Want to learn more about Native American flute music? Read on to get a comprehensive overview of the significance of flute music in Native American culture…
Native American flute music has been around for many centuries. The distinctive sound of the flute has been brought into use in modern times as well. In the days gone by flute music was solely played on the flute with no other instrument accompanying it whatsoever.
Flute music takes a prominent place in the Native American culture. It was more than mere entertainment for the Natives, rather it was used in meditation, healing and even spiritual rituals. With the passage of time other equipments started to accompany flute music which further developed the genre.
The Natives developed two distinct types of flutes. One was the plains flute where as the other is known as the woodlands flute. The two had different constructions.
Traditional and Modern use
Flute music was primarily considered to be a form of courting music. It was used to attract the opposite sex. The music was sort of a mating call that showed the other person that the flute player was interested in them. Once the two individuals were joined together in the bond of marriage the flute was discarded and it could no longer be used.
There was another purpose that flute music served in tribal life. It served as a means of identification for a particular tribe as the sound of flute music could be heard from a distance. Flute music would be going on when caravans of Native Indians would travel through the land.
Disintegration of Native American Flute Music
The tradition that had been present amongst the Native Americans for quite some time began to die out as the colonists exerted their influences. As a result the younger generation started to look down upon the tradition considering it to be a source of embarrassment.
However even with the changing mindset some Native Americans kept the tradition alive and continued to play flute music. A couple of Native American flute players became well renowned in the 1960s because certain historians, most particularly Dr. Richard Payne started taking interest in the genre. As a result a sort of flute music revival was triggered amongst the Native American population.
By the mid 80s the Native American flute became a cool instrument that experimental musicians would introduce into their mainstream music.
Native American Flute Music Tradition
According to the flute music tradition every song writer owns his own piece of music. No other flute player was allowed to play the music of another unless the original song writer gifted it to them. To the general public the flute music sounds and traditions have a foreign feel which is what makes it uniquely appealing.
An interesting fact to know is that Native American flute construction is based on a totally different scale and tune and hence they do not fit in with western music instruments. This was largely because each flute maker would create his own scale and construct his own flute based on the size of his fingers.