Exploring the Rich History of Hawaiian Music

From traditional chants to modern rock and hip hop, explore the rich history of Hawaiian music. Learn about mele-oli ritual solo songs, baggy guitar, cachi cachi music, Jawaiano reggae and more.

Exploring the Rich History of Hawaiian Music

Hawaii is a place of immense cultural diversity, and its music is no exception. From traditional chants to modern rock and hip hop, Hawaiian music encompasses a wide range of styles. The basis for all Hawaiian music comes from the mele, a rudimentary chant that involves simple rhythms and melodies. This type of music has been around for thousands of years, and its influence can still be heard in today's rhythms, percussion instruments, songs and vocal styles.Traditional Hawaiian music is generally simple in its structure and reverent in the way it is presented.

It was heavily influenced by the hymns of the first missionaries in the 19th century. But today, Hawaiian music has evolved to include a variety of genres, from rock and roll and rap to jazz and a Hawaiian form of reggae known as Jawaiano. The steel guitar is also an important part of Hawaiian music, having been introduced to country music by Hawaii. The roots of Hawaiian music go back a thousand years, and it has been shaped by the mix of cultures that have come to the islands. The baggy guitar is well known around the world, while cachi cachi music was brought to Hawaii by Puerto Ricans at the beginning of the 20th century.

In addition, the Hawaiian Renaissance in the 1970s saw a resurgence in traditional Hawaiian music.Hawaiian folk music includes several varieties of song (mele) and music intended for highly ritualized dance (hula). Traditional Hawaiian music and dance were functional, used to express praise, communicate genealogy and mythology, and accompany games, festivals, and other secular events. The language doesn't have a word that translates precisely as music, but there is a diverse vocabulary to describe rhythms, instruments, styles, and elements of voice production. Hawaiian popular music is largely based on American popular music, but it has distinctive retention from traditional Hawaiian music. Numerous businesses have been created that support special musical styles and instruments appropriate to the Hawaiian musical tradition.

In addition, Hawaii has its own regional music industry with several distinctive styles of recorded popular music. Hawaiian music has been an integral part of local tourism since the 1920s and 1930s. It was even featured in a Broadway show called Bird of Paradise in 1912. Today, Hawaiian music continues to be popular around the world. It is a unique blend of traditional chants and modern genres that reflects the rich history of Hawaii's culture.