New version of Majulah Singapura debuts on 60th anniversary of Singapore's national symbols

The updated national anthem is fast and has got its rendition reduced by 5 seconds

Ushering a new era for the country, Singapore's new national anthem made its public debut during the 60th-anniversary celebrations of country's national symbols held at iconic National Gallery Singapore, located in Downtown Core of Singapore.

The new version of Majulah Singapura, which means 'onward Singapore' was played during the flag-raising ceremony held on the steps of the former City Hall. The radio stations also played the new rendition.

Those who were present to witness the historical moment included government officials along with members of the SAF Veterans' League, Team Singapore athletes, National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC) youth inspectors, youth leaders of the Youth Corps and Yuhua Secondary School students.

New version with improved acoustics

singapore national anthem
The new recording of Singapore's National Anthem was played to a crowd of about 40 people. MINISTRY OF CULTURE, COMMUNITY & YOUTH, SINGAPORE

The national anthem was sung for the first time on December 3, 1959, after the unfurling of Singapore's state flag by its first head of state Yusof Ishak. The glorious had marked the country's shift to self-governing state after its separation from Malaysia. It was on the same day that Singapore's national symbols; national anthem, state flag and state crest were unveiled.

Written by Zubir Said in 1958, the national anthem was originally composed in the Key of G major. It was relaunched again in the lower key of F major for a grander and more inspiring arrangement in 2001.

While lyrically no changes have been made in the new version of the National Anthem, it certainly carries a better and improved acoustics. With a slightly adjusted tempo, the musical arrangement in the new rendition would be heard better in the new age sound systems.

Updated anthem is five seconds shorter

Recorded at a faster pace by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, on August 7 at the Esplanade Concert Hall, the anthem is about five seconds shorter than its previous version. Lynette Seah, Cultural Medallion recipient who had led the orchestra in the recording during 2001, was this time too at the forefront.

While more voices are added in the national anthem, it retains its 2001 musical arrangement by composer Phoon Yew Tien. The conductor for the new national anthem was Joshua Tan Kang Ming, recipient of the Young Artist Award.

Singapore is proud of its anthem

Speaking about the historical moment, National Heritage Board chief executive Chang Hwee Nee said; "When the symbols were introduced 60 years ago, they marked a new beginning for the people of Singapore, a coming together of different races, different religions, under one flag and one destiny."

Expressing their delight to witness the moment, CPT (RET) Hong Seng Mak, 85, part of the SAF Veterans' League, said; "I felt 'very proud' to hear the national anthem, especially after having to sing the British anthem before."

Earlier, in their posts on Facebook Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that he looked forward to hearing the new recording of the National Anthem at many more National Day Parades and international sports competitions in future.