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The use of music at sporting events is a practice that is thousands of years old, but has recently had a resurgence as a noted phenomenon. Some sports have specific traditions with respect to pieces of music played at particular intervals. Others have made the presentation of music very specific to the team—even to particular players. Music may be used to build the energy of the fans, and music may also be introduced in ways that are less directly connected with the action in a sporting event.
The ancient Greeks intently tied the performance of music to sporting events, particularly at their quadrenniel Olympic games.
The revival of the Olympic games in 1896 also incorporated music into the festivities surrounding the competitions. On March 25 of that year, "the Philharmonic Orchestra played the National Anthem and the first Olympic Hymn, written by poet Kostis Palamas and set to music by the well-known Greek composer Spyridon Samaras."
Within its first two notes, coupled with its booming operatic vocals and percussive instrumentation, Orff’s O Fortuna is based upon a 13th-century poem entitled, Carmina Burana. Orff's legendary composition laments fate, and it forms the beginning and end of his interpretation of the poetry.
Certain songs have historically been associated with particular sporting events. Fans of the home team at collegiate athletic events may serenade the losing visitors with a song recorded by Steam, titled "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye", with its familiar refrain, "na na, na na na na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye."
Queen's standards '"We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" have also become common fare at sporting events, as have Five Stone's "Make Noise", Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2", and Zombie Nation's "Kernkraft 400". Most collegiate sports are accompanied by a band that plays brass and drum instrumental music designed to accentuate the experience.
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