Native American music


Also found in: Wikipedia.

Native American music.

The music of Native North Americans is primarily a vocal art, usually choral, although some nations favor solo singing. Native American music is entirely melodic; there is no harmony or polyphony, although there is occasional antiphonal singing between soloist and chorus. The melody is, in general, characterized by a descending melodic figure; its rhythm is irregular. There is no conception of absolute pitch and intonation can appear uncertain, the result of the distinctive method of voice production, involving muscular tension in the vocal apparatus and making possible frequent strong accents and glissandos. Singing is nearly always accompanied, at least by drums. Various types of drums and rattles are the chief percussion instruments. Wind instruments are mainly flutes and whistles.

For the Native American, song is traditionally the chief means of communicating with the supernatural powers, and music is seldom performed for its own sake; definite results, such as the bringing of rain, success in battle, or the curing of the sick, are expected from music. There are three classes of songs—traditional songs, handed down from generation to generation; ceremonial and medicine songs, supposed to be received in dreams; and modern songs, showing the influence of European culture. Songs of heroes are often old, adapted to the occasion by the insertion of the new hero's name. Love songs often are influenced by the music of whites and are regarded as degenerate by many Native Americans.

See also North American Native artNorth American Native art,
diverse traditional arts of Native North Americans. In recent years Native American arts have become commodities collected and marketed by nonindigenous Americans and Europeans.
..... Click the link for more information.
; Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
..... Click the link for more information.
.

Bibliography

See F. Densmore, The American Indians and Their Music (rev. ed. 1936); C. Kaywood, A Bibliography of North American Folklore and Folksong (1951); C. Hofman, American Indians Sing (1967); and many books by F. Densmore on music of individual tribes (most repr. 1972).

References in periodicals archive ?
Two unforgettable performances from artists who have magically blended Native American music with Jazz and Latin immigrant narratives with Americana.
Last year Duncan was honored with the "Artist of the Year" award at the 2013 Native American Music Awards for his album Earth Warrior.
Canyon Records upholds its fine tradition of sharing authentic Native American music with the public in three vivid new releases.
Her music video The Miracle of Us is a Native American Music Award Winner.
In addition to performing traditional and original Native American music, often with his son Jesse, his experiences include running a college program in a maximum security prison, three years of teaching in West Africa, and four decades of studying and teaching martial arts.
Created by the composer-librettist Augusta Cecconi-Bates UE, this opera was nominated for the Native American Music Award in 2009.
Encyclopedia of Native American music of North America.
Paula Conlon teaches graduate and undergraduate Native American and world music classes at the University of Oklahoma along with experiential seminars on Native American music and dance.
The Federal Music Project announced in a 1937 press release that, except for Native American music, the "oldest folk music in America .
Since then he has released three albums that generated two national awards (Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year at the 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards, and Male Artist of the Year at the 2009 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards), one international award (Best Folk Recording at the 2011 Native American Music Awards), one regional award (Aboriginal Recording of the Year at the 2011 Western Canadian Music Awards) and 14 additional nominations.
Native American music, as well as presentations about basket-making, local caves and dugout canoes, was also part of yesterday's program.

Full browser ?