Music Makers (radio): Swashbuckling for Beginners

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started19th Sep 1983
ended28th Nov 1983
last rpt2nd Dec 1985
3 school years
duration20 mins
subject 🎶MusicMusic
age rangeAge 10-12Age 9-11 & Age 11-13
languageenIn English
Music Makers (radio)HierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious unit: Peregrine's Progress Next unit: Crossed Circuits HierarchyNext.gif

Swashbuckling for Beginners is a unit of the BBC schools radio series Music Makers from the 1980s, covering music for primary and secondary school pupils.

An absurd comedy about a group of proper British sailors with an old sea-dog captain, and a group of scurvy pirates with a very proper British captain. The groups meet, a ship sinks, and they all find themselves on an apparently deserted island searching for buried treasure, and finding reunions and mutual understanding.

The magazine features looked at music inspired by the sea.


  • Oh, Yo-Ho-Ho!
  • Pirate Patter
  • North, South, East, West
  • High and Dry
  • Robinson's Aria
  • Map Reading
  • That's Enough for Now!



Introduced by Ian Humphris
Jill Shilling
Written by R. D. Ward
Music by Peter Hutchings
Producer Peter Hutchings


Pupils' pamphlet

1983 cover
1985 cover

A 28 page pamphlet containing the words and music to all the songs, with drawings by Alastair Graham telling the story in between, and a section of pictures to accompany the magazine features in the broadcasts.

The pamphlet was printed in blue-and-white in 1983, and then reprinted in black-and-white in 1985.

Teachers' notes

Teachers' notes, 1983

A 16 page booklet containing piano accompaniments to the songs and brief descriptions of the broadcasts.

Acting script

Acting script cover

A version of the story script adapted for performance in schools, available free from the producer during the term of broadcast.

Melodic instrument parts

Melodic instrument parts cover

A set of accompaniments for each song for tuned percussion instruments, also available free to schools from the producer during the term of broadcast.


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