Scroll down for a lead sheet for America the Beautiful that includes the melody and chords, with versions of the song in seven different keys. There are also links to the song for piano, recorder, woodwind, brass, and string instruments.
America the Beautiful is a poem written by Katherine Lee Bates, who was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts and was a professor of English literature at Wellesley College, just outside of Boston. In the summer of 1893, Bates was teaching at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, and during her stay, she went on an expedition to Pike’s Peak. On the way down from the mountain top, she was inspired by the view of the fertile fields and plains and decided to write the poem, America the Beautiful. It was published on July 4, 1895, in a weekly newspaper called The Congregationalist. She later revised it and added to it in 1904 and 1913. See the lyrics to the final poem of America the Beautiful.
For many years, the Bates’s poem was sung to the tune of several different folk melodies, most notably the melody to Auld Lang Syne. Eventually, it became attached to a melody written in 1882 by Samuel Augustus Ward, who was a church organist in Newark, New Jersey. That melody stuck, and it is the one that we still sing today. In 1926, there was a strong move to make America the Beautiful the national anthem of the United States, but the Star Spangled Banner was chosen instead, when President Hoover signed a law that made it official in 1931.
America the Beautiful for flute
America the Beautiful for oboe
America the Beautiful for clarinet
America the Beautiful for bassoon
America the Beautiful for alto saxophone
America the Beautiful for tenor saxophone
America the Beautiful for trumpet
America the Beautiful for French horn
America the Beautiful for trombone
America the Beautiful for tuba