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Teton Sioux Music

This repository contains a digital edition of 245 songs from the book Teton Sioux Music by Frances Densmore, originally published by the Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 61, Smithsonian Institution (1918).


A scan of the original publication can be found online at:

This digital edition only encodes the music and not any lyrics to the songs.

Online viewing

A demo page on the Humdrum notation plugin website contains a nice browsing interface to the songs in the collection. Otherwise, graphical notation for the data files can easily be viewed and heard online in the Verovio Humdrum Viewer: From this link you can navigate between songs with the arrow buttons at the top of the linked page. Here is a view of song no. 46 in Verovio Humdrum Viewer:

screen shot 2018-12-15 at 4 36 14 pm

A view of the same song in the original edition, page 177:

screen shot 2018-12-15 at 4 35 38 pm

Here are links to display individual songs:

Number Title
    1 Song of the White Buffalo Maiden
    2 Song of Pretended Search
    3 Ceremonial Song
    4 Song for Securing Fair Weather
    5 We Are Coming
    6 Song of the Braves' Dance
    7 With Dauntless Courage
    8 The Many Lands You Fear
    9 Song of the Departure of the Young Men
  10 Song of the Return of the Young Men
  11 Song of Cutting the Sacred Pole
  12 Song of Victory over the Sacred Pole
  13 Song of Painting the Sacred Pole
  14 Song Sung after Raising the Sacred Pole (a)
  15 Song Sung after Raising the Sacred Pole (b)
  16 Song Sung after Raising the Sacred Pole (c)
  17 Song of Preparing the Sacred Place
  18 Song of Final Visit to the Vapor Lodge
  19 Opening Song of the Sun Dance (a)
  20 Opening Song of the Sun Dance (b)
  21 Opening Prayer of the Sun Dance
  22 Wakangtangka, Pity Me
  23 Song of Lamentation
  24 Noon Song
  25 Song Concerning the Sun and Moon
  26 Wakangtangka Hears Me
  27 Black Face-paint He Grants Me
  28 I Have Conquered Them
  29 Dancing Song (a)
  30 Dancing Song (b)
  31 Dancing Song (c)
  32 Dancing Song (d)
  33 Dancing Song (e)
  34 Dancing Song (f)
  35 Dancing Song (g)
  36 Song at Sunrise
  37 The Horsemen in the Cloud
  38 Before the Gathering of the Clouds
  39 Song in Time of Danger
  40 Song Concerning a Dream of the Thunderbirds
  41 A Wind
  42 In a Sacred Manner I Return
  43 The Thunderbird Nation
  44 A Buffalo Said to Me
  45 Weapon Song
  46 Song of the Elks
  47 Owls Hooting
  48 Song of the Young Wolves
  49 Song of the Old Wolf
  50 Song of the Crow and Owl
  51 Where the Wind Is Blowing
  52 I Made It Walk
  53 Song of a Wolf
  54 Toward Them I Walk
  55 An Eagle Nation Is Coming
  56 A Blacktail Deer
  57 A Bear Said This
  58 He Comes to Attack
  59 May You Behold a Sacred Stone Nation
  60 The Sacred Stones Come to See You
  61 I Sing for the Animals
  62 My Horse
  63 Worthy of Reverence
  64 A Sacred Stone Nation Is Speaking
  65 They Move With a Purpose
  66 From Everywhere They Come
  67 A Wolf Nation Called Me `Father'
  68 I Have Caused Them to Roam
  69 These Are My Spies
  70 I Am Required to Roam
  71 Father, Behold Me
  72 I Was Ordered to Return
  73 Father, Sing to Me
  74 A Spirit Has Come
  75 From Whence the Winds Blow
  76 Something I Foretold
  77 In a Sacred Manner I Live
  78 A Voice I Sent
  79 The Sunrise
  80 Behold the Dawn
  81 Behold All These Things
  82 I Am Sitting
  83 We Will Eat
  84 These Are Good
  85 You Will Walk
  86 Song Preceding Treatment of Fractures
  87 An Appeal to the Bear
  88 Song of the Bear
  89 Bear Told Me
  90 Song of Healing
  91 Sitting Bull's Medicine Song (a)
  92 Sitting Bull's Medicine Song (b)
  93 A Wind from the North
  94 May This Be the Day
  95 Northward They Are Walking
  96 My Goal
  97 In the North
  98 Their Votes Could Be Heard
  99 Against the Wind
100 I Come
101 Buffalo Society Song (a)
102 Buffalo Society Song (b)
103 Buffalo Society Song (c)
104 Song of the Elk Society
105 Something Sacred I Wear
106 My Life Is Such
107 An Elk Am I
108 My Horse Flies like a Bird
109 When a Horse Neighs
110 Horses Are Coming
111 Prancing They Come
112 Chasing, They Walked
113 A Root of Herb
114 Song of the Fox Society (a)
115 Song of the Fox Society (b)
116 Song of the Strong Heart Society (a)
117 Song of the Strong Heart Society (b)
118 Song of the Strong Heart Society (c)
119 Song of the Strong Heart Society (d)
120 Song of the Badger Society (a)
121 Song of the Badger Society (b)
122 Ceremonial Song of the Miwatani
Number Title
123 Song of the White Horse Riders (a)
124 Song of the White Horse Riders (b)
125a Those Are Not My Interest
125b Those Are Not My Interest
126 Like a Wolf I Roam
127 Watch Your Horses
128 Friends, Go On
129 A Wolf I Considered Myself
130 Adventures I Seek
131 His Horses He Granted Me
132a Those Hills I Trod Upon
132b Those Hills I Trod Upon
132c Those Hills I Trod Upon
133a Wolf Song
133b Wolf Song
134 It Is Difficult
135 Song of the Camp
136 Clear the Way, I Come
137 At the Wind Center I Stand
138 Song Concerning War Paint
139 Tremble, O Tribe of the Enemy
140 Behold My Horse
141 See My Desire
142 The Earth Only Endures
143 Tell Her
144 She Stands There Smiling
145 Horses I Am Bringing
146 He Is Returning
147 Song Concerning White Butterfly
148 He Lies Over There
149 Learn the Songs of Victory
150 Song in Honor of Onihang
151a You May Go on the Warpath
151b When You Return
152 I Look for Him in Vain
153 He Is Again Gone on the Warpath
154 You Should Give Up the Warpath
155 Song of the Warpath
156 May I Be There
157 A Prairie Fire
158 Song Concerning Sitting Crow
159 A Spotted Horse
160 Owls Hoot At Me
161 I Wish to Roam
162 A Night Is Different
163 I Am Bringing Horses
164 Even the Eagle Dies
165 I Took Courage
166 Captives I Am Bringing
167 They Deserted Their Leader
168 One of Them Will Be Killed
169 I Intend to Take His Horses
170 It Is I, Myself
171 Horses I Seek
172 When I Came You Cried
173 I Struck the Enemy
174 I Come After Your Horses
175 Two War Parties
176 Sister, I Bring You a Horse
177 Song of Self-reliance
178 I Am the Fox
179 I Look for Them
180 Song of the Buffalo Hunt (a)
181 Song of the Buffalo Hunt (b)
182 Song of the Buffalo Hunt (c)
183 Song To Secure Buffalo in Time of Famine
184 I Sing of the Dead Chiefs
185 I Fear Not
186 I Wish To Do My Part
187 His Customs I Adopted
188 Song in Honor of Two Bears
189 Song in Honor of Gabriel Renville (a)
190 Song in Honor of Gabriel Renville (b)
191 Song in Honor of John Grass
192 Song in Honor of Red Fish
193 Song of Sitting Bull (a)
194 Song of Sitting Bull (b)
195 They Are Charging Them
196 Song of the Grass Dance (a)
197 Song of the Grass Dance (b)
198 Song of the Grass Dance (c)
199 Song of the Grass Dance (d)
200 Song of the Grass Dance (e)
201 Song of the Shuffling-feet Dance (a)
202 Song of the Shuffling-feet Dance (b)
203 Song of the Night Dance
204 Begging Song of the Old Women
205 Begging Song
206 Song of the Moccasin Game (a)
207 Song of the Moccasin Game (b)
208 Song of the Moccasin Game (c)
209 Song of the Moccasin Game (d)
210 Song of the Moccasin Game (e)
211 Song of the Moccasin Game (f)
212 Game Song
213 Song When a Game Is Almost Won
214 Song of Victory
215 Song of Little Girl's Play (a)
216 Song of Little Girl's Play (b)
217 Lullaby
218 Song of the Maiden's Leap
219 Song of a Ghost
220 The Poor Are Many
221 I Expect to Give Something
222 Two White Buffalo
223 Take Fresh Courage
224 The White Horse Riders Said This
225 Two White Buffalo, Take Courage
226 The Tribe You Help
227 Whenever the Tribe Assembles
228 They Depend Upon You
229 I Donated a Horse
230 Hence They Come
231 A Short Time
232 Come
233 Love Song (a)
234 Love Song (b)
235 You Have Relied Upon Me
236 I Have Been Helping
237 Song of the Ticketless Society
238 Song Concerning Fierce Face
239 Song Concerning a Message from Washington

Song of the Famine


If you think that there is a mistake in the data, verify that there is a problem by viewing the original edition at to compare with the digital edition.

If an error is found, there are two methods for fixing it. A simple method is to report the problem on the issues page for this repository. You should cite the song number and page in the source PDF (and/or the page number in the original publication) with a description of the error. Also cite the measure number in the source edition (visible at the start of the systems in VHV, as well as after = signs in the data). Also preferably you should include a snapshot of the error in the VHV notation and in the source scan of the corresponding spot.

Images can be added to the issue report by dragging-and-dropping them into the report form.

More advanced users can submit a pull request fixing the error, after first making a fork (i.e., a copy) into their Github account.

In both case, you will have to create a free account on Github.

Line/page breaks and staff spacings are dependent on verovio and not taken from the source edition (may be added in the future).


The files can be downloaded by clicking on the green "Clone or download" button that should be near the top right corner of this page. Then choose "Download ZIP" in the drop-down menu that appears.

To download with git:

git clone

To update your copy with any new changes to the data, type this command within the densmore-teton-sioux directory:

git pull

Alternate access to data

This digital edition is also accessible in a variety of interfaces described below.

KernScores website access

These digital scores are available on the kernScores library of Humdrum musical scores:

with mirrors at:

Command-line downloading with Humdrum Extras

The Humdrum Extras command-line programs can download these files from kernScores. A quick method of downloading:

    mkdir -p densmore-teton-sioux
    cd densmore-teton-sioux
    humsplit h://folk/sioux

To interface to the original Humdrum Toolkit commands, use the humcat command to download to standard input (the -s option is needed when downloading multiple files):

   humcat -s h://folk/sioux | census -k

There are 16091 notes in this data set, which is an average of 66 notes per song. The lowest pitch is D2 and the hightest is F5. The shortest note, other than a few grace notes, is a triplet 32nd note, and the longest note is a dotted half note.

Humdrum-data repository

This digital edition will also be available in a larger set of songs collected by Densmore.

Command-line processing

Using the included makefile

The makefile provided in the base directory includes example data processing commands. Type make when in the same directory as the makefile to list commands that can be run with the makefile:

Run this makefile with one of the following labels:
   "make update"      : download any new changes from online repository.
   "make reference"   : download PDF scans of reference editions.
   "make clean"       : delete data directories created by this makefile.

Commands requiring the Humdrum Toolkit to be installed:
   "make census"      : run the census command on all files.

Commands requiring Humdrum Extras to be installed.
   "make keyscape"    : generate keyscape plots by movement.
   "make midi"        : convert to MIDI files (full repeats)
   "make midi-norep"  : convert to MIDI files (no repeats)
   "make musedata"    : convert to MuseData files.
   "make abc"         : convert to ABC files.
   "make musicxml"    : convert to MusicXML files.
   "make notearray"   : create notearray files.
   "make searchindex" : create themax search index.

Commands requiring other software to be installed.
   "make pdf-lilypond": convert to PDF files with lilypond.
   "make pdf-musedata": convert to PDF files with muse2ps.

If the make command does not work for you, then most likely it must be installed. In linux, the following command might install make:

   sudo apt-get install build-essential
   # or
   sudo yum install build-essential

In MacOS Mavericks or later, install the Xcode command-line tools by typing this command in the terminal:

   xcode-select --install

Most of the make targets also require Humdrum Extras to process the data. See for instructions on downloading and installing it. A few other make targets require additional software to be installed, such as ImageMagick tools, muse2ps, lilypond, and verovio.

Creating MIDI files

To convert the Humdrum data files into MIDI files, type:

make midi

This will create a directory called midi containing the resulting MIDI files. These files contain the full repeats indicated in the music. To generate MIDI files that take only second endings (suitble for most types of analysis), instead type:

make midi-norep

This will generate MIDI files without repeats ("norep").


Teton Sioux Music, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 61, Smithsonian Institution (1918)








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