Folk & Traditional Music of the Western Continents

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considers the appropriate pitch. Typically, each drum is associated with one or several specific ceremonies and is an object of import­ance beyond its musical service.
Rattles are also of various types and associated with specific ceremonies. Gourd rattles (with pebbles inside the gourd) are used for Peyote ceremonies. Also used in North America are rattles made of deer hooves strung together; rattles made on a base consisting of a turtle shell; notched sticks held against a basket resonator and rubbed with another stick; and wooden bells. The South American Indians have a larger variety of rattles, but they are particularly distin­guished from the North American tribes in the development of pan­pipes and of chordophones (string instruments). Panpipes made of fired clay and of wood have evidently been used in the highlands of Peru and Bolivia for centuries. Some are made of pipes up to five feet tall. The number and arrangement of pipes varies, but, interest­ingly enough, this type of instrument has been altered and its scale made to fit Western popular music, so that some of the present-day Indians of Peru, for example, use them to play tunes in the prevalent Hispanic style. While there is inconclusive evidence that some North American tribes used hunting bows to play simple tunes, the musical bow, played in much the same ways as in Africa, appears among several South American tribes, including the simple Araucanians of Patagonia. The high cultures of Peru, Colombia, and Mexico had rather elaborate instruments of various sorts, but we know little about the music produced on them.
Styles by area in North America
The distribution of musical styles among the North American Indians coincides more or less with that of the culture areas. There appears to be, however, a somewhat smaller degree of correspond­ence here than there is in Africa. South American Indian music is not yet sufficiently well known for us to construct musical areas. In North America (north of Mexico) there are six main areas; in some cases these cannot be distinguished on the basis of single pieces of music, and the distinctions among them are statistical, that is, they depend on the frequency of a given trait rather than its simple presence or absence.

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