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Lecture 10

MUS2382 Lecture 10: Canada & USA

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University of Ottawa
Genevieve Boucher

MUS 2382: LECTURE 10 CANADA & USA Monday, April 3, 2017 NORTH AMERICA  “Home” o Music history has been marked by European influences  Earliest Americans o First Nations music (Canada) and Native American (US) music  Lady Liberty  American identity ARRIVAL: CANADA  First Nations  The French  Nova Scotia: has French culture Site 1: Canada Cape Breton Fiddling First Impressions  Celtic clogging (tap-dancing) Aural Analysis  Fiddle carries melody (violin in folk music)  Piano and guitar provide harmony (minor key)  Steady “compound” meter Cultural Considerations  Cape Breton: closely identified with Gaelic Scottish culture  Scottish connection: influences from Scottish folk music  Gaelic song and dance o Strong performance component  Most fiddlers play first position  Fiddling tradition in Cape Breton consists primarily of Scottish dance music, particularly waltzes, reels, jigs, polkas, square dance tunes, and schottisches ARRIVAL: THE UNITED STATES  Native Americans  Plains region: areas of the Dakotas, Iowa, Kansas o Strong presence of Native American reserves Site 11: USA Plains Chippewa Song First Impressions  “Warbling” voices (fluctuation, vibrato)  “Heartbeat” drum (constant beating) Aural Analysis  Unison pulse singing: all singing same melodic line, slight variations in pitch and volume o Pulsating rhythmic element (e.g. Amazonian chant example) o Strained vocal style (aesthetic), performers may press on larynx to produce this sound  Cascading melodic contour (descending): e.g. emphasize 2 notes, then fall to lower range  Vocables: o Words are not necessarily lexical – they’re untranslatable syllables, unintelligible even in Native language o Presumed to be heard/understood by the spirit world (not meant to be understood by us) o Songs are believed to be learned from spirits (e.g. dream, meditation, from nature), and have a special spiritual power (sacred)  Drum = heartbeat of Mother Earth (spiritual power) Cultural considerations  Powwow: pan-tribal American Indian event celebrating Native American identity & culture, generally also open to non-Native Americans o Celebrate their identity as being distinct from European culture  Casinos and contests o Dance contests: if a part of the regalia falls off, the dancer is automatically disqualified  Regalia o Symbolism (e.g. using beads) o Significance to tribe, individual, ancestral spirit, totem, etc. Site 12: USA Native American Flute First Impressions  Solo flute, reverberation o Post-recording tweaking: breathy, wind-like quality Aural Analysis  End-blown wooden flute o Air chamber and external component o Added “bird” that is attached to the top, and internal wind chamber o The flute was given to them from the woodp
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