PDF Flipbook

Special This Issue

Recurring Contributions

PDF Flipbook

Special This Issue

Recurring Contributions

Bob McQuillen was a prolific composer who played a pivotal role in the contra dance revival of the last fifty years. He self-published fifteen Note Books with 1,554 tunes, the last one in 2012. 

All these tunes are now available via a single app in the Apple App Store.

Where to start? 

Curated Lists

If you are unfamiliar with Bob McQuillen’s tunes, perhaps 1,554 tunes are too many to sort through. You could start at the beginning with Scotty O’Neil, Bob’s first tune (composed in 1973) and work your way through all of them. As an alternative, we have provided a few lists that might be more manageable. 

In this Google sheet, you will find 6 tabs: McQuillen Classics, Easier Tunes, Hidden Gems, Recorded, Old New England, and Links.  

  • Classics are tunes that have become well-known in the traditional dance and music community.  
  • Easier Tunes are just that. 
  • Hidden Gems are great tunes that deserve more attention. 
  • Recorded includes tunes recorded by several bands and individuals, except for tunes recorded by ‘Old New England’.  
  • Old New England (O.N.E.): a separate list of 82 of Bob’s tunes recorded by O.N.E. 
  • Links includes links to various YouTube videos featuring Bob or his tunes; articles and interviews; and other collections of note. 

Many of the recordings can be found on YouTube; some are available on Spotify and other streaming services. You can hear Bob himself playing piano on recordings with Old New England (with Deanna Stiles and Jane Orzechowsk), the Rhythm Rollers (with Laurie Andres, Cathie Whitesides, and WB Reid), Applejack, and others.  

These choices are “in the eye of the beholder”—you may have a different set of tunes you consider “easier” or “gems.”  I encourage you to explore and enjoy this great collection of tunes.

–Laurie Indenbaum 

The CDSS Educators Task Group presents Lesson Plans to introduce students to a variety of topics in traditional music and dance.

Teachers of all subjects and ages—the CDSS Educators Task Group wants YOU!

Look at the sample lesson plans below. Do these spark ideas for you for how you might incorporate traditional music and dance into your classroom? If so—please contribute a lesson plan of your own!

Download the Lesson Plan Template

Email your contributions to education@cdss.org and we’ll be in touch with you. Can’t wait to see your ideas.

  • MLK Day Through Music

    • Author: Justin Morrison
    • Grade Level: Fourth
    • Keywords: Black History Month, MLK, Martin Luther King Jr., songs, protest
    • Lesson Overview: Over five days, students listen to and reflect on the events of the March on Washington and musical responses to it. Next, they reflect on how those musical responses contributed to the message of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

    Download the PDF

  • Incorporating Folk Dance into the Music Class with Ease

    • Author: Robbin Marcus
    • Grade Level: 2 (adaptable to any elementary age)
    • Keywords: Playparty, folk dance, singing game
    • Lesson Overview: Over the course of several class periods, children will perform a familiar play party (such as Paw Paw Patch) as part of their regular music class routine. In an adjacent class at a later time, students will learn the additional moves for a similar folk dance (like Sweets of May) and perform it in class.

    Download the PDF

  • The Wagoner’s Lad Ballad and Juliet’s Soliloquy

    • Author: Kathleen Brown
    • Grade Level: Ninth, English
    • Keywords: Ballad, narrative, “The Wagoner’s Lad,” soliloquy, “Romeo and Juliet,” theme, marriage, feminism, family
    • Lesson Overview: Students read and listen to 3 versions of the ballad “The Wagoner’s Lad” and of Juliet’s soliloquy to analyze the themes and narrator’s point of view.

    Download the PDF