Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Russell, Heather

Subject Headings

Sea songs -- History, Music -- Instruction and study, Folk songs, English, music education, sea shanties. ethnomusicology


Sea shanties were much more than simple folk songs of the sea. They were an integral tool in wooden ship operations in the 19th century. They include universal themes that connect us with the past telling us tales of love, adventure, far away destinations, and of trials and tribulations. The tunes are rollicking, the refrains memorable, and are to be sung with ultimate abandon. When brought into the classroom, teachers can introduce musical concepts, enrich lessons, and encourage student participation through the rousing singing of sea shanties. In this study the historical evolution and function of sea shanties are explored. The information gathered is condensed into concrete and easily accessible information for teachers. This information includes historical accounts, musical elements and nuances, performance traditions, and suggested sea shanties for use in the classroom. Furthermore, the suggested repertoire includes complete Kodaly analysis and recommendations for lesson application

Included in

Music Commons