Recovering Samoan Instrumental Music to Promote Cultural Heritage and Enterprise

GCRF Funding Cycle

Principal Investigator
Emma Sutton


ODA countries
Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands

Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 1, Goal 5

This work, led by the School of English, is building a consortium of scholars, musicians and heritage industry staff recovering rare Samoan traditional instrumental music. Developed in collaboration with and in response to Samoan musicians, musicologists and heritage industry staff following 2015 pilot visit, the project addresses two questions: how do we draw together and vitalize players and others with knowledge of this music? And how do we create a context in which this cultural heritage is valued?

The project is supporting the increase of the the value of traditional Samoan musical heritage, tangible and intangible, contributing to a wider Polynesian Renaissance. It is also supporting economic development by building capacity of traditional instrument makers and showcasing their work, increasing public engagement with and enriching pride in Samoan cultural heritage, within Samoa, wider Pacific and local Pacific communities (Leuchars & Edinburgh):

  • Developing museum and education resources on customary music within Samoa
  • Developing legacy resources including recordings and film, hosted online at St Andrews’ Centre for Pacific Studies (CPS)
  • Supporting economic growth by building capacity of instrument-makers in collaboration with Samoan tourism and cultural industry sectors