In honor of the 13 colonies and later the first 13 states, jot down the answer to these 13 questions after reading and listening to the following videos and paragraphs below:
1) How many wars inspired the first patriotic songs?
2) Marching bands are popular at half time during this American game?
3) Who is one of the most well-known, American composers of the 20th century?
4) Who is one of the most well-known, American composers of the Romantic period?
5) How many members are in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?
6) Who wrote the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner?
7) When did our national anthem become official?
8) Who is the first operatic singer to sing at the Super Bowl?
9) When did Ray Charles become blind?
10) When would you mostly likely hear a John Sousa piece? In a concert hall, during a parade or at a wedding?
11) What state inspired America, the Beautiful?
12) What is your favorite patriotic tune?
13) What did Yankee Doodle call the feather in his cap?
Get Inspired with Patriotic Songs!
American patriotic music is a part of the culture and history of the United States since its founding in the 18th century and has served to encourage feelings of honor for the country’s forefathers and for national unity. These songs include
- military themes
- national songs
- music from stage and screen
- songs adapted from poems.
Much of American patriotic music owes its origins to six main wars:
- American Revolution
- American Indian War
- War of 1812
- Mexican-American War
- American Civil War
- Spanish-American War.
Star Spangled Banner
In 1814, Washington lawyer Francis Scott Key wrote a poem, “Defence of Fort McHenry,” after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry in the Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812. The lyrics were later set to music common to British and American sailors, but eventually becoming world-famous as the “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It was designated the United States’ official national anthem in 1931.
Renee Fleming, the first opera star to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl.
America the Beautiful
“America the Beautiful” was originally a poem composed by Katharine Lee Bates after she had experienced the view from Pikes Peak of fertile ground as far as the eye could see. It was sung to a variety of tunes until the present one, written as a hymn tune in 1882 by Samuel Ward, became permanently associated with it.
Ray Charles, blind at the age of 7, was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950’s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles.
Battle Hymn of the Republic
During the events leading up to the American Civil War, both the North and the South generated a number of songs to stir up patriotic sentiments such as “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, and “Dixie.” However, after the Civil War, the sentiments of most patriotic songs were geared toward rebuilding and consolidating the United States.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is a Grammy and Emmy Award winning, 360-member, all-volunteer choir part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Stars and Stripes Forever
During the Spanish-American War in the 1890s, songwriters continued to write patriotic tunes that honored America’s soldiers and rallied citizens in support of the war. Around this time, John Philip Sousa began composing many of his famous patriotic marches, including “The Stars and Stripes Forever” and “The Washington Post March.”
John Sousa was an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era, known primarily for American military and patriotic marches.
Just for Fun
Marching bands originated with traveling musicians and then began to be utilized in military organizations. Modern marching bands are most commonly associated with American football, specifically the pre-game and halftime shows.
Traditions place its origin in a pre-Revolutionary War song originally sung by British military officers to mock the disheveled, disorganized colonial “Yankees” with whom they served in the French and Indian War.
Fanfare for Common Man
A 20th-century American musical work by American composer Aaron Copland, the piece was written in 1942 for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. It was inspired in part by a famous speech made earlier in the same year where vice president Henry A. Wallace proclaimed the dawning of the “Century of the Common Man”.
Here’s the English, rock group Emerson, Lake & Palmer arrangement of Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” — it stands as one of their most popular and enduring pieces.