There’s a Hole in the Bucket
Jennifer Rose and her daughter Lydia Escobar perform their version of the traditional “circular” folk song.
Five Little Ducks
Tom Bledsoe, Rich Kirby, and Joy D’Elia perform Bledsoe’s reworking of the traditional children’s song and finger game “Five Little Monkeys.”
Johnny Peut Pas Danser and ABCs et 1,2,3
The Doucet Family Band performs a traditional Cajun folk song and a Cajun version of the “A, B, C Song.”
Funky, Bluesy ABCs
Taj Mahal performs a blues version of the traditional “A, B, C Song.”
Cluck Old Hen and I Had a Rooster
Two traditional American folk songs are performed by Mike Seeger.
Shady Grove and Bandyrowe
Kentucky folk singer Jean Ritchie performs her family’s version of the traditional song “Shady Grove,” and “Bandyrowe,” a song she sang as a lullaby for her sons.
Foo Boo Woo Boo John
Folk singer Mike Seeger performs a version of a traditional English folk song, adding an interlude in which he plays the trump (jaw harp).
Folk singer Mike Seeger performs an English-American song reputed to be one of George Washington’s favorite songs.
Folk singer Malcolm Dalglish performs an American folksong and discusses the history of the hammer dulcimer.
Rabbit in a Log
The Gray Eagle Band performs a call-and-response song that was an early standard of bluegrass music.
So Go Rabbit
The Reel World String Band performs an African-American call-and-response folk song and explains the song’s origins in the Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina.
Paula Larke sings an African-American game song. Students in the audience demonstrate movements to accompany the lyrics.
Grass Dance Song
Dennis Banks, an Anishinabe Indian born in northern Minnesota, discusses the importance of the drum to Native peoples and performs a ceremonial war dance known as a “grass dance song,” so named because men would begin to dance by...
Folk singer Malcolm Dalglish shows how to play the spoons.
Folk singer John McCutcheon demonstrates the hambone, an African-American rhythm technique that uses the whole body as a “drum set” to produce a variety of sounds.
Folk singer John McCutcheon performs “John Henry,” the classic American ballad about a railroad worker who takes on a machine to see who can do work faster and better.
Gospel Train | The Civil War Era
In this video, students learn about "Gospel Train". “Gospel Train” is a code-word song used in the Underground Railroad by slaves, often sung just before an escape in an attempt to let all who wished to go know that...
Paula Larke performs a song from slavery times.
Light Rain Blues
Blues legend Taj Mahal sings a song he wrote about rain, accompanying himself on the guitar.
Keep On Movin’ On
Folk singer Odetta sings a song she wrote about the importance of voting.
What Is Music?
Musician and ethnomusicologist Gregory Acker uses world instruments to demonstrate pitch, melody, harmony, tempo, rhythm, dynamics, timbre, and form.
The Four Voices
Singers from the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre demonstrate soprano, alto, tenor, and bass voices and sing the chorus from “My Old Kentucky Home” together.
Electronic Field Trip to the Kentucky Opera
This field trip takes students behind the scenes at an opera to learn a little bit about opera, careers in opera, and how a production comes together.
Wise Village Pickers and Singers
Young musicians at Stanton Elementary School play and love bluegrass music. One of them, Shelley Skidmore, talks about her goals as a musician and sings “Mule Skinner Blues,” complete with yodeling.
Performance: River City Drum Corp
A group of young people ages 4–20 perform African drumming as part of the River City Drum Corp. This Louisville, KY based group teaches about African drumming and culture as well as skills needed for academic and personal success.
Profile: The Junkman
Donald Knaack, a percussionist known as “The Junkman” because he makes music with found junk items, works with students and the Louisville Youth Orchestra and talks about the value of using junk to create rhythms and music.
Behind the Scenes: KMEA All-State Jazz Ensemble 2001
Kentucky high school students prepare for and perform as part of the Kentucky Music Educators Association All-State Jazz Ensemble.
Profile: Euntaek Kim, Piano, and Performance of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy
A profile of a rising young classical pianist, Euntaek Kim. He discusses his interest in music and his music education.
Profile: Daniel Goldman, Clarinet
A profile of a Daniel Goldman, a Louisville, Kentucky, native, who at the time was studying clarinet at the prestigious Julliard School in New York.
Profile: Laquita Mitchell, Soprano
A profile of opera singer Laquita Mitchell, early in her career.
Bluegrass Legend: J.D. Crowe
Bluegrass banjo player and band leader J.D. Crowe discusses how he got his start in music and his goal as a musician. Then, he and his band perform one of Crowe’s songs, “J’s Tune.”
Medieval Music: Gregorian Chant
Jeff Johnson, professor of music at the University of Kentucky, explains characteristics of Gregorian chant.
Palestrina | Arts in the Renaissance
After a brief introduction to Renaissance music and the composer Palestrina, Bruce Heim, music professor at the University of Louisville, discusses key characteristics of Renaissance music.
The Baroque Period: Bach to Bach
University of Kentucky professor of organ and sacred music Schuyler Robinson discusses and demonstrates the pipe organ and music from the Baroque period.
The Classical Period: Mozart and Haydn
William Prinzing Briggs, music director of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, discusses the Classical period in music, including the qualities of balance and structure; the importance of melody; theme and variations; the string quartet; the four movements of a...
The Classical Period: Mozart’s Choral Music
Student singers and musicians perform two choral works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Ave venum corpus” and “Veni Sancte Spiritus.”
The Classical Period: “Pamina’s Suicide” from Mozart’s The Magic Flute
This segment features a performance of the song “Pamina’s Suicide” from the opera The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Performers are from the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre and University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra.
The Genius of Beethoven
William Prinzing Briggs discusses the life and music of Ludwig van Beethoven, including his influence, the forms in which he wrote, and how he coped with going deaf.
Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto
Nationally acclaimed pianist Lee Luvisi and the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra perform the Rondo/Allegro final movement of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, known as the “Emperor” Concerto.
The Classical Period: “Storm Movement” from Beethoven’s 6th Symphony
Robert Franz, associate conductor of the Louisville Orchestra, explains the terms crescendo and decrescendo. Then, the Louisville Youth Orchestra performs the “Storm Movement” from Ludwig Van Beethoven’s 6th Symphony.
Music of the Romantic Period
William Prinzing Briggs, music director of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra, discusses characteristics of music of the Romantic period, introduces some of the major composers of the period, and introduces a performance of Franz Schubert’s “Death of a Maiden”...
The Romantic Period: Swan Lake Ballet
The Owensboro Symphony Orchestra performs the Scene and Finale from Act II of the ballet Swan Lake by Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
The Romantic Period: “Sunrise” from Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite
Robert Franz, associate conductor of the Louisville Orchestra, introduces the “Sunrise” movement (more formally known as “Morning Mood” or just “Morning”) from Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite, and instructs students to imagine a sunset as they listen to the...
The Romantic Period: “The Trout Quintet” by Schubert
Pianist Euntaek Kim and young musicians from Kentucky perform The Trout Quintet by Franz Schubert.
The Romantic Period: Duet from Bizet’s Les Pecheurs de Perles
Everett McCorvey of University of Kentucky (UK) Opera Theatre, introduces the “friendship” duet from the opera Les Pecheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) by Georges Bizet.
The Romantic Period: Brindisi from Verdi’s La Traviata
Everett McCorvey of University of Kentucky (UK) Opera Theatre, introduces the opera La Traviata (The Fallen Woman) by Guiseppe Verdi. Members of UK Opera perform the brindisi (toast song) from the opera, a song that celebrates love and life,...
The Romantic Period: Aria from Wagner’s Tannhäuser
Everett McCorvey of University of Kentucky (UK) Opera Theatre, introduces the aria “Dich, teure Halle” (“This Beloved Hall”) from the opera Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner. Then, soprano Afton Battle sings the aria, with piano accompaniment by Cliff Jackson.
Introduction to Impressionism/Post-Impressionism
Dr. Diane Earle, professor of music at Kentucky Wesleyan College, introduces characteristics and key composers of the Impressionist/Post-Impressionist periods in art and music and performs “L’Isle Joyeuse” (“The Isle of Joy”) by Claude Debussy as an example of music...
Impressionism: “Cantique de Jean Racine”
The Kentucky Music Educators Association 2001 All-State Chorus performs a hymn written by French Impressionist composer Gabriel Fauré. The hymn is sung in French.
Introduction to Music of the 20th Century
Dr. Diane Earle, pianist and professor of music at Kentucky Wesleyan College, discusses the Modern period (which began in the early 20th century) as a time of great change both in society and music.
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Saxton's Cornet Band, a musical ensemble that recreates the sound and appearance of early brass bands, performs "Yankee Doodle Variations." Before the performance, Nick Lawrence of the group tells the audience that the piece is an example of theme...
Modern Music in America
Pianist and Kentucky Wesleyan College music professor Dr. Diane Earle discusses the influences of blues and jazz on 20th century American composers George Gershwin and Aaron Copland.
Introduction to Jazz: Origins
Pianist Harry Pickens plays an excerpt from “What a Wonderful World,” then gives an overview of the origins of jazz music. He concludes by explaining “five things you need to know about jazz.”
Introduction to Jazz: Style
Pianist Harry Pickens plays “Happy Birthday” as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Fats Waller, Errol Garner, and a boogie-woogie pianist might play it. Then he discusses the concept of style and its importance in jazz music. He talks about some of...
Jazz Performance: “I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good )”
Pianist Harry Pickens plays “I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good),” written in 1941 by Duke Ellington.
Jazz Performance: “I’m Confessin'”
Byron Stripling, vocalist, and the Vince DiMartino-Miles Osland Jazz Orchestra perform the 1930 jazz standard “I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You).”
On Broadway: “Tonight” from West Side Story
Everett McCorvey of the University of Kentucky introduces the Broadway musical; Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim; and the musical West Side Story. Then, members of the UK Opera Theatre and UK Symphony Orchestra perform the song “Tonight” from West...
Introduction to Instruments of the World
Ethnomusicologist Gregory Acker introduces students to the four families of world instruments—idiophones, chordophones, membranophones, and aerophones—and shows a variety of instruments, including handmade versions.
Music of Mali | African/African-American Culture
Yaya Diallo, a musician from Mali, talks about how he came to live in Kentucky, the healing properties of music, and his interest in new forms of African music that combine the music of the elders with that of...
Manjani | African/African-American Culture
The Imani Dance and Drum Company perform the Manjani, a West African dance that celebrates an important event such as the harvest (as in this performance), a wedding, or a naming ceremony.
Egypt: A Taste of Arabian Music
Baladna, a musical group in Louisville, Kentucky, performs a contemporary Egyptian song whose title translates as “Oh, Goodness.”
Israel: Traditional Jewish Folk Song
The Kentucky All-State TTBB Chorus sings a choral arrangement based on a traditional Jewish folk song “El Yivneh Hagalil” (“God Will Build Galilee”) arranged by Peter Sozio.
China: Music of the Pipa
Hong Shao shows how to pluck and strum the pipa, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument. She performs “Bring Me a Rose,” then explains how and why she learned to play. The segment concludes with the performance of “Flower Festival.”
China: “Flower-Ball Dance”
Dr. Kuo-Huang Han, visiting professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Kentucky, demonstrates the erhu, a Chinese instrument similar to the violin.
Indonesia: Balinese Gamelan Orchestra
Dr. Kuo-Huang Han, visiting professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Kentucky, gives background on the gamelan orchestra, a mostly-percussion type of orchestra from Indonesia.
Northern India: Hindustani Style
Singer Rrucha Bapat and percussionist Vinayak Astekar discuss the tabla (a membranophone instrument similar to bongos) and Hindustani music.
Ireland: Celtic Born/Celtic Inspired
Galloglas, an ensemble of Irish and Scots descent, performs an a capella duet “My Johnny Was a Shoemaker,” followed by instrumental versions of traditional reels, and concluding with “Turning Colors,” a contemporary original composition inspired by traditional Celtic music....
Robert Caudill of The Louisville Pipe Band, a competitive pipe band, tells some of the history of the bagpipes and explains how it is played.
Spain: Flamenco Guitar
Doug Jones and Roberto Elliott perform a traditional flamenco tune that incorporates rhythmic finger tapping.
Ecuador and Bolivia: Music of the Andes
Fernando Moya, a musician from Ecuador, and Xenon Llusko, a musician from Bolivia, demonstrate a variety of Andean instruments and perform three pieces from the region.
Native Venezuelan Enrique Gonzalez performs the song “Así” with his band the Big Maracas. The song, which he sings in Spanish, is an example of salsa music. After the performance, Gonzalez talks about his work as a musician, artist,...
Cuba: The Latin Beat
TimbaSon, a group that performs Afro-Cuban and Latin dance music, performs “El Cuarto de Tula” (“Tula’s Room”), a traditional Cuban jazz song. Then they perform the American jazz standard “Autumn Leaves” in an original arrangement that gives it a...
Cherokee Singer | Native American Culture
Cherokee singer Paula Nelson performs a learning song that teaches a greeting and farewell in Cherokee and then asks the audience to sing with her in a call and response conversation.
Native American: Music and Dance
Singers from three different nations—Navajo, Apache, and Totonac—discuss the purposes of their music and the connection between music/singing and dancing in their cultures.
Native American: Iroquois Flute Maker
Arnold Richardson (Tsa ne Do ‘se), an Iroquois flute maker and musician who has performed in such films as Dances With Wolves and A Man Called Horse, talks about Native American flutes and explains how they make sound.
Appalachia: There Was a Time
Fiddler and storyteller Ron Short does a performance incorporating music and dramatic storytelling.
A Full Sound: Traditional Guitar Styles
Guitarists Eddie Pennington and Jesse Aldridge demonstrate the flat-picking guitar style that originated in Western Kentucky (also called “Travis pickin’” in honor of Merle Travis, who made this style famous).
Let the Fiddle do the Singing: Traditional Fiddle Styles
Two traditional fiddle players, Clyde Davenport of Jamestown, Tennessee, and Roger Cooper of Garrison, Kentucky, talk about and demonstrate two different styles of playing. John Herrod, a fiddle tune collector, discusses regional differences and influences on fiddle playing.
Immigrant Instrument: The Mandolin
Chris Mullins, resident artist at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, discusses the background and tuning of the mandolin.
Jug Band Music
The Juggernaut Jug Band from Louisville, Kentucky, performs “San Francisco Bay Blues” and “Coney Island Washboard,” showcasing the eclectic mix of influences and instruments that make up “jug band music.”
Contemporary Folk: Shady Grove
Zoe Speaks, featuring Carla Gover and Mitch Barrett, performs the two musician/singers’ own version of the traditional Appalachian song “Shady Grove.”
Singing the Gospel
Two gospel groups with very different styles, the Northern Kentucky Brotherhood, who sing a capella, and the Gospelway Bluegrass Singers, perform “I’ll Fly Away” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and discuss the purpose of gospel music and the influence...
I Sing the Blues
Tanita Gaines and her band, The Accused, perform “I Sing the Blues,” a song made popular by blues great Etta James.
Members of the Freedom Singers discuss the role of music during the American Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and perform “Fighting for My Rights” (based on the song “Lonely Avenue”) and the traditional gospel song “Just a Closer...
“My Old Kentucky Home”: Indian Raga Style
Gregory Acker and Melanie Fee perform “My Old Kentucky Home” using traditional Indian instruments and phrasing.
“My Old Kentucky Home”: Contemporary Folk/Acoustic Guitar
Chris Mullins performs “My Old Kentucky Home” on acoustic guitar.
“My Old Kentucky Home”: Traditional Version/Mandolin
Chris Mullins performs “My Old Kentucky Home” on mandolin.
“My Old Kentucky Home”: Jazz Arrangement
The Mike Tracy Quartet with Harry Pickens perform “My Old Kentucky Home” in a jazzy style.
“My Old Kentucky Home”: Hard Rock/Electric Bass
Chris Mullins performs “My Old Kentucky Home” on electric instruments.
“My Old Kentucky Home” Montage
A montage segment creates a performance of “My Old Kentucky Home” that combines traditional, folk, jazz, and rock arrangements.
Kentuckians in Music
What kinds of jobs and careers are available in music, and what does it take to be a music professional? Check out this resource to get the who, what, when, where, how, and why straight from Kentucky music professionals.
Mountain Born: The Jean Ritchie Story
Through interviews and recordings, KET’s Mountain Born: The Jean Ritchie Story not only chronicles the life of one folk singer and songwriter, but also introduces viewers to broader issues regarding the role of the traditional musician in contemporary society....
World of Our Own: Kentucky Folkways
The richness and diversity of Kentucky’s cultural heritage through programs about rural and urban Kentucky features Kentuckians from different communities and walks of life who represent aspects of traditional culture in their work, play, art, and religious lives.
Review music terms and definitions with this glossary.
Creating Stories and Music
A writer, a composer, a conductor, and an audience of young people discuss character, setting, and conflict/resolution (common elements of both stories and compositions), and illustrate the creation of these elements through words and music.
Old Music for New Ears
This 22-part KET-produced instructional videos series introduces children to a broad range of music — folk, blues, Cajun, traditional — and cultures — Native American, African-American, and Appalachian, among others. All lyrics are in the teacher’s guide, inviting children...
The Rhythms of Our World – Idea File
Students learn about rhythm and polyrhythm as they create the sounds of a rainstorm using their hands and feet. Then they make up their own rhythms inspired by listening to sounds in everyday life.
Singing Tradition – Idea File
Students learn folk songs and the stories behind them, then research folk songs that are a part of their own family or culture.
Purposes of Music – Idea File
Students categorize the purposes of different pieces of music as ceremonial, recreational, or artistic expression. Then they select one or more songs in each category for a “Purposes of Music” program.
Traditional Instruments – Idea File
Students identify and research the origins of traditional folk instruments and present their research to the class in a creative way.
Recycled Orchestra – Idea File
Students use recycled materials to make their own instruments, then compose a piece using them.
Symbolic Songs of Freedom – Idea File
Students research “code” songs that were sung by slaves and find the symbolism in one of the songs.
Memory Songs – Idea File
Inspired by Jean Ritchie’s “The Blue Bird Song,” students write songs about memories from their childhoods.
True Blues – Idea File
Students research the history of the blues, characteristics of a blues song, and specific types of blues. Then they present their findings to the class in creative and imaginative ways.
Music and Culture/Creating Simple Rhythms – Lesson Plan
Students make and play homemade drums.
Creating a Sound Story – Lesson Plan
Students communicate through music by creating sounds to accompany a children’s story.
Body Percussion – Lesson Plan
Students learn about body percussion, play quarter notes and eighth notes, and experience early African-American folk and cultural music.
Musical Styles – Lesson Plan
Students explore and compare/contrast a variety of musical styles.
Comparing Native American and American Folk Music – Lesson Plan
Students explore similarities and differences between Native American and American folk music.
Traditional Guitar Styles – Lesson Plan
Students listen to, research, and try out traditional styles of playing guitar.
Exploring Fiddle Styles – Lesson Plan
Students explore various styles of fiddle playing and their connections to different parts of the United States and the world.
Medieval Plainchant – Lesson Plan
Students learn about the contributions of medieval composer Hildegard of Bingen and about the characteristics of plainchant.
Ragtime and Swing – Lesson Plan
Students explore the evolution of ragtime and swing music.
Elements of Jazz – Lesson Plan
Students analyze a piece of jazz music and compose a piece of their own.
Jazz and Marching Bands – Lesson Plan
Students learn about the early days of jazz in New Orleans and compare early New Orleans marching bands to contemporary marching bands.