The "March of the Volunteers" is the national anthem of the People's Republic of China, including its special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. Unlike most previous Chinese state anthems, it is written entirely in the vernacular, rather than in Classical Chinese.
Its lyrics were composed as a dramatic poem by the poet and playwright, the Japan-educated Tian Han in 1934 and set to music by Nie Er from Yunnan Province the next year for the film Children of Troubled Times. It was adopted as the PRC's provisional anthem in 1949 in place of the "Three Principles of the People" of the Republic of China and the Communist "Internationale". When Tian Han was imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, the march was briefly and unofficially replaced by "The East Is Red", then played without words, then played with altered words. Restored to its original version, the "March of the Volunteers" was raised to official status in 1982, adopted by Hong Kong and Macau upon their restorations to China in 1997 and 1999, respectively, and included in the Chinese Constitution's Article 136 in 2004 (Article 141 in 2018).
The lyrics of the "March of the Volunteers", also formally known as the National Anthem of the People's Republic of China, were composed by Tian Han in 1934 as two stanzas in his poem "The Great Wall" (萬里長城), intended either for a play he was working on at the time or as part of the script for Diantong's upcoming film Children of Troubled Times. The film is a story about a Chinese intellectual who flees during the Shanghai Incident to a life of luxury in Qingdao, only to be driven to fight the Japanese occupation of Manchuria after learning of the death of his friend. Urban legends later circulated that Tian wrote it in jail on rolling paper or the liner paper from cigarette boxes after being arrested in Shanghai by the Nationalists; in fact, he was arrested in Shanghai and held in Nanjing just after completing his draft for the film. During March and April 1935, in Japan, Nie Er set the words (with minor adjustments) to music; in May, Diantong's sound director He Luting had the Russian composer Aaron Avshalomov arrange their orchestral accompaniment. The song was performed by Gu Menghe and Yuan Muzhi, along with a small and "hastily-assembled" chorus; He Luting consciously chose to use their first take, which preserved the Cantonese accent of several of the men. On 9 May, Gu and Yuan recorded it in more standard Mandarin for Pathé Orient's Shanghai branch[b] ahead of the movie's release, so that it served as a form of advertising for the film.
Originally translated as "Volunteers Marching On", the English name references the several volunteer armies that opposed Japan's invasion of Manchuria in the 1930s; the Chinese name is a poetic variation—literally, the "Righteous and Brave Army"—that also appears in other songs of the time, such as the 1937 "Sword March".
In May 1935, the same month as the movie's release, Lü Ji and other leftists in Shanghai had begun an amateur choir and started promoting a National Salvation singing campaign, supporting mass singing associations along the lines established the year before by Liu Liangmo, a Shanghai YMCA leader. Although the movie did not perform well enough to keep Diantong from closing, its theme song became wildly popular: musicologist Feng Zikai reported hearing it being sung by crowds in rural villages from Zhejiang to Hunan within months of its release and, at a performance at a Shanghai sports stadium in June 1936, Liu's chorus of hundreds was joined by its audience of thousands. Although Tian Han was imprisoned for two years, Nie Er fled toward Russia only to die en route in Japan,[c] and Liu Liangmo eventually fled to the U.S. to escape harassment from the Nationalists. The singing campaign continued to expand, particularly after the December 1936 Xi'an Incident reduced Nationalist pressure against leftist movements. Visiting St Paul's Hospital at the Anglican mission at Guide (now Shangqiu, Henan), W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood reported hearing a "Chee Lai!" treated as a hymn at the mission service and the same tune "set to different words" treated as a favorite song of the Eighth Route Army.
The Pathé recording of the march appeared prominently in Joris Ivens's 1939 The 400 Million, an English-language documentary on the war in China. The same year, Lee Pao-chen included it with a parallel English translation in a songbook published in the new Chinese capital Chongqing; this version would later be disseminated throughout the United States for children's musical education during World War II before being curtailed at the onset of the Cold War.[d] The New York Times published the song's sheet music on 24 December, along with an analysis by a Chinese correspondent in Chongqing. In exile in New York City in 1940, Liu Liangmo taught it to Paul Robeson, the college-educated polyglot folk-singing son of a runaway slave. Robeson began performing the song in Chinese at a large concert in New York City's Lewisohn Stadium. Reportedly in communication with the original lyricist Tian Han, the pair translated it into English and recorded it in both languages as "Chee Lai!" ("Arise!") for Keynote Records in early 1941.[e] Its 3-disc album included a booklet whose preface was written by Soong Ching-ling, widow of Sun Yat-sen, and its initial proceeds were donated to the Chinese resistance. Robeson gave further live performances at benefits for the China Aid Council and United China Relief, although he gave the stage to Liu and the Chinese themselves for the song's performance at their sold-out concert at Washington's Uline Arena on 24 April 1941.[f] Following the attack on Pearl Harbor and beginning of the Pacific War, the march was played locally in India, Singapore, and other locales in Southeast Asia; the Robeson recording was played frequently on British, American, and Soviet radio; and a cover version performed by the Army Air Force Orchestra appears as the introductory music to Frank Capra's 1944 propaganda film The Battle of China and again during its coverage of the Chinese response to the Rape of Nanking.
The "March of the Volunteers" was used as the Chinese national anthem for the first time at the World Peace Conference in April 1949. Originally intended for Paris, French authorities refused so many visas for its delegates that a parallel conference was held in Prague, Czechoslovakia. At the time, Beijing had recently come under the control of the Chinese Communists in the Chinese Civil War and its delegates attended the Prague conference in China's name. There was controversy over the third line, "The Chinese people face their greatest peril", so the writer Guo Moruo changed it for the event to "The Chinese people have come to their moment of emancipation". The song was personally performed by Paul Robeson.
In June, a committee was set up by the Communist Party of China to decide on an official national anthem for the soon-to-be declared People's Republic of China. By the end of August, the committee had received 632 entries totaling 694 different sets of scores and lyrics. The March of the Volunteers was suggested by the painter Xu Beihong and supported by Zhou Enlai. Opposition to its use centered on the third line, as "The Chinese people face their greatest peril" suggested that China continued to face difficulties. Zhou replied, "We still have imperialist enemies in front of us. The more we progress in development, the more the imperialists will hate us, seek to undermine us, attack us. Can you say that we won't be in peril?" His view was supported by Mao Zedong and, on 27 September 1949, the song became the provisional national anthem, just days before the founding of the People's Republic. The highly fictionalized biopic Nie Er was produced in 1959 for its 10th anniversary; for its 50th in 1999, The National Anthem retold the story of the anthem's composition from Tian Han's point of view.
The 1 February 1966 People's Daily article condemning Tian Han's 1961 allegorical Peking opera Xie Yaohuan as a "big poisonous weed" was one of the opening salvos of the Cultural Revolution, during which he was imprisoned and his words forbidden to be sung. As a result, there was a time when "The East Is Red" served as the PRC's unofficial anthem.[g] Following the 9th National Congress, "The March of the Volunteers" began to be played once again from the 20th National Day Parade in 1969, although performances were solely instrumental. Tian Han died in prison in 1968, but Paul Robeson continued to send the royalties from his American recordings of the song to Tian's family.
The tune's lyrics were restored by the 5th National People's Congress on 5 March 1978, but with alterations including references to the Communist Party, communism, and Chairman Mao. Following Tian Han's posthumous rehabilitation in 1979 and Deng Xiaoping's consolidation of power over Hua Guofeng, the National People's Congress resolved to restore Tian Han's original verses to the march and to elevate its status, making it the country's official national anthem on 4 December 1982.
The anthem's status was enshrined as an amendment to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China on 14 March 2004. On 1 September 2017, The Law of the National Anthem of the People's Republic of China, which protects the anthem by law, was passed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and took effect one month later. The anthem is considered to be a national symbol of China. The anthem should be performed or reproduced especially at celebrations of national holidays and anniversaries, as well as sporting events. Civilians and organizations should pay respect to the anthem by standing and singing in a dignified manner. Personnel of the People's Liberation Army, the People's Armed Police and the People's Police of the Ministry of Public Security salute when not in formation when the anthem is played, the same case for members of the Young Pioneers of China and PLA veterans.
The anthem was played during the handover of Hong Kong from Great Britain in 1997 and during the handover of Macau from Portugal in 1999. It was adopted as part of Annex III of the Basic Law of Hong Kong, taking effect on 1 July 1997, and as part of Annex III of the Basic Law of Macau, taking effect on 20 December 1999.
The use of the anthem in the Macau Special Administrative Region is particularly governed by Law №5/1999, which was enacted on 20 December 1999. Article 7 of the law requires that the anthem be accurately performed pursuant to the sheet music in its Appendix 4 and prohibits the lyrics from being altered. Under Article 9, willful alteration of the music or lyrics is criminally punishable by imprisonment of up to 3 years or up to 360 day-fines and, although both Chinese and Portuguese are official languages of the region, the provided sheet music has its lyrics only in Chinese. There are no analogous laws in mainland China.
Nonetheless, the Chinese National Anthem in Mandarin now forms a mandatory part of public secondary education in Hong Kong as well. The local government issued a circular in May 1998 requiring government-funded schools to perform flag-raising ceremonies involving the singing of the "March of the Volunteers" on particular days: the first day of school, the "open day", National Day (1 October), New Year's (1 January), the "sport day", Establishment Day (1 July), the graduation ceremony, and for some other school-organized events; the circular was also sent to the SAR's private schools. The official policy was long ignored, but—following massive and unexpected public demonstrations in 2003 against proposed anti-subversion laws—the ruling was reïterated in 2004 and, by 2008, most schools were holding such ceremonies at least once or twice a year. From National Day in 2004, as well, Hong Kong's local television networks—aTV, TVB, and CTVHK—have also been required to preface their evening news with government-prepared promotional videos including the national anthem in Mandarin. Initially a pilot program planned for a few months, it has continued ever since. Viewed by many as propaganda, even after a sharp increase in support in the preceding four years, by 2006 the majority of Hongkongers remained neither proud nor fond of the anthem.
A 1939 bilingual songbook which included the song called it "a good example of... copy[ing] the good points from Western music without impairing or losing our own national color". Nie's piece is a march, a Western form, opening with a bugle call and a motif (with which it also closes) based on an ascending fourth interval from D to G inspired by "The Internationale". Its rhythmic patterns of triplets, accented downbeats, and syncopation and use (with the exception of one note, F# in the first verse) of the G major pentatonic scale, however, create an effect of becoming "progressively more Chinese in character" over the course of the tune. For reasons both musical and political, Nie came to be regarded as a model composer by Chinese musicians in the Maoist era. Howard Taubman, the New York Times music editor, initially panned the tune as telling us China's "fight is more momentous than her art" although, after US entrance into the war, he called its performance "delightful".
|Traditional Chinese||English lyrics|
March on, heroic peoples of all ethnicities!
The march has been remixed by various performers:
Three Principles of the People
(1943-1949 in the Mainland and since 1949 in Taiwan)
| March of the Volunteers
God Save the Queen
(until Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong)
| March of the Volunteers
(until Transfer of sovereignty over Macau)
| March of the Volunteers
Arise! may refer to
"The March of the Volunteers", the Chinese national anthem, also sometimes known by the English translation of its refrain Qilai!
Arise!, an album by AmebixChildren of Troubled Times
Children of Troubled Times, also known as Fēngyǔn Érnǚ, Children of the Storm, and several other translations, is a patriotic 1935 Chinese film most famous as the origin of "The March of the Volunteers", the national anthem of the People's Republic of China. The movie was directed by Xu Xingzhi and written by Tian Han and Xia Yan. Yuan Muzhi plays an intellectual who flees the trouble in Shanghai to pursue the glamorous Wang Renmei only to join the Chinese resistance after the death of his friend.Chinese musicology
Chinese musicology is the academic study of traditional Chinese music. This discipline has a very long history. The concept of music, called 樂 (yuè), stands among the oldest categories of Chinese thought, however, in the known sources it does not receive a fairly clear definition until the writing of the Classic of Music (lost during the Han dynasty).Dalian Road station
Dalian Road (simplified Chinese: 大连路; traditional Chinese: 大連路; pinyin: Dàlián Lù) is an interchange station between Line 4 and Line 12 of the Shanghai Metro. Service began on Line 4 on 31 December 2005, while the interchange with Line 12 opened on 29 December 2013 with the initial, eastern section of that line from Tiantong Road to Jinhai Road.The National Anthem Park (国歌公园), in memorial of the March of the Volunteers, is located just beyond Exit 2.Historical Chinese anthems
Historical Chinese anthems comprise a number of Chinese official and unofficial national anthems composed during the early 20th century.
"Chinese national anthem" may refer to:
"March of the Volunteers" in the People's Republic of China
"National Anthem of the Republic of China" in the Republic of China on TaiwanJourney to the West (album)
Journey to the West is the soundtrack to the stage musical Monkey: Journey to the West and is composed by English musician Damon Albarn (of Blur and Gorillaz fame) with the UK Chinese Ensemble, the soundtrack itself is only based upon, but not a direct recording of the musical. The album was released as a download, CD, and double vinyl LP in the United Kingdom on 18 August 2008 by XL Recordings. In the United States, the album was released a day later as a download, while a CD was released on 23 September 2008.Music of Guangdong
Music of Guangdong is a synthesis of a number of local Guangdong folk music styles.
In modern times, the Chinese province of Guangdong has become known for Guangdong music (later Guangdong folk tunes), a synthesis of a number of local folk music styles (like kunqu opera), intended as an accompaniment for the region's folk operas when it arose along the Pearl River Delta in the 1920s. It gradually evolved into a string ensemble format by the 1960s, led by the gaohu with ruan, qinqin, yangqin, sanxian, yehu, and various woodwind (including houguan or saxophone) and percussion instruments. Formerly, bowed stringed instruments such as the erxian and tiqin were used. Compositions by the noted gaohu player Lü Wencheng (吕文成, 1898-1981) remain particularly popular.
Cantonese opera is popular in Pearl River Delta. Musical institutions in Guangdong include the Guangdong International Summer Music Festival.
Teochew music and Teochew opera is popular in Chaoshan.
Hakka music is literary and laid-back in tone, and consists entirely of five notes; many folk songs only use three notes.Music of Guizhou
Guizhou is a province of China. Their folk tradition includes the song "Red Flower", which spread across China in the 1950s. The song came from the Buyi people. The Shui people use instruments like the lusheng, bronze drums and horns.Music of Jiangxi
Jiangxi is a southeastern province of China. The area's musical heritage includes the Hakka music of Jiangzi, Fujian and Guangdong. Hakka music is literary and laid-back in tone, and consists entirely of five notes; many folk songs only use three notes.
Jiangxi's opera heritage is also important, having played a major role in the evolution of Beijing opera.Music of Jilin
Jilin is a northeastern province of China. The region is home to many kinds of musical theater, especially opera. These include styles like Huanglong opera, Xincheng opera, Jilin opera and errenzhuan (Bangzixi or Benbeng opera).
Errenzhuan is a popular kind of opera that evolved from a folk dance called dongbeidayangge and folk songs like lianhualao, a kind of ballad. Jilin opera is a recent invention, coming from 1959, while Fuyu County's Xincheng opera is based on Man octagonal drum music. The Huanglong opera of Nong'an County is based on shadow play.
Jilin's folk heritage includes Han wind music and dongbei dagu (drum storytelling), yangge music, the wuliger and halaibo singing traditions of the Mongols, and Korean gudaling and pansori.Music of Northeast China
The music of Northeast China is influenced by the folk traditions of the Manchu and other ethnic groups in the region. There is a great variety of music in the region, with the most well known throughout China possibly being the Youyouzha, a kind of lullaby that has spread throughout the country. Prominent performers from the Northeast include the mid-20th-century film composer Lei Zhenbang and pop stars Xiao Ke and Na Ying.
Ethnic Manchu music is dominated by percussion instruments and it has largely been influenced by their native shamanism. Two forms of drum prevail, the wooden framed imcin, and the metal framed dangu which also has a handle attached to the ring. The dangu is the instrument most strongly identified with Manchu shamans.
The octagonal drum is an important and distinctive musical instrument, said to derive from one made from eight pieces of wood given by the eight tribes of the Manchu people, thus symbolizing the unity of these tribes. During the Qing Dynasty, the instrument spread to Beijing and Tianjin, and is still known thereNational Anthem of the Republic of China
The "National Anthem of the Republic of China" is the national anthem of the Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan. It was originally adopted in 1937 by the ROC as its national anthem and was used as such until the late 1940s. It replaced the "Song to the Auspicious Cloud", which had been used as the Chinese national anthem before. In mainland China, this national anthem serves a historical role as the current national anthem of the People's Republic of China is the "March of the Volunteers". The national anthem was also adopted in Taiwan on 25 October 1945 after the surrender of Japan.
The national anthem's words are adapted from a 1924 speech by Sun Yat-sen, via the partisan anthem of the Kuomintang (KMT) in 1937. The lyrics relate to how the vision and hopes of a new nation and its people can be achieved and maintained. Informally, the song is sometimes known as San Min Chu-i from its opening line which references the Three Principles of the People (Sanmin Zhuyi), but this name is never used in formal or official occasions.National symbols of China
This is the current list of the national symbols of the People's Republic of China and of Taiwan.Nie Er
Nie Er (14 February 1912 – 17 July 1935), born Nie Shouxin, courtesy name Ziyi (子義 or 子藝), was a Chinese composer best known for "March of the Volunteers", the national anthem of China. In numerous Shanghai magazines, he went by the English name George Njal, after a character in Njal's Saga.Nie Er (film)
Nie Er, formerly romanized as Nieh Erh, is a 1959 biopic of the Chinese musician Nie Er, a Communist Party member who drowned in Japan during his flight to Russia away from Nationalist oppression. The story centers on his composition of "The March of the Volunteers", the theme song to the 1935 drama Children of Troubled Times which was later adopted as the national anthem of the People's Republic of China. The movie was released to coïncide with the 10th anniversary of the PRC's founding.The Battle of China
The Battle of China (1944) was the sixth film of Frank Capra's Why We Fight propaganda film series.The East Is Red (song)
"The East Is Red" (simplified Chinese: 东方红; traditional Chinese: 東方紅; pinyin: Dōngfāng Hóng) is a song that was the de facto national anthem of the People's Republic of China during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. The lyrics of the song were attributed to Li Youyuan, a farmer from northern Shaanxi, and the melody was derived from a local folk song. He allegedly got his inspiration upon seeing the rising sun in the morning of a sunny day.The National Anthem (film)
The National Anthem or Guoge (Chinese: 国歌) is a 1999 Chinese historical drama centered on the composition of "The March of the Volunteers", the theme song to the 1935 drama Children of Troubled Times which was later adopted as the national anthem of the People's Republic of China. The lyrics were composed by poet and playwright Tian Han (played by He Zhengjun) and set to music by the composer Nie Er (played by Chen Kun in his first role). The film is noteworthy for being told from the point of view of Tian, who fell from favor during the Cultural Revolution before being posthumously rehabilitated in the late 1970s. The movie was released to coïncide with the 50th anniversary of the PRC's founding.The timing and subject matter mirror the 1959 Nie Er, a highly fictionalized version of the same events which did not even include Tian.
The film was directed by Wu Ziniu on a budget of around 20 million RMB. It was a flop, estimated to have lost 9.93 million RMB at the box office; the movie still managed to turn a profit for the Xiaoxiang Film Studio, however, owing to its 9.6 million RMB in subsidies and a million-RMB excellence-in-filmmaking prize at the Huabiao Awards. It also won a special prize from the Golden Rooster Awards and best picture at the Hundred Flowers Awards.Tian Han
Tian Han (12 March 1898 – 10 December 1968), formerly romanized as T'ien Han, was a Chinese drama activist, playwright, a leader of revolutionary music and films, as well as a translator and poet. He emerged at the time of the New Culture Movement of the early 20th century and continued to be active until the Cultural Revolution, when he was attacked and died in jail before being posthumously rehabilitated by the Chinese authorities in 1979. He is considered by drama historians as one of the three founders of Chinese spoken drama, together with Ouyang Yuqian and Hong Shen. His most famous legacy may be the lyrics he wrote for "March of the Volunteers" in 1934, which were later adopted as the national anthem of the People's Republic of China.
|Hanyu Pinyin||Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ|
|Bopomofo||ㄧˋ ㄩㄥˇ ㄐㄩㄣ|
ㄐㄧㄣˋ ㄒㄧㄥˊ ㄑㄩˇ
|Gwoyeu Romatzyh||Yihyeongjiun Jinnshyngcheu|
|Yale Romanization||Yìyǔngjyūn Jìnsyíngchyǔ|
|Yale Romanization||Yihyúhnggwān Jeunhàhngkūk|
|Hanyu Pinyin||Zhōnghuá Rénmín|
ㄍㄨㄥˋ ㄏㄜˊ ㄍㄨㄛˊ
|Gwoyeu Romatzyh||Jonghwa Renmin|
|Yale Romanization||Jūnghwá Rénmín|
|IPA||[ʈʂʊ́ŋ.xwǎ ɻə̌n.mǐnkʊ̂ŋ.xɤ̌.kwǒ kwǒ.kɤ́]|
|Yale Romanization||Jūng'wàh Yàhnmàhn Guhng'wòhgwok Gwokgō|
|Jyutping||Zung1waa4 Jan4man4 Gung6wo4gwok3 Gwok3go1|
Chinese patriotic songs
|Republic of China|
|Chinese Soviet Republic and the|
People's Republic of China
|Republic of China on Taiwan|
National anthems of Asia
Italics indicates unrecognized or partially-recognized states.