Monday, July 16, 2012

Music and the Olympic Spirit

Each time the Olympics come around,those of us who get our eyefuls of the Games from the television also get our ears full of the unmistakable Olympic fanfare. The music of the Games can become just as much a
part of the excitement and can create just as many goose bumps as the athletes, theclose calls, and the medals.

Music has played an important role at the Olympic Games ever since they were revived in Athens in 1896. Sixty thousand people from all over the world converged on the city that Easter Sunday, March 24th. The following day the Philharmonic Orchestra played the National Anthem and the first Olympic Hymn, written by poet Kostis Palamas and set to music by the well-known Greek composer Spiros Samaras. The Samaras version remained the official Olympic Hymn until 1912, when various new hymns were tried every four years. Samaras’ music returned for the Games of 1960 and continues to be used today at the opening and closing ceremonies.

In addition to the Samaras standard, new Olympic music comes around each year. Fivetime Oscar winner John Williams, famous for his movie soundtracks for the likes of Star Wars, E.T., and Superman, has written four Olympic themes Michael Kamen, who composed the score for Mr. Holland’s Opus, contributed music to both the opening and closing ceremonies of the Atlanta games

Fashions have changed over two thousand years, but music has remained the factor which best conveys the emotion within a crowd, and which best accompanies the amplitude of a great spectacle.” Over a century later,Olympic themes continue to signify the sportsmanship and peacefulness of the Olympic Games, events to which athletes and spectators around the world look forward with excitement and good spirits.
Olympic Music.

As the London 2012 Olympics draw near, we have seen many of the Olympic trials and  heard all about the athletes that are expected to bring home the gold medal. What we haven’t heard a lot of is the soundtrack to this globally recognized event… until now. Recently “Survival” by the British rock band Muse was chosen to be the official song of the London Olympics. Thanks to the Coliseum like chanting, aggressive guitar strings and drum line of “Survival,” Olympians in London should have no problem giving it their all in route to the gold. Check out “Survival” by Muse below.

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