Pan Am Music From And Inspired By The Original Series Native American Musical Styles

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Native American Musical Styles

Music is an important part of Native American culture. According to many researchers, Native American music is the most complex music due to the volume, volume, and variety of drum beats.

Their traditional music is primarily religious in nature and is the main means of communication with supernatural forces. Generally, it is passionate and often vocal. This passion has greatly influenced modern folk music. All their music is melodic, disharmonic, unusual and irregularly rhythmic. The main instruments they use are drums, rattles, flutes and whistles. Men and women often sing separate songs and have their own dances that reflect eternal balance and harmony.

The music of the hundreds of Native American tribes varies, but there are some common elements in their musical traditions. Tribal groups can be grouped by musical tradition into six regions (Eastern Woodland, Southwest, Great Basin, Plains, Northwest Coast, and Arctic).

The Eastern Forest region includes the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, Iroquois, and Shawnee tribes. Their music is antiphonal (responsible response) and includes frequent changes of scale, rhythmic complexity, close association with ritual dances, flutes, drums, rattles, etc.

The Great Basin is a sparsely populated region that includes the Shoshoni, Ute, Modoc, and Klamath tribes. Their music is very simple, detached and elegant. It has a short tone of less than an octave, a calm, open voice, a double phrase structure, and moderate mixed monophony (with a single vocal part).

The Great Plains includes tribes such as the Blackfeet, Crow, Comanche, and Cheyenne. Their music has a nasal tone, high pitch, and frequent falsetto. It uses instruments such as a bass drum and flute with a solo ending.

The Southwest region includes tribes such as the Pueblo (including the Hopi, Zuni, and Pueblo tribes) and the Athabaskan (including the Navajo and Apache). Athabaskan music has a fast, simple style of nasal vocals, disjointed monophony, and uses instruments such as drums, rattles, and Apache fiddles. Pueblo music is quite complex and includes slow tempos, varied forms, the use of several percussion instruments, and low-range, highly blended monophony.

The Northwest Coast includes the Nootka, Tsimshian, and Salish tribes. Their music is some of the most complex in North America. It has monophonic, compound and declarative (dramatic or rhetorical) rhythms with open voices and long melodies with chromatic intervals. It uses a variety of instruments such as whistles, flutes, horns and percussion.

The Arctic region includes the Inuit, who are known for their throat singing. Their music is simple and uses a narrow range of melodies, declarative effects and box drums.

Like other musical styles, Native American music is evolving. In addition to pan-tribal styles (incorporating music from foreign communities) such as powwow and peyote, local musicians have developed unique styles of rock, blues, hip-hop, and reggae. Martha Redbone, the leading Native American musician of the century, successfully combined traditional music with soul, funk, rock, and jazz.

Tribal music is very popular today, especially Native American flute recordings. In the early 1990s, R. Carlos Nakai, the most famous indigenous flutist of our time, inspired countless people to take up the flute. The Native American drum is a popular musical instrument among Native Americans as well.

Unfortunately, efforts to assimilate Native Americans into our culture began in the early 1900s, when many cultural traditions, including music, were banned. It was only in the late 1940s that the assimilation rule began to disappear. Lucky for us, there is a resurgence of Native American music.

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