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Continuities in Fijian Music: Meke and Same

  • David Goldsworthy

Extract

Methodist and Catholic missionaries brought Christianity to the Fijian islands in the nineteenth century. They taught the islanders Western hymns and translated the Bible into the vernacular for Fijians to read. Fijians responded musically to these developments in two ways. For some church music they adopted Western styles and forms, and began composing these religious songs themselves in their own language. In certain cases, however, they continued to use a style of chanting derived from older, pre-European-contact forms for their Christian worship. This latter response resulted in same, a type of sacred music involving the unaccompanied chanting of Biblical texts.

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Garrett, J. 1982 To Live Among the Stars: Christian Origins in Oceania. Geneva and Suva: World Council of Churches/Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific.
Kubuabola, S., Seniloli, A., and Vatucawaga, L. 1978Poetry in Fiji: A General Introduction.” In Essays on Pacific Literature, R. Finnegan and R. Pillai ed. Suva: Fiji Museum Series 2:719.
Lee, Dorothy 1994 Music Performance and the Negotiation of Identity in Eastern Viti Levu, Fiji. University Microfilms International.
Raven-Hart, Maj. R. 1956A village in the Yasawas (Fiji).” Journal of the Polynesian Society 65:95154.
Saumaiwai, Chris 1973 Meke: the commonest form of Fijian music.” Point (Goroka) 1:4049.
Saumaiwai, Chris 1980Fiji.” In The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Vol. 12, ed. S. Sadie, 82-85. London: MacMillan Publishers Ltd.
Saumaiwai, Chris 1994Urban Fijian Musical Attitudes and Ideals: Has Intercultural Contact Through Music and Dance Changed Them?” In Music Cultures in Contact, ed. Kartomi, M. and Blum, S., 9399. Sydney: Currency Press.
Stillman, Amy K. 1993Prelude to a Comparative Investigation of Protestant Hymnody in Polynesia.” Yearbook for Traditional Music 25:8999.

Continuities in Fijian Music: Meke and Same

  • David Goldsworthy

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