In this Book

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
summary
Includes audio CD with over 50 Cree hunting songs

Essential Song: Three Decades of Northern Cree Music, a study of subarctic Cree hunting songs, is the first detailed ethnomusicology of the northern Cree of Quebec and Manitoba. The result of more than two decades spent in the North learning from the Cree, Lynn Whidden’s account discusses the tradition of the hunting songs, their meanings and origins, and their importance to the hunt. She also examines women’s songs, and traces the impact of social change—including the introduction of hymns, Gospel tunes, and country music—on the song traditions of these communities.

The book also explores the introduction of powwow song into the subarctic and the Crees struggle to maintain their Aboriginal heritage—to find a kind of song that, like the hunting songs, can serve as a spiritual guide and force.

Including profiles of the hunters and their songs and accompanied by an original audio CD of more than fifty Cree hunting songs, Essential Song makes an important contribution to ethnomusicology, social history, and Aboriginal studies.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. iii-iv
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  1. Table of Figures
  2. p. v
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  1. Foreword
  2. p. vii
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. p. ix
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  1. Prologue: The Cree Come to Campus
  2. pp. xi-xvi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-12
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  1. 1. Song and Ceremony
  2. pp. 13-30
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  1. 2. Song and History
  2. pp. 31-45
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  1. 3. Song and Survival
  2. pp. 47-74
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  1. 4. Hymns and Hunting Songs
  2. pp. 75-89
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  1. 5. Country Music: How Can You Dance to Beethoven?
  2. pp. 91-100
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  1. 6. Powwow in the Subarctic
  2. pp. 101-112
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  1. 7. The Powwow: From the South to the Subarctic
  2. pp. 113-120
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 121-126
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  1. Afterword
  2. pp. 127-128
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  1. Appendix I. Frequently Sung Hymns in Chisasibi, Quebec
  2. pp. 129-131
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  1. Appendix II. The Eighty-Six Songs, with Topics and Commentary, of the 1982 and 1984 Collections
  2. pp. 132-151
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 153-156
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  1. List of Sources
  2. pp. 157-161
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 163-170
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 171-174
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  1. CD Track Listing
  2. p. 176
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