Southwestern Suite for Flute and Guitar Part I - Native American Songs
Movement 1 Dance Songs of the Night Chant contains two dance songs, both Navajo. The first song uses a pentatonic scale that covers a range of an octave and has a feel of minor. The second song uses a pentatonic scale that covers the range of a fifth and has a feel of major. This difference between major and minor is emphasized in the transition section between statement of the two themes. Ornamentation is freely added to the flute line to imitate voice sounds and subtly vary some of the rhythms. The guitar is treated percussively at times, imitating the sound of a rattle with the strumming in the beginning and a drum, by tapping on the body of the guitar later on. One of the motives from the first song is used as an accompaniment figure for the second song. Movement 2 is a Social Dance Song, also Navajo in origin. It uses English words that suggest acculturation. This song uses another pentatonic scale with a range of a tenth. An interesting characteristic of this scale is the use of two consecutive major thirds that suggest a tonal shift. Harmony and bird sounds are added to this song to create interest, yet retain its stark nature. The Dance Song in movement 3 is from the Mojave-Apache. It uses a pentatonic scale that covers the range of a tenth and is in triple meter. This song is treated imitatively and free counterpoint is added at several places.
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