Lesson 4: Starting in the Old Time Tradition

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The Carter familyThe Carter Family recorded music starting in 1937 and opened up the Old Time songs to the radio listening public. Many people consider Old Time music to be the precursor to the later commercialized Country and Bluegrass music styles.

Bluegrass music was eventually born out of the Old Time tradition when Bill Monroe and his "Bluegrass Boys" added 3-4 part harmony singing, blues-influenced mandolin and the African-derived banjo, which has become an icon of Bluegrass Music.

National Standard #6: Listening, Analyzing and Describing Music


  • Students use appropriate terminology in explaining music, music notation, music instruments and voices, and music performances.
  • Students identify visually and aurally a variety of instruments including many orchestra and band instruments, and instruments from various cultures.
  • Students identify solo and group vocal timbres including children's voices, and male/female adult voices.