Home > Brass quintet > Japanese National Anthem (Kimiyago - “君が代”) for Brass Quintet

Japanese National Anthem (Kimiyago - “君が代”) for Brass Quintet

Composer
Hirimori Hayashi
Arranger
Difficulty
Easy (Grades 1-3)
Duration
1 minute
Genre
Classical music
Instrumentation
Brass quintet
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Grenada) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Ecuadorian National Anthem for Brass Quintet, Northern Mariana Islands Commonwealth Song (Im Schoensten Wiesengrunde) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Nigerian National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Cuban National Anthem (Himno Nacionale de La Repùblica De Cuba La Bayamesa) for Brass Quintet MFAO World National Anthem Series, Puerto Rican Commonwealth Anthem “La Borinqueña’’ for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Timor Leste National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Swing Low, Sweet Chariot for Trombone, Euphonium, Baritone & Keyboard, Vietnamese National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Columbian National Anthem for Brass Quintet (Himno Nacionalion de la Republica de Columbia) MFAO World National Anthem Series, Uruguayan National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Georgian National Anthem ’’Tavisupleba’’ for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Taiwanese National Anthem (The Republic of China) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Greek & Cypriot National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Saint Kittitian and Nevisian National Anthem ’’Land of Beauty’’ for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Sengalese National Anthem “Pincez Tous vos Koras, Frappez les Balafons” - “Pluck Your Koras, Strike the Balafons” for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Fijian National Anthem “Dwelling in Beulah Land”. “Meda Dau Doka” for Brass Quintet (MFAO World Anthem Series), Mongolian National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Djiboutanian National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Zimbabwean National Anthem ''Kalibusiswe Ilizwe le Zimbabwe'' for Brass Quintet ''MFAO World National Anthem Series'', Austrian National Anthem (Land der Berge, Land am Strome) for Brass Quintet ''MFAO World National Anthem Series'', Gabonaise National Anthem (La Concord) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Aruban National Anthem for Brass Quintet (World National Anthem Series), Micronesian National Anthem ’’Wir hatten gebauet ein stattliches Haus’’ for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Bolivian National Anthem (Canción Patriotica Himno Nacional de Bolivia), (Bolivians, a most Favorable Destiny) for Brass Quintet (World National Anthem Series), Romanian National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Beninese National Anthem (The Dawn of a New Day-L’Aube Nouvelle) for Brass Quintet (World National Anthem Series), Guinea National Anthem (Libertè) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Trinidadian & Tobagonian National Anthem for Brass Quintet, European Regional Anthem for Brass Quintet (World National Anthem Series), Allegro from Torelli’s Trumpet Concerto in D arr. for Euphonium & Keyboard, Norwegian National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Russian Federation National Anthem (Hymne National de Russe) for Brass Quintet (World National Anthem Series), Faroese National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Swedish National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Cape Verde National Anthem “Cântico da Liberdade” - “Song of Freedom” for Brass Quintet (World National Anthem Series), United States of America National Anthem (The Star Spangled Banner) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Ethiopian National Anthem (Wodefit Gesgeshi, Widd Innat Ityopp’ya) for Brass Quintet (World National Anthem Series), Ukrainian National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Abkhas National Anthem (Aiaaira) for Brass Quintet & Optional Percussion, Cornish Regional Anthem “Can Tus West” for Brass Quintet, Transkei National Anthem “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” “God Bless Africa” 1981-1994 for Brass Quintet, Basque Local Anthem “Eusko Abendaren Ereserkia” (Basque) “Anthem of the Basque Ethnicity” for Brass Quintet & Percussion, Bermudan Local Anthem (“Hail to Bermuda”) for Brass Quintet, Katanga Provincial Anthem (“La Katangaise”) for Brass Quintet, Lullaby for a Trombonist/Euphophonist, Keyboards & Double/Electric Bass, Seychelles (Koste Seselwa-Seychellois, Unite!) 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Kimigayo arranged for classical Brass Quintet.

Kimi ga Yo (Kimi ga Yo), often translated as "May your reign last forever" is Japan’s national anthem, and is also the world’s shortest national anthems in current use with 11 measures and 32 characters. The lyrics are based on a Waka poem written in the Heian period, sung to a melody written in the later Meiji Era. The current melody was chosen in 1880, replacing an unpopular melody composed eleven years earlier.

Although Kimi ga Yo had long been Japan’s de facto national anthem, it was only legally recognized as such in 1999 with the passing of a bill on national flag and anthem. After its adoption, there was controversy over the performance of the anthem at public school ceremonies. Along with the Hinomaru flag, Kimi ga Yo is claimed by some to be a symbol of Japanese imperialism and militarism.

While in use since the early 1880s as a national anthem on a de facto basis, and the words to the anthem are from the tenth century or earlier, making “Kimigayo” the oldest national anthem in that sense, the government only officially adopted the anthem in 1999. The government presented its interpretation of the meaning of the anthem “Kimigayo” in the Diet during the deliberation of a bill to codify the country’s national flag and anthem. At the plenary session of the House of Representatives of the Diet held on June 29, 1999, Prime Minister Obuchi explained as follows: “Kimi in ‘Kimigayo’, under the current Constitution of Japan, indicates the Emperor, who is the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power; ‘Kimigayo’ as a whole depicts the state of being of our country, which has the Emperor – deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power – as the symbol of itself and of the unity of the people; and it is appropriate to interpret the words of the anthem as praying for the lasting prosperity and peace of our country.”

It is not known who first wrote the words of the anthem. They first appeared in the Kokinshu, a collection “of ancient and modern poems” dating from the tenth century. From very early times, the poem was recited to commemorate auspicious occasions and at banquets celebrating important events. The words were often put to music and were also used in fairy tales and other stories and even appeared in the Edo-period popular fiction known as ukiyo-zoshi and in collections of humorous kyoka (mad verse).

When the Meiji period began in 1868 and Japan made its start as a modern nation, there was not yet anything called a “national anthem.” In 1869 the British military band instructor John William Fenton, who was then working in Yokohama, learned that Japan lacked a national anthem and told the members of Japan’s military band about the British national anthem “God Save the King.” Fenton emphasized the necessity of a national anthem and proposed that he would compose the music if someone would provide the words. The band members requested Artillery Captain Oyama Iwao, who was well versed in Japanese and Chinese history and literature, to select appropriate words for such an anthem. Fenton put his own music to the “Kimigayo” words selected by Oyama, and the first “Kimigayo” anthem was the result. The melody was, however, completely different from the one known today. It was performed, with the accompaniment of brass instruments, during an army parade in 1870, but it was later considered to be lacking in solemnity, and it was agreed that a revision was needed. In 1876, Osamu Yusuke, the director of the Naval Band, submitted to the Navy Ministry a proposal for changing the music, and on the basis of his proposal it was decided that the new melody should reflect the style used in musical chants performed at the imperial court. In July 1880, four persons were named to a committee to revise the music. They were Naval Band director Nakamura Yusuke; Army Band director Yotsumoto Yoshitoyo; the court director of gagaku (Japanese court music) performances, Hayashi Hiromori; and a German instructor under contract with the navy, Franz Eckert. Finally a melody produced by Hiromori Hayashi was selected on the basis of the traditional scale used in gagaku. Eckert made a four-part vocal arrangement, and the new national anthem was first performed in the imperial palace on the Meiji Emperor’s birthday, November 3, 1880. This was the beginning of the “Kimigayo” national anthem we know today.

There has been some opposition lately to the “Kimigayo” both within Japan and in other east Asian countries, for its association with militarism, and for the virtual worship of the emperor in the lyrics.

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