Music of Montana

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Montana is a state of the United States. While only the 41st state to enter the union (1889) and only 44th in population (4 Western and 2 Eastern states have fewer people), the state is very diverse in its European-descended population; Cornish, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, French-Canadian, Norwegian, Faroese, Finnish, Slovak, Serbian, Luxembourgish, Northern and Southern Italian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Cajun, Swiss German, and Basque are just some of the ethnicities/nationalities of Europeans who settled in the territory, and then state. The Native American population of the state is also, both traditionally and in modern times, extremely diverse, with more than two dozen ethnic groups (belonging to multiple ethnolinguistic groups) represented. Due to its migration patterns and place in the American West, Montana has a very long history of pioneer folk folk music and cowboy songs and poetry. The state also has a tradition of baroque, classical, and romantic era music: two prominent musical institutions, both classical, are the Great Falls Symphony Orchestra, which was established in 1958, and the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra, which was established in 1963. The Helena Symphony was founded in 1955 and known to be one of the premier symphonies of Montana and the Northwest as a whole.

Montana has two official state songs: "Montana" and "Montana Melody".

Native American music[edit]

Montana is home to several Native American Reservations and traditionally to more than two dozen distinct tribes, each with their own forms of music. These include the Blackfoot, Crow, Flathead, Cheyenne, Chippewa-Cree, Gros Ventre, Assiniboine and Sioux. An example of the modern synthesis of popular and traditional Native music in Montana is Jack Gladstone, a folk musician and lecturer/presenter who embraces Native themes, and who has collaborated with fellow Montana musician Rob Quist.

Popular music[edit]

Montana country musicians include Rob Quist, formerly of the Mission Mountain Wood Band. The Bridger Creek Boys [1], of Bozeman, are a Bluegrass band that were finalists at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival's 2007 Best New Band Contest.

Other popular musicians from Montana include Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, and guitarist/producer Steve Albini. Grunge pioneer Bruce Fairweather is also from Montana. Another well known band includes Helena and Missoula's The Skoidats, who recorded on New York City's Moon Ska label in the late 1990s. Members of the Portland band The Decemberists are from Montana, and were in a band named after the small town of Tarkio, in Mineral County. Doug Adkins is a country singer, born in Havre, Montana.

Music education[edit]

Post-secondary educational institutions which offer a program or major in music include the University of Montana - Missoula and Montana State University - Bozeman.

Independent Music Scene[edit]

The past decade has also noticed an advent with many local original artists thus establishing a very competitive array of genres appealing to all age groups. In the Flathead Valley many notable acts are rapidly developing a following and even some radio play. Some of the more popular acts in the area are Marshall Catch which provide a very soulful original sound, God Fearing Women with an original reggae/rock sound, and the high energy driving sound of Comatose Posse which are developing a very rapid following. The Rockaholics and Rock Mountain are also two well known/established classic rock bands known throughout the state.