Music of Guam

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The music of Guam encompasses the works of many Chamorro popular musicians, including KACY, Flora Baza Quan, Daniel De Leon Guerrero, singer-songwriter J. D. Crutch, who is on the local Napu Records and who released a best-selling local album with Guinaifen Manglo. The state song of Guam is "Guam Hymn" by Ramon Sablan, adopted in 1919.[1] Flora Baza Quan is especially notable throughout the territory, and is known as the "Queen of Chamorro Music".[2]

Modern music from Guam includes elements of American, Spanish, Filipino and Polynesian music. The Spanish and Mexicans contributed a type of song called serenetas to the culture of Guam. Some Catholic traditional songs in the Spanish language like "Mil Albricias", "Pastores a Belen", "Santa Maria de la Merced" or "Nochebuena Noche Santa" are preserved.

Music venues and institutions

Music institutions in Guam include the University of Guam's Fine Arts Department, Guam Symphony Society, Guam Choristers, Cantate Guam, and the Gregorian Institute of Guam. The Guam Symphony Society was founded in 1967, and hosts concerts like the Symphony Seaside Concert and the Musikan Famagu'on for children.[3] The two major local record labels are Napu Records and StelStar Records.

Chamorro music

Traditional Chamorro instruments include the belembaotuyan, a hollow gourd stringed instrument, and the nose flute. Kantan singing is also popular. It is a kind of work song, begun by one person teasing another in verse form, and then continuing through a group one individual in turn.

Chamorro chants and Kantan Chamorrita (Chamorrita singing), a kind of Chamorro poetry, are also important elements of Guamanian music. Kantan Chamorrita is a kind of improvised poetry with a call and response format that is documented back to 1602 and remains a vital part of Chamorro culture. In Kantan Chamorrita, individuals and groups trade witty remarks at each other as part of a debate. These songs are "ancient folk songs, arranged in quatrains of two octosyllabic couplets, which, according to some writers, are composed on a single melody, the variations depending on the individual style of performance. The distinctive features are spontaneous improvisation and a dialogue performance between two or more people, depending on the occasion and function."[4]

References

Notes

  1. ^ Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities
  2. ^ Guam State Song
  3. ^ Guam Symphony Society
  4. ^ Bailey, Kim, cited at Guampedia and introduced as "an ethnomusicologist who studied the Chamorita in the 1980s in Guam and Rota"

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