Taonga Puoru

Singing Treasures

Taonga Puoru
Brian Flintoff
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NZ$ 39.99
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Taonga Puoro - Singing Treasures is the first book to be published that comprehensively covers the world of Maori musical instruments, a fascinating and little-known area of traditional Maori culture. The book has been written by master carver and Maori instrument maker Brian Flintoff. Brian is a founding member of Te Haumanu (a group of dedicated Maori music players and instrument makers developed under the leadership of the late Dr Hirini Melbourne), which has been primarily responsible for the revival of this art form. Taonga Puoro includes a background to the tunes played on these instruments and the families of natural sounds with which they are associated. There are sections covering the various types of instruments, such as flutes, gourds, wood and shell trumpets and bullroarers; but what really breathes life into this book is the way that the technical information about each instrument is interwoven with the mythological and cultural context to which it belongs. In addition, instructions are given for making and playing these singing treasures, as well as an explanation to help understand Maori art forms. This is a particularly elegant and beautiful package, heavily illustrated with colour photographs of exquisite contemporary instruments, as well as ancient taonga held in museums around the world. The book also comes with a CD sampler, compiled from a selection of recent releases and featuring tracks of contemporary Maori music and the natural sounds which inspires it.