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1

Mele (chant)

– An expression of life
– A form of communication between humans and the cosmos, or between humans
– A means by and through which to tell stories of an
individual’s history, or genealogy
– A means by and through which to convey the history of
Hawai‘i

2

Mana – sacred power

Power that has a spiritual source and resides in all objects, humans, animals, nature, etc.

3

Kapu – rituals and prohibitions

– The laws or regulations that govern interaction and activity to reinforce and preserve mana; taboos

4

Mele Hula

Characteristics
– Can be sung by more than one person
– Accompanied by dance
– Can be accompanied by musical instruments
– Rhythmically is organized into a meter
In pre-contact era
– Was an expression of sacred chant text in movement
– Main goals:
• To honor the gods
• To honor the nobility, the Hawaiian people
• To tell stories
• To enforce the idea of perfectionism in the art of the dance

5

Mele Oli

Characteristics
– Usually sung by one person
– Unaccompanied
– Free meter
• Meter -“regular grouping of beats” (Wade 2009: 210)
• Free meter - do not have a regular grouping of beats

6

Mele Hula Instruments

- Ipu heke – double gourd drum
– Pahu
– Kilu or puniu (knee drum)

7

hula ku‘i

A style of music and dance that blended Western
and Hawaiian musical elements
– Ku‘i means “a joining”

8

“Nani Kaua‘i”

Example of hula ku‘i
(recorded ca. 1928)
• Influences from Western music
– Harmony
– Instrumenta+on
– Melodic contours (more “tuneful” sounding melody)
• Influences from Hawaiian music
– Hawaiian language
– Text is a type of mele (a place-name chant)
– Expressive use of breaks in the voice

9

“Moanalua”

Another example of hula ku‘i
(recorded ca. 1906)
• Similar Western influences
– Harmony
– Melodic contour
– Instrumentation
• Similar Hawaiian influences
– Hawaiian language
– Text is a a type of mele (place-name/love chant)

10

hapa haole

20th century
(hapa haole means “half-foreign”)
– Blended American popular music with Hawaiian songs
– Used English; also some Hawaiian phrases for flavor
– The lyrics to the melodies portrayed Hawai‘i as an
inviting paradise
– Music was used to attract American tourists

11

“Honolulu Hula Hula Heigh”

Hapa haole song
– This song is a style of hula ku‘i, too
• Recorded ca. 1915
• Note English, with some Hawaiian
• Western derived string instruments

12

Slack key guitar

Slack key guitar music called ki ho‘alu
• Strings are loosened,
slackened, to produce different kinds of tunings
- Raymond Kane
Examples; “‘O‘opu Nui”, "Yodel Song"

13

“Wai O Ke Aniani”

Example of slack key guitar
– Lead vocal, guitar: Raymond
Kane (1925-2008; right)
• (is also backup vocal,
guitar; and bass)
– Recorded at 1993 Northwest
Folklife Festival

14

people

-Chief
Seattle
(1864)
-“Princess
Angeline”
(1892)

15

slahal

Stick or bone game

16

Indian Shaker songs

Indian Shaker Church – founded in western
Washington in 1882 by John and Mary Slocum
(no relation to east coast Shaker Church)

17

Dirty Face

Recording made by Leon Metcalf in 1954
• Storyteller - Annie Daniels – Duwamish
elder living at the Muckleshoot
Reservation (near Tacoma)
• Listen for Dirty Face’s song appealing to
his relatives for help – their spiritual power
brings about a flood that transforms the
world.
-Power of language (“enchantments” used
to change the weather
Importance of place

18

“Kaala”

Performed by Sol Ho‘opi‘i
(1902-1953)
– Features his steel guitar
playing and his singing in
Hawaiian
– Recording made in 1931

19

The Hawaiian Renaissance

Cultural movement or flowering in the 1960s and 1970s
• Movement both politiacal and cultural (Lewis 1984: 38)
– For and by Hawaiians
• Included renewed interest in
– Hawaiian music, dance, and language, among other
aspects of Hawaiian culture and history

20

Hula kahiko (ancient hula)

Accompanied by chant, may or may not be
accompanied by pre-contact percussion instruments

21

Hula ‘ auana (modern hula)

Accompanied by Hawaiian singing influenced by
Western music; uses harmony, Western-style melodies
and Western-derived instruments

22

Corridos

– Ballads or “story songs”
– An important part of Mexican folk literature since the
19th century
– Have also become a part of commercial popular
music/entertainment
• (Ques.on to keep in mind: Can we always neatly draw lines
between “folk” and “popular” music?)

23

“El Corrido de Nogales”

-Rec. in 1999
in Arizona,
U.S.
-3rd person
-strophic form
-2 voices, 2 guitars.
duple meter

24

“Joaquín Murrieta”

Rec. in 1995 in Sonora, Mexico
• About the 19th century bandit/hero Joaquín Murrieta
• This corrido regarded as
inflammatory by some
-1 voice and guitar
-1st and 3rd person
-triple meter
-strophic

25

“Gregorio Cortez”

Another example of a corrido
• About an occurrence in 1901
• (this recording made in 1949)
• Note different instrumenta.on:
– 2 voices (singing in harmony),
accordion, guitar and/or bajo sexto
(right)
• But s.ll have strophic form, Spanish
lyrics, story
• Triple meter

26

Conjunto

Accordion-based
ensemble
• Product of working
class Texas-Mexican
and northern Mexican
culture
Mid-1930s –modern
conjunto emerges
By mid-1950s have the standard conjunto
ensemble of accordion, bajo sexto, bass, and drum set

27

“La Cuquita”

• Released in 1946
• Narciso Martinez - Father of conjuncto
on accordion

28

Typical instrumentation (since the 1950s)

• Bueon accordion (right, above)
• Bajo sexto (right, below)
• Bass (upright or electric)
• Drum set
• Groups may also include other
instruments

29

“Ay, Te Dejo en San Antonio”

Example of conjunto
– Recorded and released in
the 1980s
• Features Flaco Jiménez
– Born in San Antonio,
Texas in 1939
• Important accordionist
and singer
• Comes from a family of
conjunto musicians

30

Lydia Mendoza (1916-2007)

• A Tejana musician known for
her singing and 12-string
guitar playing
• Born in Houston, Texas
• Made her first recordings in
the late 1920s and early 1930s
• Recorded song “Mal Hombre”
as a solo ar$st in 1934