Calumet Dance

The Inoka performed a dance for special occasions using this melody, freshly reharmonized by James L. King III in his quirky signature style.

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Jacques Marquette wrote out the words and musical notation of a song that was part of a peace-pipe dance performed in his honor by the Peoria tribe in 1673. The song has a beautiful melody and a rhythm that appears to be reminiscent of European medieval-chant.

This arrangement and harmonization of Marquette’s transcription is not intended to be an authentic recreation of an Inoka performance, but should be considered a contemporary retelling of the peace-pipe dance. It begins with a primitive A-minor open-fifths sound, but as the piece progresses it becomes more and more sophisticated, ending in C major. The time signature changes reflect the original manuscript, and will help keep a fluid “beat-less” chant rhythm when performed.

Key: A minor/C major

Mood: content and peaceful, sometimes sad.

Pedagogy: time signature changes, rolled chords, ritardando


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