cultural boundaries. Very few, if any, music scholars would claim that there are any folk music traditions that can be considered specific to a distinct group of people and with characteristics undiluted by contact with the music of other peoples; thus, the folk music traditions described herein overlap in varying degrees with each other.

Oceania and Australia

Country Elements Dance Instrumentation Other topics
White Australian bush ballads
Indigenous Australian[1] Wangga dance didgeridoo songline
Cook Islander[2] imene metua - imene tuki koauau - paatere - purerehua
Easter Islander[2] kauaha - upaupa
Fiji[2] meke i wau - meke iri - meke wesi - seasea - vakamalolo derua - slit drum
Hawaiian[3][4][5][6] hula - kepakepa - mele - oli hula ipu - pahu - puniu - rattle
Maori[2] haka - poi
Marquesas Islander[2] haka puaka
Marshall Islander[2] Jebua
Papua New Guinea[7][8] string band garamut - kundu - rattle - susap haus tambaran - sing-sing
Samoan[2] hiva usu fa'ataupati - ma'ulu'ulu - sasa[disambiguation needed ] - siva Samoa lali - logo - nafa[disambiguation needed ] - pandanus - pate ali'i - fiafia - tulafale
Solomon Islander[8] panpipe
Tahiti[2] himene tarava 'aparima - 'ote'a slit drum
Tongan[2] action-song - hiva kakala - kava papalangi lakalaka - me'etu'upaki - 'otuhaka - ula conch - lali - nose-flute - nafa[disambiguation needed ] faikava - fiafia - hulohula
Tuvalu[2] fatele


  1. ^ Breen, Marcus, "The Original Songlines" in the Rough Guide to World Music, pp. 8 - 19
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Linkels, Ad, "The Real Music of Paradise", in the Rough Guide to World Music, pp. 218 - 229
  3. ^ Manuel, Popular Musics, pp. 237 - 239
  4. ^ Cooper, Mike, "Steel and Slide Hula Baloos", in the Rough Guide to World Music, pp. 56 - 62
  5. ^ Lornell, pp. 79 - 80
  6. ^ World Music Central
  7. ^ Manuel, Popular Musics, p. 242
  8. ^ a b Feld, Stephen, "Bamboo Boogie-Woogie", in the Rough Guide to World Music, pp. 183 - 188


  • Broughton, Simon and Mark Ellingham (eds.) (2000). Rough Guide to World Music (First edition ed.). London: Rough Guides. ISBN 1-85828-636-0. 
  • Manuel, Peter (1988). Popular Musics of the Non-Western World. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195053427. 
  • Philip V. Bohlman; Bruno Nettl, Charles Capwell, Thomas Turino and Isabel K. F. Wong (1997). Excursions in World Music (Second edition ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-230632-8. 
  • Fujie, Linda, James T. Koetting, David P. McAllester, David B. Reck, John M. Schechter, Mark Slobin and R. Anderson Sutton (1992). Jeff Todd Titon (Ed.). ed. Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World's Peoples (Second Edition ed.). New York: Schirmer Books. ISBN 0-02-872602-2. 
  • "International Dance Glossary". World Music Central. Archived from the original on February 7, 2006. Retrieved April 3, 2006. 

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