Don Robertson's Musical Kaleidoscope
Please watch our short introductory video:
“Our goal is to build an important educational, healing, and inspirational platform to benefit the upcoming generations around the world… focusing on the great contributions of enlightened musicians and composers from all ages and cultures.”
Don and Mary Ellen Robertson
- A lifetime mission
- The world’s greatest music
- Both popular and classical genres
- Positive music will heal the world
Musical Kaleidoscope is the lifetime music project of composer and writer Don Robertson. As a child, he began listening to music and collecting records. His desire to share the music that he loved prompted him, beginning age 10, to build his own neighborhood radio station, broadcasting his favorite music to his neighborhood.
The idea for a radio show that featured music drawn from Don’s favorite genres surfaced again in 1980 when he co-produced a radio show called Night Flight, broadcast on KSUN from Sonoma State College in California. From this time forward, he continued collecting important recordings, always with the thought of a future radio show.
Don and his Wife Mary Ellen Bickford solidified the idea for the radio show in 1997, calling it Musical Kaleidoscope and creating a series of sample radio programs. For the next ten years they continued collecting recordings, specializing at this time in rare gospel-music records. In 2007, living in Nashville, they rented space in a nearby building, filled it with their recordings, created an office and a studio and hired employees to help digitize and photograph their now-large music collection.
Don and Mary Ellen created the MusicalKaleidoscope.com website in 2008, while continuing to build the Musical Kaleidoscope project. Their vision gradually increased beyond the radio show, now encompassing video and the music-score publications that Don had also been working on since 1971.
Throughout 2013, Don and Mary Ellen hosted a regular Musical Kaleidoscope class in their Nashville home, with Nashville arrangers, musicians and composers in attendance. Some of these presentations were videotaped and later became Musical Kaleidoscope classes.
Don and Mary Ellen have continued to prepare content for Musical Kaleidoscope, with over 1,000 show, documentary, score and class videos now fully completed, and thousands of record albums and publications being prepared.
“A Taste of Musical Kaleidoscope” (2016)
The Four Worlds
Each world is identified by a different color.
- Popular Music
- Country Music
- Jazz Music
- Rhythm and Blues Music
- Gospel Music
- Native-American Music
- Folk and Popular Music of Europe
- Folk and Popular Music “South of the Border”
- The Traditional Music Africa
- The Traditional of the Middle East
- The Traditional Music of the Far East
- The Classical Music of Europe
- The Classical Music of North India (Hindustani Classical Music)
Around the World
- A fifth category encompasses music and musical instruments from more than one of the above worlds.
Types of Content
Musical Kaleidoscope will be available to students throughout the world, providing the following types of content:
Musical Kaleidoscope shows are videos of live performances of music from around the world. Each show has an average length of one hour. However, there a few shows, such as full concerts, that run longer. Our shows will be available for internet broadcast and to be made available from the Musical Kaleidoscope app, after it has become available. We are also planning to create a series of audio shows, for radio broadcast. Since 2017, the Rising World foundation has completed over 260 shows.
You can watch example shows from each world here. ->
Our video classroom contains carefully selected lectures, demonstrations and masterclasses by artists, experts, and professors, including classes filmed at recognized universities and colleges, and videos and television programs created for educational purposes. We have over 162 titles prepared so far.
Documentaries and Tutorials
So far, we have collected and processed over 230 important documentaries from many sources. These valuable videos help the student gain an understanding of musical cultures, styles and artists. Tutorials include musical instrument instruction, documentation and master classes as well as orchestra rehearsals with legendary conductors. We also have a number of important interviews.
Music scores, also known as charts, are the blueprints that composers and arrangers prepare for the performance of ensemble music. They are valuable tools for understanding the roles that musical instruments and voices play in a composition and provide an aid for students to better visualize the overall concept of the music as well as a focus for listening.
In four formats:
- readable online
- perfect-bound (for libraries and personal book shelves)
- spiral bound (for study)
Two categories of video scores: follow-along scores and study scores.
Watch follow-along score examples here ->
Watch study score examples here ->
Films & Stage Productions
This category consists of motion pictures with significant musical content, musicals, and operas. Operas will have a choice of subtitles: subtitles in the original language and subtitles in English.
Watching important musicals and music-based films from various time periods provides integration of the music of a particular time period with the culture of that period.
Books and Book Reprints
Book reprints consist of important text books (orchestration, theory, counterpoint, etc.), biographies of composers and musicians, and books about music genres. Formats are the same as noted above in “Published Scores.”
The term “record album” originally referred single 78rpm or 45rpm recordings that were released as a set, like a “scrap book” or picture album. The same term describes LP record and CD “albums.” We have a very large collection of valuable albums that we will draw upon.