National Anthems of the World for Brass Quintet

Australian National Anthem (Advance Australia Fair)

An arrangement for classical brass quintet of the national anthem of Australia. “Advance Australia Fair” is the national anthem of Australia. Created by the Scottish-born composer Peter Dodds McCormick, the song was first performed in 1878 and sung in Australia as a patriotic song. It replaced “God Save the Queen” as the official national anthem in 1984, following a plebiscite to choose the national song in 1977. Other songs and marches have been influenced by “Advance Australia Fair”, such as the Australian vice-regal salute.

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French National Anthem (”La Marseillaise”)

An arrangement of the French National Anthem arranged for classical brass quintet.

La Marseillaise” is the national anthem of France. The song was written in 1792 by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in Strasbourg after the declaration of war by France against Austria, and was originally titled “Chant de guerre pour l’Armée du Rhin” (“War Song for the Rhine Army”).

The Marseillaise was a revolutionary song, an anthem to freedom, a patriotic call to mobilize all the citizens and an exhortation to fight against tyranny and foreign invasion. The French National Convention adopted it as the Republic’s anthem in 1795. It acquired its nickname after being sung in Paris by volunteers from Marseille marching on the capital. The song is the first example of the “European march” anthemic style. The anthem’s evocative melody and lyrics have led to its widespread use as a song of revolution and its incorporation into many pieces of classical and popular music.

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Israeli National Anthem (Hatikvah)

An arrangement of the national anthem of Israel for classical Brass Quintet. “Hatikvah” is the national anthem of Israel. Its lyrics are adapted from a poem by Naftali Herz Imber, a Jewish poet from Złoczów (today Zolochiv, Ukraine), then part of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, Austria-Hungary. Imber wrote the first version of the poem in 1877, while the guest of a Jewish scholar in Iași, Romania. The romantic anthem’s theme reflects the Jews‘ 2,000-year-old hope of returning to the Land of Israel, restoring it, and reclaiming it as a sovereign nation.

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Italian National Anthem

An authentic arrangement of the Italian national anthem for Brass Quintet, and one of my best selling anthems in the store.”Il Canto degli Italiani” is the national anthem of Italy. It is best known among Italians as “Inno di Mameli” ([ˈinno di maˈmɛːli], “Mameli’s Hymn”), after the author of the lyrics, or “Fratelli d’Italia” ([fraˈtɛlli diˈtaːlja], “Brothers of Italy”), from its opening line. The words were written in the autumn of 1847 in Genoa, by the then 20-year-old student and patriot Goffredo Mameli. Two months later, they were set to music in Turin by another Genoese, Michele Novaro. The hymn enjoyed widespread popularity throughout the period of the Risorgimento and in the following decades. Nevertheless, after theItalian Unification in 1861, the adopted national anthem was the “Marcia Reale” (Royal March), the official hymn of the House of Savoy composed in 1831 by order of Carlo Alberto di Savoia. After the Second World War, Italy became a republic, and on 12 October 1946, “Il Canto degli Italiani” was provisionally chosen as the country’s new national anthem. This choice was made official in law only on 23 November 2012.

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South Korean National Anthem

An arrangement for classical brass quintet of the national anthem of South Korea. First performed in 1896, it was well-known by all Koreans by 1910. (It was not the national anthem at this time however, as an imperial anthem was in use at the time.) At this time, the song was usually sung to a Scottish folk song, “Auld Lang Syne”, as well as occasionally to other music. In that year, the Japanese invaded Korea, and banned the song. However, it was still popular with Koreans abroad as a yearning for national independence.

In 1935 composer Ahn Eaktay wrote the music that’s currently in use for the anthem (he wanted the song to have a Korean melody and not that of a folk song of a foreign nation). It was adopted by the government in exile and then, when South Korea was founded in 1948, three years after the Japanese occupation ended, it was officially adopted by that government.

The anthem shares a title with that of the anthem of North Korea, as well as that of the Korean Empire, the music is also somewhat reminiscent of that of North Korea’s anthem. There has also been a “united Korean anthem” created by blending the melodies of the two nations’ anthems seamlessly, used by some to promote Korean re-unification.

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United States of America National Anthem (The Star Spangled Banner)

An arrangement of the national anthem of the United States of America arranged for classical brass quintet.

During the war of 1812 (on September 14, 1814), poet Francis Scott Key wrote a poem entitled “Defense of Fort McHenry”, being inspired by seeing the American flag still flying amidst the battle. Key never meant for it to become a song, or a national anthem, yet after showing the poem to his brother in law Judge Joseph H Nicholson, Nicholson noticed the poem could fit the tune “The Anacreontic Song” (also known as “To Anacraeon in Heaven”), a song originally written for a gentlemen’s social club in London, but gained popularity outside Great Britain, including in the United States, where by this time the tune was familiar to American ears. Key may have had this tune in mind when he wrote the poem; an earlier poem of his called “When the Warrior Returns” was also in the same rhythym, could be set to the same tune, and is of similar subject matter – the last two lines of each stanza of that poem also end with “wave” and “brave”.

The poem spread quickly across the United States, the first printing of the poem in a Baltimore paper suggested the “Anacraeon in Heaven” tune, and it stuck. A Baltimore music store owner first printed the song under the title “The Star Spangled Banner.” It gained in popularity, and was made the official tune to accompany flag raisings by the secretary of the Navy in 1889. In 1916 it was ordered to be played at military and other occassions, and, due to a large public relations effort, it was officially adopted by Congress as the first official national anthem of the United States in 1931. There are four verses to the anthem, but it is the first verse that is almost always sung. (Interestingly, the first verse is a question, only answered by the other three verses).

In addition to countless patriotic songs, there are also state songs for each of the fifty states as well. Also, the song “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” is considered an unofficial anthem by the African-American community, and is often used by African-American organizations and at events for the African-American community.

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Welsh National Anthem

An arrangement of the national anthem of Wales, ”Land of our Fathers”; for classical brass quintet.

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Japanese National Anthem

“Kimigayo” (君が代?) is the national anthem of Japan, arranged here for Brass Quintet, its lyrics are the oldest among the world’s national anthems, and with a length of 11 measures and 32 characters “Kimigayo” is also one of the world’s shortest. Its lyrics are from a waka poem written in theHeian period (794–1185), and the current melody was chosen in 1880, replacing an unpopular melody composed eleven years earlier. While the title “Kimigayo” is usually translated as His Imperial Majesty’s Reign, no official translation of the title or lyrics has been established in law.

From 1888 to 1945 “Kimigayo” served as the national anthem of the Empire of Japan. When the Empire was dissolved following its surrender at the end of World War II, the State of Japan succeeded it in 1945. This successor state was a parliamentary democracyand the polity therefore changed from a system based on imperial sovereignty to one based on popular sovereigntyEmperor Hirohito was not dethroned, and “Kimigayo” was retained as the de facto national anthem. The passage of the Act on National Flag and Anthem in 1999 recognized it as the official national anthem.


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German National Anthem

The “Deutschlandlied” (English: “Song of Germany”; also known as “Das Lied der Deutschen” or “The Song of the Germans”), or part of it, has been the national anthem of Germany since 1922, except in East Germany, whose anthem was “Auferstanden aus Ruinen” (“Risen from Ruins”) from 1949 to 1990.

Since World War II and the fall of Nazi Germany, only the third stanza has been used as the national anthem. The stanza’s beginning, “Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit” (“Unity and Justice and Freedom”) is considered the unofficial national motto of Germany, and is inscribed on modern German Army belt buckles and the rims of some German coins.

The music was written by Austrian composer Joseph Haydn in 1797 as an anthem for the birthday of Francis II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and later of Austria. In 1841, the German linguist and poet August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote the lyrics of “Das Lied der Deutschen” to Haydn’s melody, lyrics that were considered revolutionary at the time.

The song is also well known by the beginning and refrain of the first stanza, “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles” (“Germany, Germany above all else”), but this has never been its title. The line “Germany, Germany above all else” meant that the most important goal of 19th-century German liberal revolutionaries should be a unified Germany which would overcome loyalties to the local kingdoms, principalities, duchies, and palatines (Kleinstaaterei) of then-fragmented Germany. Along with the flag of Germany, it was one of the symbols of the March Revolution of 1848.

In order to endorse its republican and liberal tradition, the song was chosen as the national anthem of Germany in 1922, during theWeimar RepublicWest Germany adopted the “Deutschlandlied” as its official national anthem in 1952 for similar reasons, with only the third stanza sung on official occasions. Upon German reunification in 1990, only the third stanza was confirmed as the national anthem.

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