Abstract

The purpose of this study is to compare American and Canadian high school choral students’ knowledge of their respective patriotic songs. The questions of the study are as follows: (a) do students sing accurately their respective national anthems relative to melody and lyrics; (b) do students sing accurately "America" and "God Save the Queen" relative to melody and lyrics; (c) do students sing accurately the national anthems of each other’s country relative to melody and lyrics; and (d) is there a difference in the accuracy when students sing their respective and each other’s patriotic songs? The sample consisted of 102 secondary school students who were enrolled in non-auditioned choir classes and audio taped singing unaccompanied versions of their respective national anthems and "America" or "God Save the Queen." Results indicated that overall, Americans were significantly more proficient than Canadian singers. When converted to percentages, 77% of American students and 41% of Canadian students were judged as proficient when singing lyrics and melody of their own National Anthem. American students were significantly more accurate (p < .0001) in melody and lyrics when singing "America" than Canadian students who performed "God Save the Queen." Implications for practical application indicate that more emphasis should be placed on giving choir students the opportunity to sing their own national anthems, with special attention to typical lyric mistakes.

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