Music Phenomenon/Design/Tune Tune-Up Shop/Anthems/Star Spangled Banner

The Star Spangled Banner


The words for the Star Spangled Banner, the USA National Anthem, are written by Francis Scott Key, while the music is from a British drinking song "The Anacreontic Song", 1814.

Star Spangled Banner, Revised


In bar 6 (and 14), the harmony cadences prematurely to the I chord, in bar 7 (and 15), anticipating the rhythmically proper cadence to I in bar 8 (and 16), The Winter Syndrome.

In bars 17-20, we find The Joy Syndrome of harmonies stagnating on the I and V7 chords.

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Using the first two cells (bars 1-4) as a subject, this 48-bar, 1.5-minute Fugue is in a medieval, Elizabethan style.

The fugue uses only the first cell (bars 1-2) as a subject, indicated "A", with melo-harmony I-VI-II / V, the chords C-Am-Dm / G, for the first and third entries, which has, as symmetrical counterpart V-VII-IV / I, the chords G-Bb-Fm / C, for the second and fourth entries, producing a medieval, Elizabethan sound, for 24 bars, 1 minute.

This fugue is of ternary form, three 8-bar sections - the first section has 4 subject entries AAAA of 2 bars each, the second and third sections have only 2 subject entries, preceded by canonic interludes, BBAA, for an overall form of AAAA BBAA BBAA.

Trio Rounds

We have here two 4-voice Rounds, one in C and one in G, where the second is placed as an interlude between two performances of the first, which has 2 sets of words.

The first round, in the key of C, is based on cells 1, bars 1-2, and is of quite conventional structure, with the words appropriately disposed, for 8 bars, 15 seconds, per repeat.

The second round, in the key of G, acts as a trio between two performances of the first round, and uses all sorts of material from the original tune.

     Line 1 uses bars 17-18.
     Line 2 uses bars 27-28 at the end.
     Line 3 uses bars 29 at the end.
     Line 4 starts with the rest of bar 29 and ends with the last 3 notes.
With the words of bars 23-32 appropriately disposed, for the same size as Round 1.

The second form is recommended where the canon is first performed as a melody by the four voices in unison, then the four entries are made in a specified order, in this case BTAS for Round 1 and BSAT for Round 2, so as to end on the best disposition of the final chord, 48 bars in all, for Rounds 1, 2, 1.

Total time = 1'30".