Melanesia, one of the traditional ethnogeographic groupings of the Pacific Islands, including (generally from west to east) the island of New Guinea, the Admiralty Islands, and the Bismarck and Louisiade archipelagoes; the Solomon Islands and the Santa Cruz Islands; New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands; Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides); Fiji; Norfolk Island; and numerous smaller islands. The island group is separated from Polynesia in the east by the Andesite Line of extreme volcanic and earthquake activity and from Micronesia in the north (along the equator); it is bounded by the Tropic of Capricorn and Australia in the south. Melanesia's name was derived from the Greek melas, "black," and nesoi, "islands."
In December 1974, just after Cyclone devastated Darwin, we spent a couple of intriguing weeks on Thursday Island (between the Northern tip of mainland Australia and Papua New Guinea). T.I. is not your archetypal tourist destination, but heard the locals involved in group singing on a couple of occasions - no, I didn't have a tape recorder. M Ted describes the music quite accurately, as far as I can recall it.
Any further help still appreciated.