Ev­ery­body sing

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

Mu­sic is a par­tic­i­pa­tory art. It’s one thing to hear a beau­ti­ful song, but it’s quite an­other to con­trib­ute your own voice to a heart­felt cho­rus. Even a near-per­fect solo can­not match the thrill of a thou­sand voices raised in uni­son.

In the mod­ern “look at me” cul­ture, the chances for that kind of inspiring com­mu­nion have fallen by the way­side. Case in point: At pub­lic sport­ing events and other gath­er­ings, the singing of the Na­tional An­them has given way to “per­for­mances” in which melodic em­bel­lish­ments and tempo changes ren­der the tune it­self un­rec­og­niz­able. And for­get try­ing sing along. Haven’t we all heard too many of those ear-split­ting ren­di­tions?

The re­mark­able Whit­ney Hous­ton ver­sion from the 1991 Su­per Bowl aside, there re­mains noth­ing quite so thrilling as thou­sands of peo­ple singing the Star-Span­gled Ban­ner to­gether at the tops of their lungs.

Many may con­sider soc­cer the least Amer­i­can of team sports, but the or­ga­niz­ers of that game get one thing com­pletely right. For in­ter­na­tional matches, the an­thems for com­pet­ing teams are not per­formed by pop stars, but are sung by the play­ers and sup­port­ers of each side be­fore the game. Noth­ing seems more Amer­i­can than that. Here’s hop­ing a few other sports fol­low that lead.

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