Ballad of America preserves and celebrates music from America's diverse cultural history through:

Music Library
Articles and videos with fascinating stories of songs, genres, instruments, people, and more

For Educators
Resources to help teachers, both traditional and homeschool, integrate music and United States history

Sing It
Sing-along recordings and lead sheets to facilitate the singing of American folk songs by people of all ages

Live Events
Multimedia programs that entertain, inspire, and inform people of all ages, delivered in-person and online

America's Music

The music in America today is part of a continuum that reaches back to Colonial America and stretches across the Atlantic Ocean to the Old World. Music, instruments, and songs tell the story of the ordinary and extraordinary people who have populated the United States and propelled it into the 21st century. The genres of music explored through Ballad of America include traditional folk songs, fiddle tunes, ballads (both Old and New World), sea shanties, railroad and cowboy songs, Appalachian, ragtime, spirituals, work songs, minstrel, blues, jazz, jug band, rhythm and blues, old-time, country and western, bluegrass, and rock & roll.

Featured Music Article

Eighteenth-century social dance is a complex topic. Every occasion where dancing occurred looked different from most others. Important variables that affected the performance were the participants, the on-lookers, the reason for the gathering, the location, the temperature of the room, the hour of the day, and the amount and type of beverages everyone had been drinking. Each of these could change what dance types were selected and how they were actually performed. Read more...

This article results from our new partnership with The Colonial Music Institute at George Washington's Mount Vernon (CMI). Ballad of America will publish articles by CMI's David K. Hildebrand, who teaches American music history at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University.