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The music of Native Americans has a long and rich history that is not fully understood by many people. In this article, we will explore the history of native American music to help you better understand what it was like for those who lived in America before Europeans arrived.


Photo of Two Native Americans Playing Woodwind Instruments · Free Stock Photo (pexels.com)

Photo of Two Native Americans Playing Woodwind Instruments · Free Stock Photo (pexels.com)

The music of Native Americans has a long and rich history that is not fully understood by many people. In this article, we will explore the history of native American music to help you better understand what it was like for those who lived in America before Europeans arrived.

Native American Music and Dance

Even though there are different types of dance throughout Native American tribes, they all share one thing: togetherness. The goal behind dancing wasn't just about entertainment; instead, it's believed that singing or chanting songs while experiencing their physical movements would bring them closer as a community . Singing helped them bond with each other through song but also allowed members of the tribe to express themselves both vocally and emotionally.

While some dances were social gatherings where the entire tribe would participate, others were more individualistic in nature. Today, you can still see these types of traditional dances at pow wows and other gatherings throughout the country .

How the Western world found out about it

When European settlers first came to the Americas in search of a better life, they were unaware that there was already an established civilization with rich and diverse cultural traditions. But soon after settling down, Europeans began taking note of these differences and started documenting what they saw through written accounts . They would write about tribes' daily lives, customs , mythology , etc., so we know today how Native Americans lived before Westernization.

The importance of music to Native Americans

In North America, music was considered a gift from God and used in daily life as well as for special occasions such as weddings or funerals.

In many tribes throughout North America each type of song had its own purpose and holder: singers, flute players, drummers and dancers were responsible for different types of songs at ceremonies and gatherings.

Another common use of Native American traditional music was to tell stories about certain events that happened to their ancestors involving animals like buffalo herds or wildlife like deer . Each tribe has their own style or genre depending on what part of Americas they come from but most have similar characteristics such as minor scale melodies with heavy drums playing long beats. This is probably because these pieces are passed down orally and handed down from one generation to another with little or no alterations.

What instruments were used in traditional Native American music?

Native American music has traditionally been much more inclusive than the average Western tune. Even though drumming is an integral part of tribal ceremonies, many tribes also utilized wind instruments for ceremonial events and personal entertainment alike. The flute was a popular instrument to play during celebrations, as well as songs that had been passed down from generation to generation through oral tradition. It wasn't uncommon for Native Americans in different regions to develop their own styles of playing drums or other types of percussion instruments either- creating rhythmic patterns unique only to their tribe's culture!

Who might have invented the first instrument for making sound?

It is a common myth that the Native Americans did not have their own musical instruments, but instead used objects from nature such as drums of wood and animal hides. However, some more recent archaeological discoveries have proved this to be false. In fact, there are many examples which show early forms of musical ingenuity among these indigenous people before Europeans had even reached them with any technology or culture at all!

In 1998 archaeologists discovered what appeared to be an unusual flute in a Californian burial site belonging to the ancestors of today’s Miwok tribe dating back between 1291-1321 AD. Called “The Spirit Flute” due to its supernatural appearance, it was made out of tule reed using techniques still used by the Miwok people today.

Famous musicians with a connection to Native American culture or ancestry include

Many movies have been made about Native Americans from the silent film era to modern-day films such as Dances with Wolves and Thunderheart. The 1991 movie "Dance Me Outside" is a typical example of some of these earlier works that often included derogatory portrayals of Native American tribes in America's past history.

The first Native American music recordings were released on shellac discs beginning around 1912, but more recently CDs containing traditional songs are available for purchase at many trading posts across Indian Country. A few examples include: Wade Hemsworth – Northern Saskatchewan; Jim Pepper – Land Of Enchantment; Dougie Whitebear - In My Heart There Is No Place For Fear To Live And I Know That The Bear Is My Brother; and Billy Hill – A Journey Back To The Great Spirit.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Native American music has become a vital part of Native culture and heritage in the United States. From its ancient origins to modern day adaptations, it is important to remember that this music is passed down through generations of people who are passionate about preserving their culture and keeping traditions alive.

About the Author

Charles Vallena is the author, and editor-in-chief of Guitar Junky, an online music blog  dedicated to helping aspiring musicians become real musicians. He provides expert insights, guides, lessons, and reviews on acoustic guitars, electric guitars, keyboard, drums, and other music instruments. Follow Guitar Junky on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.