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, grass skirts and beautiful relaxing sounds, Hawaiian hula and other tourist-friendly forms of music. While these elements are justifiably a part of Polynesian history and Polynesian culture, there is actually a wide variety of music made in the far-flung reaches of Polynesia.
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.
Emma Maynon Kaipuala Veary (born c. 1930) is a lyric Coloratura soprano born in Hawaii.Index of music articles
This is an alphabetical index of articles related to music.Jon Appleton
Jon Howard Appleton (born January 4, 1939) is an American composer and teacher who was a pioneer in electro-acoustic music. His earliest compositions in the medium, e.g. Chef d'Oeuvre and Newark Airport Rock attracted attention because they established a new tradition some have called programmatic electronic music. In 1970 he won Guggenheim, Fulbright and American-Scandinavian Foundation fellowships. When he was twenty-eight years old he joined the faculty of Dartmouth College where he established one of the first electronic music studios in the United States. He remained there intermittently for forty-two years. In the mid-1970s he left Dartmouth to briefly become the head of Elektronmusikstudion (EMS) in Stockholm, Sweden. In the late 1970s, together with Sydney Alonso and Cameron Jones he helped develop the first commercial digital synthesizer called the Synclavier. For a decade he toured around the United States and Europe performing the compositions he composed for this instrument. In the early 1990s he helped found the Theremin Center for Electronic Music at the Moscow Conservatory of Music where he continues to teach once a year. He has also taught at Keio University (Mita) in Tokyo, Japan, CCRMA at Stanford University and the University of California Santa Cruz. In his later years he has devoted most of his time to the composition of instrumental and choral music in a quasi-Romantic vein which has largely been performed only in France, Russia and Japan.Kui Lee
Kuiokalani "Kui" Lee (July 31, 1932 – December 3, 1966) was a singer-songwriter, and the 1960s golden boy artist of Hawaii. Lee achieved international fame when Don Ho began performing and recording his compositions, with Ho promoting Lee as the songwriter for a new generation of Hawaiian music.Music of Tahiti
Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the music of Tahiti was dominated by festivals called heiva. Dancing was a vital part of Tahitian life then, and dances were used to celebrate, pray and mark almost every occasion of life. Examples include the men's ʻōteʻa dance and the couple's 'upaʻupa.
Professional dance troupes called ʻarioi were common, and they moved around the various islands and communities dancing highly sensually and erotically. In the early 19th century, however, colonial laws severely restricted these and other dances, which were considered immoral. Herman Melville celebrated one such dance (he called it the 'lori-lori') for its sensuality. They were replaced instead by genres of Christian music such as himene tarava.The word 'himene' is derived from the English word 'hymn' (Tahiti was first colonized by the English). Likewise, the harmonies and tune characteristics / 'strophe patterns' of much of the music of Polynesia is western in style and derived originally from missionary influence via hymns and other church music.
One unique quality of Polynesian music is the use of the sustained 6th chord in vocal music, though typically the 6th chord is not used in religious music. Traditional instruments include a conch-shell called the pu and a nose flute called the vivo, as well as numerous kinds of drums made from hollowed-out tree trunks and dog or shark skin.Music of Tonga
Music of Tonga refers to music derived from the island Tonga in the islands of Polynesia. Music of Tonga today generally falls under the category of traditional music that has withstood the test of time, or into one of the two opposing genres of religious and secular music. Tongan music can be either very emotional and somewhat modern with instrumental makeup including modern brass instruments, or conversely can be very primitive and consist of only drums and voices. In this way, Tongan music is very diverse despite the fact that it is contained to a fairly small island, which means that the different cultures and styles co-exist on the small land mass together without blending.Music of the Cook Islands
The music of the Cook Islands is diverse. Christian music is extremely popular. Imene tuki is a form of unaccompanied vocal music known for a uniquely Polynesian drop in pitch at the end of the phrases, as well as staccato rhythmic outbursts of nonsensical syllables (tuki). The word 'imene' is derived from the English word 'hymn' (see Tahitian: 'himene' - Tahiti was first colonised by the English). Likewise the harmonies and tune characteristics / 'strophe patterns' of much of the music of Polynesia is western in style and derived originally from missionary influence via hymns and other church music. One unique quality of Polynesian music (it has become almost a cliché) is the use of the sustained 6th chord in vocal music, though typically the 6th chord is not used in religious music. Traditional songs and hymns are referred to as imene metua (lit. hymn of the parent/ancestor).
Traditional dance is the most prominent art form of the Cook Islands. Each island has its own unique dances that are taught to all children, and each island is home to several annual competitions. Traditional dances are generally accompanied by the drumming of the pate.The Cook Islands drumming style is well-known internationally, but is often misidentified as an example of Tahitian music. This is most uncommon as the Cook Islands have a strong connection to their Tahitian ancestry.
Harmony-singing church music and a wide variety of hymns and wedding and funeral music are found throughout the Cook Islands. There is much variation across the region, and each island has its own traditional songs.The Brothers Cazimero
The Brothers Cazimero was a Hawaiian musical duo made up of Robert Cazimero on bass and Roland Cazimero on twelve string guitar. Robert also played piano as a solo musician. The Cazimeros got their start during the Hawaiian Renaissance with ukulele and slack-key guitarist Peter Moon's band, The Sunday Manoa, on their first recording, Guava Jam. Since that time, The Brothers Cazimero have released at least 36 recordings and three DVDs. For three decades, the group performed at the annual Lei Day Concert. They made their Carnegie Hall debut in 1989.The Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) has honored the Cazimeros with 25 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards. Robert and Roland have also received individual Hōkū Awards as solo artists. The Cazimeros' album Some Call It Aloha...Don't Tell was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Hawaiian Music Album in 2005. In 2006, they were inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.
In 1991, Roland joined Henry Kapono Kaʻaihue, Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole and Cyril Pahinui in recording "Broken Promise", a Hawaiian mele ku'e (song of protest) written by Kaaihue. The project won two Hōkū Awards -- "Song of the Year" and "Single of the Year"—in 1992.
Robert Cazimero is also a kumu hula (teacher of hula) for the hālau hula (a contemporary translation is "hula school") Hālau Nā Kamalei o Lililehua. Members of the hālau have often performed with Robert and Roland as dancers and as a choral group. The Brothers are featured (with 3 songs) on the audio track for the Over Hawaii documentary which was broadcast on public television stations in 2012.
Leina'ala Kalama Heine, a kuma hula, performed as a solo dancer with the Brothers Cazimero, a distinct honor in hula. She was sometimes called "the third brother" due to her professional relationship with the Cazimeros.Roland Cazimero died at the age of 66 on July 16, 2017.
List of resources about traditional arts and culture of Oceania
Music of Polynesia