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Among the Dakota, traditional dance songs generally begin in a high pitch, led by a single vocalist (solo) who sings a phrase that is then repeated by a group. This phrase then cascades to a lower pitch until there is a brief pause. Then, the song's second half, which echoes the first, is sung (incomplete repetition). The second part of the song often includes "honor beats," usually in the form of four beats representing cannon fire in battle. The entire song may be repeated several times, at the discretion of the lead singer.
In some traditional songs, women sing one octave above the men, though they do not sing the first time the song is sung or the lead line at any time.
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