Folk & Traditional Music of the Western Continents

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analyzed with the following letters: A1A2BA2. Sometimes the inter­relationship is more complex, as in Example 2-2 where a section re­appears at clifferent pitch levels.
Example 2-2 could be analyzed by the letters AA15A25A, A5 being a transposition, a perfect fifth higher, of A. Forms such as AABB, ABBA, and ABCA appear frequently in European folk music. In the music of some non-Western cultures, songs don't have a clearly marked ending. Some American Indian songs consist simply of a loose, informal alternation of two different phrases or sections of music. These can also be analyzed in terms of letters, as indicated here. The following Navaho Indian song (Example 2-3) consists es­sentially of two sections, A and B which appear in the following or­der: AABAAAB, and so forth.
example 2-3. Navaho Indian song, from Bruno Ncttl, North American Indian Musical Styles (Philadelphia: Memoir 45 of the American Folk­lore Society, 1954), p. 47.
Listening to a sampling of records will soon convince the stu­dent that the various folk musics of the world don't have too much in common. To be sure, neighboring tribes and nations exhibit simi­larities, presumably because there has been contact between them for centuries. But among the more distant regions of the world there is vigorous contrast. Practically anything that could legitimately be considered music exists somewhere in the world's traditional" cul­tures. Perhaps the only limitation is imposed by the need for trans­mitting the material orally (or aurally) without the use of notation. This makes necessary a certain degree of simplicity; and where some complexity exists, there is a need for certain unifying factors in the

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III