Ballad of America preserves and celebrates music from America's diverse cultural history through:
Articles and videos with fascinating stories of songs, genres, instruments, people, and more
Resources to help teachers, both traditional and homeschool, integrate music and United States history
Sing-along recordings and lead sheets to facilitate the singing of American folk songs by people of all ages
Multimedia programs that entertain, inspire, and inform people of all ages, delivered in-person and online
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.
Those with the ability and nerve to travel along the Santa Fe Trail in its early days found a life of hardship and struggle from the elements, their own draft animals, and people already there defending their homeland. Any chance for relief was received with grateful hearts. Now and then, when the work was done, there was time for frolic and music. There are many tales told by those who made this journey and how joyous it was when someone let loose with a song or took up the fiddle.