The Star-Spangled Banner

John S. Smith/Francis Scott Key/arr. Paul Jennings

We are providing this traditional arrangement of our National Anthem for our subscribers in response to many requests. The recording is orchestrated symphonically, as you might expect, so you will be able to provide a backdrop of majesty during any event in which you feel the piece is appropriate.

Since the range is the real concern about this song for most schools, we have put it in the key of Ab, which we feel is best for young singers. The range is from Ab below middle C to the Eb an octave and a fifth higher. (The higher notes can be sung an octave lower, as necessary.)

The best way to learn the ritard and length of the holds toward the end of the piece is to listen to the recording a few times. During the word "free" on page 37, you will hear two piccolo trumpets playing a fanfare. The full ensemble comes back in with the pick-ups into the next phrase for your guidance.

At the end of the song, there are several measures of just instrumental tracks. You can have your students stand respectfully at attention during this time, maybe even saluting the American flag, or keeping their hands over their hearts. Or perhaps you would like to have a mini flag ceremony to highlight the event.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.