YouTube singer Chase Holfelder decided to do something different by sharing his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner in A-minor. For those who that means nothing to, the North Carolina singer/songwriter explains at the start of video that music can be written in either a major or minor key.
Songs in a minor key usually have a depressing or haunting sound to them, while the major keys give music the happy, joyful sound. It makes sense that the Star Spangled Banner would traditionally be in a major key. It would be very difficult for many people to enjoy it if the original key was not a major one, although some suggest that the minor key gives the music a twist that helps bring the lyrics out. However, what happens when it is given a minor twist?
Holfelder decided to try it out, and realized that there is something hauntingly beautiful about the track. Instead of keeping it to himself, he created the video to share on YouTube and included his own harmonies that give the piece more definition. While publications like the Huffington Post say that the A-minor key gives the song a more depressing, church-like sound, it really gives it a haunted and almost rock-like sound. That is especially the case with the roughness in Holfelder’s voice as he hits the higher notes.
The YouTube singer only released his version of the Star Spangled Banner in A-minor a week ago and it has already had over 100,000 views. It has also had almost 200 comments already, with many people sharing their views on the track.
Among the comments is a discussion about the minor key chosen, and the decision to keep a few major progressions within the music. It comes across as an interesting debate for those with music theory or composition experience, but Holfelder is still to weigh in on the conversation. It would be interesting to hear his opinion on the debate considering he was the one who decided to make the initial change to the key.
Others commenting have congratulated the singer/songwriter on performing the piece. The original music is something so natural for people, that it is difficult to even consider singing it in a minor key. It is not just the harmonies that are affected, but the middle sections of the scales and the progressions throughout the piece.
Holfelder is relatively new to sharing his music on YouTube. He currently only has three videos, and one of those is a contest. He has shared one of his own original compositions, which is still to reach the heights of his minor adaptation of the Star Spangled Banner. For those who would like to go around listening to his minor version, it is now available on iTunes and Google Play.
Musicians like to cover songs, and make them their own. Holfelder has done something that very few are willing to try and then share. The YouTube singer has shared his rendition of Star Spangled Banner in A-minor with the world to show just how hauntingly beautiful it can sound.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham