Instruments

Native American music is prevailingly vocal.  Almost all instruments are percussive, and their function is to provide rhythmic accompaniment to singing. Solo drumming is actually rare.


Drums and rattles


Double-headed drums

Small hand drums with single skin

Water drum - kettle-drum filled with water for tuning

Pieces of rawhide suspended from stakes

Container rattles made of gourd, sewn hide, or turtle shell

Strings of deer hooves


Melodic


Native America flute - vertical flute made of cedar, walnut, birch, and other woods, played solo for courting. Flutes play songs, but in the southwestern United States there is a separate flute repertory not markedly different from the songs.


Apache fiddle - Bowed instrument with one string, probably made in imitation of the Western violin, used by Navajo and Apache peoples