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Homespun offers music instruction for many instruments and styles on CD, DVD and streaming media.

Homespun Music Instruction
Founded1967 (1967)
FounderHappy Traum
Jane Traum
Distributor(s)Hal Leonard
GenreAcoustic music, folk, country, bluegrass music, jazz, rock, blues, old-time music, classical music, Irish music, Cajun music
Country of originUSA
LocationWoodstock, New York



Happy Traum's inspiration for Homespun came in 1967, when he was a musician and part-time guitar teacher in New York City. When he moved to Woodstock, New York and began to tour with his brother Artie Traum, he made tapes (based on his 1965 book Fingerpicking Styles for Guitar) for his guitar students to use when he was unavailable.[1]

He also received letters from others who wanted to learn to play, so he made more tapes and sold them via classified advertisements in Guitar Player, Rolling Stone, and Sing Out! magazines.[2][3]

He decided to turn this effort into the Homespun business, with his wife Jane as co-owner and his brother Artie assisting. They invited musicians they knew to record instructional tapes. Bill Keith (banjo) and Kenny Kosek (fiddle) were among the first to participate.[4]

Homespun's first instructional lessons were recorded in Traum's home and sold on five-inch reel-to-reel tapes, as cassettes were not yet generally available.[5] The tapes were manually reproduced one by one at home: thus the name "Homespun."[3]

Traum produced the sessions, and provided guidance for artists who were uncomfortable teaching.[6] As the business grew, Traum traveled to other locations to record more musicians, and invited musicians outside their circle of friends to participate.[1]

In 1983, Homespun introduced music instruction on VCR tapes, before most homes had video players. Through the years, Homespun has expanded its audio and video formats, moving from audio cassette and video tape to CDs, DVDs, and streaming media.[7][8]

The Hal Leonard Corporation has been distributing Homespun products since 1995. Homespun products are also sold at their website, and the Roots music channel offers a web subscription service for Homespun streaming media.[9]


The following is a partial list of artists who have provided music instruction on a Homespun release.

A – CEdit

D – GEdit

H – LEdit

M – REdit

S – ZEdit


  1. ^ a b Frank Goodman. "Puremusic interview with Happy Traum". Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  2. ^ MacLachlan, Suzanne L. (September 13, 1993). "Homespun Tapes Runs with Music Giants". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Cordtz, Kay (July 1, 2011). "Documenting the Greats, Teaching the New: Happy and Jane Traum's Homespun Tapes and Video". Roll Magazine. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  4. ^ staff writer (April 20, 1989). "Tapes Bring Homespun Sound Home". Deseret News. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  5. ^ Weissman, Dick (2005). Which Side Are You On?: An Inside History of the Folk Music Revival in America (1 ed.). Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  6. ^ "Oral Histories: Jane Traum". Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  7. ^ Bessman, Jim (November 8, 1997). "Homespun Turns 30 with CD Instructional, Video Lines". Billboard. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  8. ^ Patience, Iain (March 2, 2016). "Happy Traum Interview". Rhythms. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  9. ^ Van Dyke, Matthew (March 9, 2016). "Hal Leonard & Homespun Celebrate 20 Years Together". Music & Sound Retailer. Retrieved July 7, 2017.

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