Musical Inclusion: Ballads for the Age of Science

Album Covers from my favourite albums

Album covers from the series ‘Ballads for the Age of Science’

Last week I wrote about how the technical nature of professional music or professional science could lead to people feeling excluded from a musical or scientific cognoscenti.

This week the antidote:  – a series of songs (just recently available on iTunes) which will help everybody to feel included in the scientific endeavour. I recommend them to every parent, every teacher of science, and every science communicator.

Ballads for the Age of Science was written and performed in a different age – an age of scientific optimism: the 1950’s. An age when it was OK to sing about the Greenhouse Effect in a primary school classroom in the USA.

The album series consists of:

  • Experiment Songs, by Dorothy Collins (Link to iTunes)
    • My favourite? “It’s a magnet”, which is just a delight.
  • Nature Songs and More Nature Songs by Marais and Miranda (Link to iTunes)
    • My favourite? “Why is the sky blue?” which is not quite technically correct, but so ambitious!
  • Weather Songs by Tom Glazer  (Link to iTunes )
    • My favourite? That’s hard because every one is a gem. “What is the Climate?” is a classic, but “What does the Glass of Greenhouse do” is brilliantly ambitious – and bold in its use of banjo!
  • Energy and Motion Songs by Tom Glazer and Dottie Evans (Link to iTunes )
    • My favourite? It has to be the catchy “E-lec-tric-ity” which is a true work of genius.
  • Space Songs by Tom Glazer and Dottie Evans (Link to iTunes )
    • My favourite? Despite the naiveté it has to be “A scientific fact”, a paean to age when things were simpler .

These will become hits in the UK – they will spread first like a secret amongst friends and then like wildfire until you are sick of them. But by joining music to learning about science they unite two disparate ends of circle which has been cut for too long. Enjoy 🙂

Just in case you are interested, the songs we use in Protons for Breakfast are:

… and if we had the time we would use loads more!

You might also be interested in an obituary for Tom Glazer from The Independent and you can also read about his life on Wikipedia

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2 Responses to “Musical Inclusion: Ballads for the Age of Science”

  1. Bev Sanders Says:

    Dutifully shared on the Turing House Facebook Page. We love anything that explores relationships between science and music, so keep it coming!

  2. Robert Zaret Says:

    I hope you will let me link to this on Argosy’s web page.

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