Topics: Musical instrument, Native Americans in the United States, Great Plains Pages: 2 (444 words) Published: May 14, 2014
Jiahui Shi
Native American culture & music
In Native American cultures even more than others, the musical system is a kind of reflection of the rest of culture. It is used for ceremonial purposes, recreation, expression, and healing. In many Native American cultures, songs are thought to come into existence principally in dreams or visions. In Plain Indians culture, songs are hold the power. Each act must have its appropriate song. In a ceremony, a man will have a bundle of objects, which he opens and displays, but their supernatural power is not activated until the appropriate song is sung. In the Plains, a man has visions in which powerful guardian spirits appear to him, and these are validate by the songs they sing to him.

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. Most of the instruments are percussive, and the reason why is it could provide rhythmic accompaniment to singing. Solo drumming don't use much in their music. But there are variety of drum and rattle types. Large drums, small hand-drums, kettledrum, and pieces of rawhide simply suspended from stakes are examples of drum types widely distributed. The most common melody-producing instrument is the flute. In some tribes, the repertory of flute music consists simply of songs that may also be sung. There is a separate repertory of flute music, although its style is not markedly different from that of the songs. The instruments of Native Americans are largely nonmelodic percussion instruments, and melody-producing instruments have special and restricted functions. 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. In most cases, the...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free