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Pokarekare Ana

for flute choir

Year:  2008 Instrumentation:  piccolo, flute 1, flute 2, flute 3, alto flute and optional bass flute

Year:  2008
Instrumentation  piccolo, flute 1, flute 2, ...

David Hamilton

Composer:   David Hamilton

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: pages 1-2

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The Māori people were the earliest settlers in New Zealand, arriving the country about a thousand years ago. This piece belongs to the more recent 'concert party' tradition of Māori music, rather than the traditional pre-European musical forms and styles. Before European contact, the music of the Māori people consisted largely of monophonic chants with very limited range of pitches. The early missionaries brought with them their own musical styles which were soon adopted by the Māori people. Many well-known Māori songs are really a mix of European and early Māori forms.

This arrangement was made in 2008 and is derived in part from previous arrangements I had made some years earlier for choirs. The arrangement does not try to reflect an essentially 'Māori' style.

Pokarekare Ana is one of the best known Māori songs. There continues to be some dispute over who exactly wrote the original version. One account of the writing suggests it was written by a lovelorn young man who had been refused permission to marry his loved one. The song was composed and sung to win over his prospective in-laws.

The words translate as:

As the rippling waters of Rotorua*
Break against its banks
But subside into calmness
When you pass over, My love.

Oh my beloved
Please come back to me
For I will surely die
Of my love for you.

I have written this letter
I have sent my ring
Should your people see them
There may be trouble

*some versions substitute 'Waiapu'