Background Essay and Planning Guide

Background Essay

Every unit begins with an essay about the musical and social history of the era. Essays cover many styles and genres, including popular, religious and folk songs performed and listened to by a variety of ethnic groups and regions. Essays also trace changing technologies affecting how music was produced and distributed.  At the end of the essay, “Sources” directs you to further information on those topics.

Plan, integrate, review and assess

Following the essay is a page of planning strategies to help you integrate lessons using Voices Across Time songs into your curriculum to meet your instructional goals.  Questions help you lead discussions to introduce your unit by encouraging students to predict what the music of this period will reveal. At the end of the unit, other questions help students evaluate the legacy of the era’s music. Finally, suggestions are given for assessment exercises.



More topics under Teacher's Guide:

Unit walkthrough:

Timeline & Table of Contents

Background essay & planning  


Song pages


1. Worlds Meeting through 1760

2. New Nation, 1760-1820

3. Expansion & Reform, 1800-1860

4. Civil War & Reconstruction, 1860-1876

5. Development of Industrial

    U.S., 1870-1900

6. Emergence of Modern U.S., 1900-1929

7. Great Depression & WW II, 1930-1945

8. Post-War U.S, .1946-1973

9. Changing America, 1974 -2000

10. The New Millennium


Purchase Voices Across Time






Copyright 2019 Center for American Music, University of Pittsburgh Library System