"Sounding the Pacific: Musical Instruments of Oceania" Exhibition

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

poster for "Sounding the Pacific: Musical Instruments of Oceania" Exhibition

This event has ended.

Music is a universal human phenomenon. Musical instruments and musical expression, however, take an almost infinite variety of forms throughout the world. This is especially true in Oceania (the Pacific Islands) whose more than 1,800 different peoples create an astonishing diversity of musical instruments, from familiar types such as drums, flutes, and the Hawaiian 'ukulele, to unusual forms such as slit gongs carved in the form of ancestral catfish, bullroarers whose eerie whirring sounds are said to be the voices of supernatural beings, and delicate stringed instruments with sounding chambers fashioned from palm leaves. From the tropical rain forests of Island Southeast Asia to the deserts of Australia to remote coral atolls, musical instruments in Oceania play central roles in activities ranging from religious rituals and initiations, to feasts, celebrations, courting, and secular entertainment.



from November 17, 2009 to September 06, 2010

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