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Free «America's Musical Landscape» Essay Sample

Similarities between the American Indians chants and the American folk music

These two types of music are thought to have originated from America; they were mostly performed by the word of mouth with an intention to conserve the history and culture of the people. They touched various aspects of people’s lives that required to be addressed through this work of art like wars, ceremonies religion among others (Elson and Louis, (2005).

Differences between the American Indians chants and the American folk music

American Indian refers to those people who were the original occupants of the American land. Chants range from simple melodies to high complex music structures that at times include much repetition. By looking at the titles of the work represented by the title American Indian chants, they represented many themes of life. Chants are mostly used for spiritual development. They are used in a variety of settings ranging from ritual uses to recreation. In sports supporters of given opposing teams may use chants to praise their players (Middleton, 2001). Protestors use chant by changing just some few words to fit their topic. They were also used by the auctioneers to focus the attention of the buyer on the process of bidding. These songs were characterized by the vocalization and percussion.



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Folk music encompasses both traditional folk music and the contemporary ones. It begun in the 19th century, long after the American Indian chants, as music done by the word of mouth, and as music of unknown composer. The term folk music was coined to describe the customs, traditions and superstitions of the unsophisticated ones. It most includes indigenous music. The basic characteristics of folk music are; transmitted through oral tradition, usually unrecorded on books or media, it was mostly related to the national culture especially for social solidity; they did commemorate the personal and historic events and had been performed over a period of time by customs (Seeger and Crawford, 2003). Performance was done as vocal music accompanied by instruments which at times coupled with dancing. Transformed by the word of mouth through the will of the community. They do exist to present though it has been by the mix up of cultures (context fusion), so as it include such music as electric folks, folk rock.

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