Atlanta Braves

How much stereotyping can you spot? Nope. Not even going to mention any of that in this post. 🙂

Whew! Methinks it’s time for a break from all those long stories, don’t you? I thought a short post tonight might make for a little variety. So let’s try this on for size.

I hate baseball, but my family loves it, so for the past few days the TV has been broadcasting the series between the Yankees and the Atlanta Braves. Now, for those of you who for some reason you aren’t crazy baseball fans and you don’t know everything about every single team ever (can’t imagine why you wouldn’t), fans of the Atlanta Braves are famous for a cheer they do, called the ‘tomahawk chop’. It goes ‘Ohhhhhh…Ohhhhhhhhhhh’ and involves a chopping motion with the arm. If you find this description unhelpful, watch the first few seconds of this video I found on Youtube just now.

It’s kind of cool, right?

By the twentieth time I heard it, it was starting to get on my nerves, and by the fiftieth time I heard it, I knew it was going to be stuck in my head forever, and by the hundredth time I heard it, I was trying to figure out the solfege. Seriously, they do it every single time a guy gets on base.

(In case you’re curious, here’s the solfege:

do——te-(do-te)-sol——– ‘ sol——fa-(sol-fa)-do——–

And for those of you who think minor keys always starts on la:

la——sol-(la-sol)-mi——– ‘ mi——re-(mi-re)-la——–

[the ‘ is the breath mark, and the ( ) denote the grace notes]

I found it super difficult to figure out! It sounds like it’s in minor key, so I kept trying to shove a me in there, but apparently all you need is the lowered seventh.)

Of course, there is very little about this cheer that sounds remotely Native American–more like some white person’s idea of what Native American music should sound like sometime in the early 1800’s. Here is a video I also just found on Youtube that shows a Choctaw powwow (Choctaws lived around the modern Georgia-ish area), and you can actually hear some of the singing. (The dancing’s kinda cool too!) If you have a better video, please please please let me know! I used to have a link to some very good world music, but I’ve lost it. 😥

Anyway, Native American music from that region is characterized by call-and-response, rhythmically intricate lines, and a more ‘relaxed’ vocal timbre than that of more Western tribes. At least that’s what my music professor told me.

So, the next time you’re watching baseball with the family and all the Atlanta Braves fans start up their famous ‘tomahawk chop’, you can–

Nevermind. Don’t bother. People will laugh at you.  😛