March of the Volunteers

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March of the Volunteers (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ) is the national anthem of the People's Republic of China (including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region since July 1, 1997 and the Macau Special Administrative Region since December 20, 1999), written by the noted poet and playwright Tian Han with music composed by Nie Er. This composition is a musical march. The piece was first performed as part of a 1934 Shanghai play and its original lyrics are the official lyrics of the national anthem. In 2004, a provision that the March of the Volunteers be the national anthem was added to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China as Article 136.


Origins as National Anthem

March of the Volunteers was composed by Nie Er to a text by Tian Han in 1934.[5] Popular stories suggest, however, that Tian wrote it on a tobacco paper after being arrested in Shanghai and thrown into a Kuomintang (KMT) jail in 1935. The song, was featured as the theme song of the 1935 patriotic film Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm, also known as "Children of the Storm," a story about an intellectual who leaves to fight in the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was one of many songs that were promoted secretly among the population as part of the anti-Japanese resistance during the "left-wing cinema movement" (1931-37).[6] The song was released as an album by the Pathé label of EMI in 1935.

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