A native of Syracuse, New York, Dr. Harry Paige grew up in Delmar, served with the Army Air Force for three years during World War II, then won his bachelor’s at Union College and his master’s at the State University of New York.Dr. Paige is a freelance writer and professor of literature and creative writing, and has published several books and won awards from the Western Writers of America and the Catholic Press Association. Among the books he has had published are Songs of the Teton Sioux, Shadow of the Sun, and The Eye of the Heart. He is also the author of numerous short stories, articles, essays, plays, and a book of poems, Tunes and Testaments.
Essential Song: Three Decades of Northern Cree Music, a study of subarctic Cree hunting songs, is the first detailed ethnomusicology of the northern Cree of Quebec and Manitoba. The result of more than two decades spent in the North learning from the Cree, Lynn Whidden’s account discusses the tradition of the hunting songs, their meanings and origins, and their importance to the hunt. She also examines women’s songs, and traces the impact of social change—including the introduction of hymns, Gospel tunes, and country music—on the song traditions of these communities.
The book also explores the introduction of powwow song into the subarctic and the Crees struggle to maintain their Aboriginal heritage—to find a kind of song that, like the hunting songs, can serve as a spiritual guide and force.
Including profiles of the hunters and their songs and accompanied by an original audio CD of more than fifty Cree hunting songs, Essential Song makes an important contribution to ethnomusicology, social history, and Aboriginal studies.
In this innovative study, John W. Troutman explores the politics of music at the turn of the twentieth century in three spheres: reservations, off-reservation boarding schools, and public venues such as concert halls and Chautauqua circuits. On their reservations, the Lakotas manipulated concepts of U.S. citizenship and patriotism to reinvigorate and adapt social dances, even while the federal government stepped up efforts to suppress them. At Carlisle Indian School, teachers and bandmasters taught music in hopes of imposing their “civilization” agenda, but students made their own meaning of their music. Finally, many former students, armed with saxophones, violins, or operatic vocal training, formed their own “all-Indian” and tribal bands and quartets and traversed the country, engaging the market economy and federal Indian policy initiatives on their own terms.
While recent scholarship has offered new insights into the experiences of “show Indians” and evolving powwow traditions, Indian Blues is the first book to explore the polyphony of Native musical practices and their relationship to federal Indian policy in this important period of American Indian history.
The entries address how ethnomusicologists with Native American heritage are revolutionizing approaches to the discipline, and showcase how musicians with First Peoples' heritage are influencing modern musical forms including native flute, orchestral string playing, gospel, and hip hop. The work represents a much-needed academic study of First Peoples' musical cultures—a subject that is of growing interest to Native Americans as well as nonnative students and readers.