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Micronesian music and its universal links – Marianas Variety

MUSIC brings people together. It leads to bonding: for example, between mother and child or between groups. Islanders interviewed by this writer said music also makes people happy.

Oderai Meluat Stol, a Guam resident who was named Micronesia’s best chacha music female artist, has been entertaining island communities and tourists since 1993. She said everyone enjoys and connects with island music regardless of who they are or where they’re from. They respond to the beat whether it is chacha or any other tune, she added.

Oderai Meluat Stol

Oderai is known for giving her 100 percent whenever she performs: projecting her voice and gestures to make sure her interpretation is well received by listeners.

Research indicates that music in different countries encourages cultural bonding between families and their society and among individuals who might otherwise have led solitary lives.

A study by Harvard University published this month stated that songs serve many different purposes: accompanying a dance, soothing an infant or expressing love.

Songs tend to sound similar to anyone, no matter which culture he or she comes from, the study added.

As a result, people listening to songs could make accurate inferences about them, even after hearing only a quick 14-second sampling, the study stated.

“Dance songs were generally faster, rhythmically and melodically complex, and perceived by participants as ‘happier’ and ‘more exciting’; lullabies, on the other hand, were slower, rhythmically and melodically simple, and perceived as ‘sadder’ and ‘less exciting,’ ” stated Samuel Mehr of Harvard University

In Micronesia, traditional and modern tunes continue to connect each islands.

Indigenous music, for its part, is a reflection of the island people’s lifestyle and usually represents daily events that are part of their existence: fishing, toddy cutting and canoe building.

Traditional love songs are about stories that aim to be inspirational and meaningful while chants honor the resilience of time-honored seafarers who once sailed by the stars, the wave patterns and the movements of the birds as well as distant cloud formations.

Oderai Meluat Stol said whenever she sings, “I get into a deep trance — I want to connect to the audience and I sing songs that will suit a particular crowd.”

She said her challenging goal is to overcome the fear of singing the national anthem.

“That song is much respected and should be respected and it requires a high level of seriousness to satisfy listeners who appreciate the song’s significance,” she added.

Source: Google News : http://www.mvariety.com/regional-news/101877-micronesian-music-and-its-universal-links

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