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Old March 19th, 2017, 10:11 AM   #1

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Question The power of a National Anthem


My personal opinion is known, anyway I would like to analyze in a rational way the power of the Marseillaise.

I can think only to the Soviet - Russian anthem as an emotional competitor which could resist [just for some seconds] to the Marseillaise.

The British Anthem is great, but too Royal.

The American Anthem is great, but too self referential.

The French Anthem is simply the expression of the soul of a nation, with France or not, French People is in that Anthem. Every time I hear it I wonder why I don't obtain the French citizenship.

But, out of emotions, why an Anthem can have such an impact? Which is the psychological effect of music and lyrics?
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Old March 19th, 2017, 10:41 AM   #2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
My personal opinion is known, anyway I would like to analyze in a rational way the power of the Marseillaise.

I can think only to the Soviet - Russian anthem as an emotional competitor which could resist [just for some seconds] to the Marseillaise.

The British Anthem is great, but too Royal.

The American Anthem is great, but too self referential.

The French Anthem is simply the expression of the soul of a nation, with France or not, French People is in that Anthem. Every time I hear it I wonder why I don't obtain the French citizenship.

But, out of emotions, why an Anthem can have such an impact? Which is the psychological effect of music and lyrics?
I think the Hatikvah is at the top among national anthems. It is the expression of an oppressed people, their history, and struggle for their home and freedom.
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Old March 19th, 2017, 07:15 PM   #3

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I was taught the British National anthem growing up, so i have more feeling for it than the replacement one we have now.
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Old March 19th, 2017, 08:29 PM   #4

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Anthems make a pretty sorry showing. As Avon said in the original post I copy this from “I always felt that these anthems are simply the musical accompaniment to a nation's most embarrassing moments.” I have to agree. I would imagine that if all national anthems were piled up in order of their musicality the Costa Rican anthem would be on the bottom of the pile. The story taught in school is that the CR anthem was written by don Manuel Maria Gutierrez , who had twenty three years when promoted to director of the military band. This was in the year 1852. The previous leader had died and it seems no one else wanted the job. Perhaps because bands were expected to lead the troops into battle; they called it ‘raising the moral and enthusiasm of the combatants’. The story continues that el presidente felt the need for an anthem. He turned to his unschooled band leader and requested he write one. Don Manuel replied that he knew nothing about writing music. The president replied to that by throwing don Manuel in jail until he had written one. By morning Manuel had an anthem for el presidente.

It’s a nice story but unfortunately it is not true. I think stories like this come about because they should be true. As anthems go this one certainly sounds like it was written under duress. Check out YouTube for the Himno Nacional de Costa Rica. I think you will agree.

The actual events were less dramatic. The country was to be visited by British dignitaries in that same year of 1852. It was believed that protocol required that the national anthems of both countries be played at the welcoming ceremonies. (They were big on welcoming parties in those days). It was assumed the British anthem was ‘God save who ever is on the throne at the moment’.) Don Manuel was asked to write an anthem for Costa Rica. He said he didn’t write music. They said ‘give us something . . .anything!’ It took Manuel three months to come up with one but he did it.

It was played for the visiting dignitaries and the public for the first time on 11 of July 1852. Manuel got a raise in rank and became director of the big important national band. . . and all fifteen of its members.

In November of 1885 don Manuel experienced the enormous pain of the death of his oldest son. The next month on the 25 of December don Manuel asked for his violin and placing it beneath his beard he played with passion and great sentiment an aria of Rossini. When he finished he asked his daughter to bring him a glass of milk. When she returned he was dead.
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Old March 20th, 2017, 06:47 AM   #5
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Some unofficial anthems can be as powerful as or even more powerful than the official ones, such as Farewell of Slavianka, America the Beautiful.
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Old March 20th, 2017, 10:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
My personal opinion is known, anyway I would like to analyze in a rational way the power of the Marseillaise.

I can think only to the Soviet - Russian anthem as an emotional competitor which could resist [just for some seconds] to the Marseillaise.

The British Anthem is great, but too Royal.

The American Anthem is great, but too self referential.

The French Anthem is simply the expression of the soul of a nation, with France or not, French People is in that Anthem. Every time I hear it I wonder why I don't obtain the French citizenship.

But, out of emotions, why an Anthem can have such an impact? Which is the psychological effect of music and lyrics?
The two worst anthems I can think of, albeit I don't know that many, are the English and Scottish anthems. One speaks only of a leader and the other defines itself in relation to 'the other'.

The best of 'em all is the Welsh national anthem which speaks of a love for the country.

'I Vow To Thee My Country' should be England's national anthem.
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Old March 20th, 2017, 10:22 AM   #7
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For those not acquainted with the Welsh anthem.......

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Old March 20th, 2017, 10:28 AM   #8
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And for balance the English anthem twenty years ago...



Both put their heart and soul into it, but the former infinitely the better anthem.
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Old March 20th, 2017, 10:53 AM   #9
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For those not acquainted with the Welsh anthem.......

Shivers down the spine, watched that live and I thought "We're going to win this"!
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Old March 20th, 2017, 12:40 PM   #10

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Probably the point is about identification and possibility to play a role singing an anthem.

The French Anthem is "easy" and intense [while the US anthem is intense, but not easy to sing!]. The Italian anthem [to think to a tremendous example] is difficult to sing [also because of unclear lyrics: many Italians don't understand what the Italian anthem says!!!] and it's not intense. In fact Italians tend not to sing it ...

And of course there is the matter of the music. There is a reason if Russians have kept the music of the Soviet anthem [changing he lyrics]. It was and it is impressive.
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