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Traditional musical dance of Rapa Nui (Easter Island).
Traditional musical dance of Rapa Nui (Easter Island).

Easter Island is located in the Pacific Ocean. Though its earliest inhabitants, the Rapa Nui People, are ethnically Polynesian, the island is part of the South American state of Chile. The music of the island combines influences from both cultures.


Traditional music from the island consists of choral singing and chanting, similar to Tahitian music. Families often performed as choirs, competing in an annual concert. They were accompanied by a trumpet made from a conch shell and a percussive dancer jumping onto a stone which is set over a calabash resonator. Other instruments include the kauaha, the jaw bone of a horse; upaupa; an accordion; and stones, which are clapped together for percussive effect.

Due to ongoing contacts with Chile and elsewhere in South America, Latin American music has had influences on the music of Easter Island. Tango, for example, has spawned an Easter Island style called tango Rapanui, characterized by a simple guitar accompaniment instead of the frenetic bandoneon.

The first music school on the island was opened in 2012 by Mahani Teave, and teaches piano, cello, ukulele, and violin.[1][2]

See also


  1. ^ Edwards, Isabel Custer (13 January 2017). "The Music School on the Most Isolated Island in the World". Huffington Post. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Pianist Mahani Teave launches international campaign to build a music school in Easter Island". This is Chile. Retrieved 23 November 2017.