Hula is a traditional form of music that has been passed through generations, and this has helped in preserving Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage. The music includes an array of traditional and popular styles, ranging from native Hawaiian folk music to modern hip-hop and pop. In the arena of music, Hawaii has also made a major contribution to country music with the introduction of the steel guitar. Hawaii has its own regional music industry, with various distinctive styles of recorded popular music. Hawaiian popular music is largely stimulated by American popular music, but does have distinctive retentions from traditional Hawaiian music.
Traditional Hawaiian folk music has been a major part of the state’s musical heritage. The Hawaiian people have preserved their traditional musical knowledge. Most of the music is religious in nature, which includes chanting and dance music. The Polynesian islands have had an enormous impact on Hawaiian music for years. The famous music author Peter Manuel also had a large impact on Hawaiian music, and he is called the unifying factor for not only keeping the heritage alive but also modernizing the music.
Renowned music institutions have always been inspired by the old music legacy of the islands. The Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, instituted in the year 1900, has been an important part of the state’s musical history, and it is the oldest orchestra in the western United States. The Orchestra has also instituted other local institutions, like the Hawaii Opera Theatre and the Oahu Choral Society’s Honolulu Symphony Chorus.
Traditional Hawaiian music and dance was functional, used to express praise, and communicate genealogy and mythology, festivals and other secular events. It is believed that the Hawaiian language is wordless and only draws inspiration from music, rhythms, instruments, styles and elements of voice production. Hawaiian folk music is simple in melody and rhythm, but it is also complex and rich in poetry. It accompanies mimetic dance and subtleties of vocal styles.