The Native American flute in the southwestern United States: Past and present
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis document focuses upon the past and present role of the Native American flute in the Southwestern United States, with the primary emphasis being placed upon the present-day use of the flute. Through this study, I hope to provide an evaluation of the Native American flute's musical significance (past and present use, and current literature and capabilities) that will lead to its possible inclusion into the Western curriculum of collegiate music scholarship, and contribute to a greater understanding of the instrument. In addition, through the information that is generated and disclosed by this exploration, it is hoped that the Native American flute may begin to gain an overall acceptance as an instrument of cultural and musical distinction and merit, specifically within the world of collegiate music education. This document is divided into chapters dealing with past and present uses of the Native American flute. The "Introduction" states the purpose, scope, and justification for this study. Chapter 1 describes the physical characteristics of the past and present-day Native American flute. Chapter 2 deals exclusively with the past traditions and functions of the flute. For example, selected myths from various tribes that employ the Native American flute are discussed. Also in Chapter 2, the past ceremonial and non-ceremonial functions of the Native American flute are detailed. Chapter 3 deals exclusively with the flute as it is used in today's world. Here, the rise in status of the flute is illustrated by discussing four prominent performers, their recordings, and approach to flute playing. They are as follows: Kelvin Bizahaloni, R. Carlos Nakai, John Rainer, Jr., and Ward Jene Stroud. Also, three composers who are presently creating repertoire for this instrument are discussed. They are James DeMars, Gina Genova, and Jay Vosk. Chapter 4 deals with the ways in which the Native American flute can be imported into the college music curriculum. Finally, Chapter 5 summarizes the document and provides ideas for further study.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Music and Dance