Tom Service on the music, meaning and occasional madness of the world's national anthems. How are they chosen, what are they for, and is the music any good?
He's joined by writer Alex Marshall, author of the book "Republic or Death, Travels in Search of National Anthems",and by soprano Elin Manahan Thomas who looks at why some of them are easier to sing than others...
Rethink Music, with The Listening Service.
Each week, Tom aims to open our ears to different ways of imagining a musical idea, a work, or a musical conundrum, on the premise that "to listen" is a decidedly active verb.
How does music connect with us, make us feel that gamut of sensations from the fiercely passionate to the rationally intellectual, from the expressively poetic to the overwhelmingly visceral? What's happening in the pieces we love that takes us on that emotional rollercoaster? And what's going on in our brains when we hear them?
When we listen - really listen - we're not just attending to the way that songs, symphonies, and string quartets work as collections of notes and melodies. We're also creating meanings and connections that reverberate powerfully with other worlds of ideas, of history and culture, as well as the widest range of musical genres. We're engaging the world with our ears. The Listening Service aims to help make those connections, to listen actively.