Friday, August 22, 2008

Did Beijing Olympics Steal the American Anthem?

There have been many controversies surrounding the operations of the Beijing Olympics. The latest came from this morning's NPR:
The source of the American national anthem being played at the Beijing Olympics during medal ceremonies is in question. Peter Breiner wasn't watching the Games until his friends starting calling to say, "That sounds like your arrangement." It does. Especially the "Rockets Red Glare" section — an unusually soft string rendition that brought some controversy when it was used in Athens in 2004.He got paid for that rendition in 2004. Now Mr. Breiner says he's "100-percent positive" that the Chinese borrowed it from his work. In an email to The Washington Post, the Chinese insist they came up with the arrangement themselves.
The Washington Post has a lengthier report on the same issue, in which it quoted the email as saying "All the anthems and songs used at the Beijing Games were orchestrated by Chinese musicians." It did not appear to address the issue of arrangement.

The Washington Post article expressed pessimism in resolving this issue properly, noting that China "is not a place known for its strict enforcement of copyrights."

2 comments:

Ben said...

What is arrangement of anthem?

Eddie Cheng said...

"Arrangement" is how a piece of music is actually performed. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arranger.