Traditional Native American Music

Native American Music
Indian music is conducted by the first peoples living in America. Also called "Indians", Native Americans are the indigenous peoples whose presence before any colonization. Organized as a real empire or simple tribe, we found traces on the continent where there are the North-Indian, Meso-American Indians, Amerindians of the Caribbean and South American Indians. It is now difficult to measure the exact place of music in lost civilizations, but the musical archeology can provide some information as the study of instruments collected by the various figurations. The renewed interest in recent decades for these people has probably saved some of the oral heritage still in their possession, weakened by a difficult coexistence with the modern world, this revival is also a threat to this heritage, by assimilation with elements of alien cultures (European or African descent).

Indian music includes pre-Columbian music, but also that the Indians have continued to practice over and despite the initial contacts, or margin thereof. It is characterized by a wide variety of aerophones of membranophones and idiophones, with very few Chordophones. There is no known or Treaty Indian music system, music is as varied as the number of people and is just a social function, essential identity or worship. It is often associated with prohibitions or taboos, is often reserved for men, singles, etc.. If it is generally very simple and monophonic, there are nevertheless examples of polyphonic music, orchestral. The instrumentarium is very rich because of variations in language, culture and natural (wide variety of plants used), but the strings are very rare because of the absence of metal.

North American Indians
These tribes (Native Americans, American Indians, First Nations, "Plains Indians," Indian timber ") living primarily in Canada, the United States and Mexico: Abenaki, Aymara, Algonquin, Aleut, Apache , Athabaskan, Blackfeet, Cherokee, Comanche, Cree, Creek, Dakota, Hopi, Huron, Innu, Iroquois, Kiowa, Lakota, Maliseet, Metis, Mi'kmaq, Mohawk, Mohican, Muskogee, Navajo, Natchez, Ojibwa, Paiute, Pawnee, Pueblo , Salish, Seminole, Shoshone, Sioux, Tohono O'odham, Yupiit, Yurok, Zuni.

Archaeological investigations have demonstrated the existence of North Indian music since the seventh century, but the first written records only go back to the time of the conquistadors, and the first academic studies have begun in the nineteenth century.

The vocal music is usually syllabic and can be solo, or responsorial chorus, in unison or more rarely in polyphony. It is accompanied by drums, rhombus and scrapes with the rate increases as. Among the songs in full (often interspersed with songs syllabic), there are secrets (for ceremonies) and public (for the history, harvesting, licensing, etc..). The ritual declamations are also considered songs, and hymns that refer to tribal flags. There are also songs courtesy of healing songs, singing and dancing to folk tunes inspired by European immigrants.

Music plays an important social role of oral transmission of tribal culture and maintain their identity - it remains questionable given that the first written reports are due to immigrants. Tradition tells how it is inherited from the deities, rituals marked by their creator or their tribe.

Although styles and uses are varied, it is a fact common among tribes is the link between music and power: the staff musician at first, but also singing and ritual, and deities invoked.

Many instruments, music or songs are reserved for men or women, who are often extra singers or dancers.

Historically the style of "Great Basin" seems to be the oldest and most widespread, it may be originating from Mexico and it has spread then with simple rhythms and pentatonic scales. He may have been influenced by three styles from Asia by the Bering Strait.

The pan-tribalism is the syncretic adoption of traditions from external communities. In response to the creation of the United States and Canada, Indians have forged a common identity by inventing the pan-tribal music with powwows, peyote songs and the ghost dance ( "dance of ghosts") sun dance ( "Sundance") and grass dance ( "grass dance"). Often it is syllabic songs ranging beyond the various languages.

In addition to vocal and percussive traditions of each tribe, there are also pan-tribal music such as modern poetry sung to John Trudell, the peyote songs of Verdell Primeaux and Johnny Mike, the Waila (chicken scratch) for Joaquin Brothers Metis music and jazz, funk or soul of Martha Redbone.

This arid area from California to Mexico is home to Athabaskans (split in Navajo and Apache tribes) that mono nasal singing, accompanied by drums or "violin apache" tsii'edo'a'tl ( "wood that sings"). This simple music resembles that of "Great Basin" with a strophic form, the use of falsetto, ladders or tritonic tetratonic and melodic intervals typically a fourth or a fifth.

The Pueblos sing mono low, slow and complex (in five sections divided into several sentences. With the Hopi and Zuni, the Taos Pueblo has one of the richest music of the continent, employing a variety of musical scales (or hexatonique heptatonic) a register of two octaves. The music of the Pima and Papago is quite similar.

The Yuman (Pomos, MIWAK, Luiseno, Catalineno, Gabrielino, Mohave, Havasupai and Maricopa) use of pentatonic scales without semitones, simple rhythms, a register of an octave in the song sank without tension. They also make use of a controlled elevation of the height of sounds composing a melody in sections of structured notes grouped.

Eastern Woodlands
This area includes the eastern United States and Canada and is the Mississippi River to the Atlantic, it is distinguished by the unique use of antiphonal structure or responsorial by North American Indians. The songs are rhythmically complex, with frequent changes of meter and shouting anhémitoniques pentatonic scale (without half-tone). The flutes and whistles are solo instruments, and numerous drums or squeegees are also used. You meet more complex styles among the Creeks, Yuchi, Cherokee, Choctaw, Iroquois, Algonquin, Delawares, Shawnees and Penobscot.

Great Plains
This area lies at the heart of the continent from Canada to the Midwest. This music is monophonic, and singing, using nasal pitch or frequency high falsetto, is divided into repetitive stanzas. We will use big drums and flutes. The tribes involved are the Blackfoot, Crow, Lakota, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa and Comanches, whose music is heavily dependent Plains Pueblo. This music is characterized by extreme vocal tension, a record of almost an octave with a strong use of perfect fourths tetratonic ladder and descended remedy of melody.

Great Basin
This area includes the desert region of Utah, Nevada and Oregon (with the Paiute, Ute, Shoshone, Modoc and Klamath). This music is simple, monophonic, discreet and ornate, characterized by short melodies matched (AA BB CC AA BB CC) and repeated in the register an octave below (perfect fit) and scales tetratonic (sometimes Ditone or triton), with songs in the voice relaxed. This style has spread to the "Great Plains" by the Ghost Dance religion. Due to its isolation, this music is considered the original source of many others of the continent.

North Shore-West
This area extends from British Columbia to Washington state and is populated by the Kwakwaka'wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, Tsimshian, Makah, Quileute and those forming the Salish Nation (Nlaka'pamux, Nuxalk and Sliammon ). This music is monophonic with an open voice, but also with polyphony are bumblebees and intervals to form parallel and antiphonal responsorial. Long chromatic melodies declamatory rhythms also characterize the complex and the use of a very rich instrumentation, including whistles, flutes, trumpets and drums.

This area includes Alaska, the Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut and Greenland, populated by the Inuit who are not regarded as a Native American people first. The Inuit music is simple and is well in hand including a throat-singing fun rare in this continent, melodies to register a small sixth, prominences third, effects or declamatory recitatives with repetitive and rhythmic little more complex consists of an accompanying frame drum or box drum. The presence of primitive violin tautirut debate because they did not know if it is an ancient instrument, or derivative of those settlers.

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