February 16, 2017

Computer searches for composer of Dutch national anthem

Filed under: History,Music by Orangemaster @ 10:22 pm


According to Wikipedia the melody of the Dutch national anthem, the ‘Wilhelmus’ (‘the William’) was borrowed from a well known Roman Catholic French song titled “Autre chanson de la ville de Chartres assiégée par le prince de Condé” (YouTube song), which made fun of the failed Siege of Chartres in 1568 by the Huguenot Prince de Condé during the French Wars of Religion. The Dutch Protestants basically took over an anti-Protestant song, slowed it down like pros, and adapted it for their own Protestant agenda. And stealing songs back then was all very rap battle like and cool.

However, nobody knows for certain who wrote it, but now there’s a computer trying to figure it out by analysing a huge body of text. So far Petrus Datheen (1531-1588) is the frontrunner and while we’re at it, it has yet to be determined where, when and why the anthem was written. The oldest version of the anthem was written in German in 1573 and the oldest surviving Dutch version is 1576.

Here’s a lovely rendition of the modern-day Wilhelmus with subtitles. The explanation in the video’s comments lets you find out even more about other unanswered questions surrounding the Dutch national anthem.

(Link: nemokennislink, Photo by Quistnix, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 1.0)

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May 10, 2007

Dutch national anthem’s 75th birthday

Filed under: General,History,Music by Branko Collin @ 11:25 pm

dutch_flag.jpgMay 10 was the 75th birthday of “The William” (het Wilhelmus in Dutch) as the Dutch national anthem. Queen Wilhelmina ordained on May 10, 1932 that from that day on, the more popular song should replace the slightly xenophobic “Wien Neerlands Bloed” (“If Dutch blood flows through your veins / Free from foreign stains”), which had served as the first national anthem since 1815. Ironically, the latter song was expressly created to counter The William, which was considered a pro-protestant song, and therefore offensive to Roman Catholics.

That Queen Wilhelmina would pick a song with almost the same name as hers is no coincidence; she is a direct descendant of the William in the song. The William is the oldest national anthem in existence, as it was written in the 16th century. The lyrics of the Japanese national anthem are much older, but as a song it has ‘only’ existed since the 19th century.

Wikipedia has a very good article about The William.

(Via Geen Commentaar (Dutch). Photo by Quistnix, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 1.0.)

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