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Music transmission in an Auckland Tongan community youth band

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This article reports on findings from a 2006 ethnographic study of a Tongan community youth band in Auckland, New Zealand. To begin, the study's rationale is discussed in relation to previous research, followed by a description of the band's repertoire and rehearsal strategies, instrumentation and uniforms, notational practices and institutional context. The youth band's role in the Tongan community of Auckland is then considered in relation to previous descriptions of community music. The band's significance in terms of musical identity and its socio-economic context are also examined, followed by a discussion of this study's implications for community music workers in other settings. The findings suggest that community ensembles rooted in musical hybridity may generate innovative models of music learning and play a unique role in cultural preservation.
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Keywords: New Zealand; Polynesia; Tonga; community band; hybridity; youth

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Boston University.

Publication date: 2008-05-01

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  • The International Journal of Community Music publishes research articles, practical discussions, timely reviews, readers' notes and special issues concerning all aspects of Community Music. The editorial board is composed of leading international scholars and practitioners spanning diverse disciplines that reflect the scope of Community Music practice and theory.
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