European and American traditions have obviously influenced New Zealand composition, as exemplified on the work of John Psathas, who draws on his Greek heritage.
Over the last forty years, since Jack Body lived in Indonesia and established an extensive Asian network, there has been a strong Asian influence, with individual New Zealand composers, such as Ross Carey, studying in Japan, and individuals or performing groups bringing classical and folk music from Korea, the Philippines, Japan, India, China and elsewhere.
The influence of Japanese music is strong, but the area of Asian music most visibly represented in New Zealand is the Indonesian gamelan, with orchestras taught by Indonesian exponents resident in four main universities. New compositions written for the ensembles by many New Zealand and Indonesian composers are played alongside traditional repertoire, and Wellington’s Gamelan Padhang Moncar has travelled on several occasions to international new music festivals in Indonesia.
Recently there has been a strong Chinese influence also, with Jack Body’s opera Alley performed in 1998, and with composers Gao Ping and Shen Na Lin now resident in New Zealand.