Olympic national anthems
There was a lovely interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning with the composer Philip Sheppard, who has had the interesting task of arranging 205 national anthems for the London Olympic Games.
You can hear the full interview here; it's just over five minutes long:
We thought this might be a useful starter for a 'global' music lesson, especially as it gives you the chance to hear the national anthems of Uganda, Aruba and Bhutan - not ones we hear very often!
If you want to explore a bit further, you can find the tunes and lyrics of lots more national anthems at www.nationalanthems.info.
And we really like this 'Wordle' picture of the the Bangladesh national anthem... Even without hearing the tune or reading the lyrics you can get quite a feel for the country, its landscape and people.
You could create your own by visiting www.wordle.net and inputting different national anthem lyrics. This would be a great way to find out about different countries, and explore what their anthems say about them.
(If you've not used Wordle before, check out this little Wordle Tutorial on the TES resources website - you may need to register or log in first, but it's free.)
Update, 2 August 2012: Nice BBC article here: The secrets behind national anthems