Anthem was titled to describe the compositions uplifting and catchy ‘anthemic’ sound. The form is comprised of a 12 bar ‘A’ section (containing two 6 bar melodic phrases) and a 4 bar ‘B’ section that acts as a climactic tag at the conclusion of the melody and also at the conclusion of each solo. Solos are played over the ‘A’ section, with the exception of the drum solo which lends itself to the ‘B’ section.
The bass-line and treble melodic line contain integral melodic, rhythmic and harmonic material therefore it is advisable for all instrumentalists to learn both lines. When soloing on Anthem it is important for the soloist to frequently outline the harmony in bars 5-6 and 11-12. These bars contain the only harmonic differences that serve to distinguish the first 6 bars of the ‘A’ section from the second 6, and therefore harmonic clarity at these points helps state the form. Care should be taken by the bassist (and drummer) to be rhythmically accurate in bars 5-6 and 11-12.
Anthem can be performed with different approaches depending on the desired musical outcome. For instance, the tune can start as notated right on the melody with the entire ensemble playing, or alternatively the elements of the tune (drum groove, bass-line, harmony, treble melodic line) can be layered in as an extended introduction. Similarly, the bassist may choose to play variations, deconstruct, or depart completely from the notated bass-line after the melody has been stated – this will increase the potential for variation between repeated performances.
Harmonically, having the ‘comping’ instruments ‘lay out’ can allow the soloist increased freedom to depart from the predetermined harmony. Practitioners can also experiment with variations of tempo in order to find an optimal speed that enables the groove to feel ‘in the pocket’ according to the ensemble’s discretion. Another important consideration when performing Anthem is to vary the rhythmic density and dynamics in order to allow for differing intensities and a sense of shape, thus allowing the music to ‘breathe’, develop organically and avoid sounding mono-dynamic.