About this website


Michael WebbThe website has been developed by Michael Webb of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the University of Sydney, and Hideki Isoda of Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul. It is envisioned that as it develops, the website will explore points of meeting between research, imaginative documentation and representation, as well as teaching. Further, it aims to i) present the results of academic research and documentation; ii) explore ways such research might be applied, to the mutual benefit of its participants, researchers and a wider audience; and iii) promote sound models for the maintenance and sustainable development of performance culture in Melanesia.

We set up the website around our ethnomusicological film, Circling Around in Song, which investigates aspects of several small-scale rural cultures in Vanuatu and their music and dance expressions. Circling Around in Song explores the relationship between singing and moving in mixed-age groups, from the very young to the very old, and the exuberance and intense gladness these practices produce, emotions that ensure human wellbeing, productivity and ultimately thriving.

The website is informational and instructional, and is intended for the following audiences:

  • Ni-Vanuatu and other Melanesians–it is their culture the website celebrates
  • scholars and students of global musical cultures
  • educators at various levels who may wish to include the film and the website’s supplementary materials in their instructional programs
  • individuals who wish to increase their general knowledge of Pacific Islands history, peoples and cultures
  • music therapists and educationists involved in music teaching and learning in communities

How to use this website:

  1. Watch the film.
  2. Click on the film’s annotated links to learn more about the content and contexts.
  3. Visit the Libraries section of the website and study some of the film’s themes in more detail. You can watch additional video footage, look through an extensive photo album, and listen to annotated field recordings including complete versions of performances that occur in the film.
  4. Go to the Forum section of the website and contribute ideas and reflections on the film, and any experiences you may have had with Melanesian music.

You can watch the film free of charge, and freely use the photographic images in the Libraries section, however you must follow the protocol outlined there.