Can you play your own national anthem?

Posted by: Dave Horne

Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 08:58 AM

I play once in a while for my local government. I received a phone call today where they're in a bind and need someone to play their national anthem for an awards ceremony. I agreed to play and am doing them a favor - this is a freebie.

It's a matter of me playing two choruses while the mayor of my village performs. To his credit he has an excellent voice and is a nice guy.

I remember once back probably more than 40 years ago in the US where I was in the audience and some poor kid who really didn't know our anthem really butchered it.

It's really in your best interest to be able to play your own national anthem ... and play it with great confidence.

Just passin' this on.
Posted by: Cinnamonbear

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 09:56 AM

"Oh say, can't you see by the Dodgerly lights..."
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 10:04 AM

Highly recommended:

http://www.amazon.com/National-Anthems-A...ational+anthems

Tom Lehrer's natural son, John Forster, wrote a hysterically funny song about how to compose a national anthem for a newly-established country. I wish it were on YouTube...
Posted by: carey

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 10:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
I play once in a while for my local government. I received a phone call today where they're in a bind and need someone to play their national anthem for an awards ceremony. I agreed to play and am doing them a favor - this is a freebie.

It's a matter of me playing two choruses while the mayor of my village performs. To his credit he has an excellent voice and is a nice guy.

I remember once back probably more than 40 years ago in the US where I was in the audience and some poor kid who really didn't know our anthem really butchered it.

It's really in your best interest to be able to play your own national anthem ... and play it with great confidence.

Just passin' this on.

Reminds me of my own college graduation requirements back in the 1960's in the US. Every senior music major had to demonstrate "minimum" proficiency on the piano - which included the ability to play a simple arrangement of the national anthem in the key of B flat by memory. It was a struggle for many. smile
Posted by: LadyChen

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 12:16 PM

My teacher made me memorize O Canada as well as God Save the Queen at a very young age, and I've never forgotten them. I think I was only called upon to play them once or twice though.

I think O Canada is significantly easier than the Star-Spangled Banner.
Posted by: the nosy ape

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 12:48 PM

Does the Star Spangled Banner section of Gottschalk's Union count?
Posted by: Thrill Science

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 12:56 PM

Yes!

A nice intermediate arrangement is in this book:


http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/The-Spirit-of-America/4100695


(I also play a great Hatikva!)
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 01:33 PM

I can, but I refuse. Our national anthem is horrible. grin
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 02:15 PM

Originally Posted By: LadyChen
My teacher made me memorize O Canada as well as God Save the Queen at a very young age, and I've never forgotten them. I think I was only called upon to play them once or twice though.

I think O Canada is significantly easier than the Star-Spangled Banner.


And at the same time so much prettier.

I think the US was standing in the bad pizza line when all the good national anthems were distributed.
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 02:40 PM

I absolutely love the US national anthem. I'm not speaking patriotically-- I'm speaking musically. I love its use of arpeggio (like the Appassionata!), the melodic climax half-way through ("rocket's red glare"), the harmonic buildup under "O say does that star spangled banner" signifying the beginning of the ending.

I think it's a great, daring, bold composition.

-J
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 03:21 PM

Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Originally Posted By: LadyChen
My teacher made me memorize O Canada as well as God Save the Queen at a very young age, and I've never forgotten them. I think I was only called upon to play them once or twice though.

I think O Canada is significantly easier than the Star-Spangled Banner.


And at the same time so much prettier.

I think the US was standing in the bad pizza line when all the good national anthems were distributed.

I agree. I think the US should have changed it to "America the Beautiful" (there are a number of contenders, but I like that one). I'll play Sousa's "Stars and Stripes" before I go near the National Anthem...
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 04:00 PM

Yes I can! Name a key.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 04:05 PM

Nope, but then people in the UK don't really care much about the national anthem these days. It doesn't help that it's musically speaking one of the dullest.
Posted by: Plowboy

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 05:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Yes I can! Name a key.


Francis Scott?
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 05:01 PM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
It doesn't help that it's musically speaking one of the dullest.
But Beethoven wrote a nifty set of variations on it.
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 05:04 PM

Yes, I learned it - notes only - by ear. I don't know the words at all!
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 05:19 PM

An old friend of mine, Joe DeMers, would play a shortened version of The Star Spangled Banner when time was of the essence ...

link to MID file

That would always make me laugh.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 07:26 PM

Yes, I can, and in both languages, too! smile

Cheers!
Posted by: Damon

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 09:48 PM

Certainly!
Posted by: Debbusyist

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 09:51 PM

~ Australians all let us rejoice...~
Posted by: malkin

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 10:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Plowboy
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Yes I can! Name a key.


Francis Scott?



Good one!
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 10:27 PM

Originally Posted By: malkin
Originally Posted By: Plowboy
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Yes I can! Name a key.


Francis Scott?



Good one!


Posted by: rentagx

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 10:32 PM

I think I was only called upon to play them once or twice though.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 10:45 PM

Darn it -- not really. grin
I wasn't sure, so I sat down and tried it. I could play it, but with a few mistakes.
And I discovered something: I'm fine with knowing what's the harmony, but where I have trouble is being sure what note to put on top -- i.e. what's the melody note.
Which is not too bad if you're accompanying -- it works fine. But if you're just playing it solo, it sounds completely incompetent. ha

I tried the Canadian and Israeli anthems too. Same thing. smile
But I was especially glad that I was able to get the 'deceptive cadence' III chord where I wanted near the end of the Canadian. cool
I die when I hear a version that does just a "I" there.
Posted by: Plowboy

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 11:32 PM

I stumbled across the Star Spangled Banner one night on the black keys. Does that count?
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/17/13 11:51 PM

I love the old USSR anthem, so I'd like to play that, if I can. Never mind that I'm Greek.

But I can play the Greek one too... :P
Posted by: PattyP

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/18/13 09:15 AM

Nope, but I can sing it, and The Lord's Prayer, which seems to be another hard one for folks to sing.

Oh, wait....wrong forum. blush
Posted by: Louis Podesta

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/18/13 03:25 PM

One of the proudest days of his life was when he became an American citizen. That is why I play Rachmaninoff's transcription of the Star Spangled Banner in B Flat Major.

It is only two pages, and takes about a day to learn. I highly recommend it.

You can even fool people at parties by announcing that you are going to play some Rachmaninoff. Somebody usually groans, and then you whip out the Star Spangled Banner, and it really shuts them up, quick.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/18/13 03:40 PM

The musical "problem" with the "Star Spangled Banner" as a sung anthem is its range. No matter what key it is played it, its one and a half octave range puts it too high for some, too low for others, and is, therefore, not an ideal anthem to be sung by the masses.

I, personally, like both the music and the lyrics of "America, the Beautiful" much better. Those lyrics do portray a "gentler, kinder" message, do they not?

And, while on the topic, I think it is nothing short of a disgrace - may I even venture to suggest "anti-patriotic"? - to hear what some singers do to national anthems in large, public celebrations. This observation is not limited to performances of just the American anthem.

Regards,
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/18/13 06:03 PM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
The musical "problem" with the "Star Spangled Banner" as a sung anthem is its range. No matter what key it is played it, its one and a half octave range puts it too high for some, too low for others, and is, therefore, not an ideal anthem to be sung by the masses.

I, personally, like both the music and the lyrics of "America, the Beautiful" much better. Those lyrics do portray a "gentler, kinder" message, do they not?

And, while on the topic, I think it is nothing short of a disgrace - may I even venture to suggest "anti-patriotic"? - to hear what some singers do to national anthems in large, public celebrations. This observation is not limited to performances of just the American anthem.

Regards,


Agree that the Star-Spangled Banner causes problems for a lot of singers, which is an issue.

While I don't like it musically as well as some other national anthems, I DO like the lyrics more than the music. Especially the particularly unsingable turn:

"...And the rockets' red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night
That our flag was still there."

That is, if not Shakespearean, at least Churchillian.

Posted by: currawong

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/18/13 06:08 PM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
And, while on the topic, I think it is nothing short of a disgrace - may I even venture to suggest "anti-patriotic"? - to hear what some singers do to national anthems in large, public celebrations. This observation is not limited to performances of just the American anthem.
The Australian anthem gets butchered in a similar way. And so many of these singers augment the last two bars so that now you never know whether it's going to be sung in time or stretched out at the end (with predictable consequences when a group is singing it - a weird counterpoint results smile ).
And yes, I can play it. In any key you like (and a few you probably wouldn't like). It has quite a range, though not as much as Star-Spangled Banner, so it's pretty useful to be able to adjust the key according to the capacity of the singers.
Posted by: Frankni

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/18/13 08:43 PM

It has 15 verses; so somewhere down the line you fall asleep from boredom. Thus, the answer is no.
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/19/13 01:02 AM

Dave Horne, I read your post, here:

I play once in a while for my local government. I received a phone call today where they're in a bind and need someone to play their national anthem for an awards ceremony. I agreed to play and am doing them a favor - this is a freebie.

It's a matter of me playing two choruses while the mayor of my village performs. To his credit he has an excellent voice and is a nice guy.

I remember once back probably more than 40 years ago in the US where I was in the audience and some poor kid who really didn't know our anthem really butchered it.

It's really in your best interest to be able to play your own national anthem ... and play it with great confidence.

Just passin' this on.


__________________________________

Well, what is funny and worse is....

As kids at school, of course, we learned and sang all the time, O Canada, but at some point the government changed the words, I think for the benefit of French Canadians, but I may be wrong.

Anyway, since I don't go hockey games, I don't hear O Canada. I think most Canadians my age don't know the new words unless they go to professional hockey games.

And, no, as a beginner piano player, I haven't learned O Canada - yet.
Posted by: btb

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/19/13 02:18 AM

Hi currawong,

Must just tell of having recorded the Andre Rieu Concert at Melbourne ... in which are played the Aussie National Anthem, Walzing Mathilda and
Tie Me Kangaroo Down amongst others .

The zest with which the huge audience join in the jovial singing makes us other colonials green with envy ... you lucky chappies.


The South African Anthem (which always brings a tear) is in fact a jumbled compromise of the Zulu, Afrikaans and English languages ... thank goodness the years have been kind in slowly gracing unity.

Wish I could play our Anthem ... but can't find the score.

Kind regards, btb
Posted by: currawong

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/19/13 02:35 AM

Originally Posted By: btb
The zest with which the huge audience join in the jovial singing makes us other colonials green with envy ... you lucky chappies.
Yes, some of us chappies do "jovial" quite well ... laugh
Posted by: btb

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/19/13 03:16 AM

We sing

"Where's the jolly mamba you've got in your tucker bag?"

Do you remember that movie with Mel Gibson strung up by the baddies ... who depart the scene leaving a sack ... out of which crawls a rattler.
Posted by: patH

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/19/13 10:18 AM

I can play the German, French and European anthem; so I can play "my" national anthem. wink

In the case of the European anthem (Beethoven's Ode to Joy): Only the simplified version. Not the variations.

I can also play a few other national anthems. And I don't know any national anthem I'd call ugly.
Posted by: cefinow

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/19/13 12:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Yes I can! Name a key.


Oh say, can you?
C.
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/19/13 12:09 PM

Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Yes I can! Name a key.


Oh say, can you?
C.


Francis Scott?
Posted by: Polyphonist

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/19/13 06:04 PM

C minor. grin
Posted by: sophial

Re: Can you play your own national anthem? - 04/19/13 07:03 PM

yes, and that of England, France and Canada
smile

If anyone thinks the lyrics of the Star Spangled Banner are aggressive, just read through those of the Marseillaise!


Sophia