how did Native American music influence American popular forms of music such as the Blues,R &B, Rock and Jazz?

6 Answers

  • connie
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The difference in 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. For the Native American, 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.


    This whole article is excellent!

    Basically, we have a musical style that is heavy on percussion and that uses a scale and musical patterns that sound very different from the Euro and African American styles. How can one possibly merge or combine an eight note system with a five note system? How did Amerindian music influence American popular music and what influence did it have on popular musical development in the USA. Sadly, the answer seems to be that it was not assimilated nor has there been any discernable influence. Amerindian music seems to have been incompatible with the other musical traditions and has found its own separate way. Ethnomusicologists are quick to point out that the Amerindian cultures were systematically destroyed and the reason for their music not being assimilated is simply a result of that exploitation. Though we agree, the Amerindian cultures have been tragically mistreated (probably too mild a term), that did not seem to stop us from borrowing heavily from other cultures who we oppressed. African-American culture for example. There seem to be three main reasons for the lack of Amerindian music style in American popular music.

    First is the aforementioned musical conflict, the styles are so dissimilar, they are difficult to reconcile. Composers would be hard pressed to create a work based on the Amerindian style that would sell. Just go back and listen to Golden Arrow once more and then the Peyote song. Which do you think would make the hit parade? Whenever you hear a pentatonic work, "foreign" images almost immediately come to mind. Second, we do need to look at what happened to the culture. The Amerindians were systematically prosecuted and persecuted and ultimately ended up isolated on reservations with virtually no contact with the rest of us. As a result, no one was interested in them or their culture. It was virtually cast aside as unimportant and not useful. Third, the exposure of their music was limited to very, very few people outside of themselves. Almost all of the Amerindian tribes were vitually imprisoned on remote tribal reservations. As a result, there was virtually no opportunity to influence music during the critical period from ca. 1880 - 1920, when American popular music developed its primary style.

    Over the last few years, there has been a growing interest in Amerindian music, especially fueled by perhaps its most captivating instrumental form, the flute . I would say there has been a renaissance for the flute but since there was never any previous interest other than academic, this may be its first real popularity. Through the efforts of some fine Amerindian musicians, this music has become popular and is enjoying a substantial following of fans.

    What we are most likely to hear today as Native American flute music is something slicker, almost a new age sound. Though no-one can doubt the sweet sound of a well played flute, is it possible that much of what we are hearing today is Amerindian flute that has assimilated aspects of other popular music styles in order to appeal to the masses?

    Is there a conclusion to all this? We think so. Sadly, we have to conclude that our search for the influence of Amerindian music on American Popular song comes up empty. There seems to have been virtually none. Except for some isolated songs and an echo of Amerindian music in some rock music. Indian music seems to have had no influence on American music. On the other hand, also sadly, Amerindian music seems to have become influenced by the European model and as a result is becoming something other than what it originally was. For the acadamicians, that is nothing short of a disaster. For the entertainment and enjoyment of the public, it isn't so tragic. For the enrichment of the Native American performers, it is definitely a good thing. In listening to the commercial Native American music available today, who can deny its beauty and simplicity?

  • Judy
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Most popular music is, and always has been, made popular by those who buy and listen to it. Nowadays, thats teenagers and, sadly, teenagers aren't the brightest group. They're mostly followers, who listen to what their friends like and don't take the time to find what they like. They'll buy the music their friends are listening to, which is the music they request on the radio. On top of that, music has moved on from being MUSIC to being ENTERTAINMENT. It's no longer "So-and-so is a great band with awesome guitar riffs and moving lyrics," but rather "So-and-so is hot and did you hear he just got arrested for DUI! Oh my God!!" IMHO, if other countries are making better music, like you're French jazz singer, then so be it. Go outside the good ole USA, and don't think of it as American music, but good music. Heck, my favorite band is British!

  • 1 decade ago

    Black Americans influenced popular forms of music.

    Source(s): Music history
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I dont think it did? I believe it was influenced by the black americans?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It didn't. Unless you count some native Americans maybe seeing some concerts of those genres. But that's not really influential.

  • 1 decade ago

    didnt black americans influence/create those forms of music

    i belive they did.......

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