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Two new works were composed by top Native American composer Brent Michael Davids to meet the educational standards in K-12 arts education for learning about American Indian culture: Indian Story Time & Indian Treaty Time. Now, there are two more band works to consider! Read more about them below: Made By American Indians & Grandmother Song. Be sure to check out the American Indian Band Music BLOG and add your own band photos and comments!
To grab the new works, go to: WWW.FILMCOMPOSER.US/MBDABANDWORKS.HTML
INDIAN STORY TIME
(3:15) For Concert Band Level 2-2.5. PDF: Score, Parts.
A tribute to the American Indians of Minnesota, Indian Story Time musically recounts 2 tales of the Dakota and Ojibwe, respectively. Each story unfolds in a musical way within the band composition, while the full narratives are referenced in the sources below. The band melodies are reminiscent of Dakota and Ojibwe songs, but do not quote any particular tune, leaving that to the authenticity of the Indigenous People themselves. For example, some Native songs are sung only at certain ceremonies, at certain events, or times of the year. Some music is restricted and performed only by the Indians themselves. Other songs are open, and freely shared by anyone, both Indians and non-indians alike. However, in all cases, only American Indians can authentically create and perform American Indian music, and out of respect to their traditions, the band music does not contain any musical quotes or renditions of American Indian songs. The music is composed in the style of the songs, but is newly composed.
INDIAN TREATY TIME
(5:15) For Concert Band Level 3-3.5. PDF: Score, Parts.
A tribute to the American Indians of Minnesota, Indian Treaty Time musically evokes the massive loss of indigenous lands that left the Dakota and Ojibwe people removed from their original territories. American Indians did not own land privately, as Western European settlers may have assumed. The idea that land could be bought and sold was a foreign concept not shared by the Indians. For Dakota and Ojibwe people, the land was regarded as a living relative where Indians and Earth existed in a shared kinship relationship. The treaties were agreements between sovereign nations, and considered the highest law of land by the US Constitution. It is hoped that Indian Treaty Time will open another doorway for discussion, in a way that is respectful, is musical, and honors the Dakota and Ojibwe of Minnesota.
• Look! Now there's two more Band works to check out!
MADE BY AMERICAN INDIANS
(11:00) Professional Level Brass Band. Copyright Fee: Score, Parts. Music Copyright ©2015, Brent Michael Davids.
MADE BY AMERICAN INDIANS (2015) is a new work for brass band celebrating the prominence of our Indigenous People on the founding and sustaining of America. After hearing of the wonderful success of Joan Tower’s “Made in America,” it became apparent that a similar work might be created specifically for American Indians. While Made By American Indians does not quote Iroquois songs nor any American Indian songs directly, it does present an original and overarching Native theme that is developed for concert band. As a soaring melody, the theme proudly rides atop brass and percussion; but as an undercurrent, the theme appears and reappears in fragments all along the way.
Made By American Indians portrays the emotions and sensibilities of contemporary American Indians in both rural and urban settings. One can readily hear the resounding complexity of the “City Indian” as well as the more pastoral life of the reservation. This version is a brass band version of the former concert band work (2009).
CONTACT TO GET SCORE AND PARTS:
THE FORMER CONCERT BAND WORK:
(3:43) Junior Level Band. Purchase: Hal Leonard. Music and Lyrics Copyright ©2001, Brent Michael Davids.
GRANDMOTHER SONG is an introduction to the Mohican tradition of “sung syllables” or what Native Americans call “vocables.” Combining them with traditional wood flute songs, composer Brent Michael Davids offers a fresh look at the sound of Native American songs. Band instruments are performed less as musical instruments and more as talking sticks, singing reeds, rustling winds and shooting thunder. Through this ballad, performers are given the materials to understand how Native Americans celebrate the world around them through the blending of words and song.
Grandmother Song is published as part of the BandQuest series (Hal Leonard), and includes an interdisciplinary CD-ROM for teaching. Here are a few examples: Teaching vocables, Students Interview Brent Michael David, Band director Jeff Jacox discusses BandQuest experience.