Sharing Music Across Cultures

Background Information

Music from all cultural regions of the United States has an oral tradition that predates standard musical notation. Music that is passed in this way often has a purpose deeply rooted in each individual culture that is more than musical.

Regalia and traditional instruments are interwoven in the performance of Native music today, weather it be traditional or new compositions. The sounds of these traditional instruments, as well as the full regalia and choreographed movement, are integral components to composer Randy Fleischer's symphonic piece Echoes.

To learn more about traditional instruments and performance practices of the Wampanoag, Hawaiian, and Yupik people, please visit the Learning Center Celebrate: Song Dance and Story.

Randy Fleischer has brought together traditional music from across the United States in a way that combines and highlights these elements. This learning center will look at, and adopt this process to help students reflect their individual lives and culture.


The Finale of the Echoes symphonic piece illustrates each of the distinct cultural elements presented throughout the work. The physical and musical presence of individuals from the various groups highlights the uniqueness of each culture. Although there are different style characteristics, Randy Fleischer weaves the distinct musical threads into an entirely new and rich idea.