Re-visioning the impact of missions on music in Papua New Guinea

Gillespie, Kirsty (2013). Re-visioning the impact of missions on music in Papua New Guinea. In Marian Poole (Ed.), re-Visions: Proceedings of the New Zealand Musicological Society and the Musicological Society of Australia Joint Conference (pp. 98-104) Dunedin, New Zealand: New Zealand Music Industry Centre.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Gillespie, Kirsty
Title of chapter Re-visioning the impact of missions on music in Papua New Guinea
Title of book re-Visions: Proceedings of the New Zealand Musicological Society and the Musicological Society of Australia Joint Conference
Place of Publication Dunedin, New Zealand
Publisher New Zealand Music Industry Centre
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
ISBN 9780473242213
Editor Marian Poole
Chapter number 9
Start page 98
End page 104
Total pages 7
Total chapters 29
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
It is commonly perceived by onlookers that the introduction of Christianity into the lives of indigenous peoples in Papua New Guinea and the wider Pacific has had a negative impact on indigenous culture and music-making. While it is widely true that many missions were active in dissuading the performance of some ancestral musical styles, the encounter between missionaries and indigenous peoples is far more complex than a simple one-sided takeover. Indigenous peoples in Papua New Guinea have themselves acted as agents in adopting and reshaping the new musical forms that were used to convey Christian teachings. This paper considers the transmission of one Christian song form from the coast to the Highlands of Papua New Guinea in the 1970s, and which now forms the basis of many songs composed in vernacular languages, both within the church and outside of it.

Taking the music of the Duna people of the Southern Highlands Province as a case study, this paper looks in particular at Duna women’s use of this song form as a vehicle for the expression of their personal and community concerns. Women’s compositional creativity within the musical framework of this song form both represents a new mode of expression, and one that is contiguous with ancestral musical life. The paper reflects on the possibility that this new musical voice may contribute to a more empowered position for Duna women today, and in doing so radically re-visions the outsider’s perception of the Christian musical experience in Papua New Guinea.
Q-Index Code BX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes This is a published conference paper. Originally presented as "Impact of missions in Papua New Guinea" at "Re-Vision: 2010 Joint Conference of the MSA and the NZMS. Hosted by the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand between 2nd and 4th December 2010"

Document type: Book Chapter
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Created: Fri, 25 Oct 2013, 14:27:25 EST by Kirsty Gillespie on behalf of School of Music