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‘Hawaiian Music and Musicians’

George S. Kanahele’s classic encyclopedic completely revised and updated.

October 25, 2012
The Maui Weekly

George S. Kanahele published his monumental "Hawaiian Music and Musicians: An Illustrated History" in 1979. Compiled with the assistance of a hundred contributors and the research of many more, it was immediately recognized as the most ambitious book ever written about Hawaiian music.

In 2000, Dr. Kanehele asked veteran music critic John Berger to work with him on a second edition; Dr. Kanahele died a few months later. It took Berger another dozen years to complete this revised and updated "Hawaiian Music and Musicians: An Encyclopedic History." The new edition has doubled in length, with almost every entry revised and updated, and with almost 100 new ones.

The book is arranged alphabetically, with entries on Hawaiian music from its roots in ancient chants to the flowering of the musical renaissance in Hawai'i. It describes leading personalities and groups, organizations, songs and publications, and discusses the extraordinary popularity of Hawaiian music around the world.

Article Photos

John Berger has covered entertainment in Honolulu for 40 years. He has been writing about music, theater and social events of all kinds for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (formerly the Honolulu Star-Bulletin) since 1988.

There are biographies of musicians from every period of Hawaiian musical history--from Henry Berger, David Kalakaua, Queen Lili'uokalani, and others of their time, to the great names of the 20th century.

There are major articles on chant, slack key, steel guitar, 'ukulele, himeni, falsetto, Hawaiian orchestras, humor in Hawaiian music, radio, television, the recording industry, and more. Definitive essays tell the story of all the ancient and modern musical instruments, and the most loved and important songs of the last 150 years.

Many rare photographs of historical interest are among the illustrations featuring singers, chanters, dancers and instrumentalists. They appear in a special 64 pages photo insert. Melody lines, chants and rhythm patterns are illustrated by music notation.

The edition, a paperback with 976 pages plus 64 pages of photographs, sells for $35 and is available wherever books are sold, at or by calling (808) 732-1709.



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