"My Summit Where I Sit": Form and Content in Maori Women's Love Songs
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It is still widely assumed, despite the writings of Ruth Finnegan (esp. 1977:73-87) and others, that the composition of oral poetry necessarily involves improvisation. But most traditional Maori songs, for example, were prior composed, and their texts were fixed, in that a song might be memorized and sung in the same form over a period of many years (though on other occasions the words would be adapted to fi t new circumstances, and the process of oral transmission might also bring about some changes).
Oral Tradition, 5/2-3 (1990): 185-204.
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