02 Indian music outline

02 Indian music outline - GMUS 203 Music in America Dr...

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GMUS 203: Music in America Dr. Andrew Connell LECTURE 2: AMERICAN INDIAN MUSIC Brief History: 50,000-8,000 B.C. - Asian Hunters cross Bering Straight • When Europeans arrived: 1-2 million inhabitants in what is now U.S. and Canada 1,000 tribal groups 60 different language families Difficulties of studying pre-contact American Indian music: • oral culture • decimation through war and disease • Conversion to Christianity • Pan-Indian movements • Allure of modern Western ways • Eurocentric biases - “primitives” or “savages” - “noble” and “unspoiled” The Role of Music in Native Cultures: • Linked with ritual • Music is not composed in the same sense as Western music • Music has spiritual properties The importance of music is not its beauty but its efficacy General Musical Characteristics • Predominantly vocal • Monophonic - no harmony 1
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GMUS 203: Music in America Dr. Andrew Connell Songs use: • words and/or vocables • Short, repeating melodies - Repetition with subtle variation
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02 Indian music outline - GMUS 203 Music in America Dr...

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