Famous Composer Arrested For Patriotism!!
This date, 1940, composer Igor Stravinsky was arrested by the Boston police. For conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra while they were playing his arrangement of The Star Bangled Banner.
There is still a law on the books in Massachusetts’ General Laws – Chapter 164, Section 9, that threatens a $100 fine for performing any version of The Star Spangled Banner other than the original.
He defended his call on a dissonant dominant 7th as being “more democratic” because it was easier for non-professionals to sing. All copies of the arrangement were confiscated so no one today knows exactly where that 7th was.
Judging by the abundance of singers yodeling their way through The Star Spangled Banner looking for the notes at major, minor and local athletic events, maybe Igor was on to something.
I wonder what Massachusetts does with all those Benji’s?
It should be noted Stravinsky, a Russian immigrant, became a legal US Citizen in 1945. Also, that Grammarly insists Star Spangled should be hyphenated.
In honor of what is usually Tax Day and Igor’s arrest and artistic bigotry –