National anthem
Overview
 
A national anthem is a generally patriotic
Patriotism
Patriotism is a devotion to one's country, excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term's meaning upon context, geography and philosophy...

 musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 as the official national song, or by convention
Convention (norm)
A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated or generally accepted standards, norms, social norms or criteria, often taking the form of a custom....

 through use by the people.
Anthems rose to prominence in Europe during the 19th century, but some are much older in origin. The oldest national anthem is the "Wilhelmus
Wilhelmus
Wilhelmus van Nassouwe, usually known just as the Wilhelmus , , is the national anthem of the Netherlands and is the oldest national anthem in the world though the words of the Japanese national anthem date back to the ninth century...

", the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 national anthem, written between 1568 and 1572 during the Dutch Revolt
Dutch Revolt
The Dutch Revolt or the Revolt of the Netherlands This article adopts 1568 as the starting date of the war, as this was the year of the first battles between armies. However, since there is a long period of Protestant vs...

, which became the official Dutch national anthem in 1932.
Encyclopedia
A national anthem is a generally patriotic
Patriotism
Patriotism is a devotion to one's country, excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term's meaning upon context, geography and philosophy...

 musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 as the official national song, or by convention
Convention (norm)
A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated or generally accepted standards, norms, social norms or criteria, often taking the form of a custom....

 through use by the people.

History

Anthems rose to prominence in Europe during the 19th century, but some are much older in origin. The oldest national anthem is the "Wilhelmus
Wilhelmus
Wilhelmus van Nassouwe, usually known just as the Wilhelmus , , is the national anthem of the Netherlands and is the oldest national anthem in the world though the words of the Japanese national anthem date back to the ninth century...

", the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 national anthem, written between 1568 and 1572 during the Dutch Revolt
Dutch Revolt
The Dutch Revolt or the Revolt of the Netherlands This article adopts 1568 as the starting date of the war, as this was the year of the first battles between armies. However, since there is a long period of Protestant vs...

, which became the official Dutch national anthem in 1932. The Japanese anthem, "Kimi ga Yo
Kimi ga Yo
is the national anthem of post-1868 Japan. It is also one of the world's shortest national anthems in current use, with a length of 11 measures and 32 characters. Its lyrics are based on a Waka poem written in the Heian period , sung to a melody written in the imperial period...

", has its lyrics taken from a Heian period (794-1185)
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

 poem, yet it was not set to music until 1880. "God Save the Queen
God Save the Queen
"God Save the Queen" is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms and British Crown Dependencies. The words of the song, like its title, are adapted to the gender of the current monarch, with "King" replacing "Queen", "he" replacing "she", and so forth, when a king reigns...

", the national anthem of the United Kingdom and one of the two national anthems of New Zealand, was first performed in 1745 under the title "God Save the King". Spain's national anthem, the "Marcha Real
Marcha Real
is the national anthem of Spain. It is one of the few national anthems in the world to have no official lyrics ....

" (The Royal March), dates from 1770 (written in 1761). The oldest of Denmark's two national anthems, "Kong Christian stod ved højen mast" was adopted in 1780 and "La Marseillaise
La Marseillaise
"La Marseillaise" is the national anthem of France. The song, originally titled "Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin" was written and composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in 1792. The French National Convention adopted it as the Republic's anthem in 1795...

", the French anthem, was written in 1792 and adopted in 1795. Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 was the first Eastern European nation to have a national anthem, Rise up, Serbia!
Vostani Serbije
Vostani Serbije , also known as Pesma na Insurekciju Serbijanov was the national anthem of revolutionary Serbia, written by Dositej Obradović during the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1804...

in 1804.

An anthem can become a country's national anthem by a provision in the country's constitution, by a law enacted by its legislature or simply by tradition. The majority of national anthems are either marches
March (music)
A march, as a musical genre, is a piece of music with a strong regular rhythm which in origin was expressly written for marching to and most frequently performed by a military band. In mood, marches range from the moving death march in Wagner's Götterdämmerung to the brisk military marches of John...

 or hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

s in style. The countries of Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 tend towards more opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

tic pieces, while a handful of countries use a simple fanfare
Fanfare
A Fanfare is a relatively short piece of music that is typically played by trumpets and other brass instruments often accompanied by percussion...

.

Although national anthems are usually in the most common language of the country, whether de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 or official
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

, there are notable exceptions. India's anthem, "Jana Gana Mana
Jana Gana Mana
Jana Gana Mana is the national anthem of India. Written in highly Sanskritized Bengali, it is the first of five stanzas of a Brahmo hymn composed and scored by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. It was first sung at the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress on 27 December 1911...

", is a highly Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

ized version of Bengali
Bengali language
Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...

. States with more than one national language may offer several versions of their anthem: For instance, Switzerland's anthem
Swiss Psalm
The Swiss Psalm is the national anthem of Switzerland. It was composed in 1841, by Alberich Zwyssig . Since then, it has been frequently sung at patriotic events. The Federal Council declined however on numerous occasions to accept the psalm as the official anthem. This was because the council...

 has different lyrics for each of the country's four official languages (French, German, Italian and Romansh). Canada's national anthem
O Canada
It has been noted that the opening theme of "O Canada" bears a strong resemblance to the "Marsch der Priester" , from the opera Die Zauberflöte , composed in 1791 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and that Lavallée's melody was inspired by Mozart's tune...

 has different lyrics for each of the country's official languages (English and French), and on some occasions is sung with a mixture of stanzas taken from its French and English versions. The Sri Lankan national anthem has translated lyrics for each of the country's official languages Sinhala and Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

. It was actually written in Sinhala, but a Tamil translation is also played on some occasions and mostly played in Tamil Provinces
Northern Province, Sri Lanka
The Northern Province is one of the 9 provinces of Sri Lanka. The provinces have existed since the 19th century but did not have any legal status until 1987 when the 13th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils. Between 1988 and 2006 the province was...

 and Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

 schools. On the other hand, South Africa's national anthem
National anthem of South Africa
Since 1997, the South African national anthem has been a hybrid song combining new English lyrics with extracts of the hymn "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" and the former anthem "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" . The fact that it shifts and ends in a different key, a feature it shares with the Italian national...

 is unique in that five of the country's eleven official languages are used in the same anthem (the first stanza
Stanza
In poetry, a stanza is a unit within a larger poem. In modern poetry, the term is often equivalent with strophe; in popular vocal music, a stanza is typically referred to as a "verse"...

 is divided between two languages, with each of the remaining three stanzas in a different language). Apart from God Save the Queen, the New Zealand national anthem is now traditionally sung with the first verse in Māori
Maori language
Māori or te reo Māori , commonly te reo , is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand...

 (Aotearoa) and the second in English (God Defend New Zealand). The tune is the same but the words are not a direct translation of each other. Another multilingual country, Spain, has no words in its anthem, La Marcha Real, although in 2007 a national competition to write words was launched.

Usage

National anthems are used in a wide array of contexts. They are played on national holidays and festivals, and have also come to be closely connected with sporting events. During sporting competitions, such as the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

, the national anthem of the gold medal winner is played at each medal ceremony; also played before games in many sports leagues, since being adopted in baseball during World War II. When teams from two different nations play each other, the anthems of both nations are played, the host nation's anthem being played last. The use of a national anthem outside of its country, however, is dependent on the international recognition of that country. For instance, the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 (commonly known as Taiwan) has not been recognized
Political status of Taiwan
The controversy regarding the political status of Taiwan hinges on whether Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu should remain effectively independent as territory of the Republic of China , become unified with the territories now governed by the People's Republic of China , or formally declare...

 by the Olympics as a separate nation since 1979 and must compete as Chinese Taipei
Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee
Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee is the National Olympic Committee representing the Republic of China...

; its National Banner Song
National Banner Song
The "National Flag Anthem" of the Republic of China is played during the raising and lowering of the Flag of the Republic of China...

 is used instead of its national anthem
National Anthem of the Republic of China
"National Anthem of the Republic of China" is the current national anthem of the Republic of China .The Republic of China was recognized as the government of mainland China prior to 1949. Since then the Republic of China has controlled Taiwan and some other nearby islands...

. In the Republic of China, the National Anthem is sung before instead of during flag-rising and flag-lowering
Flag of the Republic of China
The Flag of the Republic of China is red with a navy blue canton bearing a white sun with 12 triangular rays. In Chinese, the flag is commonly described as Blue Sky, White Sun, and a Wholly Red Earth to reflect its attributes....

.

In some countries, the national anthem is played to students each day at the start of school as an exercise in patriotism. In other countries the anthem may be played in a theatre] before a play or in a cinema before a movie]. Many radio and television stations have adopted this and play the national anthem when they sign on in the morning and again when they sign off at night.

There may also be royal anthems, presidential anthems, state anthems, etc. for special occasions.

Certain etiquette may be involved in the playing of a country's anthem. These usually involve military honours, standing up, removing headwear etc. In diplomatic situations the rules may be very formal.

For parts of states

The Soviet Union and the United Kingdom, amongst others, are notionally held to be unions of many "nations" by various definitions. Each of the different nations may have their own "national anthem" and these songs may be officially recognized.

Fourteen of the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union
Republics of the Soviet Union
The Republics of the Soviet Union or the Union Republics of the Soviet Union were ethnically-based administrative units that were subordinated directly to the Government of the Soviet Union...

 had their own official song which was used at events connected to that republic. The Russian republic
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic , commonly referred to as Soviet Russia, Bolshevik Russia, or simply Russia, was the largest, most populous and economically developed republic in the former Soviet Union....

 used the USSR's national anthem. Some republics retained the melodies of those songs after the dissolution of the USSR (see the article National anthems of the Soviet Union and Union Republics).

The United Kingdom's national anthem is "God Save the Queen" but its constituent countries also have their own anthems which have varying degrees of official recognition. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 each have a number of songs which may be played at occasions such as sports matches and official events. The song usually played for England is "God Save the Queen", though sometimes Jerusalem
And did those feet in ancient time
"And did those feet in ancient time" is a short poem by William Blake from the preface to his epic Milton a Poem, one of a collection of writings known as the Prophetic Books. The date on the title page of 1804 for Milton is probably when the plates were begun, but the poem was printed c. 1808...

, I Vow To Thee, My Country
I Vow to Thee, My Country
I Vow to Thee, My Country is a British patriotic song created in 1921 when a poem by Sir Cecil Spring-Rice was set to music by Gustav Holst.-History:...

, and Land of Hope and Glory
Land of Hope and Glory
"Land of Hope and Glory" is a British patriotic song, with music by Edward Elgar and lyrics by A. C. Benson, written in 1902.- Composition :...

 may be played instead. Scotland has relatively recently adopted Flower of Scotland
Flower of Scotland
Flower of Scotland is a Scottish song, used frequently at special occasions and sporting events. Although there is no official national anthem of Scotland, Flower of Scotland is one of a number of songs which unofficially fulfil this role, along with the older Scots Wha Hae, Scotland the Brave...

 as its unofficial National Anthem, while Wales has sung Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau
Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau
Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau is the national anthem of Wales. The title – taken from the first words of the song – means "Old Land of My Fathers", usually rendered in English as simply "Land of My Fathers". The words were written by Evan James and the tune composed by his son, James James, both residents...

 (Land Of My Fathers) since the 19th century and was sometimes accompanied by (or used on its own) the Hymn, "Guide Me O thy Great Redeemer", the use of which has been discontinued. Northern Ireland too has traditionally used "God Save the Queen" though Londonderry Air
Londonderry Air
Londonderry Air is an air that originated from County Londonderry in Ireland. It is popular among the Irish diaspora and is very well known throughout the world. The tune is played as the victory anthem of Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games. "Danny Boy" is a popular set of lyrics to the...

 is also used.

In the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

, each of the republics (except the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina , known until 1963 under the name of People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was a socialist state that was a constituent country of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia...

) had the right to its own national anthem, but only the Socialist Republic of Croatia
Socialist Republic of Croatia
Socialist Republic of Croatia was a sovereign constituent country of the second Yugoslavia. It came to existence during World War II, becoming a socialist state after the war, and was also renamed four times in its existence . It was the second largest republic in Yugoslavia by territory and...

 had an anthem of its own, later joined by the Socialist Republic of Slovenia
Socialist Republic of Slovenia
The Socialist Republic of Slovenia was a socialist state that was a constituent country of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1943 until 1990...

 on the brink of the breakup of Yugoslavia. The Socialist Republic of Macedonia
Socialist Republic of Macedonia
The Socialist Republic of Macedonia was a socialist state that was a constituent country of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia...

 did not officially use an anthem, even though one was proclaimed during the World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 by ASNOM.

Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 used to have an anthem composed from two parts, the Czech and the Slovak one. After the splitting of Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic adopted the first part as its own anthem, Slovakia adopted the second part with slightly changed lyrics and an additional stanza.

Although the United States has "The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner
"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from "Defence of Fort McHenry", a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships...

" as its official national anthem, each individual state also has its own state anthem and songs.

In Mexico, after the national anthem was established in 1854, most of the states of the Federation adopted local anthems, which often emphasize heroes, virtues or particular landscapes.

International organizations

Larger entities also sometimes have 'national' anthems, in some cases known as 'international anthems'. The Internationale
The Internationale
The Internationale is a famous socialist, communist, social-democratic and anarchist anthem.The Internationale became the anthem of international socialism, and gained particular fame under the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1944, when it was that communist state's de facto central anthem...

 is the anthem of the socialist
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 movement, and the communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 movement. Before March 1944, it was also the anthem of the Soviet Union and the Comintern
Comintern
The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

. The tune of the Ode to Joy
Ode to Joy
"Ode to Joy" is an ode written in 1785 by the German poet, playwright and historian Friedrich Schiller, enthusiastically celebrating the brotherhood and unity of all mankind...

 from Beethoven's Symphony No. 9
Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)
The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best known works of the Western classical repertoire, and has been adapted for use as the European Anthem...

 is the European anthem; the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and the African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

 also have unofficial anthems. The Olympic Movement also has its own anthem. Esperanto
Esperanto
is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto , the pseudonym under which L. L. Zamenhof published the first book detailing Esperanto, the Unua Libro, in 1887...

 speakers at meetings often use the song "La Espero
La Espero
"La Espero" is a poem written by L. L. Zamenhof , the initiator of the Esperanto language. The song is often used as the anthem of Esperanto, and is now usually sung to a triumphal march composed by Félicien Menu de Ménil...

" as their anthem.

Creators

Most of the best-known national anthems were written by little-known or unknown composers such as Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle , was a French Army officer of the Revolutionary Wars. He is known for writing the words and music of the Chant de guerre pour l'armée du Rhin in 1792, which would later be known as La Marseillaise and become the French national anthem.- Biography :Rouget de Lisle was...

, composer of "La Marseillaise
La Marseillaise
"La Marseillaise" is the national anthem of France. The song, originally titled "Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin" was written and composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in 1792. The French National Convention adopted it as the Republic's anthem in 1795...

" and John Stafford Smith
John Stafford Smith
John Stafford Smith was a British composer, church organist, and early musicologist. He was one of the first serious collectors of manuscripts of works by Johann Sebastian Bach....

 who wrote the tune for "The Anacreontic Song", which became the tune for "The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner
"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from "Defence of Fort McHenry", a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships...

". The author of "God Save the Queen
God Save the Queen
"God Save the Queen" is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms and British Crown Dependencies. The words of the song, like its title, are adapted to the gender of the current monarch, with "King" replacing "Queen", "he" replacing "she", and so forth, when a king reigns...

", one of the oldest and best known in the world, is unknown and disputed. Very few countries have a national anthem written by a world renowned composer, some exceptions are Germany, whose anthem "Das Lied der Deutschen
Das Lied der Deutschen
The "'" , has been used wholly or partially as the national anthem of Germany since 1922. The music was written by Joseph Haydn in 1797 as an anthem for the birthday of the Austrian Emperor Francis II of the Holy Roman Empire...

" uses a melody written by Joseph Haydn
Joseph Haydn
Franz Joseph Haydn , known as Joseph Haydn , was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms...

 and Austria, whose national anthem "Land der Berge, Land am Strome
Land der Berge, Land am Strome
Land der Berge, Land am Strome is the national anthem of Austria.Nineteen days before his death on December 5, 1791, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed his last complete work, the Freimaurerkantate, K. 623. In parts of the printed edition of this cantata there appeared the song K. 623a ""...

" was sometimes credited to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

.

A few anthems have been composed by Nobel prize
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

 winners. India and Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 adopted two songs written by the first Asian Nobel prize
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

 winner and noted Bengali poet/author Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore , sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali polymath who reshaped his region's literature and music. Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first non-European Nobel laureate by earning the 1913 Prize in Literature...

 as their national anthems, Jana Gana Mana
Jana Gana Mana
Jana Gana Mana is the national anthem of India. Written in highly Sanskritized Bengali, it is the first of five stanzas of a Brahmo hymn composed and scored by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. It was first sung at the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress on 27 December 1911...

 and Amar Shonar Bangla
Amar Shonar Bangla
Amar Shonar Bangla is a 1905 song written and composed by the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore , the first ten lines of which were adopted in 1972 as the Bangladeshi national anthem...

, respectively. This is a very rare occasion where one person is the author of the national anthems of two different countries, if not unique. Nobel prize winner Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
Bjørnstjerne Martinius Bjørnson was a Norwegian writer and the 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. Bjørnson is considered as one of The Four Greats Norwegian writers; the others being Henrik Ibsen, Jonas Lie, and Alexander Kielland...

 wrote the lyrics for the Norwegian national anthem Ja, vi elsker dette landet
Ja, vi elsker dette landet
is the national anthem of Norway. It is commonly referred to as just "Ja, vi elsker" . The lyrics were written by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson between 1859 and 1868, and the melody was written by his cousin Rikard Nordraak in 1864. It was first performed publicly on 17 May 1864 in connection with the 50th...

.
Other countries had its anthems composed by locally important people. This is the case for Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, whose anthem
National Anthem of Colombia
Himno Nacional de la República de Colombia is the official name of the national anthem of Colombia...

 was composed by a former president and poet Rafael Nuñez
Rafael Núñez (politician)
Rafael Wenceslao Núñez Moledo was a Colombian author, lawyer, journalist and politician, who was elected President of Colombia in 1880 and in 1884. Rafael Núñez was born in Cartagena de Indias, on September 28, 1825. He died in Cartagena on September 18, 1894.-Early life:Little is known about the...

, who also wrote the ancient constitution.

Modality

While most national anthems are in the standard major scale
Major scale
In music theory, the major scale or Ionian scale is one of the diatonic scales. It is made up of seven distinct notes, plus an eighth which duplicates the first an octave higher. In solfege these notes correspond to the syllables "Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti/Si, ", the "Do" in the parenthesis at...

, there are a number of notable exceptions. "Hatikvah
Hatikvah
"Hatikvah" is the national anthem of Israel. The anthem was written by Naphtali Herz Imber, a secular Galician Jew from Zolochiv , who moved to the Land of Israel in the early 1880s....

" (Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

), "Mila Rodino
Mila Rodino
Mila Rodino is the current national anthem of Bulgaria. It is based on the music and text of the song "Gorda Stara Planina" by Tsvetan Radoslavov, written and composed as he left to fight in the Serbo-Bulgarian War in 1885. The anthem was adopted in 1964...

" (Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

), "Nad Tatrou sa blýska
Nad Tatrou sa blýska
Nad Tatrou sa blýska is the national anthem of Slovakia. The origins of the anthem are in the Central European activism of the 19th century. Its main themes are a storm over the Tatra mountains that symbolized danger to the Slovaks, and a desire for a resolution of the threat...

"' (Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

), "İstiklâl Marşı
Istiklâl Marsi
The İstiklâl Marşı is the National Anthem of Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, officially adopted on 12 March 1921 - two and a half years before the 29 October 1923 establishment of the Republic of Turkey, both as a motivational musical saga for the troops fighting in the Turkish War...

" (Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

), "Surudi Milli
Surudi Milli
"Surudi milli" is the national anthem of Tajikistan, officially adopted in 1991. The lyrics were written by Gulnazar Keldi and the music by Suleiman Yudakov, the same melody from the Anthem of the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic...

" (Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

), "Azərbaycan marşı" (Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

), and "Meniñ Qazaqstanım" (Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

) are in a minor scale
Minor scale
A minor scale in Western music theory includes any scale that contains, in its tonic triad, at least three essential scale degrees: 1) the tonic , 2) a minor-third, or an interval of a minor third above the tonic, and 3) a perfect-fifth, or an interval of a perfect fifth above the tonic, altogether...

, while "Kimi ga Yo
Kimi ga Yo
is the national anthem of post-1868 Japan. It is also one of the world's shortest national anthems in current use, with a length of 11 measures and 32 characters. Its lyrics are based on a Waka poem written in the Heian period , sung to a melody written in the imperial period...

" (Japan), "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu
Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu
Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu is the national anthem of Kenya. It was originally composed in Swahili, the national language. Kenya's National Anthem was prepared by local people. The commission included five members and was headed by the Kenya Music Adviser. It was based on a traditional tune sung by Pokomo...

" (Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

), "Druk tsendhen
Druk tsendhen
Druk tsendhen is the national anthem of Bhutan.Adopted in 1953, the music is by Aku Tongmi and the words are by Dasho Gyaldun Thinley. Tongmi was educated in India and was recently appointed leader of the military brass band when the need for an anthem rose at the occasion of a state visit from...

" (Bhutan
Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

), and "Sayaun Thunga Phool Ka" (Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

) use pentatonic scale
Pentatonic scale
A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five notes per octave in contrast to a heptatonic scale such as the major scale and minor scale...

s. "Ey Iran
Ey Iran
Ey Iran is a famous and popular anthem in Iran. The lyrics were written by Hossein Gol-e-Golab in 1946, the music was composed by Ruhollah Khaleghi, and it was first performed by Gholam Hossein Banan....

" (Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, unofficial) uses the Phrygian mode
Phrygian mode
The Phrygian mode can refer to three different musical modes: the ancient Greek tonos or harmonia sometimes called Phrygian, formed on a particular set octave species or scales; the Medieval Phrygian mode, and the modern conception of the Phrygian mode as a diatonic scale, based on the latter...

 (known in Middle Eastern music as a variety of maqam
Arabic maqam
Arabic maqām is the system of melodic modes used in traditional Arabic music, which is mainly melodic. The word maqam in Arabic means place, location or rank. The Arabic maqam is a melody type...

 kurd) and Garaşsyz, Bitarap Türkmenistanyň Döwlet Gimni (Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

) uses the Mixolydian mode
Mixolydian mode
Mixolydian mode may refer to one of three things: the name applied to one of the ancient Greek harmoniai or tonoi, based on a particular octave species or scale; one of the medieval church modes; a modern musical mode or diatonic scale, related to the medieval mode.-Greek Mixolydian:The idea of a...

. The national anthem of South Africa
National anthem of South Africa
Since 1997, the South African national anthem has been a hybrid song combining new English lyrics with extracts of the hymn "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" and the former anthem "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" . The fact that it shifts and ends in a different key, a feature it shares with the Italian national...

 and Il Canto degli Italiani
Il Canto degli Italiani
Il Canto degli Italiani is the Italian national anthem. It is best known among Italians as Inno di Mameli , after the author of the lyrics, or Fratelli d'Italia , from its opening line...

 (Italy) do not end in the same key in which they start. The Afghan National Anthem
Afghan National Anthem
The Afghan National Anthem was adopted and officially announced in May 2006. According to article 20 of the Constitution of Afghanistan, "The national anthem of Afghanistan shall be in Pashto with the mention of "God is Greatest" as well as the names of the ethnicities of Afghanistan." The lyrics...

 uses parallel key modulation
Modulation (music)
In music, modulation is most commonly the act or process of changing from one key to another. This may or may not be accompanied by a change in key signature. Modulations articulate or create the structure or form of many pieces, as well as add interest...

.

See also


External links

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