Tikopia Songs - Poetic and Musical Art of a Polynesian People of the Solomon Islands View larger

Tikopia Songs - Poetic and Musical Art of a Polynesian People of the Solomon Islands



This book shows how the poetry and music of a Polynesian people, the Tikopia, can have an intimate relation with their social life.

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£ 80.00

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Raymond Firth, With Mervyn McLean

Sir Raymond Firth is one of the most distinguished British anthropologists, and one internationally acclaimed. His work here forms part of one of the fullest and most professional ethnographic accounts by any anthropologist of a non-industrial people, an account which extends over many years. This book is about the songs of a Western Pacific people, the Tikopia, who not so long ago lived entirely on a small remote island of the Solomons. Their songs vary from lively dance chants to mournful funeral laments. All are novel to western ears. The book provides about 100 examples, in text and translation. It also discusses the relation of the songs to the social life of the people, and it includes an analysis of the structure of their music, by Mervyn McLean, a noted musicologist.

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20 b/w illus.


  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Part I. General: 1. The nature of Tikopia song
  • 2. Tikopia poetic language and imagery
  • 3. Funeral and mourning as musical occasions
  • 4. Dance and song
  • Part II. Musical Analysis Mervyn McLean: 5. The structure of Tikopia music
  • Part III. Song Texts, Translations and Commentary: 6. Dance songs of everyday life
  • 7. Songs of the sea and of travel
  • 8. Eulogies and farewells
  • 9. Songs of protest and criticism
  • 10. Songs of erotic arousal and sex antagonism
  • 11. Laments and funeral dirges
  • 12. Songs on historical and mythic themes, and of ritual quality
  • 13. Epilogue
  • Appendices
  • References
  • Index.

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