Anthem

Motivation

You may ask-  How do I motivate myself to undertake a typical blog post?  Well, let’s take this post as an example.  It’s been 30+ degrees and humid lately… so I don’t really want to spend a lot of time working outside.  So, I start working down in the basement.  Now this is an “old house” basement which, while it has head clearance, also has extensive furnace ductwork which I regularly smash my head into (or, with corrected grammar, into which I regularly smash my head).  Anyway, after doing this a few times I grow weary of working in the basement.   Et voila… I’m now ready to work on my next post.

So…  on to today’s topic

So, what is an anthem?  You might think of Springsteen’s Born in the USA, Queen’s We Will Rock You or U2’s Pride (in the Name of Love).  You might even think of this…

… a fav of mine… (nobody destroys instruments better!)

Anthem has, however, a broader and more distinguished pedigree than these examples would suggest.  Most dictionaries submit an anthem is

1. a  a psalm or hymn sung antiphonally or responsively
    b  a sacred vocal composition with words usually from the Scriptures
2. a song or hymn of praise or gladness
3. a rousing popular song that typifies or is identified with a
     particular subculture, movement or point of view.
(these particular definitions courtesy of Merriam-Webster)
If you’re thinking that the term is,consequently,  a tad subjective… then you might  sympathize with Humpty Dumpty…
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”
(Through the Looking Glass)
So, armed with ample ambiguity, here is a little medley of three hymns which could be regarded as anthemic.
 
 
 
 

 

By the way, the three selections are O, For A Thousand Tongues/Amazing Grace/For All the Saints For All is composed by Vaughan Williams (mentioned in an earlier post) and it indirectly inspired me to compose this short anthem titled Anthem. (I’m calling it Anthem because I haven’t got around to adding lyrics yet.)   Here’s the basic A theme…

  

 

As you will hear in the recording below, I have added two subordinate themes and fleshed out the arrangement with some additional instrumentation.  And… it sounds like this…

 
 

 

 

This post represents two firsts…  this is my first occasion to insert a “live play” video clip (short and simple as it is) and the first composition which (while it’s been in gestation for a while) I’d not recorded previously in some form before posting it here.  With those milestones reached, I’ll get back to my yardwork (hot) and the basement (ouch) until next month…

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