Music and Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time for family, so it is also follows that music should come as a natural part of the festivities. Whether you listen to your favorite music while you enjoy the company of your loved ones or decide to make music together, music is intrinsic to our society. As early as 1633, colony inventories listing various musical instruments including the recorder.

Music, and worship including music, helped carry early settlers through the harsh winters and brighten the dreary days. The music the settlers brought with them varied between the psalms which were sung by the pilgrims, and the sea shanties of the sailors who manned the ships they traveled in.

The pilgrims didn’t have a bunch of song and loud music during their services, but what they did do was sing hymnals from a psalter they carried with them from Amsterdam.

That people found music in various forms important enough to bring with them says more about its importance to them than just describing it could. The reality was that the difficulty of the passage across the ocean was such that every bit of storage space had to be taken up with supplies for the journey, so to make room for musical instruments or other “luxuries” was difficult at best.

The sailors on the other hand, sung and played sea shanties during work, they also sung and played various folk songs in the evening when things weren’t too bad on the voyage. These sea shanties were sung to a rhythm that made their work easier and less monotonous. Who would want to swab the deck to the sound the ocean when you can sing your way through the job and get it done faster.

All the music brought to the New World with the settlers served to develop our identity as Americans, during the Revolution we used music to inspire our side and to mock the British. Music has a long history with humanity and will continue to be a part of our identity for a long time to come.

Why not try listening to or playing something new this year? Here are a few ideas:

This site has loads of free recorder music, some of the pieces are more difficult than others, but take a look and see what you can find. http://recordersongs.net/category/

If you’re looking for something a little different, try one of these options on Amazon:

 

Above all else – music should be fun!!