African Anthem Tuba Quartet

By: Enoch Sontonga
For: Quartet of Tubas
page one of African Anthem Tuba Quartet

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Composer
Enoch Sontonga
Year of composition
1897
Difficulty
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
Duration
1 minute
Genre
World music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

The African Anthem arranged for Classical Tuba Quintet.

This is not an anthem for a nation, but for a whole continent. Originating with the Bantu people in South Africa, it is now sung throughout Africa in various languages. The melody is also used by Zambia, South Africa and Tanzania in their respective National Anthems.

"Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" (Xhosa pronunciation: [ŋkʼɔsi sikʼɛlɛl‿iafrikʼa], lit. 'Lord Bless Africa') is a Christian hymn originally composed in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a Xhosa clergyman at a Methodist mission school near Johannesburg. The song became a pan-African liberation song and versions of it were later adopted as the national anthems of five countries in Africa including Zambia, Tanzania, Namibia and Zimbabwe after independence. Zimbabwe and Namibia have since adopted new compositions for their national anthems. The song's melody is currently used as the national anthem of Tanzania and the national anthem of Zambia. In 1994, Nelson Mandela decreed that the verse be embraced as a joint national anthem of South Africa, with a revised version including elements of "Die Stem" (the then co-state anthem inherited from the previous apartheid government) adopted in 1997.

The hymn has often been considered the "African national anthem" due to its reverence of the African continent and the hymns use as liberation music. According to anthropologist David Coplan: " 'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika' has come to symbolize more than any other piece of expressive culture the struggle for African unity and liberation in South Africa."

"Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" was originally composed as a hymn in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga, a teacher at a Methodist mission school near Johannesburg. Some claim the melody is based on the hymn "Aberystwyth" by Joseph Parry, though others have called the connection far fetched. The words of the first stanza and chorus were originally written in Xhosa as a hymn. In 1927 seven additional Xhosa stanzas were added by the poet Samuel Mqhayi. Sontonga originally composed the hymn in B-flat major with a four-part harmony supporting a repetitive melody characteristic of "both Western hymn composition and indigenous South African melodies." The hymn was taken up by the choir of Ohlange High School, whose co-founder served as the first president of the South African Native National Congress. It was sung to close the Congress meeting in 1912, and by 1925 it had become the official closing anthem of the organisation, now known as the African National Congress."Sikelel' iAfrika" was first published in 1927. The song was the official anthem for the African National Congress during the apartheid era and was a symbol of the anti-apartheid movement. For decades during the apartheid regime it was considered by many to be the unofficial national anthem of South Africa, representing the suffering of the oppressed masses. Because of its connection to the ANC, the song was banned by the regime during the apartheid era.

In 1994, after the end of apartheid, the new President of South Africa Nelson Mandela declared that both "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" and the previous national anthem, "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" (English: "The Call of South Africa") would be national anthems. While the inclusion of "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" celebrated the newfound freedom of most South Africans, the fact that "Die Stem" was also retained even after the fall of apartheid, represented the desire of the new government led by Mandela to respect all races and cultures in an all-inclusive new era dawning upon South Africa. During this period, the custom was to play "Die Stem" together with "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" during occasions that required the playing of a national anthem.

In 1996, a shortened, combined version of the two compositions was released as the new national anthem of South Africa under the constitution of South Africa and was adopted the following year. This version uses several of the official languages of South Africa. The first two lines of the first stanza are sung in Xhosa and the last two in Zulu. The second stanza is sung in Sesotho. The third stanza consists of a verbatim section of the former South African national anthem, "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika", and is sung in Afrikaans. The fourth and final stanza, sung in English, is a modified version of the closing lines of "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika".

A Swahili version of the hymn with modified lyrics is used as the national anthem of Tanzania under the name of "Mungu ibariki Afrika".

Former national anthem:

Zambia: The hymn was the national anthem of Zambia from independence in 1964 until 1973 when the lyrics were replaced by "Stand and Sing of Zambia, Proud and Free".

Zimbabwe: "Ishe Komborera Africa" was the Zimbabwean version of "God Bless Africa" sung in the Shona and Ndebele languages and was its first national anthem, adopted upon independence in 1980.

It was replaced in 1994 by "Ngaikomborerwe Nyika yeZimbabwe/Kalibusiswe Ilizwe LeZimbabwe" (English: "Blessed be the land of Zimbabwe"), but still remains very popular in the country.

Namibia:

"Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" was used provisionally as the national anthem of Namibia at time of the country's independence in March 1990. But soon after, an official contest was organised for a new national anthem. It was won by Axali Doeseb, who wrote "Namibia, Land of the Brave" which was officially adopted on the first anniversary of the country's independence, in 1991.

Other countries and organisations:

In other African countries throughout southern Africa, the song was sung as part of the anti-colonial movements. It includes versions in Chichewa (Malawi and Zambia). Outside of Africa, the hymn is perhaps best known as the long-time (since 1925) anthem of the African National Congress (ANC), as a result of the global anti-Apartheid Movement of the 1970s and 1980s, when it was regularly sung at meetings and other events.

In Finland the same melody is used as the children's psalm "Kuule, Isä taivaan, pyyntö tää" ("Hear, Heavenly Father"). The hymn has appeared in Virsikirja, the hymnbook of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, with lyrics by Jaakko Löytty.

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O Mio Babbino Caro for C Trombone, Euphonium, Baritone & Piano (Pro version), Dutch National Anthem ''Wilhelmus van Nassouwe'' for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Czech Republic National Anthem for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Hungarian National Anthem (Himnusz) for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Finnish National Anthem ''Maamme'' for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Liechtensteiners National Anthem for Symphony Orchestra (Keith Terrett Olympic Anthem Series), Croatian National Anthem for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Cuban National Anthem for Symphony Orchestra (KT Olympic Anthem Series), Portuguese National Anthem ''A Portuegesa'' ''The Song of the Portuguese'' for Symphony Orchestra (Keith Terrett Olympic Anthem Series), Slovakian National Anthem ''Nad Tatrou sa blýska'' for Symphony Orchestra (Keith Terrett Olympic Anthem Series), Anthem of the United Federation of Planets for Brass Quintet, Welsh Regional Anthem for Symphony Orchestra (Commonwealth Games Anthem Series) , French National Anthem ''La Marsellaise'' for Symphony Orchestra (KT Olympic Anthem Series), Vedrò con mio diletto Aria:from the Opera ''Il Giustino" for C Tuba & Keyboard, Azores Regional Anthem (Hymn of the Azores- "Hino dos Açores" ) for Brass Quintet, Islands & Mountains for Brass Choir & Percussion, Indian National Anthem ''Jana Gana Mana'' for Young Symphonic Band, Romani National Anthem (’’Gelem, Gelem’’ - ’’Romale Shavale’’) for Brass Quintet, Transkei National Anthem “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” “God Bless Africa” 1981-1994 for Brass Quintet, Pitcairn National Song (Come ye Blessed-Pitcairn Anthem-The Royal Telephone) for Brass Quintet, Sint Maarten National Anthem ’’Wilhelmus van Nassouwe’’ for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Qatari National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World Nnational Anthem), Ethiopian National Anthem (Wodefit Gesgeshi, Widd Innat Ityopp’ya) for Brass Quintet (World National Anthem Series), Chilean National Anthem (Canción Nacional) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Ciskei National Anthem “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” “God Bless Africa” 1981-1994 for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Congo (Democratic Repubic) National Anthem (Debout Kongolaise-Arise Congolese) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Vanuatu National Anthem ("Yumi, Yumi, Yumi"- "We, We, We") for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Guinea National Anthem (Libertè) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Comoran National Anthem "Udzima wa ya Masiwa" -"The Union of the Great Islands" for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Equatorial Guinea National Anthem 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), Dominican National Anthem ’’Isle of beauty, Isle of Slendour’’ for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Frankie & Johnny for C Tuba & Piano, O Sole Mio for Eb Tenor/Alto Horn & Piano, Cwm Rhondda for Tuba Quartet, Beninese National Anthem (The Dawn of a New Day-L’Aube Nouvelle) for Brass Quintet (World National Anthem Series), Zimbabwean National Anthem ''Kalibusiswe Ilizwe le Zimbabwe'' for Brass Quintet ''MFAO World National Anthem Series'', Ivorian (Ivory Coast) National Anthem (Song of Abidjan-L’ Abidjanaise) for Brass Quintet (World National Anthem Series), French Guianese National Anthem (La Marsellaise) for Brass Quintet, Caymanian National Anthem (God Save our Gracious Queen) for Brass Quintet, Tongan National Anthem ’’Ko e fasi ’o e tu’ o e ’Otu Tonga’’ - ’’The Song of the King of the Tongan Islands’’ for Brass Quintet, Cameroon National Anthem (O Cameroon, Cradle of our Forefathers) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Nicaraguan National Anthem (Salve a ti, Nicaragua -Hail to thee, Nicaragua)) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Bahamian National Anthem (Oh Bahamaland) for Brass Quintet, Guatemalan National Anthem (Himno Nacional de Guatemala) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Kenyan National Anthem (Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu-Oh God of All Creation) for Brass Quintet, Central African Republic National Anthem "La Renaissance" for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), El Salvadorian National Anthem (Himno nacional) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Arcadian Local Anthem “Ave, Maris Stella” (Latin) “Hail, Star of the Ocean” for Brass Quintet & Percussion (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Taiwanese National Anthem (The Republic of China) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Canary Islands Official Regional Anthem for Brass Quintet & Percussion (MFAO World National Anthem Series), SUO-GAN for C Tuba & Piano (BC), Jasmine Flower (The) for C Tuba & Piano, Curaçaoan National Anthem (Himno di Korsou) for Brass Quintet MFAO World National Anthem Series MFAO World National Anthem Series, Northern Mariana Islands Commonwealth Song (Im Schoensten Wiesengrunde) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Lebanese National Anthem (National Hymn of Lebanon) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Indian National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Arioso (Sinfonia to Cantata Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe) for C Euphonium & Harpsichord , Chorale Partita with Seven Variations for Trombone Quintet (1 Alto, 3 Tenors & Bass), The Saint’s Visit Havana with a Touch of W.A.M. for C Tuba & Piano, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot for Tuba Quintet, Vesti La Giubba for Bb Trumpet & Piano (Pro version), Lithuanian National Anthem for String Orchestra (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Zambian National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Spanish National Anthem (Marcha Real) for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Faroese National Anthem for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series), Air from the Suite No. 3 in D for Flexible Band with Drum set, Czardas for C Tuba & Piano, Havana Rhubarb Rumba for Two Tubas & Piano, The Internationale (Soviet Russia 1918-22) for Brass Quintet & Percussion and Vatican State National Anthem - Inno e Marcia Pontificale “Pontifical Anthem” “Hymnus Pontificius” for Brass Quintet (MFAO World National Anthem Series)

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