Monday, July 04, 2005

Overture 1776

BACKGROUND MUSIC ~ Here is a great piece of modern music (18mb MP3), written for the United States Military Academy, by composer Thomas C. Duffy of Yale University. Listen to Overture 1776 (minimize your media player). Overture 1776 was composed in honor of West Point's bicentennial and was premiered there on 25 August 2002. The composer created a work of American music to replace Tchaikovsky's Overture of 1812, as he believed it time that a great nation had its own music to celebrate American Independence, rather than music depicting the Russians versus the French. Using the Overture of 1812 as his model, he created a piece depicting the struggle between the British and the American colonials, including fireworks and cannons. The old tune God Save the King, now known to Americans as My Country ‘Tis of Thee, is countered by Chester, the anthem of the American Revolution, and the country's unofficial national anthem until 1931. He includes other contemporary tunes such as Yankee Doodle, The White Cockcaid (played by the Acton, Massachusetts Militia as they marched to the Concord Bridge on April 19, 1775), and the World Turned Upside Down (played by the British as they surrendered to George Washington). This is true American music, celebrating and honoring the music of the Revolutionary period and of those patriots who secured our liberties and who built our country so long ago.

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