When George S. Kanahele founded the Hawaiian Music Foundation in 1971 he immediately saw the need for a systematic presentation of the whole tradition of Hawaiian music, from its origins in pre-Contact chant and hula, to the adaptation of other musical traditions and instruments, to the extraordinary spread of Hawaiian music as "world music," and finally to the Hawaiian Renaissance that saved the tradition from near-extinction. Compiled with the assistance of a hundred contributors and the research of many more, it was immediately recognized as the most ambitious book ever written about Hawaiian music.
Organized like an encyclopedia, with entries in alphabetical order, the book presents the roots of Hawaiian music, from ancient chants to the flowering of the musical renaissance. There are biographies of musicians from every period of Hawaiian musical history from Henry Berger, David K lakaua, Queen Lili'uokalani, and others of their time, to the great names of the 20th century.
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