what part does nature play in native american music?

im writing a paper on the ethnomusicology of native american music, and i am having a difficult finding how native americans draw certain types of music from nature.

1 Answer

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Nature IS the music. Look at my drum- it is a section of the tree trunk of a cottonwood tree, hollowed out. The drum head is an elk skin. Everything here is a living thing. I beat it, and it resonates with a heartbeat. It echoes in me, and is the pulse of life.

    Here is the rattle, a cottonwood branch for the handle, rawhide for the top, and filled with dried corn. All living things. When I shake it, it is the sound of rain.

    My flute- carved from cedar- I breathe in life, then exhale and put my living breath into the wood. It is a living breathing thing- and so all our music shares this life. And the notes? Can you hear the call of the coyote? The singing of the birds? the scolding chirps of the squirrel? Can you hear the wind in the trees and canyons, and the sound of water? It's all here.

    Source(s): Navajo
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