Music of the First Nations

Tradition and Innovation in Native North America
Author: Edited by Tara Browner
Native musical expression from traditional to contemporary styles
Cloth – $39
Paper – $25
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 07/12/2022
Cloth: 03/30/2009
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About the Book

This anthology presents a wide variety of approaches to an ethnomusicology of Inuit and Native North American musical expression. Contributors include Native and non-Native scholars who provide erudite and illuminating perspectives on aboriginal culture, incorporating both traditional practices and contemporary musical influences. The collection covers both tribe-specific musical practices and Pan-Indian topics such as pow-wows and country music, and it demonstrates the many ways of doing contemporary ethnomusicology in Indian country, including dialogic, historiographic, fieldwork based, linguistic, and interpretive methods.

Gathering scholarship on a realm of intense interest but little previous publication, this volume promises to revitalize the study of Native music in North America, an area of ethnomusicology that stands to benefit greatly from these scholars' cooperative, community-oriented methods.

Contributors: T. Christopher Aplin, Tara Browner, Paula Conlon, David E. Draper, Elaine Keillor, Lucy Lafferty, Franziska von Rosen, David W. Samuels, Laurel Sercombe, and Judith Vander.

About the Author

Tara Browner is a professor of ethnomusicology at UCLA. She is the author of Heartbeat of the People: Music and Dance of the Northern Pow-Wow and coeditor of Rethinking American Music.

Also by this author

Heartbeat of the People coverRethinking American Music cover


"Essential reading for ethnomusicologists, Native music scholars, and other readers who are interested in the musical journeying of people and repertoires across North America."--Great Plains Quarterly

"Tara Browner's edited volume on American Indian music, originally published in 2009 and issued as a paperback in 2022, provides context and analysis that sheds light on key areas where music intersects prominently with Indian cultures: dance, identity, mythology, poetics, and spiritual power." --Journal of Folklore Research Reviews


"This anthology offers an exciting variety of scholarly studies of musical practices of First Peoples. This highly influential work undoubtedly makes an important contribution to the field of ethnomusicology, containing essays that will become widely cited."--Beverley Diamond, author of Native American Music in Eastern North America: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture

"A fascinating and innovative collection of case studies, including work by Native American scholars as well as articles coauthored by non-Native scholars and Native community members. This collection's special strength is the rich variety of methodological approaches and communities presented, some of which have been underrepresented in previous literature in American Indian ethnomusicology. This work will certainly appeal to scholars in ethnomusicology, anthropology, folklore, linguistics, Native American studies, and cultural studies."--Victoria Lindsay Levine, author of Writing American Indian Music: Historic Transcriptions, Notations, and Arrangements