Skip to Main Content

A Trunk of Traditional West Virginia Tunes

Resources for Teachers, Parents, and Students

The purpose of the Trunk of Tunes is to familiarize West Virginia students with the rich, early music tradition found in our state. Though not heard in mainstream gatherings, the music nonetheless has an active and strong following of folks who enjoy playing and passing it along to others. This tradition of handing down tunes has allowed the music to remain alive since the arrival of those first settlers. Those that play and enjoy the music have a deep regard for the skill and ambition of past and present musicians and the history that the music represents, not only in the continuance of the tunes themselves but also the events, people, and places that the tunes often portray. The term “root music” is often used in describing the music of the early settlers, as it was this music that provided the foundation that evolved into music genres such as bluegrass, country, jazz and blues, honky-tonk, and rock-and-roll, which in turn grew into much of the new music enjoyed by mainstream society today. Thus the goal of the Trunk of Tunes is to raise students’ awareness and provide knowledge of what was in order to more fully appreciate what is, today.

This program is made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 through the West Virginia Humanities Council. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations do not necessarily represent those of the West Virginia Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.



Lynette Swiger - Curriculum Development

Marianne Jenkins - Videography

Katie Jenkins - Videography

Makayla Schindler - Video editing

Francene Kirk - Video and text editing

Jacki Sherman

Lydia Warren 

Tiffany Martin 

Hayley Harvey 

Valerie Woofter

Zackery Curry

Fairmont State University Office of Grants

Fairmont State University Office of University Relations and Marketing

Fairmont State University Library 

Fairmont State University Office of Technology 

West Virginia Humanities Council 

Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center Staff