Tuesday, May 25, 2010

American indian music traditions contributions

American indian music traditions & contributions

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American Indians tribes proudly perform their music and honor their culture at pow-wows. Typically, the group dressed in colorful traditional outfits has a section that plays drums, while the other part of the group sings in unison. To appreciate this American art form, listeners should understand the meanings and traditions behind the music.

  1. Meaning

    • American Indians traditionally used music as their chief meaning of petitioning supernatural powers to ask for rain, success in battle, or curing of the sick. They look for visions to answer to their prayer songs. They continue to hand these traditional songs down from generation to generation. Today, modern American Indians use their music to express their identity. Just like all the music of all other cultures, American Indian music expresses emotions and imparts strength, and forms the centerpiece of worship, work and entertainment.


    • Several instruments make up the sound, and most tribes have distinct traditions and legends that relate to them. The key instrument, the drum consists of dried animal skins stretched over a frame of logs or wooden boxes or tied to stakes. Rattles made of gourds, turtle shells, rawhide, or horn, and wooden, clay, or bamboo flutes accompany the drums. The appearance and sound of the instruments varies by maker and region. Some tribes include the use of rasps, whistles, fiddles, and a percussion instrument that makes a clapping sound. Modern American Indian music includes mainstream instruments such as guitar, pianos, and synthesizers.


    • American Indians consider the drum "the heartbeat of the people" or "mother earth". There for they give the drum special respect- the beat is usually different from the melody of the song. The untrained non-Indian ear finds it difficult to interpret the melody of traditional American Indian music. American Indians classify their music by function, tribe, or place of origin. Singers learn which songs are used or which ceremony. And in which order they should be song to insure that the ceremony is successful.


    • n 1998, American Indians founded the world first official awards show Native American Music (NAMA). The founders of the "NAMMY awards", NAMA says, "he Native American Music Awards was created as a method to provide Native Music its proper respect on a national level and prove that there is a viable and professional industry." The NAMA presents awards in 30 categories- votes from the public decide the winners.

    Famous Ties

    • American Indian music exerts an influence on American culture, evidenced by the inclusion of a Grammy category for Best Native American Music Album by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The winners past years were Thomas. A. Wasinger, Robert Mirabal, Mary Youngblood, Jim Wilson and Bill Miller. Country music artists, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Carrie Underwood, Crystal Gale, and Aaron Neville and rockers Cher, Anthony Keidis, Eddie Van Halen, and Eddie Vedder have American Indian roots and have made significant contributions to mainstream American music culture.

Source: www.ehow.com

Tags: American Indians, American Indian, American Music, Native American, Native American Music, their music