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Dance Progression

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  • Dance Progression

    I know that like other songs there are slow medium and fast songs. When singing these songs how should one proceed? For example say your singing 7 or 8 sets, should the first and second be slow, the 3rd slow - medium, 4-6 medium, and 7 and 8 fast?

    Just my thoughts.

  • #2

    This is a pretty difficult question.

    Teh song sets should start off fairly slow and the progress slowly. I am saying that you sing the slower songs first for an entire set. You then you into your medium songs, and lastly the fast songs.

    If you are at a drum with competent singers and someone starts a fast song too early it will kill the singing. The same goes if you throw in a slow one during the fast set.

    Some songs are suppose to be sung slowly. It takes years of practice to learn the difference. I see many newer singers come to the drum and start songs. They may only know one or two so they throw them in without knowing which order they fall into. Many times they are inappropriate for the point in which they were sung. On the other hand I have been told that when a song comes to your head that God put it there and you should sing it. Nobody knows why he put it there, maybe to make someone who was sick feel happy, etc, etc. I say use some common sence and learn many songs. Singing at the drum is extremely difficult especially these days. We no longer live in the time when we could sit down and sing inter-tribal songs all day , week in and week out. There are many different drum groups that have their own songs. New ones are composed each weekend. It takes a lot of effort to keep up with all the new songs. I have to struggle every day and attend many powwows to learn the new and popular songs. I hope this helps a bit. I'm not trying to profess that I know everything about singing as every trip to OK lets me know how very little I do know.



    • #3
      As you are building to the fast songs, don't forget to sing the ones slow and medium songs with feeling. Don't let them just lay there. If you get someone to teach you that just sings by rote, it can mae the learners loose interest in the songs.


      • #4
        This question is equally applicable to intertribal songs, etc. and is addressed to the more experienced singers like Brown Hornet. Are most of these songs word songs or vocables? Are you being taught the words behind the vocables, the meanings and histories? Elsewhere I have heard critisizm regarding this matter.

        I've sung some southern music for years but have never felt very competent. In my heart I wish to learn more and do better, especially of the older songs but I am not in Indian Country any more and extensive travel is not an option at this time in my life.
        Any suggestions?



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