Each shaman melody is the tune of the shaman helper-spirit, who has an animal-like form. That is why the onomatopoeic sounds play the important role in the musical composition of shaman rituals – the sounds of voices of a reindeer, a swan, a goose, a loom, a bear, a wolf are available to hear on recordings” .
Onomatopoeia is actually the beginning of music, the first appearance of the musical ability of man. According to ethno-musicologists, in this fashion, the songs of shamans retain memories from the times of the original emergence of music.
An important characteristic of healing shaman music is that the helping spirits of the individual shamans themselves each have their own distinguishing tune, sometimes more than one, and this is the case in distant South America as well as in Eurasia.
Thus it is barely surprising that the power of the individual shamans was measured by the number of songs they knew. In other words, the shaman’s power was in his songs and the power of the instruments was only an additional force.
Found in: On Shamanic Origin of Healing and Music, from SHAMANS AND SYMBOLS
PREHISTORY OF SEMIOTICS IN ROCK ART by Mihály Hoppál.
International Society for Shamanistic Research. Budapest. 2013.
Art source: Shamanic Drumming