SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka Matha

Like so many other national anthems, the Sri Lankan anthem came about as a result of a competition. Independence from Great Britain was granted to Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) in 1948. The feeling of patriotism gained momentum and on the recommendation of the Sri Lankan authorities a competition was organised. Ananda Samarakoon's composition Namo Namo Matha (written in 1940 with Sinhalese words) was evenually chosen as the National Anthem on 22nd November 1951. A Tamil translation by another writer was later made. It is one of the few national anthems in which both words and music were written by the same person. The first broadcast performance was given on Independence Day, February 4th, 1952 by a group of 500 students from Musaeus College, Colombo. Sri Lanka Matha means Mother Lanka. The anthem is also known as Namo Namo Matha, the text of the first line.

Despite his exotic name, Ananda Samarakoon (sometimes written Samarakone, which looks even more exotic) was born George Wilfred Alwis to a Christian family in Padukka, Ceylon. He was given a Christian education but later renounced Christianity in favour of Buddhism. As well as a composer, Samarakone was also a talented painter and in the late 1940s, spent several years in India where his art exhibitions were evidently highly acclaimed. Despite his apparent successes, he took his own life at the age of fifty one.

   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.



A young dancer from the town of Kandy in Central Sri Lanka. Kandy’s biggest attraction is the Esala Peraharaa 10-day pageant which leads up to the full moon in July. Many youngsters take part in the dancing. Until recently, under the old caste system, Kandyan dancing was an art handed down from father to son.

(Photo: Tom Tidball)



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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