Music Phenomenon/Design/Tune Tune-Up Shop/Anthems/O Canada

O Canada


O Canada, the Canadian National Anthem, has original French words written by Adolphe-Basil Routhier, while the music was composed by Calixa Lavalée, 1880. The English words were written later in 1908, by Robert Stanley Weir.

O Canada


The issue here is anticipating cadences, The Winter Syndrome - In bars 5-8, the harmonies go prematurely to the V chord, in bar 6, anticipating the full cadence to V in bar 8, and in bars 23-24, the harmonies go prematurely to the I chord, anticipating the full cadence to I in bar 28.

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O Canada!


A 48-bar, 1.5-minute, 4-Voice Fugue using the first 2 cells (bars 1-4) for the subject, in a calm, folkloric, modal style.

The fugue uses the first two cells (bars 1-4) as a subject, indicated "A", with the notes A C C / F, G \ A Bb C D / G, cadencing with the melo-harmony II / V, for the first and third entries, and, as symmetrical counterpart, the notes E C C / G, F \ E D C Bb / F cadencing with the melo-harmony IV / I, for the second and fourth entries, with the Fundamental Bass in the subject, producing a soft, modal sound, for 48 bars, 1.5 minutes.

This fugue is of ternary form, three 16-bar sections - the first section has 4 subject entries AAAA of 2 bars each, the second and third sections have only 2 subject entries, AA preceded by canonic interludes based on the inverted subject, BB, for an overall form of AAAA BBAA BBAA.

Trio Rounds

A Polyphonic Trio Rounds song on 'O Canada' themes, combining 3 canonic rounds: Round 1a, Round 2, and Round 1b.

Trio Rounds
We have here two 4-voice Rounds, one in C and one in F, where the second is placed as an interlude between two performances of the first, which has 2 sets of words, with different note-values (melo-rhythm), respectively Round 1a and Round 1b.

Round 1a
In the key of C, Round 1a is based on cells 1-4, bars 1-8. In Line 1, (cell 1), bars 1-2 are left intact. Lines 2-4 are of quite conventional round structure, with the words appropriately disposed. In all, 8 bars, 15 seconds, per repeat.

Round 2
In the key of F, Round 2 acts as a trio between performances of Rounds 1a and 1b, and uses material from the original tune as well as from its choral harmonization.

  • Line 1 uses the bass voice of bars 9-10.
  • Line 2 uses the common tone of theV-Iprogression (the high note C).
  • Line 3 uses the melody of bars 9-10.
  • Line 4 uses the common tone of theV-Iprogression (the low note C) ending with the fundamental bass,(C-F).

Round 1b
Also in the key of C, Round 1b is based on cells 9-12, bars 17-24, with Line 1 (cell 9, bars 17-18) left intact. Lines 2-4 are quite similar to those of Round 1a, with the words appropriately disposed.

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 STAB for Rounds 1a and 1b, and ASTB for Round 2, so as to end on the best disposition of the final chord, 48 bars in all, for Rounds 1a, 2, 1b. Total time = 1'30".