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The History of Hawaiian Music

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Hawaiian Music is native to the islands of Hawaii located in the United States of America. The History of Traditional Hawaiian Music Styles include; Hula, Luau, "Native Hawaiian ritualized Dance", Mele "Native Chanting", "Jawaiian Reggae" and Paniolo, or "Hawaiian Country Music". The three most predominant instruments played in Hawaii and used in both early and modern day local performances are the "Steel Guitar", "Slack Key Guitar" and the "Ukulele" Because of Hawaii's lack of metals and minerals other than Volcano Lava, Musical Instruments were created from trees, plants and shells. The basic instruments of Hawaii included the "Ipu", a drum made out of a gourd, the "Ipu Heke", a double gourd drum, the "Kala'au", sticks that were struck together, the 'Ili 'Ili, two flat smooth stones that were clicked together, the "Ohe Hano Ihu", a nose flute made from wood, the "Conch Shell", a large Ocean Shell that was blown into to produce deep resonant tones, the "Pu ohe", a trumpet made of bamboo, and the "Puili", slit sticks made from bamboo. These were the instruments of Ancient Hawaiian times, and are still used today in modern Hawaiian Music as well as in Hula Luau Dancing.

Since few Hawaiian musicians even read music each Hawaiian Song lyric had to be translated and hand printed over an extended period of time. Early Hawaiian Music Artists and Hawaiian Music composers simply listened, felt and then played their music by and from the heart. Many of the Hawaiian Music lyrics and Hawaiian Songs presented here are available to purchase on Hawaiian Music DVD Video formats, the most pospular being, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow Song" as sung by the now famous Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. A more detailed chronology of the "Life of IZ" can be found featured on the site: Biography of the Man and his Music including an overview of the Hawaiian artists significant milestones and artistic accomplishments all the way up to his untimely death at the age of 38 in 1997. A timelined chronological biography of the life of "IZ" may be accessed at the "Israel Kamakawiwo'ole Biography Highlights" web site. Also be sure to visit the "IZ Memorial Tribute" web site. For the Hawaiian Music Song Lyrics to many of IZ's Hawaiian songs including "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" visit our "Hawaiian Music Song Lyrics" Directory. Scroll down for a detailed biography of "Israel Kamakawiwo'ole" and related Hawaiian Music Lyric links. (read more...)

Check the State of Hawaii Weather forecast as you listen to free MP3 downloads online on the 1800Sunstar.com Music Websites Network offering over 8,000 Free "Downloadable Music Samples", Hawaiian Songs as well as over 500 Israel Kamakawiwo'ole MP3 Downloads 24/7 for you're listening pleasure... Downloading Songs on any of our websites on your computer for your listening pleasure at no charge is available on all of our featured Music Pages and most of the over 400 websites in the 1800Sunstar cyber network. This is an excellent opportunity to listen to a wide variety of Hawaiian Songs and Healing New Age Music from Hawaii and New Age Artists many of which will undoubtedly be new to you. In many cases if you enjoy the Music you are listening to you will be able to purchase the Song Track or Music Album directly on the site that offers the Music Track Download. A Software Program to complete this type of download is required. We offer a number of
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    Continued from: "The History of Hawaiian Music"

    Major music festivals in Hawaii include the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, which brings together Hula groups from across the world, as well as a number of slack-key and steel guitar festivals such as the: Big Island Slack Key Guitar Festival, Steel Guitar Association Festival and the Gabby Pahinui and Atta Isaacs Slack Key Festival. April's Aloha Week is a popular tourist attraction, as is the Moloka'i Music Festival held around Labor Day. There was also a Hawaii International Jazz Festival, which ran from 1993 until 2007. The annual Pacific Rim Jazz Festival occurs in mid-autumn at the Hawaii Convention Center. The annual Manoa Jazz & Heritage Festival takes place in early autumn at the Andrews Amphitheatre on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus. Hawaii is home to a number of renowned music institutions in several fields. The Honolulu Symphony Orchestra is an important part of the state's musical history, and is the oldest orchestra in the United States west of the Rocky Mountains, founded in 1900. The Orchestra has collaborated with other local institutions, like the Hawaii Opera Theatre and the Oahu Choral Society, which sponsors the Honolulu Symphony Chorus and the Honolulu Chamber Choir. Hawaiian folk music includes several varieties of chanting (mele) and music meant for highly ritualized dance (hula). Traditional Hawaiian Music and dance was functional, used to express praise, communicate genealogy and mythology, and accompany games, festivals and other secular events. The Hawaiian language has no word that translates precisely as music, but a diverse vocabulary exists to describe rhythms, instruments, styles and elements of voice production. Hawaiian folk music is simple in melody and rhythm, but is "complex and rich" in the "poetry, accompanying mimetic dance (hula), and subtleties of vocal styles... even in the attenuated forms in which they survive today".

    Today's more "Contemporary Hula" and "Luau Songs" include a blend of various ethnic traditions including; Island Rock, Pop, Soul and Jawaiian Reggae. The Artists most popular in Hawaii perform, "Hula", "Luau" and the more "Traditional Songs of Hawaii". Such Artists include; "The Brothers Cazimero" international Hawaiian recording Artist "Don Ho", and "Israel Kamakawiwo'ole" or "IZ" as he was affectionately called. IZ was born on May 20, 1959 in Honolulu Hawaii, and is one of the most beloved and fondly remembered Musical Artists in the islands who recorded the now internationally famous Hawaiian version of the "Somewhere Over the Rainbow Song". IZ was native born, and upon his death on June 26, 1997 at the age of 38, was only the second Hawaii State citizen to receive the honor of having his body lay in state at the capitol building in Honolulu Hawaii. From 1915 to 1930, mainstream audiences outside of Hawaii became increasingly enamored of Hawaiian Music, though by this time the songs marketed as Hawaiian had only peripheral aspects of actual Hawaiian Music. Tahitian and Samoan Music had an influence on the Music of Hawaii during this period, especially in their swifter and more intricate rhythms. The following era, from about 1930 to 1960, has been called the "Golden Age of Hawaiian Music" when popular styles were adapted for orchestras and big bands, and Hawaiian performers became mainstream stars. In the 1960s, Hawaiian-style Music declined in popularity amid an influx of rock, soul and pop acts from the American mainland. This trend reversed itself in the final period of Hawaiian Music History, the modern period beginning with the Hawaiian Renaissance in the 1970s and continuing with the foundation of a variety of modern Music scenes in fields like indie rock, Hawaiian hip hop, and Jawaiian Music. Queen Liliʻuokalani was the last Queen of Hawaii before the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown. She was also a Musician and prolific Composer who wrote many musical works. She was best known for the song, Aloha 'Oe. A compilation of her works, titled, "The Queen's Songbook", was published in 1999 by The Queen Lili'uokalani Trust.

    Statehood Day commemorates Hawaii's admission as a state on August 21, 1959. In 1898 the United States annexed Hawaii, which was declared as a necessary navy base for the conduct of the Spanish-American War. The United States interests coveted the islands for some time. During World War II, Oahu served as the command post for the US operations in the Pacific. Large portions of Hawaii were turned over for the US military bases. After the war, two-thirds of the residents favored statehood. However, because of the many ethnicities present, there was resistance to Hawaii's Statehood from the segregated southern states. A primary election took place in Hawaii on June 27, 1959, and various statehood propositions received many votes on that day. Following the certification of the election results, President Eisenhower signed a proclamation on August 21, 1959, declaring Hawaii to be the 50th state. This was known as Admission Day until 2001 and is now known as "Hawaii Statehood Day".

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