Music of Samoa

Music is an integral part of Samoan life. The most important and essential avenue has always been the voice. Singers mourn, rejoice, and reflect every emotion. The past, present, and sometimes the near future are put to song. Everyone sings, despite the cause, despite the situation, and most often, despite one’s ability to do so.
Before the arrival of Europeans to the island of Samoa, musical instruments in use included a hollowed-out log (pate) and the fala, a rolled-up mat, beaten with sticks. Both were percussion instruments, which often accompanied singing. The Samoas are a Polynesian island chain, currently divided between the independent state of Samoa (formerly Western Samoa) and an American territory called American Samoa.
Much of Samoan history and culture were communicated through song and dance, both of which were integral parts of Samoan life. Traditionally, the fiafia was a musical or theatrical presentation celebrating a special event in which performance groups alternated in an attempt to outdo each others’ efforts; in modern times, it is often a hotel performance, in which dances like the siva Samoa and sasa are performed.
Modern pop and rock have a large audience in Samoa, as do several native bands; these bands have abandoned most elements of Samoan traditional music, though there are folky performers. For a number of early poppers in New Zealand, new dance stlyes were learned not on a trip to Los Angeles, but on a trip to Samoa.

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