Music Time: Travel and Transport

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started13th Jan 1971
ended24th Mar 1971
last rptMar 1977
7 school years
duration20 mins
subject 🎶MusicMusic
age rangeAge 7-9
languageenIn English
Music TimeHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious unit: Peter and the Wolf Next unit: Spells and Riddles HierarchyNext.gif

Travel and Transport is a unit of the BBC schools TV series Music Time from the 1970s, covering Music for primary school pupils.

Mari Griffith and Ian Humphris present the second term of the original one-year Music Time course, continuing the work begun in Peter and the Wolf. Viewers are now expected to be able to play simple rhythms from musical notation and they are introduced to a wider variety of pitch work.

All of this term's listening music is on the theme of travel and transport, including works evoking rides on horseback, in an ox cart, by boat, by train and amongst motor cars.

The sea picture

During the first half of term the presenters encourage children in the studio and at home to use sounds from improvised musical instruments such as rice on a drum and the xylophone played with fingers to accompany a sea picture, which was also illustrated in the pupils' pamphlet.

In the second half of term the creative work in the studio is based around film of a hot air balloon flight, using footage from the French film Le voyage en ballon. Children are encouraged to find tunes and sounds to accompany the flight of the balloon as well as the sights below.

Watch Online Watch on YouTube. Watch a clip from Le voyage en ballon (not necessarily the same clip used in Music Time)


SongRun, Boys, Run

Run, boys, run, the patterol'll catch you,
Run, boys, run, you'd better get away.

Collected, adapted & arranged by John A. & Alan Lomax, New York: Ludlow Music Inc.

SongTrain is A-Coming

The train is a-coming, oh yes, train is a-coming, oh yes,
Train is a-coming, train is a-coming, train is a-coming, oh yes.

American traditional song.

SongGoodbye, Old Paint

Goodbye, old Paint, I'm a-leaving Cheyenne,
Goodbye, old Paint, I'm a-leaving Cheyenne.

Essex Musix Ltd. (John A. & Alan Lomax)

SongCanoe Song

My paddles keen and bright, flashing with silver.
Follow the wild goose flight, dip, dip and swing.

SongThe Blackbird

Hear the blackbird sing. Each little song he tries, and then
Hark, how he sings it over again.

By Zoltan Kodaly, English words by Geoffrey Russell-Smith from Bicinia Hungarica Vol. 1, Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd.

SongSong of the Volga Boatmen

Yo, heave ho!, yo, heave ho!
Pull together, yo, heave ho!

SongIfca's Castle

Hi-ya, hi-ya, hi-ya ya, tumbling goes the river,
A-hi-ya, hi-ya, hi-ya ya, tumbling goes the river.

Czech folk song.

The Music Time producers wrote to teachers, "we don't know what or where Ifca's castle is. If any of you have any information about it, do let us know."[1]

SongLouisiana Waltz Song

Wherever I go I take my violin;
And when I feel sad I play dance tunes and sing.

From Louisiana French Folk Songs by Irene T. Whitfield, New York: Dover Publications Inc.

SongWho's Dat Yonder

Who's dat yonder, dress'd in red?
Mus' be de chil-lun dat Moses led!


The episodes did not have titles, but were numbered from 1 to 10 in the teacher's notes.

The last episode was a concert of all the songs learnt during the term, plus some of the listening music to accompany the balloon film, and a piece called Midnight Walk composed by the children in the studio.

According to BBC, the BBC have only kept a recording of one episode from this term - Programme 8.

Watch Online The other nine episodes are presumably lost, although a clip from a domestic recording of Programme 9 was previously available on Youtube, in which viewers are split into two groups to perform the ostinato accompaniments to Goodbye, Old Paint, and turn the rhyme Mother May I Go and Bathe into a song.

# Title Listening music Creative work Instrument Broadcast Archive
1. Programme 1 El Capitan by John Philip Sousa Marching rhythms Side drum, bass drum & cymbal 1971/01/1313 Jan 1971
2. Programme 2 En Bâteau from Petite Suite by Claude Debussy Sea picture The violin 1971/01/2020 Jan 1971
3. Programme 3 En Bâteau from Petite Suite by Claude Debussy Sea picture The cello 1971/01/2727 Jan 1971
4. Programme 4 Buckaroo Holiday from Rodeo by Aaron Copland The Sea Picture Score The trombone 1971/02/033 Feb 1971
5. Programme 5 The Little Train of the Caipira from Bachianas Brasilieras no 2 by Villa Lobos The Sea Picture Score The trumpet 1971/02/1010 Feb 1971
6. Programme 6 Bydlo from Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky, orchestrated by Maurice Ravel The Sea Picture Score The tuba 1971/02/1717 Feb 1971
7. Programme 7 Symphony no. 3 (Collages) by Roberto Gerhard Balloon journey The clarinet 1971/03/033 Mar 1971
8. Programme 8 On the Trail from Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofé Balloon journey The oboe 1971/03/1010 Mar 1971 BBC
9. Programme 9 An American in Paris by George Gershwin Balloon journey Instrument quiz 1971/03/1717 Mar 1971
10. End-of-Term Concert - - - 1971/03/2424 Mar 1971



Pupils' pamphlet

Pupils' pamphlet

A 24-page pamphlet with music and words to the term's songs, plus accompaniment tunes+, illustrations of tune patterns, and some nonsense rhymes which children could set to rhythms and tunes.

The pamphlet is illustrated by Hugh Marshall.

Teacher's notes

1971 teacher's notes
1973 teacher's notes

A black & white booklet of notes for the teacher, including details of the content of each episode and suggestiions for preparation and follow-up work.

The original notes in 1971 were 20 pages long, but they were rewritten and rearranged into a 24 page booklet for the repeats from Spring 1973.


LP cover

The 1972 Music Time LP (detailed on the Peter and the Wolf page) contains just 2 songs from this term: Run, Boys, Run and Goodbye, Old Paint.

The songs on the LP are sung by Mari Griffith and Ian Humphris with children from Hermitage Junior School.


  • Spring 1971: Wednesdays 10:00am, repeated Fridays 11:35am on BBC1.
  • Spring 1973: Wednesdays 10:00am, repeated Fridays 11:00am on BBC1.
  • Spring 1975: Mondays 11:22am, repeated Tuesdays 2:02pm on BBC1.
  • Spring 1977: Mondays 11:22am, repeated Thursdays 11:30am on BBC1.

Sources & References

  • BBC (1971) Music Time teacher's notes, Spring Term 1971. ISBN 0 563 09803 1
  • BBC (1972) Music Time LP, BBC Records Roundabout No. 14.
  • BBC (1973a) Music Time pupils' pamphlet, Spring 1973. ISBN 0 563 09802 3
  • BBC (1973b) Music Time teacher's notes, Spring Term 1973. ISBN 0 563 19773 0
  • BBC (1976) BBC Radio and Television Annual Programme for Schools and Colleges 1976-7. ISBN 0 563 16031 4. p.51.
  • BBC archive catalogue
  • Radio Times television listings, 1971-1975
  • video clip from programme 9 and sound recording of programme 10
  1. "We don't know what or where Ifca's castle is..." from Music Time teacher's notes spring 1971 p.6. The plea was not reproduced in the rewritten notes from spring 1973 onwards.


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