Culture - NZ
The earliest settlers from Britain, arriving around the beginning of the 19th century, brought their traditions with them, with church music, dance music and strong brass and pipe band traditions established early on. A folksong tradition gradually emerged, and from around 1840, theatrical performances were taking place, leading to the establishment of amateur performances of operas and musicals, and frequent visits by professional companies by the early 20th century. Singing around the piano was commonplace, and piano music for dance or salon performance was composed from the mid-nineteenth century.
After World War II and the arrival of air travel, even small towns had a thriving musical tradition, with frequent home-grown and international performances, high educational standards, competition societies, choirs, orchestras and dance bands, with most radio stations broadcasting live performance.
Today, New Zealand has outstanding choral, brass and pipe band traditions, five professional and semi-professional orchestras, a thriving composer community, an active popular music scene, six universities offering post-graduate degrees in music, several new music ensembles and many professional musicians working at home and internationally.