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Hawaii Music Bar

Hawaiian Music

List of Hawaiian Music Artists by Genre, Hawaiian Music On-Line Retailers,
and Hawaiian Internet Radio Stations

List of Hawaiian Radio Stations for all the Hawaiian Islands

History and Culture

A major part of Hawaiian culture is music.  Hawaiian music combines the sounds of the ancient Islanders who beat drums, blew conch shells, and chanted to their gods. It contains the styles of 19th-century Christian missionaries who taught Islanders to sing in four-part harmony.  The Hawaiians get praise for three contributions to music history; slack-key guitar, steel guitar and the ukulele. The slack key guitar (a tuning effect achieved by loosening the strings) is a favorite in Hawaiian music. The steel guitar is played horizontally with a metal slide.  The ukulele is used in many modern styles and blends of Reggae, Rock and traditional Hawaiian music, as a lead and rhythm instrument.

For a good sampling of today’s Hawaiian music look for Pure Hawaiian and Pure Hawaiian Elua.  While in Hawaii check listings in local papers for information on concerts. When you hear the music, you'll know it's Hawaiian.

Types of Hawaiian Music

Hapa Haole – A style that literally means “part white and part Hawaiian,” where English lyrics are dedicated to Hawaiian themes.

Slack Key – A style which utilizes a slack-key guitar, a guitar with loosened strings.

Steel Guitar – A style which utilizes the steel guitar, a guitar with metal strings played by sliding a metal bar over the fretted neck.

Ukulele – A distinctive sound from a fretted four-stringed instrument. Today there are also ukuleles with eight or nine strings.

Falsetto – A vocal style using a singing skill that produces sounds pitched higher than the singer's normal range.

Jawaiian – Jamaican sounds combined with a unique Hawaiian touch.

Contemporary – Modern Hawaiian music that often blends popular Hawaiian and English lyrics.

Traditional – Genuine lyrics sung in Hawaiian usually set to steel guitar, slack-key guitar, or ukulele.

Chants – Chanting was a ritual in ancient Hawaii to uphold history, honoring gods and goddesses and categorizing lineages. Chanting can be heard either stand alone, set to music, or accompanied by an ipu (gourd drum) or pahu (sharkskin drum).

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