J. Richard Haefer
End-blown flute of the Flathead Indians of Montana, USA. Often called a courting flute, it is made from elderberry or fir and is about 45 cm long and 2 cm in diameter. The soft elderberry pith is burnt out with a heated metal rod and six ésłxlox (fingerholes) are burnt near the middle of the instrument, the distance between them determined by hand position. A small slit near the top of the flute is partially filled with pitch directing the air against the edge of the opening. Traditionally it is not decorated, but some Flatheads have adopted decorated vertical Chinese flutes as substitutes....
Victoria Lindsay Levine
Native American tribe from the Southeastern United States who speak a Muskogean language; their ancestors belonged to the Mississippian culture known for building massive earthen mounds which they used as ceremonial sites. At the time of European contact the Choctaw lived in central and southern Mississippi and southwestern Alabama. They were the first tribe removed from the Southeast by the US federal government, beginning in 1830. Some remained in the South, but most resettled in what is now the state of Oklahoma. With a population of 160,000, the Choctaw are among the largest tribes in North America. Three groups have received federal recognition: the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, and the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians (Louisiana). The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians is recognized by the state of Alabama. Other Choctaw population centers include Texas, California, Oregon, and Illinois. Choctaw musical culture includes diverse traditional styles, such as songs to accompany social dances, fiddle tunes to accompany house dances, and Choctaw-language Christian hymns....
Suspension rattle of the Atacameño people of the Atacamá Desert, province of Antofagasta, northern Chile. It is formed by attaching four to 12 solid objects in a row to a leather thong which is shaken to produce the rattle sound. In pre-Contact times small metal balls were used; nowadays small pellet bells are preferred. It is identical with archaeological specimens of the extinct Diaguita culture. It is played with the ...
revised by Kay Edwards
Native Americans inhabiting the coast of California from north of Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo and inland. The Chumash are part of the California-Yuman musical region identified by Bruno Nettl. Because of epidemics in the 1800s, which severely reduced the population, and assimilation by the Spanish mission system and boarding schools, traditional Chumash musical practices have almost disappeared.
The Chumash practiced several traditional genres of songs. Work songs coordinated the work of groups: of this sort was the Canoe song, sung as the men rowed their boats in the Santa Barbara Channel. There were also lullabies, gambling or game songs, healing songs, and songs to teach morals to children. Ceremonial songs included those for the recently deceased, for ancestors, and to honor such mythological characters as Coyote, Eagle, Bear, Dolphin, and Swordfish, as well as songs performed by members of the Antap secret society, the members of which sought to exercise control over the natural and supernatural worlds....
revised by Adena Portowitz
(b New York, Oct 9, 1928). American and Israeli musicologist. She graduated in 1950 from Hunter College, CUNY, where Louise Talma was among her teachers. During the summers of 1950 and 1951 she studied music theory with Nadia Boulanger at Fontainebleau. She received the MA from Radcliffe College in 1952 and the PhD from Harvard University in 1963; at Harvard she studied theory with Piston and music history with Gombosi. Jan LaRue was her unofficial dissertation advisor together with Pirrotta. She taught at Vassar College from 1952–57, 1959–71 where she was promoted from instructor to professor. She was also visiting professor in eight music departments and music schools: the Harvard Summer School (1963), Northwestern University Summer School (1976), Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem (Summer 1977), Tel-Aviv University (1972), the Hebrew University, Jerusalem (1973), the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (...
revised by J. Richard Haefer
Generic term for rattle among the Ojibwe (Ojibwa, Anishinaabe) people in the Great Lakes region of the USA and Canada. Three forms exist. The first, a cylindrical vessel rattle, is made by wrapping birchbark around two wooden disks, with a wooden handle inserted through both discs. The body is 11 to 15 cm tall and 10 to15 cm in diameter, and contains small pebbles or buckshot. The second form is a disc-shaped vessel made from a narrow wooden hoop 20 to 30 cm in diameter and 1 to 3 cm thick, covered on both sides with hide; it contains pebbles or buckshot. A long extension (20 to 30 cm) of the hoop serves as a handle. Usually three of the first type and one of the second are used together by the jaasakiid or dja’sakid (doctor or juggler) and singers in the mĭdé (Grand Medicine religion) and curing rituals. The third type is a combination of a rattle and a frame drum about 24 cm in diameter and 2 to 3 cm thick, with only a few pebbles inside. In the ...