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Encyclopedia > Music of Nunavut

Nunavat is a province of Canada, inhabited mostly by Inuits and other members of the First Nations. Inuit folk music has long been based primarily off percussion, used in dance music, as well as vocals, including the famous throat singing tradition.

Music of Canada
Maritime Provinces
Prairie Provinces
Native American
Genres Classical - Folk - Hip hop - Jazz - Pop - Rock
Timeline and Samples
Awards Juno, Hall of Fame, Western Canadian Music Awards, East Coast Music Awards, CASBY Awards
Charts Jam!, Chart
Festivals Canadian Music Week, NXNE
Media Canadian Musician Magazine, Chart, Exclaim!
National anthem "O Canada"
Local music
Alberta - British Columbia - Manitoba - New Brunswick - Newfoundland and Labrador - Northwest Territories - Nova Scotia - Nunavut - Ontario - Prince Edward Island - Quebec - Saskatchewan - Yukon

Early European immigration brought new styles and instruments to Nunavut, including country music, bluegrass, square dancing, the button accordion and the fiddle.


Drum-led dancing has long been an important part of Inuit life in Nunavut, and was used to mark all the major occasions of life -- a birth, changing of the seasons, a successful hunt or a marriage. In a traditional dance, a group of women sat in a circle and sang while men danced one at a time. If no man volunteered to dance, a woman would choose a personal song of one of the men in the audience, and he would be obliged to dance. These dances lasted throughout the night, save for a few tea breaks. By the end of the night, women and children begin participating in the drumming. This dance is rarely performed in the modern era, and is almost always done as attractions for tourists.

Traditional Inuit songs from Nunavut included satirical, obscene, humorous, romantic and jesting songs, as well as rivalry songs, in which enemies insulted each other through lyrics. Most adults had their own personal song, which could be of any type. Personal songs may be given, either to someone bearing the same name, or as an object of appreciation for some help rendered.

Inuit throat-singing is performed by two women standing face to face. They repeat different sounds in a swift rhythm in a form of contest to see who can last the longest.

Modern musicians from Nunavut generally play country or gospel, though traditional music and other styles retain some popularity. Well-known musicians from the territory include Lucie Idlout, Itulu Itidlui, Simon Sigjariaq, Mary Atuat Thompson, William Tagoona, Charlie Panigoniak and Peter and Susan Aningmiuq. Susan Aglukark, a major recording star in Canada, was raised in Arviat in Nunavut.

The True North Concert, held every year, has helped increase coverage of Inuit music.

  Results from FactBites:
Music Performance Fund (MPF) - enriching lives through music (1345 words)
The music performances, which are presented in concert halls across the city, introduce young students to a wide spectrum of musical genres, and to the beauty of the performing arts as a foundation for lifelong learning.
As an IAJE member and sponsor, the Music Performance Fund is proud to join forces to provide an important public service by bringing the musical experience of Jazz to public school students of all ages, throughout the United States and Canada and to assure the continued worldwide growth and development of jazz and jazz education.
IAJE also promotes the application of jazz principles in music materials and methods at all levels of education; communicates informational segments of the public including artists, educators, students, enthusiasts, the music industry and the general public; and encourages education which provides the knowledge, skills and materials vital to a career in jazz.
Music of Canada - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4378 words)
French immigrants to Quebec established their musical forms in the future province, but there was no scholarly study until Ernest Gagnon 's 1865 collection of 100 folk songs.
Music was dance -oriented and requested luck in hunting, gambling, or weather, and only rarely, if ever, expressing traditional purposes like love or specialized forms like work songs and lullabies.
Classical music in Canada is performed by a variety of orchestras, such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and many smaller orchestras and groups; such as the Canadian Brass.
  More results at FactBites »



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