Music of Guam

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The music of Guam encompasses the works of many Chamorro popular musicians, including KACY, Flora Baza Quan, Daniel De Leon Guerrero, singer-songwriter J. D. Crutch, who is on the local Napu Records and who released a best-selling local album with Guinaifen Manglo. The state song of Guam is "Guam Hymn" by Ramon Sablan, adopted in 1919. Flora Baza Quan is especially notable throughout the territory, and is known as the "Queen of Chamorro Music".


Modern music from Guam includes elements of American, Spanish, Filipino and Polynesian music. The Spanish and Mexicans contributed a type of song called serenatas to the culture of Guam. Some traditional Catholic songs in the Spanish language, including "Mil Albricias", "Pastores a Belen", "Santa Maria de la Merced" or "Nochebuena Noche Santa" and some traditional love songs including "A mi morena", "Ay que triste desventura", "Cancion de Antonio Acosta" or "Te quiero amar" are preserved.

The music of the Americas is very diverse since, in addition to many types of Native American music, the music of Europe and the music of Africa have been found there for some five centuries, creating many hybrid forms that have influenced the popular music of the world.

Culture of Guam

The culture of the Marianas Islands, including Tinian, Saipan, Rota, and Guam, reflects traditional Chamorro customs in a combination of indigenous pre-Hispanic forms, as well as American, Filipino, Spanish and Mexican traditions. The Chamorro people have lived on the Micronesian island of Guam for nearly 4000 years, and have cuisine, dance, fashion, games, language, music, and songs of their own.

Music venues and institutions

Music institutions in Guam include the University of Guam's Fine Arts Department, Guam Symphony Society, Guam Choristers, Cantate Guam, and the Gregorian Institute of Guam. The Guam Symphony Society was founded in 1967, and hosts concerts such as the Symphony Seaside Concert and the Musikan Famagu'on for children. The two major local record labels are Napu Records and StelStar Records. In addition to the previously stated, there is the government sponsored Guam Territorial Band. The Guam territorial band hosts concerts yearly often free to the public, as well as representing Guam music on an international stage.

University of Guam, or U.O.G., is a land-grant university in Mangilao, Guam. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and offers thirty-four degree programs at the undergraduate level and eleven master’s level programs. Of the university’s 3,387 students, 94% are of Asian-Pacific Islander ethnicity and nearly 72% are full-time. A full-time faculty of about 180 supports the university’s mission of "Ina, Diskubre, Setbe"— which translates to "To Enlighten, to Discover, to Serve."

A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Sometimes, a record label is also a publishing company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos, while also conducting talent scouting and development of new artists, and maintaining contracts with recording artists and their managers. The term "record label" derives from the circular label in the center of a vinyl record which prominently displays the manufacturer's name, along with other information. Within the mainstream music industry, recording artists have traditionally been reliant upon record labels to broaden their consumer base, market their albums, and be both promoted and heard on music streaming services, radio, and television. Record labels also provide publicists, who assist performers in gaining positive media coverage, and arrange for their merchandise to be available via stores and other media outlets.

Chamorro music

Traditional Chamorro instruments include the belembaotuyan, a hollow gourd stringed instrument, and the nose flute. Kantan singing is also popular. It is a kind of work song, begun by one person teasing another in verse form, and then continuing through a group one individual in turn.

The belembaotuyan is a musical bow played in Guam, also spelled belumbaotuyan, belenbaotuchan, and belimbau-tuyan. This gourd-resonating musical bow likely has common roots with the Brazilian berimbau, due to constant trade between Asia and South America in the nineteenth century, during which the instrument may have been introduced to the Chamorro people.

Gourd Type of fruit

Gourds include the fruits of some flowering plant species in the family Cucurbitaceae, particularly Cucurbita and Lagenaria. The term refers to a number of species and subspecies, many with hard shells, and some without. One of the earliest domesticated types of plants, subspecies of the bottle gourd, Lagenaria siceraria, have been discovered in archaeological sites dating from as early as 13,000 BC. Gourds have had numerous uses throughout history, including as tools, musical instruments, objects of art, film, and food.

Nose flute musical instrument

The nose flute is a popular musical instrument played in Polynesia and the Pacific Rim countries. Other versions are found in Africa.

Chamorro chants and Kantan Chamorrita (Chamorrita singing), a kind of Chamorro poetry, are also important elements of Guamanian music. Kantan Chamorrita is a kind of improvised poetry with a call and response format that is documented back to 1602 and remains a vital part of Chamorro culture. In Kantan Chamorrita, individuals and groups trade witty remarks at each other as part of a debate. These songs are "ancient folk songs, arranged in quatrains of two octosyllabic couplets, which, according to some writers, are composed on a single melody, the variations depending on the individual style of performance. The distinctive features are spontaneous improvisation and a dialogue performance between two or more people, depending on the occasion and function."


The musical duo Gus and Doll (Agusto Quichocho and his wife Josephine Sablan Quichocho) were prominent performers of Chamorro music, active until the late 1980s. [1] [2]

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The history of Guam involves phases including the early arrival of Austronesian people known today as the Chamorros around 2000 BC, the development of "pre-contact" society, Spanish colonization in the 17th century and the present American rule of the island since the 1898 Spanish–American War. Guam's history of colonialism is the longest among the Pacific islands.

Micronesia Subregion of Oceania

Micronesia is a subregion of Oceania, composed of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a close shared cultural history with two other island regions: Polynesia to the east and Island Melanesia to the south; as well as the wider Austronesian peoples.

Northern Mariana Islands American-dependent insular area in the western Pacific

The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, is an insular area and commonwealth of the United States consisting of 14 islands in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. The CNMI includes the 14 northernmost islands in the Mariana Archipelago except the southernmost island of the chain, Guam, which is a separate U.S. territory. The CNMI and Guam are the westernmost point and territory of the United States.

Hagåtña, Guam Village in Guam, United States

Hagåtña is the capital village of the United States territory of Guam. From the 18th through mid-20th century, it was Guam's population center, but today it is the second smallest of the island's 19 villages in both area and population. However, it remains one of the island's major commercial districts in addition to being the seat of government.

Chamorro language Malayo-Polynesian (Austronesian) language, spoken on the Mariana Islands

Chamorro is an Austronesian language spoken by about 58,000 people. It is the native and spoken language of the Chamorro people who are the indigenous people of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, both US territories.

Chamorro people ethnic group

The Chamorro people (/tʃɑˈmɔroʊ/) are the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands, politically divided between the United States territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Micronesia. Today, significant Chamorro populations also exist in several U.S. states including Hawaii, California, Washington, Texas, Tennessee, Oregon, and Nevada. According to the 2000 Census, approximately 65,000 people of Chamorro ancestry live in Guam and another 19,000 live in the Northern Marianas. Another 93,000 live outside the Marianas in Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States. The Chamorros are primarily Austronesian, but many also have European (Spanish) and East Asian ancestry.

Carlos Camacho American governor of Guam

Carlos Garcia Camacho was a Guamanian politician and member of the Republican Party. He served as the last appointed Governor of Guam from 1969 to 1971 and the first elected Governor of Guam from 1971 to 1975. He was the father of Felix Camacho, a former senator in the Guam Legislature, and also served as Governor of Guam.

Republican Party of Guam political party in Guam affiliated with the US Republican Party

The Republican Party of Guam, commonly referred to as Guam GOP, is a political party in Guam affiliated with the United States Republican Party.

Diego Luis de San Vitores Spanish missionary

Diego Luis de San Vitores was a Spanish Jesuit missionary who founded the first Catholic church on the island of Guam. He is responsible for establishing the Christian presence in the Mariana Islands. He is a controversial figure to some today due to his conflict with the indigenous Chamorro leader Mata'pang.

Mugham folk musical composition from Azerbaijan

Mugham is one of the many folk musical compositions from Azerbaijan, contrasting with tasnif and ashiks.

Sinajana, Guam Village in Guam, United States

Sinajana is smallest of the nineteen villages in the United States territory of Guam by area. It is located in the hills south of Hagåtña. The village's name may have come from the word "china-jan," cookware used to cook wild yams that once grew in the area.

Outline of Guam Overview of and topical guide to Guam

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Carolinian people ethnic group

The Carolinian, or Refaluwaschpeople are an Austronesian ethnic group who originated in Oceania, in the eastern Caroline Islands, with a total population of around 8,500 people. They are also known as Remathau in the Yap's outer islands. The Carolinian word means "People of the Deep Sea." It is thought that their ancestors may have originally immigrated from Asia and Indonesia to Micronesia around 2,000 years ago. Their primary language is Carolinian, called Refaluwasch by native speakers, which has a total of about 5,700 speakers. The Carolinians have a matriarchal society in which respect is a very important factor in their daily lives, especially toward the matriarchs. Most Carolinians are of the Roman Catholic faith.

Father Dueñas Memorial School Private, all-boys school in Chalan Pago, Guam

Father Dueñas Memorial School (FDMS) is an all-male Catholic high school located in Mangilao, in the United States territory of Guam.

Antonio "Tony" Manibusan Palomo was a Guamanian politician, historian, journalist, columnist, and academic. Palomo served as a senator in the Legislature of Guam and the director of the Guam Museum from December 1995 to June 2007.

Women in Guam are residents of the unincorporated territory of the United States of Guam.


Tubâ is a Filipino alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of palm trees. During the Spanish colonial period, tubâ was introduced to Guam, the Marianas, and Mexico via the Manila Galleons. They remain popular in Mexico, especially in the states of Colima, Jalisco, Michoacán, and Guerrero. Tubâ was also introduced to the Torres Strait Islands of Australia in the mid-19th century by Filipino immigrant workers in the pearling industry.


  1. "The return of Gus and Doll | Pacific Daily News". Retrieved 2015-10-26.[ permanent dead link ]
  2. "Pacific News Center". Pacific News Center. Retrieved 2015-10-26.


  1. ^ Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities [ permanent dead link ]
  2. ^ Guam State Song
  3. ^ Guam Symphony Society
  4. ^ Bailey, Kim, cited at Guampedia and introduced as "an ethnomusicologist who studied the Chamorita in the 1980s in Guam and Rota"