Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies Music Department

The Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies (IPNGS) is a government-funded cultural research institution established in 1974, under the National Cultural Council. Ulli Beier served as the first director until 1978. Subsequently, the directors have included Kumalau Tawali, John Kolia, Andrew Strathern, Jacob Simet, and Ralph Wari. Don Niles is presently acting director.

From the very beginning, IPNGS has been concerned with the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of research on the many cultures of the country. It is one of the major cultural research institutions in Papua New Guinea.

Since the start of IPNGS, the Music Department has been documenting the many music and dance traditions of the country. Of course, a main focus is on traditional forms, but we are interested in all types of music and dance here, such as, popular, Christian, and military bands, as well.

The largest archive of Papua New Guinea music recordings has been established, with presently over 10,000 hours of recordings, made on tape, cassettes, records, video tape, and compact discs. These reflect our own work, as well as that of overseas researchers, and the output of local studios. Additionally, historical recordings of PNG music going back to 1898 have been repatriated to us from archives in Germany, Austria, France, Finland, Great Britain, Hungary, Australia, and the United States.

Complimenting the archive is a large collection of printed materials about music and dance in the country. These resources combine to make the archive the centre for research on this subject. Accordingly, we liaise with many other institutions and individuals, and have membership in numerous international organisations.

As with the other sections of the IPNGS, the Music Department has issued numerous publications. Presently, there is a series of cassette and disc recordings, a monograph series (Apwitihire), and a journal (Kulele). Our publications are widely used in the school system and have been well received overseas.

The Institute can be contacted at:

address: Box 1432, Boroko 111, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
tel.: +675 325-4644
fax: +675 325-0531
email: ipngs@global.net.pg