I truly enjoy the pomp and circumstance of the 4th of July, particularly the music. Big brass bands and choruses are my favorites.
It upsets me, however, when soloists sing the Star Spangled Banner because they usually butcher it. I am a traditionalist. I do not like most of the embellishments they make and, in particular, their mistakes.
According to the sheet music, the word “banner” is pronounced in three syllables (ban-ne-er) rather than four syllables (ba-a-ne-er). I have know this since my childhood and I cringe every time I hear it pronounced incorrectly.
As I usually do when I have a question, I consult what is being said about it on the Internet. When I did my search on the correct way to sing the Star Spangled Banner, I came across a YouTube video made by a so-called professional singing coach. In the video, the word banner was pronounced incorrectly, in four syllables. The coach said it was intentional and justified it by stating that singers had the right to their own interpretation.
To me, the National Anthem is sacred and should be sung as it is written. However, from my research, it appears that most singers do their own thing. Even Kate Smith and Beverly Sills sang it incorrectly. On the other hand, I found that choirs and choruses sing it as it should be sung.
The singing of the Star Spangled Banner should be regarded as a sanctification rather than as a performance.
Where do you stand?