Music of Vanuatu

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A Stringband performance in the streets of Port Vila Street band, Port Vila, Vanuatu - Flickr - PhillipC.jpg
A Stringband performance in the streets of Port Vila

The music of Vanuatu may refer to any kind of music played in the country of Vanuatu.

Vanuatu Country in Oceania

Vanuatu, officially the Republic of Vanuatu, is a Pacific island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 540 kilometres (340 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.

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Traditional music

Traditional music (known in Bislama as kastom singsing or kastom tanis) is still thriving in the rural areas of Vanuatu. Musical instruments consist mostly of idiophones: drums of various shape and size, slit gongs, as well as rattles, among others. In various regions, aerophones, such as conch shells, whistles or bamboo flutes, are (or used to be) played. Membranophones and chordophones were also found in some areas, but have fallen into disuse during colonial times.

Bislama language

Bislama, is a creole language, and one of the official languages of Vanuatu. It is the first language of many of the "Urban ni-Vanuatu", and the second language of much of the rest of the country's residents. The lyrics of "Yumi, Yumi, Yumi", the country's national anthem, are composed in Bislama.

Idiophone class of musical instruments

An idiophone is any musical instrument that creates sound primarily by the instrument as a whole vibrating—without the use of strings or membranes. It is the first of the four main divisions in the original Hornbostel–Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification. The early classification of Victor-Charles Mahillon called this group of instruments autophones. The most common are struck idiophones, or concussion idiophones, which are made to vibrate by being struck, either directly with a stick or hand or indirectly, by way of a scraping or shaking motion. Various types of bells fall into both categories. A common plucked idiophone is the Jew's harp.

Rattle (percussion instrument) class of musical instruments

A rattle is a type of percussion instrument which produces a sound when shaken. Rattles are described in the Hornbostel–Sachs system as Shaken Idiophones or Rattles (112.1).

The large slit gongs which symbolize Vanuatu belong to these traditional instruments; they were most often used as musical drums to accompany certain dances, but also sometimes – though seldom – as a ritual means of communication; although widespread throughout Vanuatu, they are used vertically only in central areas of the archipelago (mainly on Ambrym). So-called traditional music is actually a very general cover term encompassing a wide and complex variety of musical genres known by every local community – in a way very similar to the vague term classical music of Western societies.

Ambrym Island in Malampa Province, Vanuatu

Ambrym is a volcanic island in Malampa Province in the archipelago of Vanuatu. Volcanic activity on the island includes lava lakes in two craters near the summit.

Classical music broad tradition of Western art music

Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820, this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period.

Western world Countries that identify themselves with an originally European—since the Cold War, US American—shared culture

The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various nations depending on the context, most often including at least part of Europe, Australasia, and the Americas, with the status of Latin America in dispute. There are many accepted definitions, all closely interrelated. The Western world is also known as the Occident, in contrast to the Orient, or Eastern world.

String bands

Another musical genre that has become widely popular during the 20th century in all areas of Vanuatu, is known as string band music. It combines guitars, ukulele, and popular songs.

Guitar fretted string instrument

The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that usually has six strings. It is typically played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger(s)/fingernails of one hand, while simultaneously fretting with the fingers of the other hand. The sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker.

Ukulele member of the guitar family

The ukulele is a member of the guitar family of instruments. It generally employs four nylon or gut strings or four courses of strings. Some strings may be paired in courses, giving the instrument a total of six or eight strings.

Urban music

More recently the music of Vanuatu, as an industry, grew rapidly in the 1990s. The early part of that decade saw bands like Huarere and Tropic Tempo forge a distinctly ni-Vanuatu modern musical identity, and more bands have followed in their footsteps, including XX-Squad and Vanessa Quai. Popular genres of commercial music, which are currently being played in town, include zouk music and reggaeton. Reggaeton, a variation of hip-hop rapped in Spanish, played alongside its own distinctive beat, is especially played in the local nightclubs of Vanuatu with, mostly, an audience of Westerners and tourists.

Vanessa Diandra Sally Ann Kiristiana Quai, better known as Vanessa Quai, born July 13, 1988 in Port Vila, is a ni-Vanuatu singer.

Zouk is a musical style originating from the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique and popularized by the French Antillean band Kassav' in the 1980s. Very rapid in tempo, the style lost ground in the 1980s due to the strong presence of Compas / kompa and kadans, the main music of the French Antilles. Today, zouk is the French Antilles compas (Kompa), also called zouk-love.

Reggaeton is a music style which originated in Puerto Rico during the late 1990s. It is influenced by hip hop and Latin American and Caribbean music. Vocals include rapping and singing, typically in Spanish.

Related Research Articles

Percussion instrument Type of musical instrument that produces a sound by being hit

A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater ; struck, scraped or rubbed by hand; or struck against another similar instrument. The percussion family is believed to include the oldest musical instruments, following the human voice.

The music of Latin America refers to music originating from Latin America, namely the Romance-speaking countries and territories of the Americas and the Caribbean south of the United States. Latin American music also incorporates African music from slaves who were transported to the Americas by European settlers as well as music from the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Due to its highly syncretic nature, Latin American music encompasses a wide variety of styles, including influential genres such as cumbia, bachata, bossa nova, merengue, rumba, salsa, samba, son, and tango. During the 20th century, many styles were influenced by the music of the United States giving rise to genres such as Latin pop, rock, jazz, hip hop, and reggaeton.

Music of Africa Overview of musical traditions in Africa

The traditional music of Africa, given the vastness of the continent, is historically ancient, rich and diverse, with different regions and nations of Africa having many distinct musical traditions. Music in Africa is very important when it comes to religion. Songs and music are used in rituals and religious ceremonies, to pass down stories from generation to generation, as well as to sing and dance to.

Music of Malaysia is the generic term for music that has been created in various genres in Malaysia. A great variety of genres in Malaysian music reflect the specific cultural groups within multiethnic Malaysian society: Malay, Chinese, Indian, Dayak, Kadazan-Dusun, Bajau, Orang Asli, Melanau, Kristang and others.

The music of the Dominican Republic is primarily influenced by West African, European, and native Taino influences. The Dominican Republic is mainly known for its merengue and bachata music, both of which are the most popular forms of music in the country.

Music of Indonesia

The music of Indonesia demonstrates its cultural diversity, the local musical creativity, as well as subsequent foreign musical influences that shaped contemporary music scenes of Indonesia. Nearly thousands of Indonesian islands having its own cultural and artistic history and character. This results in hundreds of different forms of music, which often accompanies by dance and theatre.

The music of Ethiopia is extremely diverse, with each of Ethiopia's ethnic groups being associated with unique sounds.

<i>Shamisen</i>

The shamisen or samisen (三味線), also sangen, is a three-stringed traditional Japanese musical instrument derived from the Chinese instrument sanxian. It is played with a plectrum called a bachi.

Music of Nepal refers to the various musical genres played and listened to in Nepal. With more than fifty ethnic groups, the music of Nepal is highly diverse. Genres like Tamang Selo, Dohori, Adhunik Geet, Bhajan, Filmi music, Ghazal, Classical music, and Ratna music are widely played and popular, but many other less common genres are yet to be cataloged. Western musical genres like Rock, Metal, Hip-Hop, Rap, R&B also regularly feature on the Nepalese music charts. Most of the country's musical bands are based in the Kathmandu valley. Musical genres from Tibet and India have greatly influenced Nepalese music.

Music of the Philippines

Music of the Philippines include musical performance arts in the Philippines or by Filipinos composed in various genres and styles. The compositions are often a mixture of different Asian, Spanish, Latin American, American, and indigenous influences.

The music of Thailand reflects its geographic position at the intersection of China and India, and reflects trade routes that have historically included Persia, Africa, Greece and Rome. Traditional Thai musical instruments are varied and reflect ancient influence from far afield - including the klong thap and khim, the jakhe, the klong jin, and the klong kaek . Though Thailand was never colonized by colonial powers, pop music and other forms of modern Asian, European and American music have become extremely influential. The two most popular styles of traditional Thai music are luk thung and mor lam; the latter in particular has close affinities with the music of Laos.

Music of Burkina Faso

The music of Burkina Faso includes the folk music of 60 different ethnic groups. The Mossi people, centrally located around the capital, Ouagadougou, account for 40% of the population while, to the south, Gurunsi, Gurma, Dagaaba and Lobi populations, speaking Gur languages closely related to the Mossi language, extend into the coastal states. In the north and east the Fulani of the Sahel preponderate, while in the south and west the Mande languages are common; Samo, Bissa, Bobo, Senufo and Marka. Burkinabé traditional music has continued to thrive and musical output remains quite diverse. Popular music is mostly in French: Burkina Faso has yet to produce a major pan-African success.

The music of Burma has similarities with and is related to many other musical traditions in the region.

Melanesian music refers to the various musical traditions found across the vast region of Melanesia.

Igbo music

Igbo music is the music of the Igbo people, who are indigenous to the southeastern part of Nigeria. The Igbo traditionally rely heavily on percussion instruments such as the drum and the gong, which are popular because of their innate ability to provide a diverse array of tempo, sound, and pitch. Igbo music is generally lively, upbeat, and spontaneous which creates a variety of sounds that enables the Igbo people to incorporate music into almost all the facets of their daily lives. Some very popular Igbo music styles are Igbo highlife, Igbo rap, Odumodu.


Kroncong is the name of a ukulele-like instrument and an Indonesian musical style that typically makes use of the kroncong, the band or combo or ensemble consists of a flute, a violin, a melody guitar, a cello in pizzicato style, string bass in pizzicato style, and a female or male singer.

Culture of Vanuatu

This article presents an overview of the culture of Vanuatu.

Tropipop is a music genre that developed in Colombia in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It is a blend of traditional musical forms of the Caribbean Region of Colombia, mainly Vallenato, with foreign Latin genres such as Salsa and Merengue, and pop and pop rock. The term "tropipop" comes from the synthesis of the words "tropical" and "Pop music" describing the genre's mix of Latin Tropical roots with American popular music.

Slit drum (Vanuatu)

In Vanuatu, a slit drum is a musical instrument that is traditionally played by men of high rank.

References

Alexandre François is a French linguist specialising in the description and study of the indigenous languages of Melanesia. He belongs to Lattice, a research centre of the CNRS dedicated to linguistics.