North America Indian Story & Song - online book

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an illustration, where the cry to Wa-kon-da is the climatic voicing of the youth's desire in the midst of his weary vigil and fasting. His long prepara­tion for the rite, the solitude of his surroundings, the suffering of mind and body as alone he faces nature and the supernatural,— all these conditions make the story, and, to the Indian, form the true setting of the song.
The motive of a song and its distinctive rhythm were determined by the emotion evoked by the dramatic circumstance. The simplest resultant of this directive emotion in music is a pulsating rhythm on a single tone. Such songs are not ran­dom shoutings, but have a definite meaning for those who sing and for those who listen, as in this Na-vaho ritual song.
From this extremely simple expression the growth of the musical motive can be traced in these Indian songs through the use of two or more tones up to the employment of the full complement of the octave. *
*A careful analysis of hundreds of aboriginal songs, gathered from the arctic seas to the tropics, shows that in every instance the line taken by these tones is a
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