The National Anthem is the symbol of the state and the musical embodiment of nationalistic commitment, just like a flag or coat of arms. Many national anthems had their origins in the 18th and 19th centuries, with the emergence of a sense of national pride as explorers discovered new lands and empires expanded.
Most of these songs were written for specific historic occasions, such as the founding of a state. Patriotic in character, the anthems proclaim independence and sovreignty. Nowadays, anthems are familiar features of international sporting events, as well as of political and state occasions. The music provides a dignified welcome to honour guests and convey a sense of community.
This collection of 50 national anthems includes historical details and background as well as a reliable guide to learning the words.