The Maori Fishing Song is a traditional indigenous folk vocal piece which originates from New Zealand. It utilises simple unison and octave stepwise melodies which reflect the working women catching fish together. The music is also elemental as it reflects the simple characteristics of nature and the pulling and casting action of netting fish by the women of the tribe. The simple duple meter and rhythms are also characteristic of island tribal percussion heard in traditional indigenous music. In the 19th century after the European colonisation of New Zealand, the indigenous music sung by Maori people became strongly influenced by Western third harmonies which came from Christian missionaries songs and hymns. This began the harmonisation of modern Maori music which heavily used triads, specifically the notes of the I and V chords whilst maintaining the simple folk tunes of the island. In this piece, both the melody and harmony are sung in canonic succession as a call and response, a technique typical of traditional folk music. As a result of the mixture of cultures, this post colonisation folk song is a combination of the old traditional Polynesian island drone and modern western harmonies.

Listening Media & Information: http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/multicultural_music/maori.html

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