American Heritage Music: From Plymouth Rock to Rock & Roll

Matthew Sabatella
Music / History

Course Description

Music is woven into the fabric of American culture. Immigrants, both voluntary and involuntary, have been carrying instruments, songs, and musical styles to America's shores for centuries. Unique forms of music evolved through the interactions of people from vastly different backgrounds - something only possible in a nation of immigrants. These emergent genres include traditional folk songs, fiddle tunes, spirituals, work songs, ballads, sea shanties, Appalachian music, ragtime, minstrel, blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, old-time, country and western, bluegrass, and rock & roll. The presenter will speak, sing, and play a variety of instruments, including guitar, harmonica, banjo, and mountain dulcimer to show the connection between these genres. The audience will hear, and maybe even sing along with, songs they've known their whole life, learn the stories behind the songs, and be introduced to some nearly-forgotten American gems. Visuals of relevant historical images will also be shown.

About the Instructor

  • Matthew Sabatella brings to life music that is woven into the fabric of the United States. As a singer, instrumentalist, recording artist, performer, speaker, writer, and content curator, he illuminates the connection between music and the story and people of the United States. He writes a music blog called “American Heritage Music” and performs regularly, both as a solo artist and as the leader of the Rambling String Band. The Rambling String Band has released three albums in the “Ballad of America” series, each with a different historical theme. Sabatella has been singular in his mission to share America’s rich musical heritage with others, both for the sheer love of the music and for its value in inspiring people to better understand each other and America’s past, present, and future. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Miami and a Master of Arts in History from Florida International University.

Upcoming programs presented by Matthew Sabatella.

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