|English: Royal March|
1761 sheet music
National anthem of Spain
|Also known as||
"La Marcha Granadera"|
English: "The Grenadier March"
|Music||Manuel de Espinosa de los Monteros, 1761, Bartolomé Pérez Casas (orchestration, 1908), Francisco Grau (harmonization, 1997)|
The "Marcha Real" (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmaɾtʃa reˈal], "Royal March") is the national anthem of Spain. It is one of only four national anthems in the world (along with those of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and San Marino) that has no official lyrics. Although it had lyrics in the past, they are no longer used.
One of the oldest in the world, the Spanish national anthem was first printed in a document dated 1761 and entitled Libro de la Ordenanza de los Toques de Pífanos y Tambores que se tocan nuevamente en la Ynfantª Española (Book of the Ordenance of Newly Played Military Drum and Fife Calls by The Spanish Infantry), by Manuel de Espinosa. There, it is entitled "La Marcha Granadera" (English: "March of the Grenadiers"). According to the document, Manuel de Espinosa de los Monteros is the composer.
There is a false belief that its author was Frederick II of Prussia, a great lover of music. That started in 1861 when it appears for the first time published in La España militar (Military Spain). In 1864, the colonel Antonio Vallecillo published the story in the diary El Espíritu Público (The Public Spirit), claiming the supposed Prussian origin of Marcha Real popular. According to Vallecillo, the anthem was a gift from Frederick II to the soldier Juan Martín Álvarez de Sotomayor, who was serving in the Prussian Court to learn the military tactics developed by Frederick II's army, under orders of King Charles III. In 1868, the history is published in Los Sucesos, changing the destinatary of the gift with Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, Count of Aranda. The myth was picked up in different publications of 1884 and 1903 until it was included in 1908 in the Enciclopedia Espasa.
According to the tradition in 1770, Charles III declared the "Marcha de Granaderos" as the official Honor March, and that formalized the habit of playing it in public and solemn acts. It became the official anthem during Isabel II's reign.
After the 1868 Revolution, General Prim convoked a national contest to create an official anthem, but it was declared deserted, advising the jury that "Marcha de Granaderos" was considered as such. By Alfonso XIII's time, it was established by a Royal Circular Order (27 August 1908) that interpreted the harmonization of the march done by Bartolomé Pérez Casas, Major Music of the Royal Corps of Halberdier Guards. During the Second Republic, Himno de Riego was adopted as official anthem, but after the Spanish Civil War, "Marcha Real" returned to be used as anthem, sometimes sung with the verses written by the poet José María Pemán in 1928.
The actual symphonic version of the "Marcha Real" that replaces the Pérez Casas one belongs to maestro Francisco Grau and is the official one after the Royal Decree of 10 October 1997, when the Kingdom of Spain bought the author rights of the Marcha Real, then belonging to Pérez Casas's heirs. According to the Royal Decree 1560/1997, it should be in the key of B flat major and a tempo of 76 bpm (♩=76), with a form of AABB and a duration of 52 seconds.
Under the Trienio Liberal (1820–1823), the First Spanish Republic (1873–74) (when it enjoyed of a co-officiality) and the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939), El Himno de Riego replaced La Marcha Real as the national anthem of Spain. At the conclusion of the Spanish Civil War, however, Francisco Franco restored La Marcha Real as the country's national anthem, under its old title of La Marcha Granadera.
The current official version of "Marcha Real", as described in Royal Decree 1560/1997, is a sixteen-bar long phrase, divided in two sections, each one is made up of four repeated bars (AABB form). Tempo is set to ♩= 76 and key to B flat.
The long, complete version is the honors music for the King, while a shorter version without the repetitions is performed for the Princess of Asturias, the President of the Government of Spain, or during sporting events.
There are also three official arrangements: one for orchestra, another for military band, and a third for organ, written by Francisco Grau Vegara and requested by the Government of Spain. All in all, there are six different official adaptations, for each arrangement and length. They all were recorded by the Spanish National Orchestra and the Spanish Royal Guard Band as an official recording and released on compact disc for a limited period of time.
As the harmonisation of "Marcha Real" was written by Pérez Casas in the early 20th century, the copyright has not yet expired. The government bought it from Pérez Casas' estate in 1997 for 130 million pesetas (781,315.734 euros) to avoid future legal problems. Until it expires, the copyright belongs to the Ministry of Culture and collecting societies charge copyright fees, which has led to criticism.
As a result, many different harmonisations have been devised by performers to avoid paying. Nonetheless, the rights to the 1997 Francisco Grau revision were transferred to the government at no charge, but they were not placed in the public domain.
Though the Marcha Real has no lyrics, words have been written and used for it in the past. One version was used during Alfonso XIII's reign and another during the Francoist State; however, none of them were ever made official. The national anthem has been played without words since 1978, when the lyrics that had been approved by General Francisco Franco were abandoned.
After witnessing a rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" at Anfield in 2007, the President of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE), Alejandro Blanco, said he felt inspired to seek lyrics to "La Marcha Real" ahead of Madrid's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games. That same year Telecinco, enticed by the COE, organized a National contest and posted 25 different lyrics on their website which they thought best matched COE's requirements. The winner was chosen after 40,000 people voted. The lyrics by Enrique Hernández-Luike, magazine publisher and poet, spoke of freedom, peace and the Constitution. The winning lyrics were sang by the Ronda de Aranzueque choir in Pastrana, and filmed by German television. However, the COE organized a new competition for the lyrics, which resulted in between 2,000 and 7,000 entries (depending on source). A private team of jurors chose the entry by Paulino Cubero, then unemployed. The new lyrics received big criticism, resulting in them being pulled only five days later, and the idea was scrapped indefinitely.
Alfonso XIII lyrics
- Lyrics by Eduardo Marquina (1879–1946)
|Spanish lyrics||English translation|
La bandera de España (Coro)
España guiadora (Solo)
¡Viva España!... (Coro)
Flag of Spain (Chorus)
- Other language translation
|Basque language version||Catalan Translation||Galician Translation|
La bandera de España (Coro)
Bandera d'Espanya (Coro)
Bandeira de España (Coro)
- Lyrics adapted from an earlier version on 1928 written by José María Pemán (1897–1981) during the reign of Alfonso XIII and the government of Miguel Primo de Rivera (Original text in Spanish). The changes intended to fit the symbols of the initially fascist ideology of Francisco Franco, referred to as National-Catholicism, which were the "salute with the extended right arm" and the "yoke and arrows" this last one used in the Middle Ages by Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon to represent the union of their dynasties and their kingdoms.
|Spanish lyrics||English translation|
¡Viva España! Alzad los brazos, hijos
Long live Spain! Raise your arms, sons
- other language translation
gloria de tradiciones,
con la sola ley
que puede prosperar.
que es madre de Naciones,
con Dios, Patria, Rey
con que supo imperar.
Guerra al perjuro
traidor y masón,
que con su aliento impuro
hunde la nación.
Es su bandera
la historia de su gloria;
por ella dará
su vida el español
que en rojo de amor
un rayo de sol.
- English language version
Long live Spain,
glory of traditions,
with the single law
that can thrive.
Long live Spain,
the mother of Nations,
with God, Fatherland, King
with which it knew how to reign
War on the perjured
traitor and Mason,
that with his impure breath
sinks the nation
It is its flag
the history of its glory;
for it will the Spaniard
give his life
which is red from love,
imprisons a lively
ray of sunshine.
- Basque Translation
Dios, Patria, Rey
dituen. gailenduko zuen
traidorea eta Hargin,
bere arnasa ezpuruetan
nazioaren lotzen zaio.
Zure bandera da
bere aintza istorioa;
Espainiako bere bizitza
gorria maite duten
- Catalan Translation
glòria de tradicions,
amb la sola llei
que pot prosperar.
que és mare de Nacions,
amb Déu, Pàtria, Rei
amb que va saber imperar.
Guerra al perjur
traïdor i maçó,
que amb el seu alè impur
enfonsa la nació.
És la seva bandera
la història de la seva glòria;
per ella donarà
la seva vida l'espanyol
que en vermell d'amor
un raig de sol.
- Galician Translation
gloria de tradicións,
coa única lei
a nai das Nacións,
Deus, Patria, Rei
que el prevalece.
Guerra en que cometeu perxurioer
traidor e Albanel,
co seu impuro hálito
mergulla a nación.
é a súa bandeira
a historia da súa gloria;
polo que vai manter
súa vida no Español
o amor que vermello
un raio de sol.
Interpretation and etiquette
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Military bands of the Spanish Armed Forces and the National Police Corps of Spain and civilian Marching bands and Concert bands play the B flat-major version of the anthem adapted for wind bands (as arranged by Francisco Grau), and playing the A Major version is optional.
The bugle call "To the Colors" in Spain is the version played by Bugle bands in Spanish churches in religious occasions and processions organized by civil groups and the parishes. Various versions adapted for the drum and the bugle are used, even though brass instruments play the anthem as well. But in some bugle bands, the A flat version of the anthem (the old official one, adapted for the bugle) is played. Only a bugle call is sounded when the B flat version is played.
Being the national anthem, and in honor of the King and the Queen of Spain, it is common for all to stand once it is played. Even though it is also played in church events, respect for the royal family is required by everyone in attendance. As it happens civilians stand at attention, and those in uniform salute when not in formation.
- "Spain – Marcha Real". NationalAnthems.me. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- "Real Decreto 1560/1997, de 10 de octubre, por el que se regula el Himno Nacional". Boletín Oficial del Estado. 1997 (244). 11 October 1997.
- Official anthem release album cover.
- "Real Decreto 1543/1997, de 3 de octubre, sobre adquisición por el Estado de los derechos de explotación de determinadas obras musicales y encomienda de su administración al Ministerio de Educación y Cultura". Boletín Oficial del Estado. 1997 (243). 10 October 1997.
- "El himno da aún mucho dinero". Crónica. #604. May 27, 2007.
"Cuando el himno es de un particular". Periodista Digital. May 27, 2007.
- "Real Decreto 2027/1998, de 18 de septiembre, de aceptación de la cesión gratuita efectuada por el maestro don Francisco Grau Vergara de los derechos de explotación por la revisión y orquestación del Himno Nacional y atribución de la administración de tales derechos al Ministerio de Educación y Cultura". Boletín Oficial del Estado. 1998 (233). 29 September 1998.
- Elkington, Mark (January 16, 2008). "Divisive national anthem lyrics ditched". Reuters. Retrieved 2016-08-24.
- Liverpool fans help inspire Spain to write words to anthem Archived 2008-10-11 at WebCite Reuters, 5 June 2007
- Spain to add lyrics to wordless national anthem MSNBC, 26 June 2007
- "Lost for Words", The Economist, Vol 384 Number 8539.
- "El concurso para poner letra al Himno Nacional de la web de Telecinco ya tiene ganador" (in Spanish). Diario ABC. July 18, 2007. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
- "El concurso para poner letra al Himno Nacional de la web de Telecinco ya tiene ganador" (in Spanish). La Crónica de Guadalajara. September 20, 2007. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
- "'¡Viva España! Cantemos todos juntos con distinta voz y un solo corazón'" (in Spanish). Unidad Editorial. January 11, 2008. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
- Garrido,Héctor M. (January 16, 2008). "El himno de España vuelve a quedarse sin letra" (in Spanish). Grupo PRISA. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
- El Himno Nacional Español se encuentra regulado por el REAL DECRETO 1.560/1997, DE 10 DE OCTUBRE
- The National Anthem (Prime Minister's Office site)
- Streaming audio, lyrics and information about the Marcha Real
- 2008 Spanish National Anthem Lyrics in English and in Spanish
- MIDI File
- MP3 version by Band of Regimento Inmemorial del Rey N°1
- UNANU – The "Union Nacional de Antiguos Oficiales y Suboficiales de las Milicias Universitarias" has a website about the anthem, with a complete instrumental version. Archived from the original on 22 October 2004.
- English translation of the proposed new lyrics