Chapter

THE NATIVE AMERICAN IN POPULAR MUSIC

Derek B. Scott

in FROM THE EROTIC TO THE DEMONIC

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195151961
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199870394 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195151961.003.0004
THE NATIVE AMERICAN IN POPULAR MUSIC

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This chapter focuses on representations of the American Indian in popular styles of Western music from the 18th century to the present. The intention is to show how cultural difference is represented, when little is known or understood about the culture of those being represented, and to consider how shifting perceptions of the Native American can be related to changes in attitude to the “civilized” and the natural world. The emphasis on the popular sharpens the argument, because this kind of representation needs to be widely understood and easily assimilated in order for it to be popular. The ideology embedded in way the American Indian is represented tells us, predictably, about the attitudes of the person who stands outside Native American culture.

Keywords: popular song; Native American; natural; nature; noble savage

Chapter.  7834 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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