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Celebrating the National Anthem’s 200th Birthday
with the gift of new tools for teachers…
Star Spangled Music Foundation has launched a funding campaign to release set of historical recordings and musical songbook in anticipation of the bicentennial of “The Star-Spangled Banner” — the national anthem of the United States of America
Ann Arbor, MI – September 26, 2013: The Star Spangled Music Foundation — a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization — has launched a fund- and friend-raising campaign on Indiegogo to support its latest project — a set of instructional materials celebrating the largely forgotten and unknown history of the United States national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Details about the campaign can be found at http://igg.me/at/teachSSB200. The campaign ends October 29.
The teaching materials include some thirty recordings and an accompanying songbook, which survey the history of the U.S. national anthem from its Revolutionary War-era source tune “The Anacreontic Song,” through Francis Scott Key’s now famous lyric, and its growing patriotic resonance as a result of American military action during the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War One, and World War Two.
“The story of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ is the story of the United States,” said Mark Clague, Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of Michigan who serves as the project’s director, “both tune and nation are woven together by history in ways that make Key’s song the only possible choice as our nation’s anthem. We’ve forgotten the anthem’s history and this project brings it back in full musical life.”
As Clague explains, Francis Scott Key’s anthem is part of an ongoing poetic “broadside ballad” tradition that regularly captured the spirit of the young nation in song. Forgotten today are the many other lyrics sung to the same tune that Key used—The Anacreontic Song—and that account for some of its symbolic resonance. These other lyrics celebrate the Fourth of July and George Washington’s birthday, helped elect presidents, argued for Civil Rights, and carried early America’s first partisan political debates to the people in our new democratic experiment.
The recording project is titled Poets & Patriots: A Tuneful History of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and it will be published by December 2013 both as a digital download and a set of two compact discs. The Star-Spangled Banner Songbook will follow and includes the never-before published sheet music created to make the recordings. The vast majority of songs included in the project have never been recorded and never before issued in full musical notation with keyboard accompaniment. Click here for a full contents listing.
The project includes the world premiere, historically informed recording of the original 1814 version of the anthem — as Francis Scott Key may have heard it. Click to hear this version on youtube.
For further information or interview opportunities, email email@example.com.