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National Anthem Mobile Ringtones

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National Anthem Mobile Ringtones

Download your country's national anthem to your mobile. Great to show your patriotic following for your country at sporting events around the world.

A national anthem is a generally patriotic musical composition that is evoking and eulogizing the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people.

Anthems rose to prominence in Europe during the nineteenth century; the oldest song purporting to be a national anthem is the "Wilhelmus" from the Netherlands, written between 1568 and 1572 during the Eighty Years' War. During the rise of the national state in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, most remaining nations adopted an anthem upon attaining nationhood. Because of European colonial influence, many were influenced in a similar way to adopt a national anthem, and thus several anthems outside Europe are in the European style. Only a handful of non-European countries have anthems rooted in indigenous traditions, including Japan, Costa Rica, Iran, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar.

The majority of national anthems are either marches or hymns in style. The countries of Latin America tend towards more operatic pieces, while a handful of countries use a simple fanfare. Anthems by their nature have to be brief (the average is about one minute in length), yet many, if not most, manage to make them musically significant, and a true representation of the nation's musical character.

Few anthems have been written by notable composers. The French anthem "La Marseillaise" was written by the otherwise unknown Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle; the tune of "The Star-Spangled Banner" was taken from "To Anacreon in Heaven" by the otherwise unknown Englishman John Stafford Smith; and "God Save the Queen" was written by a composer whose identity is not known with any certainty. While the music to the German anthem was written by Joseph Haydn to the words "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" in honour of the Habsburg Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, it became later known after its new text as "Das Lied der Deutschen," written in 1841 by Hoffmann von Fallersleben after the empire's dismembering.

Among the very few countries with an anthem written by a world renowned composer are: Germany, which uses one by Joseph Haydn; the Austrian national anthem which was possibly written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (though there is not a lot of evidence); the Vatican City, whose anthem was written by Charles Gounod; and Newfoundland (since 1949 no longer a separate state but a province of federal Canada) whose national anthem was by Sir Hubert Parry. Few anthems have been praised for having lyrics of any great poetic merit, though the Nobel prize winner and noted poet/author Rabindranath Tagore wrote the lyrics and music for both the Indian and the Bangladeshi national anthems, Jana Gana Mana and Amar Shonar Bangla, respectively. Nobel prize winner Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson wrote the lyrics for the Norwegian national anthem.

National anthems are used in a wide array of contexts. They are played on national holidays and festivals, and have also come to be closely connected with sporting events. At the Olympic Games and similar official international competitions the national anthem of the gold medal winner is played at each medal ceremony. National anthems are also played before games in many sports leagues. In some countries, the national anthem is played to students each day at the start of school, as an exercise in patriotism, similar to (and possibly combined with) a flag salute. In other countries the 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. On most occasions, only one stanza of the anthem is played (usually the first, although Germany uses the third).

Many states also have unofficial anthems, e.g., Vande Mataram in India, and nations in the cultural sense or other subnational units may also have royal anthems, presidential anthems, state anthems, or anthems for sub-national entities that are also officially recognized, notably as constitutive parts of (con)federal states, and may then tecnically be better described by an adjective referring to the legal status, e.g. regional anthem in the case of the regions of Belgium.

Larger entities also sometimes have anthems. There are a handful of multinational or international anthems. The tune of the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 is the official European anthem; the United Nations and the African Union also have unofficial anthems.

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