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Native American Music

Drums are highly influential in Native American music. Traditionally American Indian drums are large, two to three feet in diameter and played communally by groups of singers who sit around them in a circle.

Ceremonial Frame Drum

Native American Percussion

Frame drum (Wikipedia)

The frame drum is considered one of the most ancient musical instruments. It is defined as a drum that has a drumhead width greater than its depth. There are 3 basic strokes on the frame drum that produce the various sounds — they are known as Doum, Tak and PA.

Playing the Frame Drum

How to play a frame drum »

Native American Flutes

Native American flutes comprise a wide range of designs, sizes, and variations — far more varied than most other classes of woodwind instruments. They were traditionally crafted from a wide range of materials, including wood (cedar, juniper, walnut, cherry, and redwood are common), Bamboo, and river cane.

Historically, Native American flutes are generally tuned to a variation of the minor pentatonic scale. Native American flutes most commonly have either 5 or 6 holes, but instruments can have anything from no holes to seven (including a thumb hole). Various makers employ different scales and fingerings for their flutes.

Native American Flutes

Wooden Flute Collection

The flute used on the song One With the Land was an end blown wooden flute (pictured below)

Rich's Wooden Flute

 

Further Info on Native American Music