American and Canadian national anthems among the world’s most rousing: study

In this April 21, 2008 file photo, national flags representing the United States, Canada, and Mexico fly in the breeze in New Orleans where leaders of the North American Free Trade Agreement met. Democrats are calling for tweaks to Canada's new trade pact with the United States and Mexico as experts warn that economic uncertainty until linger until the deal is ratified in Congress. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Judi Bottoni. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Judi Bottoni

A new study has found the U.S national anthem to be the world’s most rousing.

The Star Spangled Banner claimed the top spot in the U.K. study, followed by Germany’s Deutschlandlied.

“I think some of the things that make it more rousing is it involves a stirring use of percussive and brass instruments,” said CALM spokesperson Peter Freedman. “Both have a military association and sense of energy.”

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The research, commissioned by CALM, examined the pre-sleep arousal levels of listening to 10 anthem instrumentals before bed on successive nights.

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One of them was O Canada, which was listed as the third most rousing.

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“We spoke to a professor in music psychology at a university in the U.K. and she said although O Canada is a stately piece, the harmonic structure in the music heightens our sense of anticipation,” said Freedman.

The national anthems of Italy and Mexico were also identified as particularly rousing.

They are strong contrasts, however, to the anthem of the European Union, which the study found to be the most calming.

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“The EU anthem was designed to celebrate peace and shared values, whereas most national anthems were conceived, written and designed to build a sense of patriotism and national pride,” Freedman said.

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