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Music House

Kiribati (Micronesia) Music & Culture

[Untitled]

Kiribati group song, "Kai e titirou e matie" sung with clapping by men and women of Ititin Rotorua Dance Troupe, Betio Village, Tarawa Island, Kiribati. Recorded by Mary Lawson Burke, 1981. World Music: A Global Journey, Miller & Shahriari, 2012.

KIRIBATI (MICRONESIA, CHRISTMAS ISLAND) MUSICAL CONSIDERATIONS
pronounced “Kiribas”
RECORDINGS:    
http://sounds.bl.uk/World-and-traditional-music/Simon-Seligman-Kiribati/025M-C0205X0001XX-0100V0
Traditional love songs: 1. Phnangam onako maeao (Your arrival from the west with your bucket of water); 2. Al buren matau ae aki tara bai (The fault of my eyes); 3. E Kiba maia pe man e kiba twai zorgiran (Where is this bird flying from? He flies from England); Nei Tokua, Eita, Tarawa; 4-11: unidentified. Performer notes: Lead singer with several male backing singers, accompanied on one guitar and one banjo.
https://vimeo.com/28580762  - Dark Island Dance, Kiribati  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-nT31mKtFg  - Kirabati Traditional Music
http://www.kiribatistories.com/  - stories, geography, history  http://soundinfusion.com.au/i-kiribati/  - history and music history

 

INSTRUMENTS

TIMBRE

quality of sound

PITCH

tone measured in Hertz

RHYTHM

durations of sounds

PHONIC STRUCTURE

organizational relationship of sounds

DYNAMICS

volume measured in decibels

Voice, indigenous

women-youthful, nasal, strained; male-full, forceful

usually no more than five

free

unison, monophony

 

Voice, European influences

 

shout to establish pitch and signals choir’s entrance; syllabic text-setting; whistle plus series of claps to end

metered

call-response

harmonic choral

 

drums, clapping

 

 

 

 

 

KIRIBATI (CHRISTMAS ISLAND) CULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS

Value Systems/Hierarchies

all participate in music dances and singing

Identity

Music and Dance social identity, Gilbertese native language (Austronesian)

Use/function

Dances: traditional; local or Polynesian influenced; Western Harmony.

same descent group in dance to creating community cohesion; valuable clan property; preparation for battle

Spirituality

ancestral spirits and supernatural powers associated with natural elements

Ethics

Battle frequently was through music and dance contests.

Environment

music used for continuity of culture, tourists, church

New Theories

musical values changed with European practices, namely harmony

Technologies/Media

guitars, ukulele

Arts

dance, costumes

Transmission/Pedagogy

clan property

Notation System

oral

Composer/Player

traditionally clan

Exchange/Adaptation

missionaries subdued dance activities; groups/clubs changed from lineal affiliations to open participation

Cultural Intersection

British and American sailors; British protectorates; Protestant missionaries; Roman Catholics

 REFERENCES:    Miller, Terry E. and Shahriari, Andres. World Music: A Global Journey. New York: Routledge, 2012