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Independence Day music

American music borrows from American history, and on the fourth of July pretty much everyone finds a tune where they can sing along.
From fifes and drums to bombastic brass, the fourth of July holiday has a distinctive sound track dating back to the nation's early struggles.

"When that star spangled banner was raised on that 80 foot pole and the British hoisted their sails and left the Patapsco river, we gained a victory and we gained a national anthem, the Star Spangled banner."

At Fort McHenry in Baltimore, where the Star Spangled banner was inspired 200 years ago, patriotic music is alive and well.

"The history of fifes and drums goes as far back as the Army does.  Fifers and drummers were always crucial to the Army."

The tradition of those Army tunes lives on, at this summer camp, where youngsters learn to create just one element of the All-American sound.

Another, the big, bold brass.

"The brass is the heavy artillery and we get all the work, all the action playing patriotic music."

Andrew Balio is principal trumpet of the Baltimore symphony orchestra. He says Americans know their music, when they hear it.

"It's not any one thing, it's just an indefinable something that is an American flavor and an American sound that describes the feeling of being American."

Conductor Damon Gupton, who'll lead the Baltimore symphony on the fourth of July, calls it a kaleidoscope.

"These concerts gives us a chance to listen to classic composers like Gershwin or composers like Kurt Weill, and some beautiful arrangements that really celebrate Americana."

A wide range of styles, from the street to the symphonic stage, all with a common thread, and a common goal, on the nation's birthday.

"You look out and see a wonderful collection of people from different walks of life there to celebrate one particularly festive occasion."