In anticipation of a book of the same title—O Say Can You Hear—I’m sharing my research and insights on the music history of “The Star-Spangled Banner” here. Please comment to share your thoughts, experiences, reactions, ideas, and suggestions. I want to make the book the best that it can be and your input will help.
I am Mark Clague, an Associate Professor of Music History and American Culture, at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance and Director of the School’s American Music Institute. I’ve come to love the U.S. national anthem and its storied history in sharing these tales with my students, primarily as a way of illustrating how music in America has been used not just to symbolize who we are as citizens and as a nation, but to help us figure out what it means to be a citizen and a nation.
I am also board president of the non-profit Star-Spangled Music Foundation and, through this organization, as well as the U-M’s American Music Institute, I wam working with a variety of collaborators to spark a celebration of the anthem’s bicentennial in September 2014. We need financial and organizational support. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.