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Olivet Mich Harold A. Loring IN Lecture Recitals ON American Indian Music Assisted By Grover Eaglewing A Full-blooded Indian Harold A. Loring IN Lecture-Recitals ON American Indian Music Assisted by Grover Eaglewing Full-blood Indian Concert Direction HARRY CULBERTSON, Fine Arts Building CHICAGO, ILL. Figure Harold A. Loring About ten years ago Mr. Loring became decidedly interested in the study of the native music of the North American Indian. He went first among the Sioux Indians of South Dakota and spent an entire winter among them, learning their language, customs and habits in order to become close enough to them to make records of their music. He was later appointed when Mr. Theodore Roosevelt was President, to take up this work among all the Indian tribes, under the auspices of the United States Government. He left the government service to take up lecture-recital work, and since that time has paid frequent visits to the various reservations throughout the West. Mr. Loring speaks the Sioux language fluently and understands the sign language, which is used by all the plains Indians. Mr. Loring will be assisted by Grover Eaglewing, who is a full-blood Indian of the Klamath tribe. Eaglewing will give illustrations of the native music. MR. VICTOR NILSSON IN THE MINNEAPOLIS JOURNAL AND THE MUSICAL COURIER. MUSIC OF THE SIOUX AND INDIAN LORE Harold A. Loring Gives Splendid Lecture-Recital at Northwestean Conservatory This season has been exceptionally rich in opportunities for the music lover and student to acquaint themselves with Indian music. First came Cadman with his lecture-recital upon Indian music, its artistic and poetic possibilities, illustrated through his own playing and the singing by Tsianina Redfeather of idealized Indian melodies, mostly of the Omaha and Ojibway tribal treasury of song. Next came Frances Densmore with her scholarly lecture-recital upon the music of the Chippewas. Mr. Harold Loring, when speaking yesterday afternoon in the assembly-room of the Northwestern Conservatory of Music, appeared upon a stage artistically decked with choice specimens of the blanket industry of the Navajo Indians, baskets and other Indian gear. In the course of his lecture Mr. Loring touched upon the fact that he had studied the manners and music of nearly every Indian tribe now extant although it was chiefly with the Sioux Indians of the South Dakota reservations that he was concerned during the more than two years he studied there as an emissary of the Indian bureau during the Roosevelt administration. In his spirited introduction Mr. Loring spoke of the American Indian as a badly understood and bitterly persecuted race. When Columbus for the first time landed upon American soil, he fell upon his knees to thank God, and then fell upon the aborigines, said Mr. Loring with an amusing play upon words, savoring with humor also the rest of the sorrowful tale of white man's robbery of the red. And according to Indian viewpoint, this robbery continued in the sympathtic research made for Indian lore and music, for the red man feels that something is being taken away from him irreparably through the use of the camera and the phonograph. In speaking of primitive music in general and Sioux music in particular, Mr. Loring explained how of the three elements indispensable in modern music, rhythm, melody and harmony, the last mentioned is lacking in Indian music. Mr. Loring tried to supply appropriate harmony for the melodies he had found, but these attempts usually proved not to suit the Indian ear. Yet by trying over and over various harmonizations Mr. Loring had been successful in pleasing them, which fact made him believe that the Indian possesses a sense of harmony also, although undeveloped and very different to what the white man accepts as such. This may to some extent be connected with the peculiarities of the Indian scale of music, which besides tonics and diatonics also holds quartersteps of tones. It is no wonder that diatonic harmony will in vain exhaust its possibilities in a music even more chromatic than a Schoenberg or Florent Schmitt. Mr. Lorng called attention to the fact that nearly all Indian music is written in a minor key with but very rare and brief incursions into major. As Indian music is very old and the conquest of America by the white race but of yesterday in comparison, its melancholy seems to point to the fact, more and more realized by science, that the Indians were of a race scattered and dying out when first discovered. Mr. Loring pointed out that there are 385,000 Indians in this country today. There probably never were more than twice as many since time immemorial, and their own gruesome tribal feuds served to decimate them quite as effectually as the white man's guns or whisky. Mr. Loring said that a white man can hardly realize how important a part music plays in the daily life of the Indian. Early in the morning he used to hear their tom-toms, and drawing back the flap of his teepee, he would see the women holding their babies—the lecturer denounced the word pappoose, like wigwam and tomahawk at non-Indian—toward the rising sun, while the choir band of the tribe, consisting of some six to eight young men would sing a song which called down the blessing of the sun upon the little ones. It is a part of Indian religion to be grateful for all things, for the sun, the water, the wind, the rain, everything which the white man takes for granted. Mr. Loring played upon the piano the song of consecration sung by the young men, which had a weird beauty akin to that of certain folk melodies in the music of Sibelius and Tschaikowsky. In fact, all the specimens of Indian music given seemed to bear kinship to the primitive rune songs of Finland, or more distinctly of Karelia. The Song of the Ghost Dance, which was sung in all the war dances before the battle of Wounded Knee, has been annotated by Mr. Loring after considerable difficulties and was now sung by Arthur Vogelsang. It is a prayer to the Great Spirit of Great Mystery, in which the Indians believe, asking for mercy and for the restoration of past glory to the red tribes. In its constantly changing rhythm for every bar, alternately in three-fourths and two-fourths time, it proved a striking example of primitive music, borne by saddest melancholy. Mr. Vogelsang also sang a beautiful Sioux lullaby among the many melodic finds of Mr. Loring. The lecturer also found time to give an idea of the highly-developed language of signs which is universal among the Indians and by means of which men of tribes who speak different languages communicate without the possibility of a misunderstanding.— The Minneapolis Journal, Minneapolis, Minn. PRESS COMMENTS. Mr. Harold A. Loring, of Portland, Maine, has been appointed Supervisor of Native Indian Music by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. He is engaged in the task of studying the aboriginal Indian music with a view of conserving and preserving what is best in it for the benefit of the Indian race and for students of music. He has already visited a number of tribes, has lived among the Sioux Indians in the Dakotas for months, and has learned their language.— Brooklyn (N. Y.) Daily Eagle. The lecture-recital by Mr. Loring on The North Amreican Indian was both instructive and entertaining. It showed that Mr. Loring's investigations at first hand were in the truly scientific spirit and method. By reason of its clearness, strength and simplicity, the address was almost classic.— The Methodist, November 15, 1908. Mr. Harold A. Loring delighted the students of the University of South Carolina with his lecture-recital on The North American Indian and His Music. He made his address most interesting by playing a number of native Indian songs on the piano, demonstrating to his audience that the red man has music as interesting as that of the Southern negro. His address brought something entirely new to the thoughts of his audience and the cordiality with which he was received is sufficient proof of Mr. Loring's ability as a speaker and of the appreciation felt by the students.— From The Daily Record, Columbia, S. C. Mr. Loring has a unique line of work, visiting the various Indian tribes, and recording their music, and he seems to be accomplishing much. He has made some beautiful piano arrangements of some of the Indian songs, which will soon be published.— Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington. Mr. Loring is a man known throughout musical America. He gained considerable notice several years ago when President Roosevelt appointed him to visit the various tribes of Indians on their reservations throughout the West, for the purpose of recording and preserving for the government their native songs and folk-lore. Mr. Loring is conceded to know the Indian as do few other men living.— From The State, Columbia, S. C. The personality of the speaker added in a marked degree to the interest, as Mr. Loring is thoroughly in touch with his subject, a man who has something to say and whose happy choice of language makes of his descriptions a word picture which will linger long in the memory of those privileged to be present.— Lewiston, Maine, Journal. The lecture on The North American Indian and His Music, given last evening by Mr. Loring, was extremely enlightening and interesting. Mr. Loring knows more possibly of the music of the various Indian tribes than does any other man in the United States, having worked and lived among them for several years. After working among the Sioux Indians for six months he was appointed Supervisor of Native Music by the government, and in this capacity he worked among various tribes for a considerable length of time. He learned the language of the Sioux to such an extent as to converse easily with them. * * * Mr. Loring interpreted on the piano several arrangements of Indian songs, which were intensely interesting.— The Republican-Register, Galesburg, Illinois. Olivet, Mich., Nov. 23.—Probably the most entertaining and instructive lecture given at Olivet in recent years was the lecture-recital on The North American Indian and His Music, by Prof. Harold A. Loring, of the department, of music, Monday evening. Mr. Loring knows more of the music and the life of the various Indian tribes than does any other man in the United States, having worked and lived among them for several years.— Detroit, Michigan, Tribune. BY CARYLE B. STORRS. Harold A. Loring, whose original research work in music among the American Indians has won him national recognition, is to lecture at the Northwestern Conservatory this morning at 11 o'clock. An interesting feature of the lecture will be illustrations of Indian songs by Eagle Wing, an educated Indian who is helping Mr. Loring in his work. Mr. Loring won favorable comments from the music critics of the city when he lectured in Minneapolis last year.— Caryl B. Storrs, in The Minneapolis Tribune, Minneapolis, Minn. Mr. Loring does not wish to idealize the Indian music, but is trying to preserve the aboriginal idea and to perpetuate all that is best for the benefit of the race and for the students of America. Mr. Loring is a speaker of great ability and held the attention of his audience from start to finish.— Grand Forks Herald, Grand Forks, North Dakota. WILL PRESERVE SONGS OF RED MAN FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS Harold A. Loring, Government Investigator, Lecturer and Musical Director, Engaged in Work. Harold A. Loring, Portland, Me., is in Bismarck, after a visit to Standing Rock Reservation, where he has been recording and preserving the aboriginal music of the North American Indian. IS LECTURER. Some years ago Mr. Loring spent two years at this work under the auspices of the government. He resigned in order to give lecture recitals throughout the nation on the results of his investigations. He is spending this summer on the various reservations throughout the west under private auspices, in order to complete records partially obtained previously. Also to gain new material. TRIED PHONOGRAPH. At first records were made by the aid of the phonograph, but this was found in so many cases to be impracticable that Loring now depends almost entirely upon noting down the music on paper and then verifying this notation by having the songs repeated. MUSIC IN MINOR. While the music of the various tribes differs in some respects, yet there are certain characteristics common in all Indian music, he said. Among these may be mentoned the tendency of all the songs to be in a minor mode. Also the peculiar rhythmic beat of the tom toms or drums, these being the only instruments used. LITTLE PROGRESS. In the history of the music of the entire world, the human voice was the first instrument to be used and this was soon followed by a few barbaric instruments of percussion. Further than which the Indian has never progressed. INDIANS FEEL MELODY. In recording these native songs, Mr. Loring makes every effort to procure the authentic history of each song, as also the complete words in the native language. The Indians sing the melody only. But while singing the melody they inwardly feel an exact harmonization. By long and arduous experiments, Mr. Loring has been able to find just what harmonies are inwardly felt and heard by the Indian as he sings the melody. VOICE ACCOMPANIMENT. When these songs are published, there will be given a voice part to be accompanied on the piano by an arrangement of these chords that the Indian feels while singing the melody. One who has not lived among the Indians themselves can scarcely imagine the important part that music used to play in the everyday life of the Indian. PRESERVED SONGS FOR AGES. There was scarcely an event, however great or small, but had its particular song. At night around the tepee fire the old men taught these songs with great accuracy to the children and it is doubtless true that most of these songs have been handed down from generation to generation with unfailing accuracy. Some of the songs in current use were probably sung a thousand years ago, exactly as sung today. VISIT OTHER INDIANS. Mr. Loring expects to go from Bismarck among the Sioux in South Dakota, and then among the Blackfeet of Montana. OVERCAME SUSPICION. At first the Indians could not understand the object of this work and were very suspicious and unwilling to lend their aid, but after making personal friends among them, Mr. Loring could explain that he had come to perpetuate their songs not only for the whites, but for their own children. HAS STUDIED TONGUES. He has made a thorough study of the Dakota tongue and of the sign language and has thus come into close contact with the prominent men of the tribe and has made personal friends of them. He has thus gained their affections and now finds them not only willing, but anxious to aid in this important matter of preserving their songs and thus their history for future generations.— Bismarck Daily Tribune, Bismarck, North Dakota. GROVER EAGLEWING Who will assist Mr. Loring in Interpretation of Songs Figure SPECIMEN SYNOPSIS OF PROGRAMME. Attitude of the white race toward the Indian from the first. Some popular beliefs concerning the Indian shown to be incorrect. The white race misinformed with regard to many Indian characteristics. Many historical errors exist concerning the Indian. The Indian life of yesterday and of today contrasted. Modern life on the various Indian reservations. The Indian population and tribes, past and present. The effect upon the Indian of contact with the white race. The education of the Indian; various kinds of schools. The Indian who, after being educated, returns to the reservation. Indian mythology, religion, folk-lore, arts and crafts. The Indian music; its characteristics. What the Indians themselves have done toward preserving the music. To what extent it is now being recorded, arranged, preserved. Why music plays an important part in the life of the Indian. Illustrations at the piano of the characteristics of the music. Illustrations of the songs sung by Mr. Eaglewing. NOTE: Mr. Loring has made no effort to modernize or to idealize these songs of the North American Indian, but has rather sought to retain them in all their savagery and crudity and to instil in the American people an interest in the music as used and understood by the Indians themselves.
|Title||Harold A. Loring: in lecture recitals on American Indian music|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
Indians of North America
|Personal Name Subject||
Loring, Harold A.
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
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|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
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|Number of Pages||9|
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