Native American Spiritual Music

Native American  Spiritual Music

Native American – Spiritual Music

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Indigenous music of North America, which includes American Indian music or Native American music, is the music that is used, created or performed by Indigenous peoples of North America, including Native Americans in the United States and Aboriginal peoples in Canada, Indigenous peoples of Mexico, and other North American coutnries—especially traditional tribal music.

In addition to the traditional music of the Native American groups, there now exist pan-tribal and inter-tribal genres as well as distinct Native American subgenres of popular music including: rock, blues, hip hop, classical, film music, and reggae, as well as unique popular styles like waila (“chicken scratch”).

Characteristics

Singing and percussion are the most important aspects of traditional Native American music. Vocalization takes many forms, ranging from solo and choral song to responsorial, unison and multipart singing.

Percussion, especially drums and rattles, are common accompaniment to keep the rhythm steady for the singers, who generally use their native language or non-lexical vocables (nonsense syllables).

Traditional music usually begins with slow and steady beats that grow gradually faster and more emphatic, while various flourishes like drum and rattle tremolos, shouts and accented patterns add variety and signal changes in performance for singers and dancers.

Song texts and sources

Native American song texts include both public pieces and secret songs, said to be “ancient and unchanging”, which are used only for sacred and ceremonial purposes.

There are also public sacred songs, as well as ritual speeches that are sometimes perceived as musical because of their use of rhythm and melody. These ritual speeches often directly describe the events of a ceremony, and the reasons and ramifications of the night.

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