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Playing & Arranging American Patriotic Songs
Playing & Arranging American Patriotic Songs
Playing & Arranging American Patriotic Songs
Item#: AP-01

Course Description

Look Over My Shoulder While I Show You How to Play & Arrange All 8 of These Great
"American Patriotic Songs!"

Dear fellow piano player:

     This is my invitation to you to look over my shoulder and learn some of the great American patriotic songs. In this two-hour DVD course we will learn to play eight great American songs in a wide variety of styles.

     All the songs we cover are in the book you get with the course, and we'll start out by playing the sheet music just like it is written, then little by little we'll add some different chords and color-tones and passing tones and some runs and fills and lots of other techniques until we have created a wonderful, full-sounding arrangement of each of them!

Here are the songs you will learn to play:

"America the Beautiful" which is also called the national hymn of the United States by many people, started as a poem. Katherine Lee Bates, an English professor from Wellsely college, was the person who penned the original poem that later became the song. In 1893 she was on a long train ride to Colorado. As she watched the beauty of our country pass by her window she was inspired to right the poem. The story of Katherine and her poem states that she did not write the poem until she made a visit to Pike's Peak, at which time she was awestruck by the view of the land below her. It is said that she wrote the poem as soon as she returned to her hotel. If you visit Pike's Peak you will find that there is a plaque on top of the mountain commemorating Ms. Bates and the composition of her poem.

"The Star Spangled Banner" which was a poem written by Francis Scott Key would eventually go on to become the National Anthem of the United States of America. Key was not known as a poet or someone with a literary bent of mind until he witnessed the bombarding of Fort McHenry in 1812 by the British Royal Navy in Chesapeake Bay. It was his experience of witnessing the crumbling of the port to the severe brutality of the British ships amidst which an American flag (a small storm flag to be precise with fifteen stars and fifteen stripes) was seen flying atop the fort. Unaware of the fate of the battle, Francis envisioned of American victory symbolized by the flying flag, which came to be known as the Star Spangled Banner Flag.

"The Battle Hymn of The Republic", like many old songs that sprung during the Civil War of America, started out as a tune sung by soldiers as they marched. The original song went by the names of Say, Brother, Will You Meet Me and Canaan's Happy Shore. The original tune was composed by William Steffe back in 1856, just a few five years before the break of the Civil War. The song spread all across the United States and became one of the most widely sung songs around campfires and during marches. The change that turned this song into the Battle Hymn of the Republic occurred during the early years of the war and most of the lyrical shifts were brought about by the Union's intention to abolish slavery across the nation of the United States.

"My Country 'Tis of Thee", sometimes known as "America", is a patriotic song about the United States of America. The song's lyrics were written by Reverend Samuel Francis Smith and set to the melody of the British national anthem. The song remains a very important part of the history of the United States. fter the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, Crosby, Stills & Nash did their version of the song on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on the next episode after the tragedy. When President Obama was inaugurated in January of 2009 Aretha Franklin performed the song.

"When Johnny Comes Marching Home" was published in 1863. This was written as a motivational song. It was used by both sides in the American civil war. Both soldiers of the North and the South dreamed of the lyrics in this tune. Songs like this were what kept up soldier morale. It was not so much the cause as it was the motivation to go home to loved ones, which kept these heroes marching on.

"She's a grand old Flag" In 1906 George M. Cohan found himself standing next to a civil war veteran of the Battle of Gettysburg. He noticed that this man was holding a neatly-folded American flag but that was a bit scruffy looking. The veteran said to him, "She's a grand old rag". This line triggered an idea in Cohan's brain and he wrote a song using this line. But he faced consternation from people. This was due to the term 'rag'. People felt that this term was an insult to the Stripes and the Stars and they want it to be taken off from the lyrics. Hence, Cohan changed the term to 'flag' from 'rag', and the rest, as its said, is an American musical history.

"I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" was written in the early 1900's also by George M. Cohan. Cohan wrote the song for the Broadway musical Little Johnny Jones. The musical opened in 1904 at the Liberty Theater. Both the show and the song were immediate hits. The song made significant reference to the civil war terms of Yankee for the North, and Dixie for the south. This is a part of American history which was still fresh at the time of the tunes creation. This was another aspect which gained the song such quick popularity.

"Yankee Doodle" is a well-known Anglo-American song, the origin of which dates back to the Seven Years' War. It is often sung patriotically in the United States today and is the state anthem of Connecticut.

You are going to LOVE IT! So order now!

DVD covering all 8 "American Patriotic Songs" plus book containing the printed music for the 8  songs - just $47.

Order Now!

P.S. By the way, as you learn to play each of these songs you will begin to understand the form of each song - the "musical guts" of the song. That's a HUGE advantage, because by learning to understand the form behind each song you can then apply what you know to any other song you want to play!

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