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American Indian Music: Stereotypes and Misconceptions

Increased interest in Native American culture has caused non-Indians to correct many stereotypes of American Indians; non-Indians have learned to appreciate distinctions between the material cultures and beliefs of different tribes. Most people today recognize, for instance, that only a few nations of Native Americans lived in tipis or wore feathered war bonnets. Nevertheless, a general misconception persists that the musical culture of each tribe is the same.

Stereotypes of Indian music began to develop as soon as white settlers arrived in the New World. Most Native American music is sung, and the newcomers naturally compared it to their own

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