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Thread: "Indian" music in Westerns

  1. #16
    Member BlazeGlory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msegers View Post
    I recently joined a friend who loves Westerns in watching an old black and white film. When the Native Americans / Indians came on, I realized that there was an inevitable bit of music that is almost always associated with their presence in Western films.

    I have no idea what the the name of it is or who the composer is. I assume that anyone who has ever seen a Western has heard it.

    Any idea?



    Indian tune.mp3
    I know it's been years since this thread was started but I'm a relatively new member and today was the first time I viewed this. This is a very simple file of what I think may be the music in question. I have no idea of what the title is.

  2. #17
    Senior Member Prodromides's Avatar
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    Cool

    Glad you like A MAN CALLED HORSE.

    The other titles you mention all have a soundtrack album except GERONIMO (1961) by Hugo Friedhofer (which I never saw or heard). CHEYENNE AUTUMN was directed by John Ford, who did not approve of orchestral music backing-up characters who are in a desert setting. Alex North's score, in this instance, happens to be highly polyphonic; THE RETURN OF A MAN CALLED HORSE has a simpler thematic, though melodic, approach by Laurence Rosenthal.

    Additional recommendations follow, but none of them will have the cultural authenticity regarding what I mentioned in my previous post.

    • BROKEN ARROW (1950) was one of the earliest Hollywood movies to depict Native Americans sympathetically. Composer Hugo Friedhofer did not use any genuine cultural material as far as I recall.




    • RIO CONCHOS (1964) is an early Western score by Jerry Goldsmith, who uses familiar scales/intervals & instrumentations to depict Indians.




    • CHATO'S LAND (1972) by Jerry Fielding does not sound like a typical Western. The music here is focused on creating an aural landscape to reflect an austere terrain. Some minor uses of Indian scales/& instruments.



    • the 1984 TV-movie THE MYSTIC WARRIOR by Gerald Fried is the one of this bunch which is closest to being the most authentic by virtue of an actual Native American language sung by the Roger Wagner Master Chorale. Mr. Fried does not any real songs, however, for dramatic license.



    • Jerry Goldsmith (again) provides a Native American Indian theme in his score for POLTERGEIST II : THE OTHER SIDE (1986), perhaps a welcomed respite from Westerns. Unsure, though, whether a horror movie is appropriate or not in context of references for your project.




    Good luck in your endeavors.

  3. #18
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    I have had the same question as msegers for many years, and I'm glad to see someone else does too. Most of the responses here are unlikely to be helpful, since they refer to the original scores of movies from 1960 onward, whereas the recognizable "Indian music" surely goes back well into the 1950s or earlier. The Indian Tune posted by BlazeGlory is quite similar to the tune I have in mind, though not exactly --- but of course there might have been many variants of this tune in many different movies.

    I'll be very glad if someone can identify the source of that "Indian tune".

  4. #19
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    http://www.losdoggies.com/archives/3122 This has no info, but I think it might be the tune you are looking for? Often with some drums thrown in for good measure?

    I blame Disney - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_at9dOElQk#t=49
    Last edited by MonicaStillwater; Dec-31-2013 at 09:55.

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    Senior Member (Ret) moody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d.kowlesar View Post
    Why do people still refer to them as Indians? I am Indian. Not anywhere near America, not even my roots. The people you are referring to are Native American. Period. NOT Native American/Indian.
    Are we to play cowboys and native Americans. A couple of years ago a get-together of Indian chiefs was featured on TV and they referred to themselves as Indians throughout.
    Fools talk because they have to say something, wise men talk because they have something to say.

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    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    Injuns, more like! Watching Calamity Jane yesterday showed me the great old Hollywood stereotype of them as savage "varmint..."
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

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    Senior Member Couac Addict's Avatar
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    Apparently...it's 80s electro. Is that a traditional war dance at 2mins?


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    Good day, and sorry to necro this thread, but I've been also searching for Amerindian music similar to the tracks I've heard in westerns and hoping the bit I'll post below also meets the terms OP is describing.

    This is a rendition/cover of El condor pasa by a national artist from my country. The part that describes the entry scene of "indians" in western movies to me is represented by 0:15-0:25 seconds into this song:

    http://www.fileshare.ro/1772124764.48

    If I was correct and anyone else knows similar songs to that small part, please reply.

    Thank you!

  12. #25
    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    In the earlier wave of Cowboy / Indian films, say the mid to late 1950's (they're called Oaters, Lol,) a segment from Resphigi's Pini di Roma (The pines of Rome was used -- that cliche when 'of a sudden,' a shot would cut to them injuns on a hilltop or high ground overlooking the cavalry / wagon train, etc.

    The very brief bit from this score so often used in the earlier westerns is from the second segment of Pini di Roma; I pini del Gianicolo (Pines of the Janiculum), or an 'original' piece very directly cribbed from it.
    Start @ 03'15.''
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnsbLeCffa8

    Since this bit of the segment is modal, and for whatever reason Hollywood music directors choose this bit or that of classical music, this is what got used in dozens of films -- or an 'original' near rip-off imitation of it was in its place.

    Of course, as associated with "Injuns" as it may be, this Italian tone poem from the first half of the 20th century has nothing whatsoever to do with genuine Amerind ethnic music -- that was the "Hollywood way" :-)
    Last edited by PetrB; Feb-23-2014 at 06:10.

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  14. #26
    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d.kowlesar View Post
    Why do people still refer to them as Indians? I am Indian. Not anywhere near America, not even my roots. The people you are referring to are Native American. Period. NOT Native American/Indian.
    To English speakers, you are an Indian, and some would say East Indian: The American Indian is also referred to as "an Indian"... as in:

    "In·di·an
    ˈindēən/
    adjective
    adjective: Indian

    1.
    of or relating to the indigenous peoples of America.
    2.
    of or relating to India or to the subcontinent comprising India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

    noun
    noun: Indian; plural noun: Indians

    1.
    an American Indian.
    2.
    a native or inhabitant of India, or a person of Indian descent."


    The usage varies, then.

    Someone went all pedantic that the American Indian peoples are émigré from Northeastern Siberia, i.e. Asiatic in descent and 'not native.' LOL.

    If you are going back in geological time, may as well call émigré any peoples living and established in but one smaller Area of Africa a very long time ago -- which means in current time there is hardly anywhere a "native" anyone; hey, that's the truth :-)

    That can lead to all sorts of fun -- i.e. anyone who calls themselves English are johnny come lately émigré; as everyone knows, the Picts were "The only Native People" of that isle :-)
    Last edited by PetrB; Feb-23-2014 at 08:58.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moody View Post
    Are we to play cowboys and native Americans. A couple of years ago a get-together of Indian chiefs was featured on TV and they referred to themselves as Indians throughout.
    That's what it's come down to in our PC world.
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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  18. #28
    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetrB View Post
    To English speakers, you are an Indian, and some would say East Indian: The American Indian is also referred to as "an Indian"... as in:

    "In·di·an
    ˈindēən/
    adjective
    adjective: Indian

    1.
    of or relating to the indigenous peoples of America.
    2.
    of or relating to India or to the subcontinent comprising India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

    noun
    noun: Indian; plural noun: Indians

    1.
    an American Indian.
    2.
    a native or inhabitant of India, or a person of Indian descent."


    The usage varies, then.

    Someone went all pedantic that the American Indian peoples are émigré from Northeastern Siberia, i.e. Asiatic in descent and 'not native.' LOL.

    If you are going back in geological time, may as well call émigré any peoples living and established in but one smaller Area of Africa a very long time ago -- which means in current time there is hardly anywhere a "native" anyone; hey, that's the truth :-)

    That can lead to all sorts of fun -- i.e. anyone who calls themselves English are johnny come lately émigré; as everyone knows, the Picts were "The only Native People" of that isle :-)
    And don't forget the West Indians from the West Indies in the Caribbean - all down to Columbus's mistake. That usage is surely too entrenched to be changed, though one never knows.

    I am just listening to the 'watching from the pines' music - spot on! Well done, PetrB.
    There is also music played for Indians round the camp-fire, a bit similar to the Judy Garland song, but not the same. About as good as 'the Japanese music' in 'The Mikado'!
    Last edited by Ingélou; Feb-23-2014 at 20:25.
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  20. #29
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    Default "Indian" music in Westerns

    Quote Originally Posted by PetrB View Post
    In the earlier wave of Cowboy / Indian films, say the mid to late 1950's (they're called Oaters, Lol,) a segment from Resphigi's Pini di Roma (The pines of Rome was used -- that cliche when 'of a sudden,' a shot would cut to them injuns on a hilltop or high ground overlooking the cavalry / wagon train, etc.

    The very brief bit from this score so often used in the earlier westerns is from the second segment of Pini di Roma; I pini del Gianicolo (Pines of the Janiculum), or an 'original' piece very directly cribbed from it.
    Start @ 03'15.''
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnsbLeCffa8

    Since this bit of the segment is modal, and for whatever reason Hollywood music directors choose this bit or that of classical music, this is what got used in dozens of films -- or an 'original' near rip-off imitation of it was in its place.

    Of course, as associated with "Injuns" as it may be, this Italian tone poem from the first half of the 20th century has nothing whatsoever to do with genuine Amerind ethnic music -- that was the "Hollywood way" :-)
    Very interesting, at least it's somewhere to start.
    The date of composition throws me though.
    I need to find out WHEN the standard "Indian que was first used. I presumed it was present in pre- hollywood stage productions, of which there were many, of "Indian" themed melodramas.
    Nothing whatever to prove that, it's just my thinking.
    I'm amazed that nobody has pursued this. Surely there's a paper in it, credit for someone.

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  22. #30
    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moody View Post
    Are we to play cowboys and native Americans. A couple of years ago a get-together of Indian chiefs was featured on TV and they referred to themselves as Indians throughout.
    Quote Originally Posted by hpowders View Post
    That's what it's come down to in our PC world.
    ..worse, it should be Cowpersons and Amerinds, Lol.

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