The SPOGreatMusic Podcast Series: S01E09

Release Date: January 22, 2021

Canadians all sing it, but how much do we really know about it? This episode is based on the article, Calixa Lavallee and the Construction of a National Anthem by Ross W. Duffin (The Musical Quarterly). A fascinating exploration of the man and the music behind O Canada. Featuring an interview with Ross W. Duffin himself.

Here’s some additional information and pictures on our special guest interviewees for this episode:


Ross W. Duffin, Author

Ross Duffin, a distinguished university professor emeritus in the department of music at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, is also the author of several books, most of which are specialized studies of early modern subjects, but his book, “How Equal Temperment Ruined Harmony (And Why You Should Care)” may be of special interest, and that is described here.

Ross Duffin also was featured in an article about the topic of our national anthem, which appeared online through the Globe & Mail on August 3, 2020 (updated August 4, 2020). You can find the link here.

Here’s another article published by “Musical Quarterly” on the topic of the origins of our national anthem. A note from Mr. Duffin: Unfortunately there is a login and a fee for people who do not have an institutional login, but it is possible to get access, at least. Find the link here.


If you can help with a donation to ensure the SPO can keep up the great work, please consider a montly or one-time donation through You’ll also receive a tax receipt issued by It’s easy, safe, and secure.

Click here to return to our 2020/2021 SPOGreatMusic Podcast Series listings.

Click here to go to our 2020/2021 SPOGreatMusic Performance Series listings.