History of the Music of Oceania.

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 10th gradeA, March 2007

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Australian music has very interesting traditions. It has greatly metamorphosed from its tribal Aboriginal roots to include popular music of today such as Hip/Hop and Rock. When one thinks of Australia, one would automatically think of people who eat Vegemite and who say good day mate, especially of the Great Barrier Reef, and of the Outback (maybe even the restaurant!). While this may be true, this is only one aspect of an entirely rich culture.

History Australia is part of the region known as Oceania. Oceania is made up of many different areas that include the Torres Strait Islands as well as New Zealand and Indonesia and many other islands. Australia has been inhabited by Aborigines for more than 42,000 years. During this time, the culture has been influenced by many European nations. In the 18th century, Australia was used as a prison continent. Many were fearful of being sent to the new world with the barbarous natives.

This is quite similar to the jail system of today. Before European imperialism, Aboriginal population was close to one million. After this takeover, native population declined greatly. Today the average population of all people as of December, 2005, was around 20,452,300.

Musical Forms The music of Australia has played an important part of the Aboriginal way of life. For example, many songs tell a story of family life and history. These are known as clan songs. Bunggul, another musical form, illustrates the journeys of heroes much like the epics of Ulysses and Gilgamesh. Bunngul is widely known for its intense lyrics as well. Theses lyrics often times repeat unaccompanied because the music has ended. A very important musical form found in Australia is the Death Wail. The Death Wail is a funeral song that expresses grief for the dead. This song can...