Native Culture Links www.nativeculturelinks.com/music.html
Established in 1995, and maintained by Lisa Mitten in Middletown, CT. This extensive, well organized, user-friendly site lists lots of record labels in both the U.S. and Canada as well as individual artists. Also has extensive lists of media organizations, newspapers, tribal colleges, powwow info, etc.
Index of Native American Resources on the Internet
Maintained by Karen Strom since 1999. This is another very extensive listing of links under General Resouces, Individual Artists, and Music Sources. Music is just one of 33 categories of links.
Native Village www.nativevillage.org/Libraries/Music and Dance
Administered by Gina Boltz, this is an extensive site. The music library is just one small part of it, but there are links to music here that I never knew existed.
RECORD LABELS AND MUSIC SOURCES
Canyon Records Productions www.canyonrecords.com
Founded in 1951 by Ray and Mary Boley, Canyon Records in Phoenix, AZ, remains the largest Native music record label in the U.S. today with many traditional American Indian recordings as well as the modern Native American music. Boley retired in 1992, and the company is now headed by Robert Doyle. Ray Boley passed on in early 2003.
Drumbeat Indian Arts www.drumbeatindianarts.com
Located in Phoenix, AZ, Drumbeat is an excellent one-stop source for almost all recordings of American Indian and Native American music. They also have videos and books. Formerly affiliated with Canyon Records, Bob Nuss, the owner, has been in the business 30 years, and is a walking encyclopedia on Native recordings past and present.
Cool Runnings Music www.coolrunningsmusic.com
Located at St. Michaels, AZ, just outside of Window Rock on the Navajo Reservation, Eddie Weber of Cool Runnings Music has recorded a large collection of Navajo music in just a few years. Particularly strong in Navajo peyote songs, they also have Navajo children's songs and powwow groups.
Indian Records Inc. indianrecordsinc.com
Located in Fay, Oklahoma, the late Oscar Humphreys, founder of Indian Records Inc., began recording in 1968 with Northern Cheyenne War Dance Songs led by Phillip Whiteman. Today Indian Records Inc. has over 100 albums of traditional music from the Northern and Southern Plains as well as many recordings of peyote music. The collection is particularly strong in Cheyenne music. Originally published on LP and cassette, and then remastered to CD. The collection is also available from their website by digital download.
When I was a teenager, eager to find Indian music on records, one of the few and best sources was Ethnic Folkways in New York City, founded in 1948. Moses Asch, one of the founders, was interested in music from all over the world, and published the recordings of anthropologists and musicologists at a time when there was little market for specialized ethnic recordings. Through the '50s, '60s and '70s, he published quite a few albums of American Indian music from North, Central, and South America. His earliest American Indian album was Music of the Sioux and the Navajo, recorded by Willard Rhodes, published in 1949. Today this is still a classic album. Also, Laura Boulton's Indian Music of the Southwest, and Ken Peacock's Indian Music of the Canadian Plains are exceptional albums. Folkways has some of the few published recordings of Northwest Coast music. When Moe Asch died in 1986, the Smithsonian Institution acquired Folkways to ensure that this valuable collection of ethnic music from all over the world would continue to be available. Since then, the Smithsonian has continued to add to this collection of Indian music on the Smithsonian Folkways label. Originally published on 78's and LP's, these recordings are now available on CD.
Library of Congress, American Folklife Center, Music of the American Indian Series
Another great source for early recordings of American Indian music is the Library of Congress collection, issued in the 1940's and 50's. In this collection are copies of Alice Fletcher's Omaha recordings made from 1895–1910; the early cylinder recordings by Frances Densmore made from 1910-1930: Iroquois and Seneca music recorded by William N. Fenton from 1941–45; and songs from a great many tribes recorded by Willard Rhodes from 1940-1952. Originally issued on LP's (the red records), these are now available only on audio cassette tape by special order.
Full Circle Videos www.fullcir.com
Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this company has some of the best instructional videos on traditional Indian dance styles, how to make traditional dance clothes, and other subjects. "Into the Circle" is recommended as an excellent introduction to the modern-day powwow.
Song Journey www.wmm.com/filmcatalog A video by Arlene Bowman about Plains Indian singing from both the Southern and Northern Plains. Special focus on the role of women singers with interviews of several outstanding women singers. Well put together. For DVD orders for private home use only, be sure to see their special reduced pricing for home use.
Nagra Audio Recorders www.nagraaudio.com/
"If it is worth recording, it is worth recording well." (my own motto)
For those who are serious about quality and are willing to make the financial commitment, I recommend the Swiss-made battery-powered Nagra recorders. Since 1966, I have used the Nagra III, the Nagra IV-S, and the Nagra D 4-channel digital recorder. Introduced in 2008, the new Nagra VI 6-channel digital recorder is now the ultimate field machine. Replacing the Nagra D, the Nagra VI is much smaller and lighter, and can even be carried over-the-shoulder. It has four mic inputs and two line inputs, all at 24 bit A/D conversion. Like the Nagra V it can record up to 10 seconds before you press the record button, great for unexpected starts in live recording. It records BWF files to a 120 Gig hard drive. A super machine.
Neumann Microphones www.neumannusa.com
Although the choice of microphones is very subjective. I personally was turned on to Neumann mics by Alan Emig, a record mastering engineer in Los Angeles back in 1967. Although considered to be studio microphones, I have used them in the field for over 40 years, and I like their sound. I have never been disappointed. They also have a good service department. Proper wind-screening is required.
Schoeps Microphones www.schoeps.de/ and www.posthorn.com/Schoeps_1.html
When recording voices and drums, Neumann mics have a slight high-end boost which gives them their characteristic rich, detailed sound, even outdoors. However, when recording singing with rattles or bells, the Neumanns can over-exaggerate the high frequency material. Schoeps mics are designed with a flat high-end response so that rattles or bells are recorded without exaggeration. However, the Schoeps mics may sometimes fail in very humid weather. I have used both Neumann and Schoeps mics for almost all of my recordings. I recommend them both.