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6 C. Cajun And Native American Music
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6 C. Cajun And Native American Music


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  • 1. MUS103: Survey of Music History II Dr. Kathleen Bondurant, Ph.D. Cajun and Native American Music
  • 2. Cajun Music and Zydeco
    • Cultural origins- - Late18th century Cajuns and African-American Creoles in Louisiana; German;
    • Typical instruments- - Accordion, Fiddle, Second Fiddle, Steel guitar, Guitar, Triangle, Harmonica. In the 1930s string band era, Mandolin, Banjo.
    • Traditional Cajun Music-- This style comprises the roots of Cajun dance music, involving only a few instruments such as the accordion, fiddle, and triangle. This form holds firm to a basic rhythm with staccato style notes, including lots of fiddle double stops. This form as existed since the early 1900s and the waltz and two-step are the most common dances of this Cajun music genre. Many songs that became standards in the Cajun music repertoire were first recorded in this period of the 1920s and 30s.
  • 3. Cajun Music and Zydeco (Cont.) Pedal Steel Guitar
  • 4. Cajun Music and Zydeco (Cont.) Harmonica
  • 5. Cajun Music and Zydeco (Cont.)
    • Country/Texas Swing Cajun-- This style involves elements of Texas country music and a move away from the traditional accordion. This music has more of a "swing" style popularized by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. Cajun swing relies heavily on the fiddle and piano for a swinging tempo. Bands in the 1940s began using the pedal steel guitar, an instrument which also found use in Dancehall Cajun music. Dances such as "the jig" are common among this genre of Cajun music.
  • 6. Cajun Music and Zydeco (Cont.)
  • 7. Cajun Music and Zydeco (Cont.)
    • Dancehall Cajun-- This style is similar to traditional Cajun music with added accompaniment such as the bass guitar, drum set, steel guitar, and rhythm guitar, electric or acoustic. This is the post-War music of the late 1940s up to the present for local Louisianians in small town dancehalls. Electrification of the dance venues allowed the fiddle to be played in a smoother style, alternating leads with the accordion. The steel guitar also adds remarks. Typically in dancehall Cajun performances the melody is played by the accordion followed by a bridge, a vocal verse, a leading line by the steel guitar, a leading line by the fiddle, then a leading line by the accordion player again followed by a bridge. This is followed by the next vocal verse, and so on.
  • 8. Cajun Music and Zydeco (Cont.) A Vintage Cajun Dancehall Band
  • 9. Cajun Music and Zydeco (Cont.)
    • Lyrics -- The unaccompanied ballad was the earliest form of Cajun music. The narrative songs often had passionate themes of death, solitude or ill-fated love — a reaction to their harsh exile and rough frontier experience, as well as celebrations of love and humorous tales. Ballads were ritually sung at weddings and funerals, and sung informally for small groups of people at house parties as the food cooked and young children played.
    • Early songs- - were mixtures of la la, contredanses, reels and jigs and other folk influences from black, white and Native American traditions. Early song lyrics were entirely in Cajun French.
  • 10. Cajun Music and Zydeco (Cont.) Although not a Cajun, black Creole accordionist Amédé Ardoin greatly influenced Cajun music through his over thirty seminal recordings, including "La valse de amities."  Born in L’Anse des Rougeau in Evangeline Parish around 1899, he was the first artist to record South Louisiana’s black Creole music, or " musique créole ."  Ardoin appeared on the Brunswick, Vocalion, Decca, Melotone, and Bluebird labels.  A cousin of renowned black Creole accordionist Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin, he crossed racial boundaries by performing with noted Cajun fiddler Dennis McGee.  However, he stepped too far when at a dance around 1941 he wiped away sweat with a handkerchief offered by a white female.  Suffering a terrible beating after the dance, he eventually died of his wounds, emotional and physical, at Pineville on November 3, 1942. Amédé Ardoin, ca. 1912.  Photo courtesy the Johnnie Allan Collection.
  • 11. Cajun Music and Zydeco (Cont.)
    • History- - Zydeco's rural beginnings and the prevailing economic conditions at its inception are reflected in the song titles, lyrics, and bluesy vocals. The music arose as a synthesis of traditional Creole music, some Cajun music influences, and African-American traditions including R&B, blues, jazz, and gospel. It was also often just called French music or le musique Creole known as "la-la." In many African languages there are words like "zari," "zariko," "zodico," and "zai'co laga laga," which meant "dance." Amédé Ardoin made the first recordings of Creole music in 1928. This Creole music served as a foundation for what later became known as zydeco.
  • 12. Cajun Music and Zydeco (Cont.) Zydeco— Beau Jocque
  • 13. Cajun Music and Zydeco (Cont.)
    • Zydeco Instruments- - The first zydeco vest frottoir (rubboard) was designed by Clifton Chenier, the "King of Zydeco," in 1946 while he and his brother, Cleveland, were working at an oil refinery in Port Arthur, TX. The first zydeco rubboard made to Chenier's design was made at Chenier's request by their fellow Louisianian, Willie Landry, a master welder - fabricator, who was also working at the refinery. The zydeco rubboard, designed specifically for the genre solely as a percussion instrument, is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution. Other instruments common in zydeco include the old world accordion which is found in folk and roots music globally, guitar, bass guitar, drums, fiddle, horns and keyboards.
  • 14. Cajun Music and Zydeco (Cont.)
    • Mark Anthony Williams on the rubboard performed with Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas.
  • 15. Native American Music
    • The music of Native North Americans is primarily a vocal art, usually choral, although some nations favor solo singing. Native American music is entirely melodic; there is no harmony or polyphony, although there is occasional antiphonal singing between soloist and chorus. The melody is, in general, characterized by a descending melodic figure; its rhythm is irregular. There is no conception of absolute pitch and intonation can appear uncertain, the result of the distinctive method of voice production, involving muscular tension in the vocal apparatus and making possible frequent strong accents and glissandos. Singing is nearly always accompanied, at least by drums. Various types of drums and rattles are the chief percussion instruments. Wind instruments are mainly flutes and whistles.
  • 16. Native American Music VINTAGE ANTIQUE MUSEUM rare aboriginal flutes of the California Indians, authentic ancient elderberry flutes and cane flutes of the Native American Kumeyaay-Diegueno Indians of Southern California.
  • 17. Native American Music Oregon's Award Winning Recording Artist and custom Flute Maker, Charles Littleleaf, embarks on a spiritual journey of peace and goodwill for all human kind, bringing with him a lifetime of ancestral traditions from his American Indian way of life, incorporating them into his beautiful music which we are able to experience today. Like a painter, a poet, Littleleaf's Native American music is a canvassed painting... a great work of literary verse.
  • 18. Native American Music (Cont.)
    • Primary purposes: Song is traditionally the chief means of communicating with the supernatural powers, and music is seldom performed for its own sake; definite results, such as the bringing of rain, success in battle, or the curing of the sick, are expected from music. There are three classes of songs—traditional songs, handed down from generation to generation; ceremonial and medicine songs, supposed to be received in dreams; and modern songs, showing the influence of European culture. Songs of heroes are often old, adapted to the occasion by the insertion of the new hero's name. Love songs often are influenced by the music of whites and are regarded as degenerate by many Native Americans.
    • North American regions:
    • Inuit-Northwest coast, Great Basin, California-Yuman, Plains-Pueblo, Athabascan, and Eastern
  • 19. Native American Music Native American dancers
  • 20. Native American Music (Cont.)
    • Inuit-Northwest coast-- Inuit throat singing:
    • Originally, Inuit throat singing was a form of entertainment among Inuit women while the men were away on hunting trips. It was an activity that was primarily done by Inuit women although there have been some men doing it as well. It was regarded more as a type of vocal or breathing game in the Inuit culture rather than a form of music. Inuit throat singing is generally done by two individuals but can involve four or more people together as well. In Inuit throat singing, two Inuit women would face each other either standing or crouching down while holding each other's arms. One would lead with short deep rhythmic sounds while the other would respond. The leader would repeat sounds with short gaps in between. The follower would fill in these gaps with her own rhythmic sounds. Sometimes both Inuit women would be doing a dance like movement like rocking from left to right while throat singing.
  • 21. Native American Music
  • 22. Native American Music (Cont.)
    • Southwest-- Plains-Pueblo, Athabascan
    • Arid American Southwest is home to two broad groupings of closely-related cultures, the Pueblo and Athabaskan. The Southern Athabaskan Navajo and Apache tribes sing in Plains-style nasal vocals with unblended monophony, while the Pueblos emphasize a relaxed, low range and highly blended monophonic style. Athabaskan songs are swift and use drums or rattles, as well as an instrument unique to this area, the Apache violin, or "Tsii'edo'a'tl" meaning "wood that sings" in Apache.
    • Pueblo songs are complex and meticulously detailed, usually with five sections divided into four or more phrases characterized by detailed introductory and cadential formulas. They are much slower in tempo than Athabaskan songs, and use various percussion instruments as accompaniment.
  • 23. Native American Music Examples of the Apache Violin
  • 24. Native American Music Drawing of a Hopi Indian Pueblo, Oraibi, Arizona,
  • 25. Native American Music (Cont.)
    • Great Plains, California-Yuman
    • The music of the Pima and Papago is intermediary between the Plains-Pueblo and the California-Yuman music areas, with melodic movement of the Yuman, though including the rise, and the form and rhythm of the Pueblo. California-Yuman music includes that of Pomo, Miwak, Luiseno, Catalineno, and Gabrielino, and the Yuman tribes, and Mohave, Yuman, Havasupai, Maricopa, as using the rise in almost all songs, a relaxed nonpulsating vocal technique (like European classical music), simple rhythms, pentatonic scales without semitones, an average melodic range of an octave, sequence, and syncopated figures such as a sixteenth-note, eight-note, sixteenth-note figure.
  • 26. Native American Music
  • 27. Native American Music (Cont.) The primal beat of the drum penetrates our soul and evokes a smoothing meditative response. Now the incredible percussive work of Marc Anderson and Jai Bunito Aeo fuses with nature sounds and other hypnotic music textures to create a moving listening experience. Nature's Drums is a pleasing adventure in World Music. North Sound (From Nature's Drums Liner Notes)
  • 28. Native American Music (Cont.)
    • Eastern Woodlands
    • Inhabiting a wide swath of the United States and Canada, Eastern Woodlands natives, can be distinguished by antiphony (call and response style singing), which does not occur in other areas. Their territory includes Maritime Canada, New England, U.S. Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes and Southeast regions. Songs are rhythmically complex, characterized by frequent metric changes and a close relationship to ritual dance. Flutes and whistles are solo instruments, and a wide variety of drums, rattles and striking sticks are played. The most complex styles being that of the Southeastern Creek, Yuchi, Cherokee, Choctaw, Iroquois and their language group, the simpler style being that of the Algonquian language group including Delaware and Penobscot. The Algonquian speaking Shawnee have a relatively complex style influenced by the nearby southeastern tribes.
  • 29. Native American Music Eddie Bushyhead is a musician who makes and plays the rivercane flute, a traditional instrument among the Cherokee. He entertains large and small audiences of all ages with traditional flute music and contemporary "Rez Music." Eddie Bushyhead can also speak about the Cherokee language and about language preservation efforts in the Cherokee community. Eddie Bushyhead was born in Cherokee, and grew up in the Birdtown and Piney Grove communities. After graduating from Cherokee High School, he studied music at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, specializing in ethno-musicology. A versatile musician, Eddie Bushyhead has played music all his life, from Cherokee hymns to rock and roll to blues. In 1987, he began research on the rivercane flute and recreated one based on his studies.
  • 30. Sources: