By Anna Hoefnagels
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Additional resources for Aboriginal Music in Contemporary Canada: Echoes and Exchanges
Arden Ogg (1988) has made an innovative study of Cree song texts in relation to melody. Language in the context of song and vocal style has been the focus of several other studies as well (Diamond 1998, Surmont 2004, TremblayMatte and Rivard 2001). The northern Dene have also collaborated with a number of ethnomusicologists in recent years in the study of traditional repertoires. Lucy Lafferty and Keillor (2009) have written about the Dogrib love and land songs, complementing Ogg’s work on Cree love songs; Beaudry’s (1992a) more anthropologically informed approach has focused on the prophecy tradition of Dene dream songs.
They range between one foot and one and one-quarter feet in diameter, are typically made of cow moose rawhide stretched tightly across birch frames, and are secured with babiche The Dane-zaa Dreamers’ Song and Dance Tradition 39 (twisted sinew) (J. Askoty 2007, 01:25). Both types of drum are held by one hand and are beaten with a stick about eight inches in length. The double-headed barrel drums are used only by dreamers or occasionally by others who have inherited drums after dreamers have passed away.
14 The definition of “mixed” Aboriginal cultures, however, remains contested. In some regions of Canada, the nature and temporal extent of intercultural contact (among Aboriginals as well as between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals) challenges the discrete nations model altogether. Particularly in Atlantic Canada – where inaccurate myths, such as those about the extinguishment of the Beothuk15 and about the “mercenary” Mi’kmaq, have implied a history of unmitigated conflict among First Nations – music scholars have presented counterevidence.
Aboriginal Music in Contemporary Canada: Echoes and Exchanges by Anna Hoefnagels