The Rotorua Maori Choir – A History, Discography and Analysis
December 16, 2016 5:54 AM   Subscribe

The June 2016 issue of The Discographer Magazine 3(6) has an extensive article on the 1930 recordings of the Rotorua Maori Choir.
Examples of the recordings can be heard on Youtube.
Further information about Maori song can be found at the NZ Folksong site.

From the article: Jonathan Ward of Excavated Shellac writes these pertinent words on the issue of authenticity in relation to the Maori Choir:
‘...when it comes to early Maori music on 78, this is what we have and little else. Further, these recordings are proudly held as an important part of Maori history and as examples of outstanding Maori music – yes, with the exception of two English hymns, it is their songs, their music, their lyrics, their poetry. And, to offer a comparison, what about the African-American “jubilee quartets” as we had here in the States, who sang a formal gospel style based on European/Western harmonies?

As difficult as it is for me to reconcile direct interference such as this on a recording – whether from missionaries or simply hired guns from a record company– it’s just as difficult for me to judge these fine recordings as being simply “inauthentic."’
posted by OmieWise (5 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
In the word of C. Montgomery Burns: Excellent!
posted by y2karl at 7:55 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Lovely! thanks for sharing. This is a nice start to the weekend.
posted by vespabelle at 8:15 AM on December 16, 2016

This is wonderful, thanks. I grew up in Rotorua and have a very soft spot for Māori choral music after years of exposure to kapa haka and Māori hymns at school.
posted by dashdotdot dash at 8:58 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

posted by spitbull at 9:08 AM on December 16, 2016

Beautiful sounds, authenticity be damned. In their slightly ragged mix of voices, they sound almost like white American southern Sacred Harp singers.
posted by Modest House at 11:39 AM on December 16, 2016

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