Music Time (BBC)

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Music Time was a BBC schools television series which ran from autumn 1970 to spring 1991, with repeats airing until summer 1994. It was presented initially by Mari Griffith and Ian Humphris, from 1977 by Kathryn Harries and Peter Combe and then from 1983 by Jonathan Cohen and Helen Speirs. From its inception until summer 1983 it was transmitted on BBC1; subsequently it was on BBC2, and for most of its run it was transmitted on Mondays and Thursdays.


The series was aimed at primary school children aged between 7 and 9. It taught singing, instrumentation, and basic elements of music theory and performance through simple, easily understandable songs. These often formed part of a production intended to be performed by schools, and usually performed at the end of the series (though in later years, as with Tarfa and the Trolls, the full performance was sometimes at the beginning of the series). This would often be a pantomime in the autumn term. The series also included animated films (usually produced by Bura and Hardwick) based on familiar classical works such as Coppelia, Lieutenant Kije and Hary Janos. These were sometimes shown in their own right on BBC2 in the early evening.

Individual series[edit]

  • Spring 1979: Lieutenant Kije (repeated spring 1981 and spring 1983)
  • Autumn 1983: A Gift for the Baby (repeated autumn 1985 and autumn 1987)
  • Spring 1984: The Sleeping Beauty (repeated spring 1986 and spring 1988)
  • Autumn 1984: Dick Whittington (repeated autumn 1986 and autumn 1988)
  • Spring 1985: Hary Janos (repeated spring 1987 and spring 1989)
  • Summer 1985: Anansi and the Sky God (repeated summer 1987 and summer 1989)
  • Summer 1986: Panji and the Buffalo (repeated summer 1988, summer 1991 and summer 1993)
  • Autumn 1989: Tarfa and the Trolls (repeated autumn 1991 and autumn 1993)
  • Spring 1990: Pictures at an Exhibition (repeated spring 1992 and spring 1994)
  • Summer 1990: The Emperor and the Nightingale (repeated summer 1992 and summer 1994)
  • Autumn 1990: Cinderella (repeated autumn 1992)
  • Spring 1991: The Planets (repeated spring 1993)