Teton Sioux Music #244839

di Frances Densmore

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The analytical study of Indian music which the writer commenced among the Chippewa has been continued among the Sioux. Those familiar with the two books already published will find no material change in method of treatment in the present volume. We have but passed from the land of pine forests and lakes to the broad plains where the buffalo came down from the north in the autumn and where war parties swept to and fro.<br><br>The present volume contains tabulated analyses of 600 songs, comprising the Chippewa songs previously published as well as the songs of the Teton Sioux. By means of these tables the songs of the two tribes can be compared in melodic and rhythmic peculiarities. In Bulletin 53 the Chippewa songs were grouped according to their use, and descriptive, as well as tabulated, analyses disclosed resemblances between certain groups of songs having the same mental concept. In the present memoir the comparison is based, not on the use, but on the age, of the songs, this series being divided for analysis into two groups, one comprising songs believed to be more than 50 years old and the other comprising songs of more recent origin. This analysis shows that the restrictions of civilization have had a definite effect on the structure of Sioux melodies.<br><br>In presenting Teton Sioux music the writer desires to acknowledge her appreciation of the valued assistance of her principal interpreter, Mr. Robert P. Higheagle, a member of the Sioux tribe and a graduate of Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute as well as of the business department of Carnegie College. Mr. Higheagle's cooperation covered the entire period of collecting the Teton material and of preparing it for publication. To this work he brought a knowledge of Sioux life and character without which an interpretation of their deeper phases could not have been obtained. During Mr. Higheagle's absence it became necessary to employ occasionally other interpreters, whose aid is acknowledged in connection with the material which they interpreted. The principal assisting interpreter was Mrs. James McLaughlin, whose courtesy is gratefully acknowledged.<br><br>The writer desires also to express her appreciation of the assistance cordially extended by the members of the staff of the Bureau of American Ethnology and of the National Museum in their respective fields of research.
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Frances Densmore