Native America In Music Analysis

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In his narrative, Imagining Native America in Music, Michael V. Pasani documents the musical representations of Native American culture. In his introduction, he states: “Music, which plays such an extraordinary role in organizing and shaping our societies and our social values, remains an unspoken and too often unacknowledged contributor not only to the social history of America, but to the creation of its folkways and myths as well. Cultural historians, while they may acknowledge the relevance of music to the subjects of their study, more often than not shy away from discussing music and its power to affect political and social change.”1 In the last few centuries, music has changed dramatically time period by time period from Eastern culture…show more content…
When the European explorers started to colonize the Americas, they brought their religion as well. Spreading Christianity wherever they ruled, the Spanish conquerors made numerous efforts to fuse Aztec traditions with Catholic rites. By 1524, Franciscan missionary, Pedro de Gante, had established a school of music in Texcoco, which was formerly the second most important city-state of the Aztec empire. Assisted by fellow missionaries, he taught the native students first to copy music from Spanish plainsong sources and eventually taught them how to make European musical instruments. His aim was to use the natives to build a corps of musicians to assist at church services. Influenced by Pedro de Gante tactics in the Aztec empire, other Spanish missionaries were building churches and monasteries throughout the territories that are now Florida, the Gulf States and California. They were teaching the local Native Americans to sing the Roman Catholic Mass as well as non-ritualistic music from Mexico City publications. Later, European-born musicians who followed the missionaries were spurred on to compose their own settings of the Mass and of other portions of the liturgy for use in their parishes. Also during this time, French colonists were settling in Canadian Acacia and also along the Atlantic coast as far south as Florida.…show more content…
Although there were not many documented African American composers during this time, they have made huge contributions in the classic arts. The first well known documented African-American composer was Newport Gardner. Born Occramer Marycoo, Gardner was brought into the colonies as a slave at the age of fourteen where he was sold to Caleb Gardner, a young merchant in Newport, Rhode Island, hence his name. After showing an ability for making music, Gardner's wife arranged for Newport to study music in 1764. By 1791, Gardner secured enough money to buy freedom for himself and his family and rented the upstairs of a house in Newport, Rhode Island where he started his own singing school. A devout Christian, he dedicated most of his works to God and published his first piece as early as 1803 with the song Crooked Shanks from the collection A Number of Original Airs, Duettos and Trios. He also composed the Promise Anthem, a lost text that is still preserved and is based on passages from the

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