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Music in the world of the Tribe

"If music be the food of love then play". So said William Shakespare, famous writer.

But music doesn`t just conjure up feelings of love - music means different things to different people from feelings of love to anger, jealousy to betrayal, despair to drama - and also happiness and comedy.

And right now to many in New Zealand music means two words - Tribe album! And the album WILL be out early next year in Europe...

This Worldview article looks at music in the Tribe and to start off it asks this question -


"What would music be like in the world of the Tribe?"

In the Tribe there are no adults. None at all. Instead a world full of children and teenagers who survived the mysterious "virus".

Without adults many of the things we take for granted today would no longer exist as they do today - in the Tribe there is no radio, television, internet, magazines, or popular music industry.

But music still survives in different forms and from our investigation of the world of The Tribe, music exists in the following ways:

Tribal pop stars?

No new CDs are made, no new singles to buy in the shops, no groups going on round the world tours, no music television or music videos to watch on tv - but music is still there to be heard in The Tribe!

In the world of the Tribe, different characters still play music - some of them do music as a hobby. In Series 1, Patsy and Paul learn to play the piano and are given lessons by Salene until the piano meets its demise at the hands of accident-prone Ryan. So in one sense music exists as it does today and always has done - as a hobby that individual people do for pleasure (even though it may sound dreadful to anyone else listening, that`s why they need to practise!).

Music as a profession

Others like Sasha in Series 1 do music as a profession. Sasha is a travelling one-man band and plays his flute and drums as he tours around Tribeworld, earning food friends and a place to stay along the way. Music is his way of life - and his profession. So that`s the same way music is in the real world today as well - music as an occupation.

Would there be Tribal pop stars in the world of the Tribe? Not in the sense that pop stars exist today - with big releases of CD albums, tours, music videos, interviews. But in the Tribe there are pop stars to a certain degree who play in clubs. In Series 2, Lips, Teeth and Dimples are popular singers who are "voices for hire" and sing in clubs or wherever there is a paying audience who wants to hear them perform. So Tribal pop stars? Yes, to a certain degree.


From "ug uga" caveman to 16-bit 48khz 5.1 surround sound

So music exists in the Tribe - but what would the music sound like? In the world of the Tribe there is no national power grid to provide electricity for radio, internet - let alone CD players to plug in the power outlet at home.

But there are batteries - and battery powered steroes and discmans or walkmans could be listened to. And battery powered speakers could be used to play loud music.

There is an interesting relationship between technology and music that has always existed. Indeed, music evolves in line with technological changes - and when technology has changed in the world of the Tribe (due to there being no adults) then the music changes too.

For example, the first music was probably vocal - words (or grunts!) sung by a group of cavepeople thousands and thousands of years ago. But then one day, somebody would have invented the first proper instruments - in Africa, drums were made with the pelts and skins of hunted animals. And with that technology permitting drums, that opened up the possibilities of music.

Likewise in Polynesia, somebody picked up a conch shell on the beach and blew into it - creating one of the first wind instruments. Somebody in Europe picked up some wood with a hole in it, blew in it and invented the first rudimentary flute.

If we skip forward thousands of years to the early 20th century, electricity and fine metals were important additions to the already then existing wooden stringed guitar - creating the electrical guitar. And with amplification and effects such as distortion and reverb, the world of music again expanded. And today we have digital music in perfect 48khz quality sound - and with things like MIDI, any music can be done anywhere in the world.

So what instruments would be played in the Tribe when the technology has changed? We know from the series that pianos, drums, ordinary acoustic guitars (rather than electric ones), flutes, pipes - and good old fashioned singing and whistling - still exists. But things like electric guitar, electric powered synthesiers and keyboards, proper amplification (as opposed to battery powered speakers) - these things do not exist anymore.

This means rock music and heavy metal with its distorted guitar is no more - as is the creation of new dance or techno music with its electronic synthesised instrumentation. These music types can still be heard in the world of the Tribe on CDs or tapes - but as far as playing or creating new music, this simply can`t be done because the actual technology doesn`t allow it anymore.

Play it again, Sasha

Would there be new instruments in the world of the Tribe? We at Cloud 9 feel the answer is a resounding "yes".

Just because there are no adults or electricity, this doesn`t mean there would never be any more inventions - far from it, look at what Jack and Dal can come up with.

We feel that characters n the world of the Tribe would improvise and be able to invent new musical instruments out of the materials they are able to use - be it dustbin lids or scraps of metal (or cars) to make percussion instruments, to new types of wind instrument made of old pipes or tubes.

There would even be rubber bands left over from the "old world" and these could make instruments. And bits of wire or plastic could be used to create new types of string instruments.

Music is far from over in the world of the Tribe - it would take new forms and is only just beginning

Music and the way you do things

As mentioned above, there would be no expressions and instruments of popular culture (like the Internet, magazines, television, radio) that would shape culture and style in the world of the Tribe.

Instead, life would be more shaped by individual behaviour and each person`s own way of doing things, as well as the way a particular Tribe of people would behave.

We feel this would all affect music - without the global popular music industry (as today), instead individuals would come up with new musical styles to express themselves. There would be no cataloguing and separation of music into particular styles like heavy metal, funk, jazz, classical, dance, techno, rap - instead, music would probably become a fusion of all these types.

So we feel without the big influences on music today (radio, television) that music would evolve more according to the artistic influences of people. Artistic influences would become more important than other influences (radio, television).

What do you think?

Shakespeare thought "music is the food love". Above is how we feel music would exist in the Tribe.

But what do you think? How would music exist in the world of the Tribe? As a viewer of the Tribe - and user of this website - what d`ya think?

If you have any thoughts or comments, why not put them in Tribe Talk?

Coming Soon....Love, Slavery and Christmas in the Tribe!