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Instructional Cassette Catalog: Folk Music


Afro-American Children's Singing Games
CBM 1185
Dr. Linda Worton discusses the cultural importance of singing games and traces them from their roots in Africa until today. She illustrates the changes in culture by the changes in songs from slavery times to the present.

Music of Africa
CBM 192
Against a background of West African music, Nigerian composers Bela Shawanda and Solomon Lorie discuss the interaction of African and European music.

Music of North Africa
CBM 398
Contends that sophistication of African music results from the integration of art and music with daily life. Examples include antiphonal singing by children of the western Congo, yodeling of the Pygmies, and the talking drums of the Bantu.

Music of West Africa
CBM 325-327
Part 1: Introduction to the rich musical heritage of the peoples of the African coast. Part 2: Selected recordings of the variety of music in West Africa demonstrate the increasing effect of political independence and industrialization on the region's music. Part 3: Recordings of the music, songs, and dances of the cafes of modern West Africa show how the primitive patterns and modern musical forms around the world blend in the current music of this region.


An Aaron Copland Portrait
CBM 134
Interview with Aaron Copland, who discusses the use of folk material in his opera The Tender Land, and a performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Copland, of two suites from the opera.

Bernice Reagon and Jean Ritchie
CBM 271
Pete Seeger joins gospel singer Bernice Reagon and singer/dulcimer player Jean Ritchie in this selection of folk songs.

Buffy Sainte-Marie and Pete Seeger
CBM 26
Pete Seeger concentrates on the banjo and its history; Buffy Sainte-Marie joins him to exchange songs and conversation.

Collecting Folk Songs
CBM 276
In this lecture, MacEdward Leach, folk song collector, describes how he goes about the business of collecting songs from individuals and communities. Examples from Potter County, Pennsylvania, are heard.

The Cornwall Furnace
CBM 103
Folksinger Oscar Brand sings songs about the Cornwall Furnace in Pennsylvania and its role in the history of the United States from 1742 to 1883.

Cowboy Songs
CBM 255
Ex-cowboy and artist Terry Jackson sings cowboy songs and tells about how riding and roping really were.

Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger
CBM 96
Peggy Seeger and friends sing Scottish, English, and American folk songs. Explanations of songs' origins are also given.

Folk Songs of Early America
CBM 107
This program includes hymns, ballads, and virginal pieces played by early American settlers in Virginia and New England. There are also orchestrated arrangements of these tunes.

Frankie and Johnny
CBM 177
This lecture explores the origins of the Frankie and Johnny story and song which began with the murder of Allen Brit by Frankie Baker in 1901. It traces the development of the song through Mae West, Guy Lombardo, and Johnny Cash.

French Canadian Folk Music
CBM 253
This lecture discusses some of the problems between Quebec and the rest of Canada and presents orchestrations of songs and original compositions by French-Canadian composers.

The Great American Song Bag
CBM 1148 (part 4)
CBM 1150 (part 6)
American history through a sampling of songs. William Billings's "Chester," George Root's "Battle Cry of Freedom," and "Red River Valley" are heard.

Hillbilly and Mountain Ballads
CBM 86
This program traces the origins of hillbilly music from its beginning in the 1920s. Songs are performed by Nel Carver, the Carter Family, and Clarence Tom Ashley.

Ian and Sylvia
CBM 198
The folk team Ian and Sylvia sing some of their own compositions as well as folk songs from America and Scotland. Included are "You Were on My Mind" and "Nancy Whiskey."

The Incompleat Folksinger
CBM 294
Folksinger Pete Seeger sings some of his favorite ballads and discusses his controversial life and his book.

Joel Chandler Harris: Storyteller
CBM 920
"Uncle Remus" folk stories are presented along with folk songs and Howard Mitchell's "Symphonic Portrait" of Joel Chandler Harris.

Labor Ballads
CBM 139
Describes the relationship between labor songs and the early development of labor unions. These ballads served as a rallying force and inspired workers to fight for their rights.

The Life and Music of Lily May Ledford
CBM 778
Appalachian musician Lily May Ledford plays her fiddle and banjo, and describes efforts to preserve old-time Appalachian music traditions.

Lumbering Songs
CBM 174
Professor Edward Ives and Horace Beck discuss nineteenth-century folklore and song legends of lumbering men from Maine to Minnesota.

Mr. Edison's Marvelous Memory Machine
CBM 1063
A historical look at recordings and recording technology illustrated with examples by famous personalities. Part 36 presents Edison's contribution to preservation of the American folk and country music of his days. Features Edison's recordings of Vernon Dalhart, Cal Stewart, early bluegrass music, and cowboy songs.

Music of the Bayou
CBM 99
A short lecture on the music and traditions of the Cajun people who came from Canada to settle in Louisiana during the eighteenth century. Traditional and orchestrated arrangements of folk songs are featured.

Music in the New World
CBM 721/722
Series about music of the Laotian, southern Slavic, Tai Dam, and Afro-Cuban communities in the United States. Immigrants talk about what their music means to them in their new land. Includes musical examples.

Music of the Range and Trail
CBM 178
The life of the American and Mexican cowboys as pictured in ballad and song. Two of the songs included are "The Old Chrisholm Trail," and "Get Along Little Dogie."

Music of Smoke and Steel
CBM 176
In this lecture, the song "John Henry," compositions by Ernst Bacon, and other music of the workers are presented.

The Singer as Activist
CBM 113
Interview with folk singer Joan Baez and her family and friends. Discusses her career and her involvement with the Monterey Institute for the Study of Nonviolence.

Song Book of the Old World
CBM 363
Mike Whorf plays and discusses the origin of traditional songs.

Songs of Square Dancing
CBM 407
Jean Ritchie visits her home in Viper, Kentucky. She talks with her mother and other relatives about the evolution of the play party from the square dance.

Songs of the New World
CBM 323
Wide and varied look at the music and songs of the New World, including Thomas Paine's "The Death of General Wolf," songs and dances of the Argentine gauchos, and the country fiddle tune "The Arkansas Traveler."

Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee
CBM 316
Pete Seeger reminisces and plays music with legendary blues musicians Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. Both familiar and new music is heard.

Star Spangled Harmony
CBM 1015
Our United States history in music. "Yankee Doodle," "What a Country," "America the Beautiful," and our folk song heritage which includes "Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes."

Styles of Folk Songs
CBM 339
Tristram Coffin and John Greenway trace the development of the folk song in America from its beginnings in England to modern times. Mountain, union, and occupational songs are presented.

That Crazy American Music
CBM 1125
Historical review of American music from its beginning with the Pilgrims. Programs cover the Gay Nineties, Civil War, and the westward movement. Part 15 is another installment featuring early American popular music ranging from fiddle tunes and folk ballads to composed popular instrumental music and popular songs.

This Land Is Your Land
CBM 216
This lecture by Oscar Brand describes the evolution of folk songs in America as the country grew. Some songs included are "This Land Is Your Land," "Drill, You Tarriers, Drill," and "Down Derry, Derry."

The Topical Folk Song
Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, and Buffy Sainte-Marie sing and discuss topical folk songs such as "I Ain't Marchin' Anymore."

Working Songs of America
CBM 245
Introduction to the music of working people-miners, oil-field workers, and ditch diggers. Includes folk songs, ballads, and orchestral piece "Prairie" by Leo Sowerby.


Australian Folk Songs
CBM 401
Identifies the frontier theme as common to both Australian broadsides and American ballads.


As I Rode Out
CBM 716
Examines the traditional Irish song form known as "sean-nos." Recorded on the west coast of Ireland, this documentary presents top "sean-nos" singers performing and discussing the history and evolution of their art.

English Ballads
CBM 138
Dr. MacEdward Leach and Jean Ritchie discuss the English ballad as it was sung in medieval times and in the Appalachian Mountains. Some of the songs included are "Lord Randall," "The Golden Vanity," and "The Ballad of Mary Hamilton."

English Folk Songs
CBM 400
Another lecture in the series by Dr. John Greenway on primitive music. This section discusses the English ballad and its influence on American music.

Irish Dance Tunes for Tinwhistle
CBM 1279
Dan Foster begins with the fingering of the tinwhistle on easy pieces, then proceeds to more difficult pieces and the teaching of ornamentation. Includes reels, jigs, and hornpipes. Some of the tunes are "Hunter's Purse," "The King's Jig," "The Banshee," and "George White's Favourite."

A Jug of This
CBM 1466
An introduction to English folk music by Roy Palmer.

The Music of Spain
CBM 227
Manual Lazareno, musicologist, talks about the history of Spanish classical and folk music and other music inspired by the folk culture of Spain.

Of Ships and Sea
CBM 1004
Poetry, lore, and music of the sea, the ships, and the men who have sailed.

A Smile and a Tear
CBM 2297
Songs, poetry, legends, and stories of the people of Ireland with Irish tunes throughout. Narrated by Mike Whorf.

Von Trapp Family Singers
CBM 967
A retelling of the Sound of Music story along with other real life adventures of the Von Trapp family of singers, who perform folk songs and other selections from concerts.

The Wonderful World of the Trapp Family
CBM 356
How Maria von Trapp and her singing family found a way to preserve and share the culture and beauty of their beloved Austria. Many musical examples.


CBM 1023
An eight-part series discussing and playing the music of Mexican Americans. Provides background on the performers and their varying kinds of music. Some interviews with performers are in Spanish.

Juanita Gonzales
CBM 1025
An eight-part series discussing and playing music of Mexican Americans. Provides background on the performers and their varying kinds of music. Some interviews with performers are in Spanish. This program includes an interview with Mexican folk song collector Juanita Gonzalez and musicians Santiago and Flaco Jimenez.

Mariachi Music
CBM 1072
An eight-part series discussing and playing the music of Mexican Americans. Provides background on the performers and their varying kinds of music. Some interviews with performers are in Spanish.

Narcisco Martinez
CBM 1024
An eight-part series discussing and playing the music of Mexican Americans. Provides background on the performers and their varying kinds of music. Some interviews with performers are in Spanish.

Songs of the Mexican Border
CBM 49
Program of the Mexican border music, a blend of Anglo and Latino cultures.

Native American

Chants of the Grand Canyon
CBM 40
Includes original Indian chants and settings for orchestra and voice of Indian folk songs.

CBM 1192
Indians relate in song and story how the drum was given to the tribes and tell of its importance in every aspect of their lives.

Introduction to Primitive Music
CBM 390
An introduction to a fourteen-lecture series on primitive music of the world. The series covers music of the polar world, Oceania, Asia, Native America, and others.

Music and the Land
CBM 1189
Symphonic composer and director David Amram explores the connection between music and the land of the American Indian. Examples include both traditional and contemporary songs.

Music of the American Indians
CBM 396
Musician and anthropologist John Greenway discusses music of the North American Indians. Examples include songs of love, war, and daily life.


Music of the Orient
CBM 394-395
Analyzes the theoretical system of the Indian raga in terms of melodic and rhythmic formulas, and the music's relation to specific gods, events, and seasons. Part 2 emphasizes the importance of animistic rites and festivals to Balinese music. Examples played by a gamelan orchestra.


The Music of Tchaikovsky: Music by the Melancholy Russian
CBM 23
Excerpts from The Nutcracker Suite, Sleeping Beauty, and Symphony no. 4 showing how Tchaikovsky's music is rooted in Russian folk music.

South American

Music of the Gauchos
CBM 274
Introduction to the legends and folk songs of the Argentine gauchos.

Music of the Incas
CBM 114
Examines the Inca influence in the modern music of Peru.

CBM 782
The musical group Tajauntinsuyo performs music of the Incas.

Other Cultures

Music of Oceania
CBM 392
Examines the development of complex native chant as a reaction to attempts by white missionaries to eradicate Polynesian singing and dancing.

Music of the Dry World
CBM 393
Discusses the performance techniques and the complex rhythms of nomadic peoples in the desert areas between northwest Africa and western China. Examples include the Persian glottal trill and the rhythms of Bedouins grinding coffee with mortar and pestle.

Music of the Polar World
CBM 391
Introduction to Eskimo music.

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Posted on 2013-06-28