Songs for the Journey


Songs from The Complete Guide to the Native American Style Flute, 2nd Edition
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Songs for the Journey is a collection of songs, from The Complete Guide to the Native American Style Flute, 2nd Edition (page 106-121). Each new song adds a level complexity from the previous one as an aid for NAF players and students to build their technique. They have been recorded without any embellishments and, to aid those learning new rhythms, as close to the indicated tempo as possible. However, the player may change the tempo of a song and/or add embellishments to taste. (see Part 6: Embellishments for the NAF, page 85)
Mesa Trail (page 108) Mesa Trail starts our journey. It is a basic song with only quarter, half and whole notes.
Coyote Dreams (page 108) Coyote Dreams introduces eight notes.
Spirit Wind (page 108) Spirit Wind adds longer groups of eighth notes.
Little Crow Dance (page 109) While straightforward when played as written, Little Crow Dance is perfect for learning tonguing articulations (page 93). The second of two quarter notes will sound cleaner using this technique. Another good way to articulate the repeated notes would be the use of taps and/or cuts (page 86).
Aspen Leaves (page 109) This song introduces some leaps, which is the movement between two notes that are more than one finger away. As opposed to steps, when the notes are one finger apart. This is an ideal song for adding Double Grace notes. (page 89.)
Canyon Sunrise (page 110) Although on the surface Canyon Sunrise seems to be a simple song in AABA form, the second and third A sections can also be viewed as variations of the initial tune. (Developing a Melody, page 128.) The B section briefly shifts the tonal center to the 4th before an unresolved cadence puts it back in the tonal center of the main tune. The rests are important as they add space to the tune. Do not rush through them. (Note: Although not in the score, I could help but add a coda (Italian: tail) by repeating the last phrase with a ritard. Feel free to do the same.)
Santa Fe Sunrise (page 111) A simple tune played twice with a bit of variation. The repeated notes can be done with a soft tonguing articulation, a chirp, cut or tap (see Part 6: Embellishments for the NAF, page 85.) I’ve added a ritard on the last phrase and a bit of ambient fun throughout.
Galisteo Road (page 115) Named after the village of Galisteo, southeast of Santa Fe, this song in an ABAB form uses a lot of double tonguing in the B tune. The opportunities for double graces notes (page 89) can be found throughout, I’ve put one in measure 28, but for the most part have left the song plain so that you can clearly hear the melody. Feel free to add any ornamentations you like.
Variations on Mary had a Little Lamb (page 116-117) Variations on simple tunes are a good way to learn many different techniques using the same melody. The tune Mary had a Little Lamb uses only the first four notes of a pentatonic major scale. The NAF can play these using notes 3, 4, 5 and 7. This is because the relative pentatonic major on a NAF begins a minor 3rd above the flute’s root, or 3.

For the proposes of hearing how each of the variations work in context, all were played at 120 bpm, with a single measure between each. Embellishments were not played to allow the student to clearly hear the rhythms and phrasing.

Here is a brief description of each variation and the technique if features:
The Tune is presented in very simple rhythms.
Variation #1 introduces dotted notes (dotted quarter + eighth notes).
Variation #2 mixes dotted notes with groups of four eighth notes.
Variation #3 contains groups of four eighth notes across the middle of some measures.
Variation #4 introduces a very distinctive “short-long-short” rhythm that will be found in the next song, Condor Dance. The longer of the three beats in this rhythm occurs on the off-beat.
Variation #5 employs syncopation. Syncopation occurs when a motif, tune or rhythm start on a weak beat or the “and” of a beat. Variation #4 also sounds syncopated even though the rhythm starts on the beat, because of the stress naturally given to the longer note in the “short-long-short” rhythm.
Variation #6 is almost entirely eighth notes. Even though there are phrase markings, each line should be done with a single breath and articulation used to express the phrases within each breath.
Condor Dance (page 118) Lively dotted note rhythms reminiscent of the music of the Andes cultures of Peru, Boliva give this song its usual title. While great flyers, condors are known to dance much. The articulation of the song is also one of its distinctive features. A mix of staccato and slurs notes within the A theme add syncopation and stress at the same time. The B theme seems straight forward, but it contains many rhythms that are off the beat. The lines of the tune contrast the sharp playing of the A theme. The form is ABAB, but the second B never gets to finish as its interrupted by a coda pulled from the A theme. The score shows two pitches for the penultimate note. The player may pick which one they like best, or repeat the tune and play a different one each time. The recording here uses the lower note.
Flight of the Swallows (page 120) This song contains many dotted rhythms in the A section. There is a detailed look at dotted rhythms on page 56 of The Complete Guide for the Native American Style Flute.” There are also many eighth note “runs,” designed to help strengthen the upper hand. In measure 32 there is an eighth note rest. A complete list of rests can be found on page 50. The song form is ABA. The B section is half the length of each A, which have two parts to them. The first half of the song is played without embellishments. The second half has a few.
Seven Horses (page 121) An improvisation from the Navajo Lands at the base of Shiprock mountain. Rising and falling scale segments are the motif of this song. The note durations are approximate, as are the time signatures. Their purpose in the score is to show the player where the natural stresses of the performance occur. The embellishments of chirps and turns are notated in the score. The recording was done live from Canyon de Chelly, AZ.
Native Trails (Embellished) (page 97) Native Trails is show twice in The Complete Guide to the Native American Style Flute, without and with embellishments. Below is a recording of the version with embellishments as notated, and perhaps an extra chirp or two…