Learning More About Traditional Hawaiian Songs

Hawaii has made many a contribution to the music world. It isn’t at all uncommon to hear Hawaiian-style music in Hollywood films, and country artists often use the same kinds of steel guitars that Hawaiians did long ago. However, this music stemmed from traditional Hawaiian music and songs. Read on if you would like to learn more about the kind of music that people traditionally played in Hawaii.

The Influences On Hawaiian Music

Many traditional Hawaiian songs were religious in nature. As in many other parts of the world, the people of Hawaii saw music as a way to connect with God. If you listen to the lyrics of many traditional Hawaiian songs, you will notice that they have very obvious spiritual undertones. It is also commonplace for Hawaiian songs to tell some sort of story. In some cases, music was an easy avenue to teach people religious stories that they might not be able to read on their own.

Hawaiian Music Is Designed To Be Sung In Groups

Hawaiian music didn’t develop around solo artists. Instead, the music in Hawaii was designed for people to sing together. A lot of traditional Hawaiian folk songs have very intricate harmonies. It would be impossible for someone to sing a song like this by themselves. With that said, that isn’t always the way that these songs are played today. In many cases, these songs are adapted for a more modern audience. There are some Hawaiian artists that have managed to forge a solo career for themselves, and these artists often play altered versions of these classic songs.

Hawaiian Music Was Meant To Be Danced To

When people think about Hawaii, one of the very first things they picture is hula dancers. This is because many traditional Hawaiian singers are accompanied by dancers. When a hula dancer moves their arms, they aren’t just moving in rhythm to the music. In many cases, they are acting out some kind of story. Hawaiian music is all about storytelling, and the lyrics of a song are just one small part of that.

The Instruments Used In Traditional Music

Guitars and similar types of instruments are a big part of Hawaiian music. Lutes are frequently used in Hawaiian songs, as are ukuleles. However, Hawaiian music consists of more than simply string instruments. In many cases, drums are also used. More often than not, the kind of drums that are used in Hawaiian songs are drums that can be played by hand.

Of course, not every traditional Hawaiian song features strings or percussion. A cappella music is also very common. A lot of this music was based on Hawaiian chanting, like mele hula and mele oli. Now that you have a stronger understanding of traditional Hawaiian songs, you will be able to listen to Hawaiian music with fresh ears. Music has always played a major role in Hawaiian culture, and it still plays a significant role to this very day. When people think about life in Hawaii, they think about music. So should you!

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