Home > Brass quintet > Australian National Anthem for Brass Quintet in Bb (2Bb Tpts, 2 Bb Tbns & Eb Bass)

Australian National Anthem for Brass Quintet in Bb (2Bb Tpts, 2 Bb Tbns & Eb Bass)

Composer
Peter Dodds McCormick Arr:Keith Terrett
Arranger
Difficulty
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
Duration
1 minute
Genre
Classical music
Instrumentation
Brass quintet
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The national anthem of Australia arranged for Treble Clef brass such as:2 Bb Trumpet's, 2 Trombones/Euphoniums/Baritones & Eb Bass, in the key of Bb Concert.

"Advance Australia Fair" is the official national anthem of Australia. Created by the Scottish-born composer Peter Dodds McCormick, the song was first performed in 1878, and was sung in Australia as a patriotic song. It replaced ’God Save the Queen’. It did not gain its status as the official anthem until 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.

"Advance Australia Fair" was composed in the late 19th century by Peter Dodds McCormick under the pen-name "Amicus" (which means "friend" in Latin). It was first performed by Andrew Fairfax at a Highland Society function in Sydney on 30 November 1878. The song quickly gained popularity and an amended version was sung by a choir of around 10,000 at the inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901. In 1907 the Australian Government awarded McCormick £100 for his composition.

In a letter to R.B. Fuller, dated 1 August 1913, McCormick described the circumstances that inspired him to write "Advance Australia Fair":

One night I attended a great concert in the Exhibition Building, when all the National Anthems of the world were to be sung by a large choir with band accompaniment. This was very nicely done, but I felt very aggravated that there was not one note for Australia. On the way home in a bus, I concocted the first verse of my song & when I got home I set it to music. I first wrote it in the Tonic Sol-fa notation, then transcribed it into the Old Notation, & I tried it over on an instrument next morning, & found it correct. Strange to say there has not been a note of it altered since. Some alteration has been made in the wording, but the sense is the same. It seemed to me to be like an inspiration, & I wrote the words & music with the greatest ease.

The earliest known sound recording of "Advance Australia Fair" appears in The Landing of the Australian Troops in Egypt (circa 1916), a short commercial recording dramatising the arrival of Australian troops in Egypt en route to Gallipoli.

Before its adoption as Australia's national anthem, "Advance Australia Fair" had considerable use elsewhere. For example, Australia's national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Commission, used it to announce its news bulletins until 1952. It was also frequently played at the start or end of official functions. Towards the end of World War II it was played in picture theatres after "God Save the King" and the American national anthem.

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