​Music of the Expedition

Our Group is:

Bryant Lash
Joslyn Haldeman
Nathan Huxtable
Jenny Dailey

Lewis and Clark wanted to keep music alive on the trail. they had along with them a man by the name of Pierre Cruzatte, who played the fiddle. they also had Violins, a Harpsicord, a Tambourine, and a mandan(drum). They also, while on the trail, met Indian Tribes that traded instruments for corn and other needed items. Music was used to calm and relax people at the end of a long hard day. it also was a source of hope and strength for a hard days work. Our wiki will guide you through the music of the trail.

Lewis and Clark used instruments such as:

-Mandan (Drum)

Pierre Cruzatte
Pierre Cruzatte

Pierre Cruzatte

Many Native Americans enjoyed when he played his fiddle. He also played the jaw harp, bones, and spoons extremely well. Clark describes his playing, "Pierre was important to the expaditon because without him they wouldn't have music."

All of the Corps were duly appreciative of Cruzatte's talent as a fiddler, with which he embellished their rare hours of leisure, as well as their diplomatic relations with many Indian tribes — until very late in the trip. Back in June of 1805 Clark had remarked that Cruzatte played the instrument "extremely well." Unfortunately, nothing else the captain could have said would tell us as much about the sound of his playing as the picture above(see picture below text). We don't know whether the artist, George Heriot, knew anything about music or musical instruments, nor how accurately he recorded visual details, but his depiction of these two violinists corresponds with ample written evidence about performances of dance music around the turn of the nineteenth century.
A George Heriot Watercolor

Some songs played on the Lewis and Clark expitidion were:

-Soldier's Joy

-La Bastringue

-Yankee doodle

-Haste to the wedding

Instruments resembling tambourines are mentioned several times in the journals, but always in descriptions of Indian music, except for Sergeant Ordway's comment on New Year's Day of 1805. In the absence of evidence that any of the men carried their own, it seems likely that Ordway borrowed one from an Indian, or even traded for it.
On September 26, 1804, for example, at Bad Humored Island near today's Pierre, South Dakota, Clark described how the day's negotiations with the Sioux ended:
"We Smoked untill Dark," wrote Clark, who didn't have the best spelling, said. "...at which time all was cleared away & a large fire made in the Center. Several men with Tamborens[sic] highly Decorated with Deer & Cabra [antelope] Hoofs to make them rattle, assembled and began to Sing & Beat."
Thus Clark, who otherwise shows no sign of musical knowledge, hints that he has been to dances back home, for he knows what a tambourine looks like.
One of the oldest and simplest musical instruments in the world, the tambourine was as ubiquitous in Lewis and Clark's time as it was in ancient Assyria, Egypt, India, China, Greece or Rome, and as it is in our own time, and still, primarily, in dance music.
Its common name is French for timbrel, which is a synonym for taboret, both of which are mentioned in the Old Testament, where they denote the instrument of angels. In everyday life, however, it was commonly associated with wandering minstrels, showmen, and jugglers.
It has appeared in many styles and sizes, usually round, but sometimes square; usually with a skin stretched over one side, sometimes over both sides; occasionally with gut strings called "snares" stretched across the underside of the drumhead, more often without; some with "jingles" inserted in the frame or attached to it on the outside; some without.
The modern tambourine is typically between eight and 12 inches (20-30 cm) in diameter, occasionally twice that size. It is usually struck with the fingers, or against the player's body, but it may also be struck with a small beater.

Lewis and Clark Game! "Music Majors" Test your knowledge!

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