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Old Ceremonial Traditions  Song is short – similar to nursery rhyme; presented in large group and part of elaborate ceremonies/rituals Peyote ceremony.

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Presentation on theme: "Old Ceremonial Traditions  Song is short – similar to nursery rhyme; presented in large group and part of elaborate ceremonies/rituals Peyote ceremony."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Old Ceremonial Traditions  Song is short – similar to nursery rhyme; presented in large group and part of elaborate ceremonies/rituals Peyote ceremony of Plains tribes – each singer sings 4 songs  Yeibechai of Navajo  Hako of Pawnee  medicine-bundle ceremonies of Northern plains  the Blackfoot Sun Dance which is a major religious ritual of tribes in U.S.

3 Native American Cultures and Music  One to two thousand tribal groups in North American(each tribe about 1000 members) speaking distinct languages  Each tribe had own musical culture, repertory, style, and ideas about music.  They used songs in ceremonies to accompany dance and to draw boundaries between subdivisions of society such as age, clan, gender.  Culture areas in U.S. –Anthropologists classified about 6-8 groups  Each culture area had unique characteristics:  Types of housing- wooden houses, teepees, cliff dwellings  Ways of acquiring/preparing food- fished, hunt buffalo, grew corn  Clothing  Religion – guardian spirits, complex ceremonial life  Economic/political structure – rigid class structure with slaves, informal egalitarian societies,

4 Unity/Diversity in Native American Music  Music is homogeneous, monophonic, usually vocal  Few distinct singing styles – all have tense sound, pulsations on longer notes.  All singing accompanied by percussion (drums/rattles)  3 types of song predominate  Strophic–folk/hymn-like, stanza is repeated many times  2 contrasting section of music(one higher)alternate.  Very short songs of 1-2 lines repeated often

5 Unity/Diversity in Music(continued) Music Areas 7 Music Areas PLAINS singing style emphasize high pitch, rhythmic pulsations on long tones, tension, harshness. Form consists of stanzas – short phrase repeated and descending phrases ending with low, flat cadence and repeated. EASTERN UNITED STATES  Great variety of forms Several short phrases with varying arrangements Rounder more relaxed vocal; singing is alternated by leader and a group(call and response) YUMAN(Southwestern U.S./ parts of So. California)  Relaxed vocal style ; implements the “rise” where phrase is repeated and interrupted by higher contrastive section.

6 Unity/Diversity in Music(continued) Music Areas ATHABASCAN Navajo/Apache) Large vocal range, nasal sound PUEBLO (Papago, Southwest U.S.) Singing style similar to Athabasca and Plains; but low, harsh, pulsating vocal style; long complex forms GREAT BASIN (Nevada/Utah) Small vocal range; each group of phrases repeated once NORTHWESTERN COAST (Oregon, Washington, Alaska) Singing style- pit voice and drum against the other Complex rhythms; polyphonic tradition

7 Ideas of Music  Music is simple form with little interaction Oral tradition More complexity underlying form than one hears Technical complexity not a criterion of musical quality  Music integrates society, ceremonial events  Music has supernatural powers  Songs exist in cosmos- exist through human dreams

8 Musical Instruments DRUMS  provide rhythmic accompaniment to singing  Large – 2 heads  Small hand drums  Kettledrums filled with water for tuning RATTLES  certain kinds associated with particular type of ceremony  Made of gourds, turtle shells, deer hooves, hide pieces sewn together  Decorated with feathers, paint, animal skins  Other idiophones include clappers, small metal bells introduced by Europeans FLUTE  restricted uses; melody producing  End-blown and duct flutes(recorder) MISCELLANEOUS INSTRUMENTS  simple reeds, trumpets, bows, violin

9 History of Native American Music  Small amount of composed music – oral tradition  Native American music documented since the coming of the white people  Knowledge of ceremonies/rituals forgotten because tribes wiped out, relocated, famines, epidemics  Western influence created new musical developments (began 1890) Music as a weapon to fight back against cultural absorption Music as a weapon to preserve cultural identity Types of modern music: The Ghost Dance – messianic cult, thought to help in combat, bring back dead and restore buffalo Peyote Music- peyote religion, based on hallucinogenic effects of cactus plant; identifiable by “meaningless” vocables. Powwow culture(1950-)most significant trend, strong cultural identity, romantic and amusing music Women in music has increased

10 Modern North American Indian Days Modern popular music – preservation/protection of environment Coexistence of several events – traditional & modern  Powwow(tribal gathering) – members of singing group sit in a circle facing one another with their drums. Dancer with flamboyant costumes; solo dancing. Singing groups are called Drums  Gambling games from ancient tradition which includes singing  Western music performed by Native Americans


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