The Starlight Express - Excerpts Edward Elgar
14 May 2016, 12:54
Because stable harmony is sometimes more important than stable politics.
Almost every musician knows the minefield that is a capella singing. With no accompanying instrument holding everyone in tune, things can easily shift into unintentional keys.
At a recent rally for Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump in Oregon, a singer started belting out The Star-Spangled Banner. It was certainly impassioned, but the performance exhibited more than a little harmonic instability, causing the American national anthem to modulate through a dazzling array of keys. Footage of the resulting (and rather cringeworthy) rendition was posted on YouTube.
Facebook user Serena Creary (and music geek hero number one) set herself the amazing task of analyzing the key modulations in the Trump rally performance. Take a look:
(on our app? Heres' the link)
And here's music geek hero number two. Every good accompanist knows the value of deploying that discrete modulation to follow the vocalist or choir that's lost the written pitch. By changing the key, you at least help to keep it all together. That's exactly what pianist Zach Lapidus has done.
And...fixed. Thanks, guys.
Just for reference, this is how it's sung properly: