Thursday, February 17, 2011

Psalm of Joy

Most people associate the Fourth of July with traditional patriotic songs such as “The Star Spangled Banner.”  However, many might be surprised to find that this song did not come about until the 1800s.  So how did those musically inclined people vocalize their patriotism before Francis Scott Key was able to put it into words for them?  They got by with a little help from their friends, the Moravians.

    Yes, the first Fourth of July celebration in the country was actually held in Salem, North Carolina in 1783.  Johann Friedrich Peter wrote a challenging sacred music program entitled “The Psalm of Joy” which was performed in honor of our nation’s freedom.  You can still visit the site today at Old Salem!

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