Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Naomi Shemer wrote the original song for the Israeli Music Festival on 15 May 1967, the night after Israel's nineteenth Independence Day. She chose the then-unknown Shuli Nathan to sing the song. At that time, the Old City was under Jordanian rule; Jews had been barred from entering, and many holy sites had been desecrated. Only three weeks after the song was published, the Six-Day War broke out. The song was the battle cry and morale booster of the Israeli troops. Shemer even sang it for them before the war and festival, making them among the first in the world to hear it.
The song has been translated loosely into many languages. It was also chosen as the "Song of the Year" in Israel in 1967. The song is the corps song of the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps. The corps sings it before every competition.
Music critic Jody Rosen comments that a 1906 Jewish dialect novelty song, "When Mose with His Nose Leads the Band", contains a six-note fragment that is "instantly recognizable as the opening strains of "God Bless America"". He interprets this as an example of Berlin's "habit of interpolating bits of half-remembered songs into his own numbers." Berlin, born Israel Baline, had himself written several Jewish-themed novelty tunes.
In 1938, with the rise of Hitler, Berlin, who was Jewish, and a first-generation European immigrant, felt it was time to revive it as a "peace song", and it was introduced on an Armistice Day broadcast in 1938 sung by Kate Smith, on her radio show. Berlin had made some minor changes; by this time, "to the right" might have been considered a call to the political right, so he substituted "through the night" instead. He also provided an introduction that is now rarely heard but which Smith always used: "While the storm clouds gather far across the sea / Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free / Let us all be grateful for a land so fair, / As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer."
More than just the dramatic words and melody, the arrangement for Kate Smith's performance was accompanied by full band, progressing into a grand march tempo, with trumpets triple reinforcing the harmonies between stanzas: the dramatic build-up ends on the final exposed high note, which Kate Smith sang in the solo as a sustained a cappella note, with the band then joining for the finale.
The song was a hit; there was even a movement to make "God Bless America" the national anthem of the United States. However, there was strong opposition by conservative southerners as well as conservatives who lived in rural areas where there were no Jews living in it, stating that because Irving Berlin was a foreigner and a Jew, that they would not accept their national anthem to be composed by a member of the minority class. Congress would have had to repeal the "Star Spangled Banner" in both houses of congress by two-thirds of the votes, which they lacked to this very day.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Before 1971, the UAE were known as the Trucial States or Trucial Oman, in reference to a nineteenth-century truce between Britain and several Arab Sheikhs. The name Pirate Coast was also used in reference to the area's emirates in the 18th to early 20th century. The political system of the United Arab Emirates, based on the 1971 Constitution, comprises several intricately connected governing bodies. Islam is the official religion and Arabic is the official language.
The United Arab Emirates has the world's sixth largest oil reserves and possesses one of the most developed economies in the Middle East. It is currently the thirty-sixth largest economy by nominal GDP, and is one of the richest countries in the world by per capita gross domestic product, with a nominal per capita GDP of $54,607 as per the IMF. The country is fourteenth largest in purchasing power per capita and has a relatively high Human Development Index for the Asian continent, ranking 31st globally. The United Arab Emirates is classified as a high income developing economy by the IMF.
The United Arab Emirates is a founding member of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, and a member state of the Arab League. It is also a member of the United Nations, Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the OPEC, and the World Trade Organization.
The national anthem of the UAE, "Ishy Bilady" (Long Live My Nation) was without words (and a classic example of the style of anthem known as "Arab fanfare") until 1996, when words were written for it by Aref Al Sheikh Abdullah Al Hassan. The author of the music, Mohamad Abdel Wahab, also composed the music for the national anthem of Tunisia and the royal anthem of Libya (in use 1951-1969).
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Francisco Manuel da Silva, the anthem composer was born on February 21, 1795. He was a songwriter and music professor. He was born and died in Rio de Janeiro and was prominent in the musical life of Rio De Janeiro in the period between the death of Priest Jose Mauricio and Carlos Gomes. He was a singer of Capela Real since 1809, and later a cello player. He was one of the founders of Imperial Academia de Música e Ópera Nacional (National Imperial Music and Opera Academy), of Sociedade Beneficência Musical e Conservatório Imperial de Música, which become Instituto Nacional de Música (Nacional Music Institute) and is called Escola de Música da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro University Music School).
He was taught by Priest José Maurício Nunes Garcia and, most probably, by Sigismund Neukomm. He was directly responsible for Capela Imperial's reinstatement, the later being turned to its old beauty. He left a handful of works, spread around Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Sao Paolo's archives, covering Gospel Music, Mohindas and Lundus.
He wrote Brazil National Anthem (Hino Nacional Brazileiro) first as a patriotic march, since Dom Pedro I resignation, later being officialized as anthem by Brazilian Republic Revolution (1889). He also composed one opera Prestigio da Lei. He died on December 18, 1865 in Rio de Janeiro.
Above is a stamp of Brazil anthem composer Francisco Manuel da Silva issued in 1945.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
He was an Indonesian songwriter. He wrote and composed the national anthem of Indonesia, "Indonesia Raya" in 1927 and officially adopted in 1949. The song 'Indonesia Raya' was performed for the first time on October 28, 1928, at the closing ceremony of Youth Congress II held in Indonesia.
His father named Senen, was a sergeant in the 8th Battalion. Under the tutelage of his brother in-laws, WM Van Eldik (Sastromihardjo), he had learnt to pluck the guitar and fiddle the violin. In 1914 he went to Makassar to study Dutch at the Normaalschool, a night school. His education was financed by Willem Van Eldik. and he stayed there for three years. After finishing his education, he bacame a teacher in Angka and got his Klein Ambtenaar certificate two years later.
He formed a jazz group called Black and White and played with the band until 1924., after which he went to Surabaya and Bandung to become a newspaper correspondent of "Kaoem Moeda". On October 28, 1928, he performed as violinist, during the Second Youngster Congress with his composition "Indonesia Raya", a song that confessed one fatherland, one nation, one Indonesia.
Aside from Indonesia Raya, some of his other songs include: Bendera kita merah putih, Matahari Terbit Ibu Kita Kartini and Mars Kepandoen Bangsa Indonesia.
His death on August 17, 1938, was exactly seven years before the proclamation of the Indonesian independence.
The stamp above is a set of three stamps featuring Performing Arts (Soepratman, Music) issued in 1997.
During the International Congress of Gastroenterology held in Rome in 1988, special stamps were also issued. Two years before the event, Dr. Aldo Torsoli, then President of the Congress, proposed that working team committees be assigned to address medical issues not easily resolved by usual scientific inquiry or review. Continued support led to a series of functional gastrointestinal working teams between 1991 and 1994 that first developed guidelines for the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome- The Rome Criteria.
Other Gastroenterological events which issued stamps include: The First Bolivian-Japanese Gastroenterology Conference in La Paz, 1992, The 4th Asian Pacific Congress in Manila, Philippines, 1972 and the First Uruguayan Proctology Congress in Montevideo, 1965- one of the first GI event to issue a stamp.
Click here to go to series 2 on Gastroenterology on stamps.
Upper Silesia is situated in the Silesian highlands, between the upper Oder and upper Vistula rivers. The total population of the Upper Silesian Industry Area is 3,487,000. Opole Silesia, Cieszyn Silesia, and Austrian Silesia are historical parts of Upper Silesia. The territory of Opole Silesia composes much of Opole Voivodeship.
At the time of Svatopluk I and King Arnulf of Carinthia in the ninth century, Silesia was a part of Greater Moravia; after its destruction in the early tenth century, it was conquered by Bohemia. A number of earlier inhabitants of Silesia, the Silingi, remained in the region and they concentrated around the Zobten mountain and in a settlement named Niempsch (derived from a Slavic name for Germans).
Upper Silesia was soon conquered by the newly installed dukes of the Polans and for several hundred years was part of Poland. This arrangement fell apart and, during the re-establishment of Poland under Casimir the Great, all of Silesia was specifically excluded as non-Polish land. In 1335 it came back under the rule of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Many towns were destroyed by the Mongols at the Battle of Legnica but were later rebuilt. By the 1300s, the influx of settlers into Upper Silesia stopped because of the plague. Latin, Czech and German language were used in the towns and cities and only in the 1550s (during the Protestant Reformation) did records with Polish names start to appear. The Roman Catholic Holy Roman Emperors of the Habsburg dynasty forcibly reintroduced Catholicism, led by the Jesuits.
Lower Silesia and most of Upper Silesia became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1742 during the First Silesian War. A small part remained within the Habsburg-ruled Bohemian Crown as the Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia, colloquially called Austrian Silesia. In the 19th century, Upper Silesia became an industrial area taking advantage of its plentiful coal and iron ore.
In 1919, after World War I, the eastern part (with a majority of ethnic Poles) came under Polish rule as the Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship, while the mostly German-speaking western part remained part of the German Reich as the Province of Upper Silesia. From 1919-1921 three Silesian Uprisings occurred among the Polish-speaking populace of Upper Silesia; the Battle of Annaberg was fought in the region in 1921. In the Upper Silesia plebiscite, a majority of 60% voted against merging with Poland, with clear lines dividing Polish and German communities. The exact border, the maintenance of cross-border railway traffic and other necessary co-operations, as well as equal rights for all inhabitants in both parts of Upper Silesia, were all fixed by the German-Polish Accord on East Silesia, signed in Geneva on May 15, 1922. On June 20, Germany ceded, de facto, the eastern parts of Upper Silesia, becoming part of the Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship of Poland.
After 1945, almost all of Upper Silesia that was not ceded to Poland in 1922 was transferred to this state. A majority of the German-speaking population was expelled in accordance with the decision of the victorious Allied powers at their 1945 meeting at Potsdam. This expulsion program also included German speaking inhabitants of Lower Silesia, eastern Pomerania, Gdańsk (Danzig), and East Prussia. These German expellees were transported to the present day Germany (including the former East Germany), and they were replaced with Poles, many from former Polish provinces taken over by the USSR in the east. A good many German-speaking Upper Silesians were relocated in Bavaria. A small part of Upper Silesia stayed as part of Czechoslovakia as Czech Silesia.
The expulsions of German-speakers did not totally eliminate the presence of a population that considered itself German. Upper Silesia, in 1945, had a considerable number of Roman Catholic mixed bilingual inhabitants that spoke both German and Polish dialects, and their Polish linguistic skills were solid enough for them to be allowed to remain in the area. With the fall of communism and Poland joining the European Union, there were enough of these remaining in Upper Silesia to allow for the recognition of a German minority by the Polish government.
The postcard above features the cartooned score of the anthem of Upper Silesia. Below is the back of the postal card with stamps.