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The Star Spangled Banner

The Star Spangled Banner

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The Star-Spangled Banner is the United States national anthem. The lyrics were written by Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.

Key gave the poem to his brother-in-law Joseph H. Nicholson who paired the poem to a popular melody by English composer John Stafford Smith. Nicholson took the poem to a printer in Baltimore, who anonymously made the first known printing.

The lyrics of the song have been translated into many other languages including German, Spanish, Hebrew, Yiddish, French Samoan and Irish. There are also versions in Navajo and Cherokee.

The Star Spangled Banner is arranged in the key of C and features a 3/4 time signature with pickup measure, chromaticism and arpeggios. The range is C4 to g5 meaning this melody falls outside of the range of the bells. It can be played on piano or any instrument with a extended range. And of course, you can sing and sign with the Solfège hand-signs. 

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