Talk:Hail to the Chief

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Cultural References[edit]

Is there a point to this section? The song is so well known that I really doubt this adds anything of real import. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:20, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

  • No, there really isn't. I'm removing it. If anyone wants to reincorporate some of the information in it, go ahead.-- (talk) 23:42, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
  • It may surprise you, but not all of us are American. I've no idea what these remarks are about. (talk) 20:58, 14 January 2014 (UTC)


(Next contrib reformated in 2009:)
Tune right?? How close is this??


-- 19:58, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

  • "Tune right?" might sound like a question as to whether a tune in the article is accurate, but the then current revision had no image, and no mention of keys or notes. I construe it instead as volunteering info, based on OR in the form of the contributor "sounding out" the tune they have heard.
    --Jerzyt 08:07, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

The next contrib was originally place above the 2004 one in this section, in the lead section of this talk page. I have moved & reformatted it, in 2009, into proper WP talk order. On reflection, i have left it un-indented, and separated by a HR on the logic that it is not a comment on the 2004 contrib above, bcz its only plausible affinities to the other are:

  1. Both concern how the melody goes.
  2. The second essentially adopted the first's format for representing a melody.
  3. It makes reference to D major, which ...
    1. ... is most consistently construed as referring to the score in the image, which shows a key signature of precisely F# and C#, the characteristic that distinguishes D major from all other major keys and is a "tune in D major" which could be easily mistaken (see below) for one "entirely different" from the sequence of notes that immediately follow the reference, and
    2. ... in contrast, while the presumed logic by which the second refers to its own melody as being in [the key of] "F major" would, if applied to the first's melody, logically conclude that the first's melody was also in D major, it does not so describe it, and that hidden connection the closest, by a wide margin, that the second comes to referring to the first in any way.

--Jerzyt 08:07, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Wrong image
The image of the sheet music is not correct as it displays an entirely different tune in D major (not F major as below).


—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:07, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

  • I'm recaptioning the image, and will comment further here in the next 12 hours.
    --Jerzyt 21:18, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I thot this was going to be simple, but it's not.
  1. The notation "Bb" is a makeshift for "B♭", which (since my cruddy system displays it correctly) i'm confident virtually all users will be able to read.
  2. The single reference to the note "B" is surely a typo, meant to read "Bb" and meaning "B♭".
  3. It is unclear whether either of the above IP contributors intended to assert that the Marine Band uses the specific notes they enumerated and/or a specific key. In the absence of knowledge of the specific notes (or even to describe a piece via a different key, in spite of such knowledge, if the key is sufficiently esoteric to the reader), it would be quite appropriate to use specific notes as a stand-in for solfeggio, since they are likely to be accessible to more readers.
  4. The 2 IPs' opinions (along with any that i might be harboring) about what key the Marine Band plays "Hail to the Chief" in are not only unclear, but also (in light of the practice of transposition) neither reliable nor relevant.
  5. Every Western listener knows, somewhere in their gut, that the mode of HttC is major, so the image's explicit key signature of two sharps is almost airtight evidence that the score in the image specifies D major as the song's key. I presume this is the source of the 2nd IP's reference to tunes in D major.
  6. The claim that the "F-G-A-Bb..." series of pitch names is in the key of F major could reflect a confluence of two factors: an expectation for the melody to begin on do, and the pitch names that occur in the series being A, B♭, C, D, F, and G, a collection consistent with F major, whose notes are F, G, A, B♭, C, D, E. But first-note and consistency evidence is not sufficient to support that inference; at my own fairly harmony-illiterate level, the best evidence comes from construing the 1st, 3rd, and 4th of the 4 phrases the 2nd IP has ID'd as "resolving toward" the key's do as their respective last notes, while the 2nd phrase sustains melodic tension by ending on another note before the parenthesized ornament and a third after it. And that do candidate, B♭, would imply the other key consistent with that collection of pitch names, B♭ major, whose notes are B♭, C, D, E♭, F, G, A, and equally consistent.
  7. In applying either of those candidate keys to test the 2nd IP's series of pitch names against the score in the image, the series should be transposed into the target key of D major, and the result will vary according to the assumption made about whether the transposition is from F to D or from B♭ to D; in each case, the tone name series is to be compared to that of the melody line of the score.
  8. There is, in the score, a stumbling block for that project, and i confess to letting it trick me into hedging butchering the caption to reflect my initial acceptance of the 2nd IP's "entirely different tune" opinion. It is such a familiar convention for the lead vocalist's notes to be written on the top staff of a vocal score that i never squinted thru the smeared and bent label "Second Voice" to see that the lead, labeled "First Voice", is on the middle staff in the first system of three staves in the image. (I reflected this realization in my retraction of my different-tune-premised caption.)
  9. Cutting to the chase, focusing on the large notes in the "First Voice" staff, my transposition to D major of the first phrase, based on my deduction that the 2nd IP had presented a B♭ major sequence, matches exactly, as far as i looked, what is in the sheet music. If the 2nd IP never looked beyond the top staff of each system of three staves, that would be sufficient to explain the "entirely different" conclusion. (The remaining 3 phrases i leave for colleagues conscientious enuf to go the the trouble of "keeping me honest", or those with more skill, who can do the task less laboriously than i.)
--Jerzyt 08:07, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Julia Tyler[edit]

"It was Julia Tyler, wife of Polk's predecessor, John Tyler, who suggested that the song be played when a president made an appearance." The revised, authoritative new statement sounds as if it's based on some remark, perhaps in a letter. Has this suggestion been made in print? --Wetman 03:43, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

"Hail America"[edit]

According to [1], the anthem was composed in 1917 and formerly called "Hail America", then renamed to "Hail to the Chief" by the Eisenhower Administration in 1952. Shouldn't this be mentioned in the article? --Ahellwig 20:56, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Reasoning for having a salute[edit]

I read once that the reason "Hail to the Chief" is played is because one of the Presidents was quite diminutive and was often unnoticed upon entering a room. Having a song played announcing his arrival then, he would always be noticed and the tradition stuck. Can anyone validate this story? Should it be included? 04:39, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I though I learned that in school, though it has been many years now. The way I remember it is that it was written for Tyler because he was so short that when he walked into a room, noone took notice. So to rectify that, he commissioned the song to be written as an announcement of the President. Did anyone else learn it this way? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:35, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
    • Today's installment of the NPR show Day to Day included this element, almost certainly re Tyler, but initiated by his wife bcz she perceived that he could enter unnoticed, and played rather than commissioned. The overall story in their version included many elements that are in our article.
      --Jerzyt 19:17, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
    • Contrary to the preceding, which i retract as unhelpful, the apparently used but not (until i just added it) recently cited LoC source says
in memory of Washington (1815)
to honor Jackson's presence (1829)
Martin Van Buren's inauguration (1837)
the wife of Tyler (Pres from 1841) requested it for his arrivals (without any hint she was unsuccessful), and
the wife of Polk (1845) pushed it, reflecting (William Seale's wording) "not an impressive figure" and "to avoid the embarrassment of his entering a crowded room unnoticed".
The confusing reversal of chronology presently in the article ranks low among the sins of that subtopic's treatment.
--Jerzyt 01:19, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Referring to the first two comments. The only reference I know is in the Bathroom Readers series of books. While these books are often heavily researched, I doubt they meet the criteria for encyclopeadiatic inclusion. (talk) 00:10, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

The link to "DOD instruction NO. 1005.1" is dead, and I was unable to locate a new page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:45, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

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