New University of Waikato courses to teach Māori instruments

The traditions and performance techniques of taonga pūoro, or traditional Māori musical instruments, will be taught through two courses at the University of Waikato this year.

With strong practical elements in both courses, students will have the opportunity to make their own instruments, learn the history and create their own compositions.

The courses will be led by taonga pūoro composer and practitioner Horomona Horo and will utilise instruments from the taonga pūoro collection which was formally introduced to the University in February 2016.

The collection was commissioned by the University’s Conservatorium of Music from master carver of taonga pūoro Brian Flintoff.

Waikato’s Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences and Faculty of Māori & Indigenous Studies will conjointly offer the courses, called ‘Te Ao Oro: The Māori World of Sound’ and ‘Ngā Taonga Pūoro Mai I Te Ao Tawhito Ki Te Ao Hou: Ancient and Contemporary Music of the Māori’, in 2017.

 “These papers offer a wonderfully warm, open and welcoming pathway into the world of traditional Māori music,” says Associate Professor Martin Lodge of the University’s Conservatorium of Music.

“They are suited to anyone who is interested in this unique world of sound, regardless of background. No previous musical or cultural knowledge is needed, just an open heart, an inquiring attitude and a willingness to contribute,” he says.

The courses may count towards the Tikanga Māori major or minor within the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Social Sciences.  Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Music may also take these papers towards the ‘Māori Musical Instruments in Traditional and Contemporary Contexts’ stream.

They can also be taken as interest papers and are open to all students.

The courses will be taught in English, with Māori terminology introduced as needed.

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