Declaration 1776

Declaration 1776

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The Declaration of Independence has been called the greatest written state paper of western civilization. The text of the Declaration can be divided into five sections   the introduction, the preamble, the indictment of George III, the denunciation of the British people, and the conclusion. I have tried to present these five sections in a very short musical programmatic format.

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The Declaration of Independence has been called the greatest written state paper of western civilization. The text of the Declaration can be divided into five sections   the introduction, the preamble, the indictment of George III, the denunciation of the British people, and the conclusion. I have tried to present these five sections in a very short musical programmatic format.

Measures 1-21 represents the introduction of the Declaration. I suggest that if a narrator is available, the introduction be read beginning in measure 8 through 19.

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Measures 26-55 represents the preamble, followed by a New England psalmody, measures 56-76. The music here has the same stately and dignified tone of the preamble and expresses my own feelings of home and country.  Again, if a narrator is available, he may read the following in measures 56-76.

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; …And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

From measures 77-101, the music represents the indictment of George III, and the denunciation of the British people [who] “…have been deaf to the voice of justice…” Finally, measures 102 to the end represent the conclusion…”that these United Colonies are and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States…”

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