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4th of July: How important is the music?

July 7th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Music and Emotion, music and the heart, Music and the Mind-Body

I guess that’s a bit of a loaded question.   Since I am a professional musician who loves music more than the air I breathe and wishes that everyone else did to, of course I believe that you can’t even celebrate the 4th of July without music!  Luckily, I’m pretty sure that many other people feel the same way!

Look back a couple of days at this year’s 4th of July…how much music did you hear that is specifically associated with the 4th of july?  I listened off and on all day long to different radio stations that were playing the standard American patriotic favortes like:

You’re a Grand Old Flag

I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy

My Country Tis of Thee

The Star-Spangled Banner

God Bless America

and so many more!

That evening I moved between orchestras at the Nation’s Capitol, the Boston Pops and a concert in Central Park, NYC.  These included the famous Sousa marches (John Philip Sousa, America’s most famous band composer) and especially “The Stars and Stripes Forever” with it’s famous piccolo solo.

Why is this music so rousing and pleasing to us?  First of all, most of us have very positive and happy associations with this music and our minds immediately conjure up picnics with favorite foods, our favorite people and fireworks!  Then there’s the factor of the musical instruments used.  Lots of brass, percussion and wind instruments wakes up every cell in our bodies and minds and creates energy that makes us want to get up and start marching around.  That’s the intention and that’s exactly what happens.

There are loads of websites now that will give you the music and the lyrics to all of your favorites.  And of course YouTube has it all too!  Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July celebration wherever you were and heard lots of inspiring music!


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