Christopher Columbus recorded in his journal the first story written about music in the New World:
"The Pinta leads the procession and her crew is singing the Te Deum. The crews of the Santa Maria and the Niña now join in the solemn chant and many of the rough sailors must brush tears from their eyes."
Listen to this ancient hymn and imagine how the natives might have reacted. Is it possible the spirit of the music did more to calm their fears than the words the newcomers might have spoken?
When Amerigo was out sailing with his crew, it is likely they sang a shanty like this one.
This tune is likely familiar to you. It is one of the oldest Anglo-Saxon's sea shanties and was sung as a work song among crew members. Although it may not have appeared until after the time of Vasco da Gama, enjoy this version sung in Portuguese, his native languange.
Enjoy this Italian Sailor's Song.
And here's a French Sea Shanty for our first French explorer.
This is the kind of music de Soto might have listened to back home in his castle in Spain.
The Hornpipe was a dance that didn't require a lot of space and the sailors were known to dance to it on board the ship.
Today, The Sailor's Hornpipe is enjoyed by the British at their Last Night of the Proms annual performances.
This is an Iroquois native song.