This work includes a book & CD. In 1937 Professor Erik Holtved recorded 134 traditional songs from the Thule area, mostly drum-songs, which are transcribed and analysed in this book by Michael Hauser. In addition, several other collections are notated and analysed: recordings from Uummannaq-Upernavik in 1912, from the Copper Inuit areas in 1914-16, Bent Jensen and Hauser's 1962 recordings from Thule, and from Baffin Island in the 1970s. The main aim of this book is to provide a comprehensive description of the song culture of the people of the Thule area, the Inughuit. The study includes historical as well as recent data; the views of the indigenous population; measurable parameters, such as singing methods, drum construction and handling; and, factual information about form and melody derived from the transcriptions. Important connections are also made with other Inuit areas. Traditional Inuit songs have form and melody types with local characteristics which have endured through generations. In the Thule area one form type in particular was linked to the descendants of the last immigration from Canada in the 1860s, another to a group of 18th-century immigrants.
In order to find out the possible areas of origin of these groups an exchange of recordings was carried out between Greenland and Canada. The sought after form and melody types were found in southern Baffin Island (the 1860 group) and in the Copper Inuit areas. Archaeological and linguistic research confirmed that these places were also the starting points for migrations. The book is richly illustrated with pictures and music notation, and many songs can be heard on the accompanying CD.