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Topic: Assurance from American Cousins required!!

  1. #1

    Assurance from American Cousins required!!

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    I'm never surprised by what I find myself asked to do. Today I have the pleasure and an honour to be doing a big orchestral arrangement of THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER... .
    Now I'm pretty familiar with this, but as I'm working on it I keep asking myself, can the first 8 bars (sorry, measures!) really be IDENTICAL in melody and harmonic structure to the second 8 measures? It seems to me to be second nature to slightly vary the harmony at least - please let me know so that I don't disrespect and misrepresent this piece!

    I should explain that I've been sent a mp3 of the Marines Band playing it, the first two 8 bar phrases are identical, but there's clearly been an edit after 8 bars so I'm suspicious!



    P.S., I promise it's not funky....

  2. #2

    Re: Assurance from American Cousins required!!

    Hi cus<G>...

    No assurance required!

    I find it interesting and intriguing to listen to other people's interpretations of our National Anthem. There are a handful of instances where I felt that the arranger did not show respect, but they are rare, and in many cases were clearly written to show disrespect or disdain for the country and the people.

    I especially enjoy listening to arrangements by people who were not born and raised here, it adds a new dimension to the piece. It's how other folks view our country.

    Don't get me wrong, there is something about listening to the U.S. Marine Band play the piece, especially if it is live and they are there in their uniforms! Their rendition is something of a yardstick, but then consider I've heard them play it more than once<G>.

    Then again, I still listen to the Jimi Hendrix version...

    So just arrange it as _you_ hear it. If you hear the first and second 8 bar sections as being slightly different then make them different... I doubt that anyone will complain.

    (Given that there were "bombs bursting in air" at the time I'm pretty sure F. S. Key wasn't worried about the musical structure.)

    It is a song that most American's still take seriously (this summer I took my 4 year old son to a minor league baseball game, when they played the National Anthem we all took off our hats... my son followed suit without being told, though he did ask why later!), but that doesn't mean we don't appreciate someone else's point of view.

    Have fun, and please post it here when you are done!
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise

  3. #3

    Re: Assurance from American Cousins required!!

    Thanks for that, Bill, so I'm right in thinking that the tune IS the same on the first two 8 bar phrases? It's just that the edit made me think someone's been playing around with it, and since (as I understand it) this will be played in the States, I don't want to offend anyone - I'm aware of and respect it's status.
    Thanks for your response, it's going well so far!



  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Boise, Idaho, U.S.A.

    Thumbs up Re: Assurance from American Cousins required!!

    Of course, keep in mind that the only thing that stays the same is the melody. Now where the fun kicks in is playing with what is happening AROUND it

    Have fun bro,
    "PRODUCER TO ARTIST: I don't care if that grace note on the snare hit in bar 9085 works! This is dub 'n bass acid house penis, not ~~~~ing house dub 'n acid bass penis with a twist!" - Nick Batzdorf

  5. #5

    Re: Assurance from American Cousins required!!

    Thanks James.... I AM!

    Thanks for all your help guys..



  6. #6

    Re: Assurance from American Cousins required!!

    Just took a look at a copy I have, and in fact the first section is a repeated section.

    Take care,

    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise

  7. #7

    Re: Assurance from American Cousins required!!

    Since you were all so helpful I'm posting a rough mix from todays efforts. I'm going to run it past the client before a clean up and final mix. It is in effect a backing track, so I'm keeping out of the way of the tune / vocal line quite a bit in case anyone wonders where the tune's gone!!

    Thanks again for everyone's help, hope you think I've respected it!



    EDIT - not sure if this attachment works so I've temporarily put it on my power profile player - it's only fair you guys get a listen
    Attached Files Attached Files

  8. #8

    Re: Assurance from American Cousins required!!

    Gave me chills! That is a lovely, wonderful, and very respectful arrangement!!!

    I mean no disrespect, but it sounded like Francis Scott Key met John Philip Sousa and W.G (Snuffy) Walden. It's just beautiful!

    I have played around with arranging the Star Spangled Banner a couple of times... once I specifically tried to channel Barber and Copland - it didn't work, and the other time I went for a lighter military band setting, didn't like that one either!

    Well done!!!

    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise

  9. #9

    Re: Assurance from American Cousins required!!

    Thanks for your help on this one, Bill! As I said it's essentially a backing track for it to be sung live - most probably without a sound check!! - at a baseball game or similar large outdoor situation by the Rat Pack cast - I was specifically asked to keep it in tempo until the end for that reason - I'd would have liked a bit more 'ebb and flow'!

    So you don't reckon I'll be refused entry next time I come over to the States?

    Thanks again


  10. #10

    Re: Assurance from American Cousins required!!

    Hi Barrie,
    It's very nice! I think it will be great as a backing to vocals. I understand your tempo dilema, but when people are singing without rehearsal, there's a lot of opportunity for messing it up! Keeping it easy is a good thing. I'm pretty sure that you'll have no problem with entry into the United States. Good job!
    Take Care,

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