Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Pilgrims and the Wampanoag

Looking back to what is called the first Thanksgiving in 1621, we know the participants in this harvest festival or religious giving of thanks for the bounty were the Pilgrims and the First Nation tribe who had shared new world agriculture with the Pilgrims -- the Wampanoag. What we don't know about is the music from the gathering.

The music of the Pilgrims is more complex than their religious singing of psalms without instrumental accompaniment. Likewise, the music of the Wampanoag, while full of religious song, is much richer than that. Was there music at the feast? Who sang for whom? Were there instruments?

Today, Thanksgiving is filled with music -- from church music to the marching bands at the football games and the parades. May your Thanksgiving be filled with joy -- and music.

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