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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Gary J. Witherspoon
AIS 110
Seattle Campus

Musical Traditions of Native North America

Utilizes historical and contemporary sources to survey the music and music-related traditions of Native North America. Examines traditional music and context from the Northwest Coast, Arctic, Southwest, Great Basin, Plains, Plateau, California, and Eastern Woodlands music-style areas, as well as contemporary neo-traditional and popular genres of American Indian music.

Class description

This class will focus on American Indian public and recorded music and dance since 1950. within the limitations of class time and the instructor's interest and expertise, the class will include both traditional and contemporary performances, as well as contemporary expressions of traditional forms of music, dance and related arts. These forms of art will be integrated by a general Indigenous aesthetic philosophy that sees life as a song and a concert, and sees art as a way of seeing the world and a way of being in the world.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Visual and audio presentations of the music and dance of creations and performances of outstanding individual artists, inluding Ed Natay, Peter LaFarge, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Johnny Cash, Floyd Westerman, Arlene Nofchissey, Joane Shenondoah, Carlos Nakai, Sharon Burch, Primeaux and Mike, Robbie Robertson, Radmilla Cody, Delphine Tsinajinnie, and possibly others.

Recommended preparation

An interest in recent American Indian music and a willingness to do a research project or a creative musical production or performance.

Class assignments and grading

There will likely be one project and one exam.

An exam and a project with 50% emphasis on each.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Gary J. Witherspoon
Date: 11/20/2006