Native American music , music of the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere. The Americas contain hundreds of native communities , each with its own distinctive history, language, and musical culture. These communities—although united in placing music at the centre of public life—have developed extraordinarily diverse and multifaceted performance traditions. This article provides a general introduction to Native American musics with treatments of the roles of music in culture, musical styles and genres , musical instruments, music history, and the study of American Indian musics. Generalizations about the relationship between music and culture in Native American communities are gleaned from musical concepts and values, the structure of musical events, and the role of language in song texts. Musical concepts and values encompass ideas about the origins and sources of music, as well as musical ownership, creativity, transmission, and aesthetics. These concepts and values reflect broader ways of thinking and therefore offer important insight into general patterns of culture. Native peoples differ in the degree to which they discuss musical concepts. But even for the peoples who do not verbalize musical ideas, underlying conceptual structures exist and may be perceived by observing musical practice. Despite the great diversity of American Indian peoples, general features of Native American musical concepts and values may be summarized.
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The early history of American Indian musics may be gleaned from native methods of recounting history, traditional narratives, archaeology, iconography, and linguistics. Methods of recounting history existed among peoples such as the Inca and the Aztec. The Inca had a genre of historical songs, while the Aztec carved symbolic pictures onto some instruments indicating how, when, where, and by whom they were played. Traditional narratives as well as linguistics reveal that Native Americans have extensive histories of regional interaction; over time, this has enriched and broadened their musical lives. Reciprocal participation in collective ceremonies has been a part of life among peoples of the Eastern Woodlands for centuries, with the result that a complex network of musical exchange has developed, extending from Florida to Ontario, Canada. Archaeology reveals extensive information about the history of musical instruments, and the study of ancient sculpture, paintings, and other visual materials suggests something about instrumental performance techniques and ceremonial contexts.
Indigenous trends from 1800
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Jan 31, Bill Miller is driving across Iowa, talking on his cell phone about the songs he loves, many of which he first heard on his car radio in the s. Miller, who is Mohican from the Stockbridge-Munsee Community in Wisconsin, is a three-time Grammy winner and his work spans symphonies, traditional and popular music in a Native key. He has made his home in Nashville; a city that he notes is on the route of the Trail of Tears and was a hub in the civil-rights movement. To Miller it was a city of musicians who have helped him grow into a journeyman player, not so much a star as a master musician who remains rooted deeply in his heritage. Miller, 55, still spends the better part of the year on the road, as a painter and, of course, as a musician. The live performances mean the world to me.