Native American Flute Song Book
This section of pages make up the Flutopedia Song Book. Most of these songs are scored using Nakai Tablature with Finger diagrams.
The songs of a people furnish an entrance
to their inner life, which, if we would understand
them, we cannot neglect. This is
especiaI1y true of a barbarous people, whose
outward life is rough and forbidding. It is
not enough for us·to note their uncouth dress
and rude ways. Such curiosity-shop knowledge
is neither complete nor just, because it
is not sympathetic; being content with observing the life of habit, it does not reach
the real life, the life of feeling.
Taking the truer method, we find the Dakotas to be men
and women of like passions with ourselves.
And they in like manner find in music and
song their greatest means of emotional expression;
either in the stirring songs of the
chase or of war, or the p1aintive melodies
of love, or the weird chants of their sacred mysteries.
— Stephen Return Riggs [Riggs 1869]
Aside from its scientific value, this music possesses a charm of spontaneity that cannot fail to please those who would
come near to nature and enjoy the expression of emotion untrammelled by the intellectual control of schools.
These songs are like the wild flowers that have not yet come under the transforming hand of the gardener.
— Alice C. Fletcher [Fletcher 1900]
There are many books of transcribed music, as well as web sites that provide sheet music – far more music than is in the Flutopedia Song Book:
PDF version of
Christmas Songs and Duets
by Ami Sarasvati
It's not my goal to replace these resources or duplicate their efforts. My direction is to connect the songs with their history and stories.
So, browse through these songs (you can use the buttons on the top-right to go through the songs alphabetically) and check out some of the stories and songs. (Of course, some are still under development.)
Alternately, here are the songs loosely grouped by rough categories:
Historical and Archaeological
These songs have a history that pre-dates the written history of Western and
North American indigenous cultures.
They are included in Flutopedia because I have found them to be interesting from the perspective
of the historical development of human musicality.
Traditional Native American Songs
These melodies are directly from or (as best I know based on documented evidence) are strongly
rooted in traditional Native American melodies. These songs include some songs from the Indianist
movement that have traditional roots.
The Indianist Movement
I consider these songs to be part of the Indianist Movement. Some have roots in traditional Native
American melodies and were harmonized or heavily modified by the arranger, and some are
original, non-traditional melodies developed by the composer.
These songs have roots in traditional American folk, country, or rhythm and blues.
Cultural Folk Songs
These songs are folk melodies from world cultures:
These songs were composed (relatively) recently:
Hymns, Carols, and Devotional Chants