Folk & Traditional Music of the Western Continents

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THE AMERICAN INDIANS 16J
other way in which the whites have Influenced Indian music indi­rectly is through the gradual impoverishment of the repertories, and a changing emphasis from ceremonial song to social, dance, and love songs. Indian songs with English words are frequently found; the forms of the songs in some areas such as the Plains have been simpli­fied or shortened; and songs now consist of fewer sections and more limited scales.
As tribes are thrown together, and as the older tribal culture disappears, the Indians of the United States are making conscious efforts to preserve their heritage. One method is to ignore tribal dis­tinctions and to work toward a musical tradition that is acceptable to members of many tribes and areas. This method has been used, in part unconsciously because of the obliteration of tribal identities and in part consciously by those who would preserve Indian culture, in the creation of pan-Indian ceremonies and social events. Festivals, such as that in Gallup, New Mexico (and there are dozens of similar events throughout the country each summer), allow the members of one tribe to present their songs and dances to those of other tribes. In areas in which there are few Indians, members of several tribes co­operate in presenting musical and dance events. In some American cities, scattered Indians will frequently join in a pan-Indian associa­tion one of whose functions is the sponsorship of such events. One result has been the growing tendency of all Indians to learn and sing songs in a single style; thus we have had the gradual development of a pan-Indian musical style that is largely based on the music of the Plains-Pueblo area, in somewhat simplified form. To some extent the style is determined bv the preferences of the white spectators, who seem to consider the Plains style as the most typically "Indian" mu­sic. The development of pan-Indian styles of music is an interesting example of the way in which musical culture is tied to the develop­ments of culture in general. And it is a poignant illustration of the importance of traditional music to a people whose traditional culture is nearing extinction.
Bibliography and discography
Since this chapter, besides covering American Indian music, also in­troduces the music of the Americas generally, some publications on the entire subject are given here. Charles Haywood, A Bibliography of North American Folklore and Folksong, rev. ed. (New York: Dover,







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