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National Anthems of the World

Contributed by Jack Kopstein

A national anthem, hymn, or song is a generally patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people. It is recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people. The majority of national anthems are either marches or hymns in style. The countries of Latin America tend to lean towards more operatic pieces, while a handful of countries use a simple fanfare.

Although national anthems are usually in the most common language of the country, whether existing or official, there are notable exceptions. For example, India's anthem, "Jana Gana Mana," is in a highly Sanskritized version of Bengali. States with more than one national language may offer several versions of their anthem. For instance, Switzerland's anthem has different lyrics for each of the country's four official languages, French, German, Italian and Romansh. Canada's national anthem has different lyrics for both of the country's official languages, English and French, and on some occasions is sung with a mixture of stanzas taken from its French and English versions. South Africa's national anthem is unique in that five of the country's eleven official languages are used in the same anthem. The first stanza is divided between two languages, with each of the remaining three stanzas in a different language. Apart from "God Save the Queen," the New Zealand national anthem is now traditionally sung with the first verse in Māori, "Aotearoa," and the second verse in English, "God Defend New Zealand." The tune is the same, but the words are not a direct translation of each other. Another multilingual country, Spain, has no words in its anthem, "La Marcha Real," although in 2007 a national competition to write words was unsuccessfully launched.

National anthems rose.....

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Community Band Spotlight

The Gainesville Community Band

The Gainesville Community Band (GCB) was founded in 1974, by seven members to provide free, public performances to the Gainesville community.  Today the band boasts up to 120 members.  On May 1, 1978 the band was designated the “Official Band of the City of Gainesville” by the City Commission.  And on November 22, 1994, the Alachua County Board of Commissioners named the band the “Official Band of Alachua County.” 

The band is an all-volunteer group, and its members have many different professions including teachers, professors, scientists, business professionals, physicians, contractors, realtors, trades-persons, retirees, and students.  The band is a great place to give musicians a place to play after high school and college.  Not only do members volunteer to play for the band, but several players provide time of their own to help with promotional, organizational, logistical, mechanical areas, graphic design expertise, music compositions and arrangements, computer services, and printing services.  Several members are professional musicians who perform with other groups and organizations, but also volunteer their time and talents with the Gainesville Band....

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Submit your stories and pictures!

Here is your chance to be part of a new CD! We are looking for fan stories and pictures of women during World War II. Our theme is "Rosie the Riveter."

Please submit entries to with the subject line 'Rosie the Riveter.'

We would love to make this CD about our fans and their stories. If we include your story in the liner notes, you will receive a FREE copy!

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Let us know what you think about these stories and more at our blog! Please leave us a comment telling us what you think and to further discuss these topics by clicking on any of the "Read More" links above to go to that entry at the blog, or click here. Thanks for reading!

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