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Polynesia is a group of island chains spread across much of the Pacific Ocean, and includes many countries and territories. Internationally, Polynesian music is mostly associated with twinkling guitars, grass skirts and beautiful relaxing sounds, Hawaiian hula and other tourist-friendly forms of music. While these elements are justifiably a part of Polynesian history and Polynesian culture, there is actually a wide variety of music made in the far-flung reaches of Polynesia.
In the 1790s, Christian missionaries arrived in Polynesia for the first time. Hymns and other forms of Christian music were instituted, and native musical genres were driven underground and prohibited. Soon, traditional polyphonic singing was merged with Christian styles and church singing, and along with brass bands became an important part of Polynesian music culture across the Pacific.