The song is as much a cultural theft as it is a literal one. Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus' VMA performance was the spark that ignited the still-raging discussion of cultural appropriation in music.
The Americas contain hundreds of native communitieseach with its own distinctive history, language, and musical culture.
These communities—although united in placing music at the centre of public life—have developed extraordinarily diverse and multifaceted performance traditions.
This article provides a general introduction to Native American musics with treatments of the roles of music in culture, musical styles and genresmusical instruments, music history, and the study of American Indian musics.
Music in Native American culture Generalizations about the relationship between music and culture in Native American communities are gleaned from musical concepts and values, the structure of musical events, and the role of language in song texts. Musical concepts and values encompass ideas about the origins and sources of music, as well as musical ownership, creativity, transmission, and aesthetics.
These concepts and values reflect broader ways of thinking and therefore offer important insight into general patterns of culture. Native peoples differ in the degree to which they discuss musical concepts. But even for the peoples who do not verbalize musical ideas, underlying conceptual structures exist and may be perceived by observing musical practice.
Despite the great diversity of American Indian peoples, general features of Native American musical concepts and values may be summarized. Native Americans trace the ultimate origin of their traditional music to the time of creation, when specific songs or musical repertories were given to the first people by the Creator and by spirit beings in the mythic past.
Sacred narratives describe the origins of specific musical instruments, songs, dances, and ceremonies. Some ritual repertories received at the time of creation are considered complete, so that by definition human beings cannot compose new music for them.
But many occasions are suitable for new music; this music may be received in a variety of ways. For example, shamans and other individuals may experience dreams or visions in which spirit beings teach them new songs, dances, and rituals.
Many Indian communities learn new songs and repertories from their neighbours and have a long history of adopting musical practices from outsiders.
Yet in every case, the music is a gift that comes from beyond the individual or community. Some Native Americans consider songs to be property and have developed formal systems of musical ownership, inheritance, and performance rights. On the northwest coast of North Americathe right to perform ancestral songs and dances is an inherited privilege, although the owner of a song can give it away.
Other communities believe that specific pieces of music belong to an ensemble or to the entire community and should not be performed by outsiders without specific permission. Music has intrinsic value to individuals, ensembles, and communities, and performance rights are granted according to principles established by the group through long practice.
New music is provided each year for specific occasions in some communities. An individual may have a vision or dream in which he or she learns a new song; the song may be presented to the community or retained for personal use.
More often, however, musical creativity is a collective process. For example, members of native Andean panpipe ensembles compose new pieces through a collaborative process that emphasizes participation and social cohesion.
Certain musical genres, such as lullabies or songs for personal enjoyment, are improvised. Where new ceremonial songs are not composed because the repertories are considered complete, individual song leaders exercise musical creativity by improvising variations on traditional melodies or lyrics within accepted parameters.
The creation and performance of music are dynamic processes. Musical transmission involves the processes of teaching and learning that preserve songs and repertories from one generation to the next. Native Americans transmit music primarily through oral tradition. Some genres, such as social dance songs, are learned informally through imitation and participation.
Other genres require more formal teaching methods. Songs for curing rituals are often learned as part of a larger complex of knowledge requiring an apprenticeship; the student receives direct instruction from an experienced practitioner over the course of several years.
Some communities have developed indigenous systems of music notation, but these are used by experienced singers as memory aids, not as teaching tools. In the 21st century, it is common for Native Americans to supplement oral tradition with the use of audio and video recordings for teaching, learning, and preserving traditional repertories.
Aestheticsor perceptions of beauty, are among the most difficult concepts to identify in any musical culture. Native Americans tend to evaluate performances according to the feelings of connectedness they generate rather than according to specifically musical qualities.
Some communities judge the success of a performance by how many people participate, because attendance demonstrates cultural vitality and active social networks.
Where musical performance is meant to transcend the human realm, success is measured by apparent communication with spirit beings. Regardless of the specific criteria used to evaluate performance, musical designs that employ repetition, balance, and circularity are appreciated by American Indians because they resonate with social values that are deeply embedded in native cultures.
Musical events Native American performances integrate musicdance, spirituality, and social communion in multilayered events. See Native American dance for further discussion of dance and dance-centred events.
Several activities may take place simultaneously, and different musicians or ensembles sometimes perform unrelated genres in close proximity.Detractors might have viewed its simplistic lyrics about love and togetherness as trite, but in truth they were acutely to the point – feel the love and let the music set you free.
Watch video · He identified with the nihilistic rage of lates and earlys rap music, and he was especially taken with N.W.A., the popular and highly controversial gangster rap crew from Los Angeles.
As it continues to evolve alongside the development of social media and the Internet, rap will only strengthen its foothold in the music world.
In the words of Will, “hip hop is here to stay.” Tags: '90s, s, Evolution, Hip Hop, Music, nineties, Politics, underground rap. Music has traditionally played an important role in African culture.
It is essential in representing the strong African heritage and its importance can be seen in many aspects of the culture. In Africa, music had been central to people's lives: Music making permeated important life events and daily activities.
However, the white colonists of North America were alarmed by and frowned upon the slaves' African-infused way of worship because they considered it to be idolatrous and wild.
Native American music, music of the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere. The Americas contain hundreds of native communities, each with its own distinctive history.