ICTM Liaison Officer - Papua New Guinea

By Faik-Simet, Naomi | Bulletin of the International Council for Traditional Music, April 2009 | Go to article overview

ICTM Liaison Officer - Papua New Guinea


Faik-Simet, Naomi, Bulletin of the International Council for Traditional Music


Papua New Guinea (PNG) continues to be the most culturally diverse country in the world. Many groups here are concerned about the exploitation of cultural expression by other groups within PNG and outsiders. However, many dance and music forms are now taken out of their indigenous contexts to be performed in modern settings. This is evident in the increase of the number of modem shows and festivals in the country. At present music and dance forms in PNG are threatened by these changes.

Fieldwork carried out by Music staff of the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies (IPNGS) in the following years have recorded and documented these changes:

2005 Toare Mini-Mask Festival, Gulf province.

2005 & 2006 Mt Hagen Cultural Show

2006 National Mambu na Garamut Festival, East Sepik province.

2007 Opening of the Toimtop Cultural Resource Center, Toimtop village, East New Britain province.

2007 Mini-Mask Festival, Rofundogum village, East Sepik province.

2008 Mini-Mask Festival, Gulf province.

2008 Yangit Female Initiation Ceremony, East Sepik province.

2008 Saidor Mini-Cultural Show, Madang province.

Overseas Researchers on PNG Music:

Michael Webb from Australia undertook research on church music in Lae in 2007.

Oliver Wilson from New Zealand did research work on popular music recording industry in 2007.

Kirsty Gillespie from Australia was based in Lihir, New Ireland province in 2008 carrying out musical research in this part of the country.

New theses/dissertations on PNG music:

Coulter, Neil R."Music Shift: Evaluating the Vitality and Viability of Music Styles among the Alamblak of Papua New Guinea." PhD dissertation, Kent State University

Gillespie, Kirtsty "Steep Slopes: Song Creativity, Continuity, and Change for the Duna of Papua New Guinea." PhD dissertation, Australian National University, Canberra.

Kteng, Michael "Factors that Impact on the Music Curriculum Implementation in Upper Secondary Schools." Master of Education (Curriculum) thesis, Divine Ward University

Meere, Clare Kuolga "Analysing the Music of the Palga People of Highlands Papua New Guinea via the Process of Recording." MA (Music) thesis, Macquarie University.

Wolffram, Paul "Langoron: Music and Dance Performance Realities among the Lak People of Southern New Ireland, Papua New Guinea." PhD dissertation, Victoria University, Wellington.

Publications. IPNGS has published one new monograph in the series Apwitihire: Studies in Papua New Guinea Musics, nos. 9. Guitar Styles, Opening Tunings, and Stringband Music in Papua New Guinea by Denis Crowdy (2005). This book examines some unique stringband guitar styles and explores different open tunings, playing styles, and how these contribute to regional style differentiation. His study offers an insight into the innovative use of introduced instruments, overseas popular music forms, and provides an example of musical adaptation to societal change through the development of relevant, vernacular styles. …

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