The Pioneer Company of missionaries (April, 1820) introduced new musical traditions to Hawai‘i – the Western choral tradition, hymns, gospel music, and Western composition traditions. It was one of strophic hymns and psalm tunes from the late-18th century in America. Later on, with the arrival of new missionaries, another hymn tradition was introduced was the gospel tune with verse-chorus alternation. The missionaries also introduced new instrumentation with their songs.
The first hymnal in the Hawaiian language was ‘Nā Hīmeni Hawaii; He Me Ori Ia Iehova, Ka Akua Mau,’ published in 1823. On June 8, 1820, Rev. Hiram Bingham set up the first singing school at Kawaiaha‘o Church. Next time you and others automatically stand, hold hands and sing this song together, you can thank an American Protestant missionary, Lorenzo Lyons, for writing Hawai‘i Aloha – and his expression of love for his home.