FAROE ISLANDS: Mítt alfagra land
("My Land, Oh Most Beautious")

The Faroe Islands (meaning "Sheep Islands") are a group of eighteen islands in the north Atlantic Ocean between Scotland and Iceland. Only one of the islands remains uninhabited. The population of the Faroes is largely descended from Viking settlers who arrived in the 9th century. The Faroe Islands have been connected politically to Denmark since the fourteenth century but since 1948 have had self-government in almost everything except matters of defence and foreign affairs. The words of the Faroese national anthem were written by Símun av Skarõi (1872 -1942) who was a Faroese poet, politician and teacher. He founded Føroya Fólkaháskúli (the Faroese folk high school) in 1899, and worked there as head teacher from 1899 for the rest of his life - about 43 years.

Petur Alberg, the composer of the music, was born in Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands and spent most of his life there. Sólvør Henriksen, of the National Library of the Faroe Islands writes, Around the year 1900, Alberg started to play the violin, which began his career as a composer and songwriter. As well as the national anthem of the Faroe Islands, Alberg composed other choral works. His songs are still well known on the Islands. At the age of 23 he went to Norway to study painting. Later in life, he became a writer of the journal "Baldursbrá". The national anthem is often known as "Tú alfagra land mítt", for these are the words of the first line.

Many elaborate arrangements have been made of this melody, including one by the conductor Herbert von Karajan. Because of the large number of languages spoken in faroes, the anthem is an instrumental version only, with the original German lyrics having no official status.

   CLICK TO HEAR THE PIANO VERSION OF THIS ANTHEM (MP3: 890k).

Click on the yellow "PREVIEW SCORE" button below to see the first page of the score. Use the underlined links in the table below to download the instrumental parts in pdf format. I recommend you have Adobe Reader on your computer before you download the music, because this will allow the printed music to open automatically as it downloads. If you don't have it, you can get your free copy here. The music has been digitally scanned at 1200 dpi for professional results but the actual output will depend on your own printer settings. Always consult local expertise before performing an anthem in an unfamiliar country.



Eysturoy is the second largest island in the Faroes with a population of ten thousand. Located at the center of the islands, Eysturoy is connected by a bridge to the island of Streymoy. The photo shows the church in the village of Glyvrar, one of several villages on the eastside of Skalafjørður (fjord) that have gradually grown into a 10 kilometre long conurbation. The church was built in 1927 and was substantially restored in 1981.

Photo: © Roy/Toftir (Framtak)



Instrumental Parts



These arrangements have been written so that they can be played by virtually any combination of wind instruments. If you'd like to see my suggestions for standard ensembles, e.g. symphonic band, brass band and so on, please click here. In theory, the arrangements could be also played by strings (which is why one part is available in the alto clef) but because the arrangements tend to use flat keys they will be limited to more experienced string players. The table below shows the instrumental options for each part. You may find this helpful if you prefer to "do your own thing" with the instrumental voicing to get an individual sound. You can just pick and mix from the selection below.

FULL INSTRUMENTAL SCORE

PART 1: MELODY LINE


Part 1 in C
In the treble clef but written in octaves, to extend the possible uses. Suitable for: flutes, piccolos, oboes, glockenspiels or other C-melody instruments such as violins

Part 1 in B flat
One tone higher than concert pitch. Suitable for: clarinets, trumpets, cornets, flugelhorns.

Part 1 in E flat
Major sixth above concert pitch. Suitable for: alto saxophone, Eb clarinet

Part 1a in E flat
Minor third lower than concert pitch. Suitable for: solo Eb cornet.


PART 2: ALTO LINE


Part 2 in C
Same as Part 2 in C but written in octaves. Suitable for: flutes, oboes, or other C-melody instruments such as violins.

Part 2 in B flat
This part is written one tone higher than concert pitch. Suitable for: trumpets, cornets, clarinets or Bb soprano saxophones.

Part 2 in E flat
Major sixth above concert pitch. Suitable for: Eb alto saxophone, Eb clarinet


PART 3: TENOR LINE (a)

Part 3 in C
At concert pitch in the bass clef. It is intended for trombone in stage band use, normally a little high for concert band or symphonic band. Suitable for: trombones.

Part 3 in F
One fifth higher that concert. Suitable for: French horns.

Part 3 in E flat
One sixth higher than concert. Suitable for: Eb tenor horns or alto saxophones.

Part 3 in B flat
One ninth above concert. Suitable for: Bb tenor saxophones, Bb baritones.

Part 3a in B flat
One tone above concert. Intended for 3rd Bb clarinets in symphonic or marching bands but could be used by other Bb instruments.

Part 3 in C (alto)
At concert pitch in the alto clef. May be useful when arrangements played by strings.

PART 4: TENOR LINE (b)


Part 4 in C
At concert pitch in the bass clef. Suitable for: trombones, bassoons.

Part 4 in F
One fifth higher that concert. Suitable for: French horns

Part 4 in E flat
One sixth higher than concert. Suitable for: Eb tenor horns or alto saxophones.

Part 4 in B flat
One ninth above concert. Suitable for: Bb tenor saxophones, Bb baritones, euphoniums.

PART 5: BARITONE LINE

Part 5 in C
At concert pitch in the bass clef. Suitable for: trombones, bassoons.

Part 5 in B flat
One ninth above concert. Suitable for: Bb tenor saxophones, Bb baritones, euphoniums.

PART 6: BASS LINE

Part 6 in C
At concert pitch in the bass clef in octaves. Suitable for: bass trombones, contrabassoon, tubas

Part 6 in E flat
Octave and sixth higher than concert in treble clef. Suitable for: Eb basses, Eb baritone saxophone.

Part 6 in B flat
One ninth higher than concert in treble clef. Suitable for: Bb basses, Bb contrabass clarinet.

PERCUSSION AND TIMPANI

Each anthem is supplied with a percussion part that requires three players: snare drum, bass drum and cymbals. In all the arrangements, the timpani part is limited to three drums and generally percussion has been scored somewhat lightly. Of course, if you are playing as a string ensemble or brass ensemble, the percussion would be omitted altogether.

PIANO REDUCTION


This is a piano reduction of the full score and is intended to be used when the ensemble contains a piano, or when there are gaps in the ensemble. With the piano reduction, you can play this anthem as an instrumental solo, duet or trio. Anything!

















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