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Q:

Who invented the English National anthem, and when was it invented? When the Queen dies will it change?

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The origin of the tune is surrounded by uncertainty, myth and speculation. In The Oxford Companion to Music, Percy Scholes devotes about four pages to this subject. He points out the similarities to an early plainsong melody, although he points out that the rhythm is very distinctly that of a galliard and gives examples of several such dance tunes that bear a striking resemblance to "God Save The King". He quotes a keyboard piece by Dr. John Bull (1619) which has some strong similarities to the modern tune, depending on the placing of accidentals that at that time were unwritten in certain cases and left to the discretion of the player; see musica ficta. He also points to several pieces by Henry Purcell, one of which includes the opening notes of the modern tune, set to the words "God Save The King". The first definitive published version of the present tune appeared in 1744 in Thesaurus Musicus as a setting of the familiar first verse. Undoubtedly, the song was popularized in the ... more
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