5

I was looking at the sheet music for the Star Spangled Banner arranged for the U.S. Marine Band, and I saw that each instrument has an Opt. S.D. in the beginning.

Opt. S.D.

What does it mean?

9

"Optional Snare Drum"

What you're seeing is a cue for an optional instrument. The Star-Spangled Banner may begin with or without snare drum.

  • 2
    I guess it's a roll, looking at the tremolo note. Just like the U.K. National Anthem. On those dots, it looks like a 2 beat rather than an unmeasured roll, but it's probably optional, as it says. Optional instrument, or optional beats. – Tim Nov 1 '15 at 17:35
  • I've cleaned up and collapsed some comments here, please keep discussion on-topic. – Matthew Read Nov 2 '15 at 15:03
  • @Tim Actually measured / unmeasured has nothing to do with beat length, but rather whether or not the percussionist's hands are subdividing the roll rhythmically, or non-rhythmically. – jjmusicnotes Nov 3 '15 at 4:27
  • 2
    It's more likely to be a military roll at the start, just a long sustained sound. – Tim Nov 3 '15 at 7:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.