Happy August from Quaver HQ!
Why not kick of the new school year with a look at great dates in August’s musical history?
1779 – Francis Scott Key was born. He was an American composer, attorney, poet, social worker, and the author of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” If you’re watching the Olympic games this summer, then you probably heard Key’s composition, the United States’ National Anthem, played several times during medal ceremonies.
1999 – Patsy Cline received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A pioneer in country music in the 1960s, Cline was one of the most influential, successful and acclaimed female vocalists of the 20th century. Best known for her rich tone, emotionally expressive and bold contralto voice, Cline died at the age of 30 in a plane crash. She truly paved the way for female vocalists in her genre – can you name some famous voices in country music today?
Listen for what makes her voice so special in this 1962 video recording of Patsy Cline singing “Crazy.”
1999 – Music written by Johann Sebastian Bach was found in the Ukraine. The music was thought to have been destroyed over 50 years ago during World War II. The material was found in the musical estate of Carl Phillipp Emanuel Bach, who was one of J.S. Bach’s children.
1875 – Composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was born. An African-American composer in the 1930s, he composed chamber music, anthems, and the African Dances for violin, among other works. Coleridge-Taylor’s greatest success was undoubtedly his cantata Hiawatha’s Wedding-feast, which was widely performed by choral groups in England during Coleridge-Taylor’s lifetime and in the decades after his death. Its popularity was rivaled only by the choral standards Handel’s Messiah and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
1939 – “The Wizard of Oz” premiered in Hollywood. Judy Garland became famous for the movie’s song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
1882 – Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” debuted in Moscow. The overture is best known for its climactic volley of cannon fire, ringing chimes, and brass fanfare finale. You can learn more about Tchaikovsky in Quaver’s episode on The Romantic Period!