national anthem


A national anthem is a
patriotic Patriotism or national pride is the feeling of love, devotion, and sense of attachment to a homeland and alliance with other citizens who share the same sentiment. This attachment can be a combination of many different feelings relating to on ...

musical composition File:Chord chart.svg, 250px, Jazz and rock genre musicians may memorize the melodies for a new song, which means that they only need to provide a chord chart to guide improvising musicians. Musical composition can refer to an Originality, orig ...
symbolizing and evoking eulogies of the history and traditions of a
country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social ...

nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Level of analysis" is distinct from the term " unit of observation ...

. The majority of national anthems are
marches In medieval Europe In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called th ...
hymn A hymn is a type of song A song is a musical composition intended to be performed by the human voice. This is often done at melody, distinct and fixed pitches (melodies) using patterns of sound and silence. Songs contain various song form, ...

s in style.
Latin America * ht, Amerik Latin, link=no * pt, América Latina, link=no , image = Latin America (orthographic projection).svg , area = , population = ( est.) , density = , ethnic_groups = , ethnic_groups_year = 2018 , ethnic_ ...

Latin America
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in which stretches from the in the west to and in the east, and from and in the south to in the north, including the former of , , , , and . It is also colloquially referred to as "the stans" as the countries all ...

Central Asia
n, and
Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both and , and is bordered by the to the ...

an nations tend towards more ornate and operatic pieces, while those in the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth ...

Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of 's total surface area and 20% of its land area.Sayre ...

, and the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Kawayib; nl, Caraïben; Papiamento: ) is a region of the Americas that comprises the Caribbean Sea, its surrounding coasts, and its islands (some ...
use a more simplistic
fanfare A fanfare (or fanfarade or flourish) is a short musical flourish that is typically played by trumpets, French horns or other brass instruments, often accompanied by percussion. It is a "brief improvisation, improvised introduction (music), intro ...

. Some countries that are devolved into multiple constituent states have their own official musical compositions for them (such as with the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of Europe. There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly becau ...

, and the former
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
); their constituencies' songs are sometimes referred to as national anthems even though they are not
sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government ...


In the
early modern period The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics, and since the History of writing, adve ...
, some
European monarchies Monarchy was the prevalent form of government in the history of Europe throughout the Middle Ages, only occasionally competing with Medieval commune, communalism, notably in the case of the Maritime republics and the Old Swiss Confederacy, Swiss ...

European monarchies
royal anthem The honors music for a person, office or rank is music played on formal or ceremonial occasions in the presence of the person, office-holder, or rank-holder, especially by a military band. The head of state A head of state (or chief of s ...
s. Some of these anthems have survived into current use. "
God Save the King "God Save the Queen", alternatively "God Save the King" (dependent on the gender of the reigning monarch), is the national anthem, national or royal anthem in most Commonwealth realms, their territories, and the British Crown dependencies. The ...
/Queen", first performed in 1619, remains the royal anthem of the United Kingdom and the
Commonwealth realms A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. Each realm functions as an independent state, equal with the other realms. In 1952, Elizabeth II was the monarch and head of state of seven ind ...

Commonwealth realms
. , adopted as the royal anthem of the Spanish monarchy in 1770, was adopted as the national anthem of Spain in 1939. Denmark retains its royal anthem, (1780) alongside its national anthem (, adopted 1835). In 1802,
Gia Long Gia Long (; 8 February 1762 – 3 February 1820), born Nguyễn Phúc Ánh or Nguyễn Ánh, was the first Emperor of the Nguyễn dynasty of Vietnam. Unifying what is now modern Vietnam in 1802, he founded the Nguyễn dynasty, the last of the ...
commissioned a royal anthem in the European fashion for the Nguyễn dynasty, Kingdom of Vietnam. Following the reinstating of La Marseillaise in 1830, in the wake of the July Revolution, as the national anthem of France, it became common for newly formed nations to define national anthems, notably as a result of the Latin American wars of independence, for Argentina (1813), Peru (1821), Brazil (1831) but also Belgium (1830). Consequently adoption of national anthems prior to the 1930s was mostly by newly formed or newly independent states, such as the First Portuguese Republic (, 1911), the Kingdom of Greece ("Hymn to Liberty", 1865), the First Philippine Republic (, 1898), Lithuania (, 1919), Weimar Germany (, 1922), Republic of Ireland (, 1926) and Greater Lebanon ("Lebanese National Anthem", 1927). Though the custom of an officially adopted national anthem became popular in the 19th century, some national anthems predate this period, often existing as patriotic songs long before their designation as national anthem. If an anthem is defined as consisting of both a melody and lyrics, then the oldest national anthem in use today is the national anthem of the Netherlands, the ''Wilhelmus''. Written between 1568 and 1572 during the Dutch Revolt, it was already a popular Orangism (Dutch Republic), orangist hymn during the 17th century, though it would take until 1932 for it to be officially recognized as the Dutch national anthem. The lyrics of the Japanese national anthem, , predate those of the Dutch anthem by several centuries, being taken from a Heian period (794–1185) poem, but were not set to music until 1880. If a national anthem is defined by being officially designated as the national song of a particular state, then , which was officially adopted by the French National Convention in 1796, would qualify as the first official national anthem. The Olympic Charter of 1920 introduced the ritual of playing the national anthems of the gold medal winners. From this time, the playing of national anthems became increasingly popular at international sporting events, creating an incentive for such nations that did not yet have an officially defined national anthem to introduce one. The United States introduced the patriotic song ''The Star-Spangled Banner'' as a national anthem in 1931. Following this, several nations moved to adopt as official national anthem patriotic songs that had already been in ''de facto'' use at official functions, such as Mexico (, composed 1854, adopted 1943) and Switzerland ("Swiss Psalm", composed 1841, ''de facto'' use from 1961, adopted 1981). By the period of decolonisation in the 1960s, it had become common practice for newly independent nations to adopt an official national anthem. Some of these anthems were specifically commissioned, such as the anthem of Kenya, , produced by a dedicated "Kenyan Anthem Commission" in 1963. A number of nations remain without an official national anthem. In these cases, there are established ''de facto'' anthems played at sporting events or diplomatic receptions. These include the United Kingdom ("God Save the Queen") and Sweden (). Countries that have moved to officially adopt their long-standing ''de facto'' anthems since the 1990s include: Luxembourg (, adopted 1993), South Africa ("National anthem of South Africa", adopted 1997), Israel (, composed 1888, ''de facto'' use from 1948, adopted 2004), Italy (, adopted 2017).


National anthems are used in a wide array of contexts. 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. There may also be
royal anthem The honors music for a person, office or rank is music played on formal or ceremonial occasions in the presence of the person, office-holder, or rank-holder, especially by a military band. The head of state A head of state (or chief of s ...
s, presidential anthems, state anthems etc. for special occasions. They are played on National Day, national holidays and festivals, and have also come to be closely connected with sporting events. Wales was the first country to adopt this, during a Rugby football, rugby game against New Zealand in 1905. Since then during sporting competitions, such as the Olympic Games, the national anthem of the gold medal winner is played at each Podium, medal ceremony; also played before games in many sports leagues, since being adopted in baseball during World War II. When teams from two nations play each other, the anthems of both nations are played, the host nation's anthem being played last. In some countries, the national anthem is played to students each day at the start of school as an exercise in patriotism, such as in Tanzania. In other countries the state 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. For instance, the national anthem of China is played before the broadcast of evening news on Hong Kong's local television stations including TVB Jade. In Colombia, it is a law to play the National Anthem of Colombia, National Anthem at 6:00 and 18:00 on every public radio and television station, while in Thailand, "Phleng Chat Thai" is played at 08:00 and 18:00 nationwide (the Phleng Sansoen Phra Barami, Royal Anthem is used for sign-ons and closedowns instead). The use of a national anthem outside of its country, however, is dependent on the international recognition of that country. For instance, Taiwan has not been Political status of Taiwan, recognized by the International Olympic Committee as a separate nation since 1979 and must compete as Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, Chinese Taipei; its "National Banner Song" is used instead of its National Anthem of the Republic of China, national anthem. In Taiwan, the country's national anthem is sung before instead of during Flag of the Republic of China, flag-rising and flag-lowering, followed by the National Banner Song during the actual flag-rising and flag-lowering. Even within a state, the state's citizenry may interpret the national anthem differently (such as in the United States some view the The Star-Spangled Banner, U.S. national anthem as representing respect for dead soldiers and policemen whereas others view it as honoring the country generally). Various solutions may be used when countries with different national anthems compete in a unified team. When North Korea and South Korea Korea at the 2018 Winter Olympics, participated together in the 2018 Winter Olympics, the folk song "Arirang," beloved on both sides of the border and seen as a symbol of Korea as a whole, was used as an anthem instead of the national anthem of either state.


Most of the best-known national anthems were written by little-known or unknown composers such as Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, composer of "La Marseillaise" and John Stafford Smith who wrote the tune for "The Anacreontic Song", which became the tune for the U.S. national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." The author of "God Save the Queen", one of the oldest and best-known anthems in the world, is unknown and disputed. Very few countries have a national anthem written by a world-renowned composer. Exceptions include Germany, whose anthem "Das Lied der Deutschen" uses a melody written by Joseph Haydn, and Austria, whose national anthem "Land der Berge, Land am Strome" is sometimes credited to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The "Anthem of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic" was composed by Aram Khachaturian. The music of the "Pontifical Anthem", anthem of the Vatican City, was composed in 1869 by Charles Gounod, for the golden jubilee of Pope Pius IX's priestly ordination. The committee charged with choosing a Negaraku, national anthem for the Federation of Malaya (later Malaysia) at independence decided to invite selected composers of international repute to submit compositions for consideration, including Benjamin Britten, William Walton, Gian Carlo Menotti and Zubir Said, who later composed "Majulah Singapura", the national anthem of Singapore. None were deemed suitable. The tune eventually selected was (and still is) the Allah Lanjutkan Usia Sultan, anthem of the constituent state of Perak, which was in turn adopted from a popular French melody titled "La Rosalie" composed by the lyricist Pierre-Jean de Béranger. A few anthems have words by Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel laureates in literature. The first Asian laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, wrote the words and music of "Jana Gana Mana" and "Amar Shonar Bangla", later adopted as the national anthems of India and Bangladesh respectively. Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson wrote the lyrics for the Norwegian national anthem "Ja, vi elsker dette landet". Other countries had their anthems composed by locally important people. This is the case for Colombia, whose National Anthem of Colombia, anthem's lyrics were written by former president and poet Rafael Núñez (politician), Rafael Nuñez, who also wrote the country's first constitution, and in Malta, written by Dun Karm Psaila, already a National poet, National Poet. A similar case is Liberia, the national All Hail, Liberia, Hail!, anthem of which was written by its third president, Daniel Bashiel Warner.


A national anthem, when it has lyrics (as is usually the case), is most often in the national language, national or most common language of the country, whether ''de facto'' or Official language, official, there are notable exceptions. Most commonly, states with more than one national language may offer several versions of their anthem, for instance: *The "Swiss Psalm", the national anthem of Switzerland, has different lyrics for each of the country's four official languages (French, German, Italian and Romansh language, Romansh). *The national anthem of Canada, "O Canada", has official lyrics in both English and French which are not translations of each other, and is frequently sung with a mixture of stanzas, representing the country's Bilingualism in Canada, bilingual nature. The song itself was originally written in French. *"Amhrán na bhFiann, The Soldier's Song", the national anthem of Ireland, was originally written and adopted in English, but an Irish translation, although never formally adopted, is nowadays almost always sung instead, even though only 10.5% of Ireland speaks Irish natively. *The current National anthem of South Africa, South African national anthem is unique in that five of the country's eleven official languages are used in the same anthem (the first stanza is divided between two languages, with each of the remaining three stanzas in a different language). It was created by combining two songs together and then modifying the lyrics and adding new ones. *The former country of Czechoslovakia combined the two national anthems of the two lands; the first stanza consisting of the first stanza of the Czech anthem "Kde domov můj", and the second stanza consisting of the first stanza of the Slovak anthem "Nad Tatrou sa blýska". *One of the two official national anthems of New Zealand, "God Defend New Zealand", is now commonly sung with the first verse in Māori language, Māori ("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. *"God Bless Fiji" has lyrics in English and Fijian language, Fijian which are not translations of each other. Although official, the Fijian version is rarely sung, and it is usually the English version that is performed at international sporting events. *Although Singapore has Languages of Singapore, four official languages, with English being the current ''lingua franca'', the national anthem, "Majulah Singapura" is in Malay language, Malay and, by law, can only be sung with its original Malay lyrics, despite the fact that Malay is a minority language in Singapore. This is because Part XIII of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore declares, "the national language shall be the Malay language and shall be in the Roman script […]" *There are several countries that do not have official lyrics to their national anthems. One of these is the "Marcha Real", the national anthem of Spain. Although it originally had lyrics, those lyrics were discontinued after governmental changes in the early 1980s after Francisco Franco's dictatorship ended. In 2007, a national competition to write words was held, but no lyrics were chosen. Other national anthems with no words include "Inno Nazionale della Repubblica", the national anthem of San Marino, that of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that of
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of Europe. There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly becau ...

from 1990 to 2000, and that of Kosovo, entitled "Europe (anthem), Europe". *The national anthem of India, "Jana Gana Mana": the official lyrics are in Bengali language, Bengali; they were adapted from a poem written by Rabindranath Tagore. *Despite the most common language in Wales being English, the Welsh national anthem "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" is sung in the Welsh language. *The unofficial national anthem of Finland, "Maamme", was first written in Swedish language, Swedish and only later translated to Finnish. It is nowadays sung in both languages as there is a Finland Swedish, Swedish speaking minority of about 5% in the country. The national anthem of Estonia, "Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm" has a similar melody with "Maamme", but only with different lyrics and without repeating the second halfs of strophes. ''Finlandia'' has been repeatedly suggested to be the official national anthem of Finland.YLE Uutiset: Sibeliuksen Finlandia syntyi vapauden kaipuusta, sävelet kertovat Suomen kansan noususta
/ref> *The national anthem of Pakistan, the "Qaumi Taranah", is unique in that it is entirely in Persian language, Farsi (Persian) with the exception of one word which is in Urdu, the national language.

See also

* Royal anthem, for a monarch or representative of a monarch, often in addition to a national anthem * Honors music, often performing segments of national or royal anthems * Earth Anthem, Earth anthem (unofficial), any song or music with the planet Earth in an exalted role * List of national anthems * List of historical national anthems * List of anthems of non-sovereign countries, regions and territories



External links
national anthems of every country in the world (and historical national anthems) with streaming audio, lyrics, information and links
lyrics and history of national anthems
Recordings of countries' anthems (mp3 files)

Recordings of countries' anthems around the world
by the United States Navy Band {{DEFAULTSORT:National Anthem National anthems, Articles containing video clips Dutch inventions