National Anthem

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by xjb0906, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Francis Scott Key, a lawyer from Georgetown (now part of D.C.) wrote only the lyrics as he watched the bombardment of Fort McHenry from a vantage point aboard a British ship. The music is the British song To Anecron In Heaven attributed to John Stafford Smith. Key was on a mercy mission to acquire parole of an American doctor.
     
  2. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Just a side comment FWIW. For anyone really committed to playing that song correctly, please be aware that many do not play a few of the eigth-eigth, or dotted-eigth/sixteenth rhythms correctly. Perhaps listening to the Marine Band's performance would give the "authorised" way of playing these figures if one is in doubt.
     
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    FWIW, I wouldn't rely too much on how the U.S. Marine Corp Band plays any song, whereas their arrangements differ from how Sousa wrote the Stars and Stripes, Forever! Too, the U.S. military bands differ on how each plays it. As for "authorized" , one should look to the music as written and submitted to the Congress of The United States that enacted it into law as our "National Anthem". Still, music is an interpretation by the conductor of what the composer wrote, and surely the music is now not that of the British song To Anecron In Heaven attributed to John Stafford Smith. Now, I'll ask you to vocalize the lyrics written by Francis Scott Key to a sixteenth note and I dare say you'll find it impossible for a choir or mass of common people to sing with the accompaniment of instrumentalists. Too, as others have stated, near an octave and a half is a difficult range for untrained vocalists. This said, my own rendition is from the DOD approved and published sheet music, and I have not compared it to that submitted to the U.S. Congress. As an after thought, what is the source of music phrasing? Yes, it is the vocalization of the music! Also, we seldom will hear it rendered with the same precise tempo throughout, noting that the composer wrote no tempo changes.

    Lastly, my point is that you can nitpik how I or anyone else vocalizes or plays it, but whereas you are not my or their conductor, we can sing or play it our way. As always, some will like it and some will not and everyone is free to express their opinion. Anybody for a beginning slur of "O - oh, say can you see ..."?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  4. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    In many ways your National Anthem seems to have some opportunity for manoeuvring in the performance - refer previous posts. The Australian National Anthem - whilst not 'generally' played as an instrumental solo, vocal solos are regularly performed. We have two approved versions with the following instruction from the Australian Government ....

    The tune or the words of the Australian National Anthem may not be modified, parodied or demeaned.

    As for the way the 'audience' must behave, how one's hat is held, where one's hand is placed over the heart etc, the Commonwealth of Australia simply recommends that everyone stand during the performance. The Military have slightly stricter protocols, and Returned Servicemen observe these beautifully (those of us correctly brought up also follow these same protocols) but the general community are free to interpret.

    I rather crave the tighter rules - it seems somehow more respectful.

    I, as an outsider, also much prefer an unadorned rendition of the US National Anthem, for what that's worth.
     
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Ted, I personally wish that the U.S. had a law against "modification" of our anthem ... but they don't. It was only in 2008 that a law was passed that designated it to be appropriate for veterans to render a hand salute when not uniformed in lieu of right hand over heart. Still, it is unlawful for a veteran to wear the uniform beyond 90 days from discharge as is why I will not wear mine when sounding TAPS.

    What you hear when the U.S. wins at the Olympics is about how I render our Anthem ... unadorned. To me, improvisation of it is personally being
    ostentacious as in common wording just being a "show off" that I'd respect more if their capability were constrained to their own stage shows.
     
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  6. mtbevins

    mtbevins Pianissimo User

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  7. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Todd, you asked my opinion, I'll be blunt and brutal, skill you have but your rendition I would not pay to have you play, while others might. No audience could sing it the way you play it. I always begin with a slur of "Oh!" and you didn't. As said before, my rendition is straight forward from the DOD music as is the same as played for the U.S. Olympians and internationally. Were I to play it solo at a stadium or event, which I won't, my rendition would earn as much as yours and be more widely accepted, which is iffy with yours. Too, don't expect me to teach it your way to any student, just as I'm sure you didn't learn it from any accredited music teacher the way you now play it.
     
  8. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

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  9. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

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  10. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    I can assure any readers that the Marine Band in DC is studious and meticulous about what version of the National Anthem it plays. That's been its responsibility for what, almost two centuries?
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011

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