Music Afloat

Short series about the role of music and musicians in sea journeys across the ages, from epic voyages of discovery to luxury cruises.


01The Age Of Exploration2001010220010514

Sir Francis Drake took musicians with him on his legendary circumnavigation of the globe, but what kind of lives did they lead on board, and what music did they play? Sue Cook and guests look for clues aboard the Golden Hind.

02Musical Encounters, Maps... And Mutiny2001010920010521

Musicians played a crucial part in Captain Cook's historic expeditions.

And William Bligh insisted on daily dancing for the crew: did this contribute to the mutiny on the Bounty?


In the 30 years leading up to WWI, over a million Jews fled Eastern Europe for the golden land of North America.

What part did music play in these voyages into exile?

04The Only Way To Cross2001012320010604

From the early 1930s until the end of the 50s, luxury liners enjoyed a golden age, with music playing an essential part in sumptuous shipboard life.