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Music plays an integral role in the life of Native Americans. It is used for ceremonial purposes, recreation, expression, and healing. There are many different instruments used when making Native American music, including drums, flutes, and other percussion instruments. Perhaps the most important element of their music is the voice.

Vocals are the backbone of the music made in Native American cultures. Unusual, irregular rhythms and a somewhat off-key style of singing is used. No harmony is ever incorporated, although sometimes many people sing at once, and other times the vocals are solo. The Native American vocals are passionate, used to invoke spirits, ask for rain or healing, or are used to heal the sick. In most cases, the men and women of the tribes sing separate songs, and have their own dances. The men typically dance around in a circle, while the women usually dance in place.

Many researchers feel that Native American music is some of the most complex ever performed. The tensing and releasing of the vocals combined with varying drum beats makes it a very intricate form of art. Another interesting item of note is that every region of the country where the Native Americans had settled produced greatly varying forms and sounds of music. With so many different tribes, the music produced is always unique to its specific group. Generally, Eskimo music has been touted as being the most simple of all of the Native American music styles, while the Hopi, Pueblo, and Zuni tribes of the Southwestern part of the country have been known to produce much more complex sounding music. The emotion invoked from Native American music has been a great influence in modern folk music. In addition, tribal music is still very popular among music fans, and Native American CDs sell fairly well, even in today’s modern climate.

 

http://www.indians.org/articles/native-american-music.html

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Replies to This Discussion

Yes, Schay, it's been a long time, way overdue for this discussion. I too love the flute and drums, and I have a few favorite contemporary NA artists. I know this discussion will strongly bless many.

I love the Wolves Prayer, you know how to pull my heart strings :o)))

One of my favorite NA artists is Robbie Robertson.

 

 

In my book, the fusion of NA and Celtic beliefs and traditions and music, is so, so close. Maybe I feel this way because I am NA and Irish! I love this vid :o))) 

Oh no sweet heart, sorry to bring you a misunderstanding. I was using an expression, you know, "In my book, you're the best!!!"

thank you   our companion of 12 years (Chance) just passed    we needed this   blessings

Many blessings to you Su.

Thank You LCF and Schay~~~~So Beautiful.  I have alot of dvd's I listen to also.  Brook Medicine Wheel has alot of teaching songs also.  I Love them ALL!  Rainbows of Love and Blessings

Yes Lola, Brook Medicine Wheel will be coming soon, (((Hugs)))

Robbie Robertson and The Red Road Ensemble Music For The Native Americans Mahk Jchi (Heartbeat Drum Song) Translation:
Our hearts are full and our minds are good
Our ancestors come and give us strength
Stand tall, sing, dance and never forget who you are
Or where you come from

 

 

This beautiful ttraditional melody from Jemez Pueblo in Northern New Mexico was arranged by Robert's brother, Patrick Shendo Mirabal, who sings lead vocal.

Butterfly Song or "Tsel-mo-ah," is from a social dance for children, with some extra lyrics added by Robert... "Butterfly said, I am the keeper of the songs of healing; Butterfly said, I am the keeper of the songs of changing mother; Butterfly said, I am the keeper of the songs of true love and faith."

Dance my brothers, dance by sisters, we can change the world with song and dance!

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