Folk & Traditional Music of the Western Continents

The folk & traditional music of Europe, Africa & the Americas explored.

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
Song is repeated four times. Drum begins before the singers.
* Women enter here in repeat.
•$< During last rendition, women finish alone, without drum.
example 8-4. Arapaho Sun Dance song, from Bruno Nettl, Musical Cul­ture of the Arapaho (M. A. thesis, Indiana University, 1951), p. 100.
velopment of responsorial singing—shouts thrown back and forth between leader and chorus, probably as a result of rudimentary rounds. Forms are frequently elaborate and composed of several phrases, some of which recur. Thus, the Eagle Dance ceremony of the Iroquois has many songs with the form AABAB, in which sec­tion A is always accompanied by quick shaking of the rattle, while B has slower percussive accompaniment. Similarly, some of the south­eastern tribes have social dances accompanied by groups of songs strung together in series that are repeated and interwoven in intricate sequences. Vocal technique is tense, and melodic contour usually descending, though not in the predictable terrace patterns of the Plains. The tribes living in the Gulf of Mexico area seem to have had, before the advent of the whites, a very complex culture related to that of the Aztecs, and it is possible that their music was similarly more complex. But little of this remains. Example 8-5 is an Iroquois song, an example of music from the eastern area.
The level of musical complexity among these areas varies. Pueblo, eastern, and Northwest Coast are the most complex and de­veloped, while the Great Basin is, on the whole, the simplest. Al­though the musical areas do not correspond precisely to the culture areas, they do coincide at various major points. Such easily defined culture areas as the Plains and the Northwest Coast have a unified musical style. The greatest cultural diversity as well as the greatest

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