Jeannette Fang: The Star-Spangled Banner with Brilliant Variations

Our latest Poets & Patriots project video release features U-Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance pianist Jeannette Fang performing “The Star Spangled Banner with Brilliant Variations,” 1861 by Augusts Cull. Published at the outset of the Civil War by Horace Waters in New York City and distributed by Oliver Ditson & Co. of Boston, such “brilliant variation” sets were an indication of the growing popularity of Key’s song as they were used by skilled pianists to impress listeners and by publishers to drive sales. Thus, brilliant variations traded upon the likely sales of a popular tune.

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