For military band
Period of composition: 9 - 10 Jul 1957
Date notes

Britten notes in a letter to William Plomer on 10 Jul 1957 that he had for the last 24 hours been writing a 'National Anthem for Malay'.

Revised: 25 Jul 1957

The revisions consist of a 13-bar passage inserted into the middle of the original anthem, plus some changes to the military band arrangement.

Genre: Orchestral
Performing forces:

Fl=picc, cl in E flat, ob, solo cl in B flat, 3 cls in B flat, alto sax in E flat, ten sax in B flat, bsn - 4 hn in F (3 and 4 optional), 2 cornet in B flat, 2 trbn, bass trbn, euph, basses - drums, temple blocks (or sd)

The arrangement for military band was made by Norman Richardson. The instrumentation is for multiple forces unless specified as 'solo'.


By the chief minister of Malaysia on 19 Jun 1957.

The commission was made via Britten's publisher, Boosey & Hawkes.


The anthem was rejected by the chief minister of Malaysia and never performed in the composer's lifetime. An orchestration of the work by Tazul Tajuddin was performed at the Cadogan Hall, London, on 14 November 2007.