On 3 December 2019, a new, re-recorded version of our National Anthem was unveiled for the first time in public on the steps of the National Gallery Singapore, 60 years after its debut.
Below, we take a look at what you need to know about the history of the National Anthem, it's latest version, and more.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SINGAPORE'S NATIONAL ANTHEM
3 December 1959 – 'Majulah Singapura' was composed in 1958 by the late Encik Zubir Said. Mr Ong Eng Guan, who was the Mayor of the City Council of Singapore at the time, approached Encik Zubir Said to write an official song for the City Council to commemorate the newly renovated Victoria Theatre. It was first played by the Singapore Chamber Ensemble. It was performed again on 3 December 1959 as Singapore's National Anthem.
19 January 2001 – A re-orchestrated version of 'Majulah Singapura' was launched in order to make the anthem more accessible to all Singaporeans. It was re-arranged by local composer and Cultural Medallion winner, Mr Phoon Yew Tien, in the musical key of F. This arrangement was chosen as it was deemed "grander and more inspiring". It was used as the official version of the National Anthem from 2001 till 2019.
3 December 2019 – To commemorate the National Symbols’ 60th anniversary, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) re-recorded the National Anthem. It retained Encik Zubir Said’s original lyrics and Mr Phoon Yew Tien’s arrangement, recognising the Anthem’s enduring and unifying qualities. The updated recording is of a higher quality, allowing Singaporeans to better appreciate the nuances of the music arrangement, especially in larger venues and modern sound systems.
The latest iteration of the National Anthem clocks in at 1 minute and 28 seconds, a whole five seconds shorter than 2001's version. The tempo of the newly recorded track has been slightly sped up, resulting in a shorter record.
The newest recording also showcases the improvements in audio technology over the past 20 years. The production quality is a lot cleaner, and thicker than its 2001 predecessor, and it's easy to hear every isolated instrument. It all comes together very neatly, and results in a richer final product.
REACTIONS TO THE LATEST RECORDING OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong:Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat:
Check out the newly recorded 2019 version of 'Majulah Singapura' below.
To download various versions of the track, such as choral and instrumental, or the scores for the track's composition, visit the National Heritage Board's official website.