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All of the songs and music in this book are transcribed from sources printed or handwritten during the period of the War of 1812, from the earliest cries of "America, Commerce and Freedom" to the long song about the "Beginnings, Events, End and Consequences of the late war with Great Britain."
These songs reflect the history of the war and played a large role in bolstering or changing public opinion and political support. Included are the artful new lyrics in praise of the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry early one September morning in 1814, a song that became our national anthem.
On another front, the band master at Fort Niagara composed tunes for his band to play during special ceremonies or evening rest periods. All twelve are included.
Collected here are the 34 pieces of sheet music from our website at www.1812music.org. Within each piece is:
— the entire text of the main song set to music;
— an essay on its place in history; its meaning to singers and audiences;
— teaching and study suggestions;
— background information about the author of the text and the tune;
— lyrics for other songs that help to understand the main song.
There are 33 songs fully set to music, 22 instrumental tunes, 16 additional complete song lyrics that are related to the main song, 18 shorter entries of parts of relevant songs, and many period illlustrations. Preference was given to editions of the music that had a period accompaniment so that songs could be easily played on a keyboard. We have supplied chords for most of the pieces to enable accompaniment with guitar or autoharp. With a coil binding, the book lies flat for use on a music stand or a piano.