For example in the setting of words to music the

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Unformatted text preview: known as “wild rice” (not truly a rice, but rather a wild grass), developed a complex social structure organized around the harvesting, drying, roasting, threshing, and preserving of this wild rice. Thus each culture area possessed certain natural resources that in turn inspired the humans who lived there to develop specific technologies and social systems. Neighboring peoples learned from one another and, over time, societies within one culture area resembled each other and differed from societies in other culture areas. Even within a culture area, however, each tribal group had distinct histories and traditions. Just as anthropologists have used similarities and variations between clusters of tribal groups to organize tribes into culture areas, enthomusicologists have used music characteristics and identified regional music styles. These regional music styles correspond generally to cultural areas. For example, the tribes that inhabited the Great Basin area that had retained what archeologists refer to as the Archaic life style of hunting and gathering, created music that was relatively simple, which some scholars suggest may be remnants of very ancient musical practices. By way of contrast, the music of many tribes in the South tended to be quite complex, correlating to the complex cultures of Indians such as the Aztecs from present- day Mexico. SIDE TRIP 4C: THE NAMMY’S After a 10- year struggle for recognition led by the Native American Music Association, the Grammy Awards founded a new “Native American Music” category in 2001. Although many Native American musicians were very happy with this addition, others expressed concern because the category itself fell within the folk music field and was therefore governed by strict traditional principles. To qualify for nomination, the recordings could not incorporate the sounds, instruments and influences of any other music styles or genres. Yet much of Native American music, like the music of other American ethnic and racial groups, does reflect the influence of other traditions. Indeed, for decades, in addition to preserving the music traditions of their past, Native Americans have been creating music in all sorts of genres, including contemporary rock, blues, country, hip- hop, funk, electronic and New Age. Native American musicians have resisted the narrow classifications of the Grammy Awards, and partially out of frustration with the mainstream music industry, formed their own award ceremony called the Nammy’s in 1998 to honor Native American musicians in all genres. Interestingly, in 2011 the Grammys eliminated the Native American category (along with categories such as Hawaiian and Cajun) as part of a restructuring of the awards categories. Native American music was merged into a new category called “Best Regional 9 Crossroads: Music of American Cultures (Barkley) Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2013 Roots” – which now requires Native American musicians as well as Hawaiian, Cajun, and similar musicians to compete against each other for the single award. TRADITIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN MUSIC: STRUCTURAL CHARACTERISTICS Click here to access the Listening Example or copy the following URL into a new browser window: Challenges to Studying Pre- Conquest Native American Music There are many challenges to studying Native American music traditions as they were prior to European invasion and colonization. Music was passed on from generation to generation orally as an integral part of ancestral tradition. They had no need for musical notation and hence there are no “pieces” of music that have been preserved. Native Americans did not have a music theory (as far as we know) that could provide secondary insights into their music traditions. Native American music was primarily vocal; instrument...
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This document was uploaded on 02/16/2014.

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