Music in Traditional Exchanges in North Vanuatu

Abstract : Music is a social phenomenon allowing the possibility of indefinite recreations. Depending on the cultures, places, and times, musical exchanges have been locally managed in various ways. Today the rights to copy a particular music are a sensitive topic of current international interest because of the development of the music industry. In Vanuatu custom, a principle close to the concept of intellectual property rights has existed for centuries, for music or other intangible knowledge. Traditionally, not everyone has the right to hand over certain parts of this knowledge ; complex rules must be observed. Although for most sets of music anyone who knows a song can sing it, a certain number of sets are governed by precise rules of transmission. Through examples of ceremonies and specific cases observed in northern Vanuatu, I present various ways in which music can be circulated and exchanged with other valuable objects of traditional currency or even coins of modern currency.
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Contributor : Monika Stern <>
Submitted on : Friday, November 29, 2013 - 6:03:20 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 1:30:38 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-00911757, version 1



Monika Stern. Music in Traditional Exchanges in North Vanuatu. Pacific Studies, The Pacific Institute, Brigham Young University Hawai'i 2013, 36 (1/2), pp.59-76. ⟨hal-00911757⟩



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