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Why can't SuperBowl and other featured Singers sing the American National Anthem without all the extra notes?


Ithillian Turambar

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The tune is pretty well known. Why all the extra notes? You don't see us adding extra twiddly bits and going all Whitney when we sing God Save the Queen?

 

So, Americans - this is your tune. Would you prefer it to just be sung normally, or are you ok with all the extra up and downing that seems to happen these days?

 

:notverygoodatmusicalterms:

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A couple of thoughts come to mind when I see this question.

 

Firstly, every artist is different. Personally, I think some artists are so full of themselves that they throw in tons of extra riffs and hit random notes just to show they can. They don't do it to enhance the song, they do it to show off. Alternately, as in

, she erred on the side of belting out the notes because she was very nervous (she doesn't normally sing that way and I know what nervous singing sounds like; solos can be scary XD).

So yeah, some artists don't do a very good job of singing The Star-Spangled Banner.

 

Secondly, it's a beautiful and very emotional song. From personal experience, music can be very inspiring to the performer and improvisation or small changes can just feel very right for the song when you're performing it. When you're really feeling it, when you feel that overwhelming flood of RIGHTNESS and ONENESS with the song, it becomes as much a part of you as you of it, and your individual style and interpretation can shine through.

 

Finally (I think), you don't get a lot of the riffs and belting and crazy vocal stuff when singing the song in groups. But as a solo piece, it would just feel...too mechanical and straightforward if there was absolutely no deviation from the written notes. That could just be me, though. I have a hard time listening to sustained notes without any vibrato, too, so maybe I'm just allergic to totally plain music. >.>

But I do think it's a song like any other when being performed, albeit one with more meaning. You don't see most artists just singing notes the way they were written;

. Kind of a repeat of what I said earlier, but basically it's just what we singers do when we are putting on a performance like that. XD

 

Sorry for the novel; I just find it fascinating. :laugh:

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For the record, I didn't watch the video of Christina Aguilera singing, but I do know she's one of those artists who has a good voice and knows it, and I've never liked her performances of the National Anthem. XD She just shows off, basically.

 

Here's a pretty good recent rendition of the Star Spangled Banner with absolutely no deviations:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx6nsbDsg5k

 

Could've used some accompaniment, to help with the emotional part of it, but it can be awesome if the performer's awesome. :laugh:

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Yup! I know. :laugh:

 

The above video was more of a discovery of mine, showing that there are those who do sing it normally. Honestly, I do think it's a bit dry (the video I posted); like I said, it could use accompaniment or could be made a duet to be a bit more interesting to listen to. The problem with something like the National Anthem is that you hear it SO MUCH that your mind almost kind of tunes out unless there's something to connect you to it. Whether it's a very patriotic moment for you, or the lyrics just catch your ear, or an unexpected voice emerges from the performer, or it's just really really good...singing along helps, too. :laugh:

 

Personally, I like most performers putting their stamp on it. They're not just singing the song, they're doing a cover of it, or a version of it, or a rendition. They're saying "This is what the song means to me. This is how it comes out of my soul for you."

 

Again, I totally agree that some artists just ruin it by trying to show off. But I like there to be room for artistic interpretation in any musical piece. :laugh:

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(I think out loud most of the time; gets me in trouble a lot cos people don't know that's how I roll, but anything more than basic surface thoughts just don't register consciously in my brain if I don't talk myself through them. Just so's ya know. All of the above is me just kind of thinking out loud. :laugh:)

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A lot of people really mess it up. I think it's a beautiful song on it's own. I'd rather people just stick to the tune and not try to make it all weird. It's a time to honor our country, not "show off" your voice.

 

Oh and btw--Christina Aguilera botched it anyway--she messed up the words to a line. It made that even more painful to watch.

 

Now let's watch a huge star do that right (only ONE note improvised in this and it's at the end):

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I am a very patriotic person and I love The Star-Spangled Banner, but I don't think it's bad when artists do their own take on it. I loved Kelly's singing of it tonight, it was very beautiful and I got emotional, but then again I do every time I hear it. I do agree some artists can mess it up, ie Christina Aguilera, but that's because she forgot the words, which was dumb. I personally don't think it's disrespectful at all, and the beauty of our country is the fact that people can do things like that ^^

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My take is that I would prefer the more "standard" version of the song. I don't mind when there is a little alteration but the intent of singing the song at the game is to honor the country not to honor the singer. To me it has enough meaning on it's own and does not need excessive embellishment.

 

I think the deal is that most famous singers are by nature hams and look to draw attention to themselves. They want to be the next Whitney Houston that just nailed it in the 2002 Super Bowl. On another note, it leaves me with a sick feeling when someone (ie Steven Tyler) totally botches it.

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