Music and Culture in Canada

Music in Canada has always reflected the diverse influences of the various ethnicities that have shaped the country. Indigenous Peoples, the Irish, British, and the French as well as the United States have all made unique contributions to the musical culture of Canada.

Music is at the heart of cultures’ most profound social occasions and experiences. Music gives social meaning to entities and plays key roles in people’s lives at one point or the other. It can allow people to understand themselves, form and maintain social groups, engage in emotional communication, mobilize for political purposes, and so on.

For thousands of years, Canada has been home to many indigenous peoples who have a variety of different cultures and several major linguistic groupings. Each of these Indigenous communities has its unique musical traditions. Chanting, singing, dancing accompanied with musical instruments of diverse make and nature.

These musical instruments provide the background for songs and dances. They used the materials at hand to make their instruments for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans to the new world. The musical instruments were made from gourds, animal horns, bones, carved wood, and animal hides.

For many years after European settlement in Canada, First Nations and Inuit peoples were discouraged from practicing their traditional ceremonies. However, times have changed. The more the Canadian society becomes aware, the more recognition is given to individual ethnic group’s traditions and ways of life.

Currently, Canadian music artists have continued to expand their fanbase into the United States and beyond. Canadian artists with global fame such as Nelly Furtado, Avril Lavigne, Michael Bublé, Drake, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, and Justin Bieber have reached new heights in terms of international success while dominating the American music charts.

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