Stravinsky’s Star-Spangled Banner

The composer's patriotic arrangement of the American national anthem initially met with a frosty reception...

Flag of the United States of America

Stravinsky emigrated to the United States in 1939, and remained there until his death in 1971.


During the Second World War he decided to arrange the American national anthem, out of a 'desire to do my bit in these grievous times toward fostering and preserving the spirit of patriotism in this country.'

Unfortunately, the Boston police force took issue with his arrangement – perhaps the unconventional inclusion of a dominant seventh was a step too far…

Though he was never arrested (contrary to popular myth) the police issued Stravinsky with a warning, claiming that tampering with the national anthem was against the law.

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