Fact File – About our National Anthem
By Menin Rodrigues
August 14, 2019 – Every year come the Independence Day of Pakistan, we get
emotional (and rightly so) about our ‘one and only’ National Anthem, and in our
enthusiasm create our own versions of the music to stake a claim and bask in its glory!
Usually, it is the ever-energetic youth of our country, our popular crooners and bands,
instrumentalists and our special-event planners who, out of exuberance introduce
various variations of the anthem to the delight of the audiences, live and virtual. It is a
credit to their patriotism that they present these versions because, indeed, each one,
sung or played, is beautiful.
So, here is my point, qualified and quantified:
This day, August 14, 2019, the 72 nd Independence Day of Pakistan, I came across
numerous versions of the anthem on the social media, as well as animated versions
presented at special events, and thought it was necessary to throw some light on facts.
To start with, this is what I wrote on some social media timelines:
All variations of our National Anthem are beautiful, BUT the real version
of the anthem can ONLY be played by a brass band – when a multitude of
instruments, EACH playing their own dedicated parts, come together in a
symphony that is second to none, globally!
It ONLY sounds CORRECT when a military brass band, of any country
(and they don’t need to know the tune) READS the notated music on the
sheets, and play the parts AS NOTATED, period. Recently, I heard the
military bands of the US, Malaysia and Turkey, play our National
Anthem, CORRECTLY – did they know the tune, NO!
So here it is, the music of our national anthem has been notated, separately, for each of
the following instruments, and when it is played together (ably conducted by a music
director in the know how of orchestral compositions) presents the symphony that
heralds our National Anthem, the way it was composed (in 1952) and supposed to have
been played – for all time’s sake!
These instruments (in a brass band ensemble of 50 musicians or more) include,
trombone (2 or 4), trumpet (up to 12), cornet (up to 4), B-flat clarinet (6-8), E-flat
clarinet (2-4), alto-saxophone (2-4), tenor-saxophone (2), French-horn (2), side-drums
(up to 12), bass-drum (one) euphonium (2) and the tuba (one)! Even the ‘Triangle’ and
the ‘Cymbal’ must know when to strike! If you take away a part of any ONE instrument,
there is no anthem, just a tune which anyone can serenade, hum or whistle!
Hope the real value and connotation of the music of our national anthem is derived from
the above information ©