Honors music

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The honors music for a person, office or rank is music played on formal or ceremonial occasions in the presence of the person, office-holder, or rank-holder, especially by a military band. The head of state in many countries is honored with a prescribed piece of music; in some countries the national anthem serves this purpose, while others have a separate royal, presidential, or, historically, imperial anthem. Other officials may also have anthems, such as the vice-regal salute in several Commonwealth realms for the governor-general, governor, or lieutenant governor. Ruffles and flourishes may be played instead of, or preceding, honors music.

Current honors music

Countries where the national anthem is also the royal anthem include Jamaica,[1] Malaysia,[2] the Netherlands,[3] Norfolk Island, Spain, the United Kingdom, Brunei and Cambodia. Additionally, the royal anthems of both Denmark and New Zealand have co-official status as national anthem along with a separate national anthem.

Instances of honors music other than the relevant national anthem include the following:

Country Office/rank Music Notes
Antigua and Barbuda Monarch "God Save the Queen"
Australia Monarch "God Save the Queen"[4]
Other Royal Family members "God Save the Queen" First six bars only.[citation needed]
Governor-general, governors Vice-regal salute[4] The first and last four bars of "Advance Australia Fair", the national anthem.[4]
Argentina President "Marcha de Ituzaingó" Presidential March[5]
Brazil President "Continências ao Presidente da República" Introduction and final chords of the Brazilian National Anthem. Only applicable at military ceremonies.[6]
Canada Monarch, consort "God Save the Queen"[7] For a pipe band, "Mallorca" is played instead.
Other Royal Family members The first six bars of "God Save the Queen".[7] For a pipe band, "Mallorca" is played instead.
Governor general, lieutenant governors "Salute to the Governor General/Lieutenant Governor", commonly called the Vice Regal Salute The first six bars of "God Save The Queen" immediately followed by the first four and last four bars of "O Canada", the national anthem. For a pipe band, a combination of "Mallorca" and "O Canada" is played instead.[7]
Czech Republic President "Fanfares from Libuše (opera)" Fanfares are from Overture of the opera
Colombia President "Honores al Presidente de la Republica"
(Presidential Salute)
Bugle fanfare by the Corps of drums then followed by the:
1. Introduction and Chorus of the National Anthem of Colombia
2. Introduction from the hymn of the National Army of Colombia
3. Introduction from the hymn of the Colombian Navy
4. Introduction from the hymn of the Colombian Air Force
5. First bars of the hymn of the National Police of Colombia, all by a military band
If the President attends and event hosted by only either of the 3 service branches of the Military Forces of Colombia or the National Police, the Introduction and Chorus of the National Anthem are played first followed by the introduction of the specific service anthem.
Denmark Monarch "Kong Christian stod ved højen mast" "King Christian stood by the lofty mast." Also one of the two national anthems, the other being "Der er et yndigt land"
Finland Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Defence Forces (normally the President) "Björneborgarnas marsch/Porilaisten marssi" "March of the Pori Regiment"/"March of the Björneborgers"
Haiti President "Quand nos Aïeux brisèrent leurs entraves"
(Chant Nationale)
"When Our Fathers Broke Their Chains" (also known as the National Hymn). Poem by Oswald Durand, set to music by Occide Jeanty in 1893 to serve as a national anthem; replaced by "La Dessalinienne" in 1904.[8]
Ireland President "Presidential Salute" The first four and last five bars of "Amhrán na bhFiann", the national anthem[9]
Taoiseach "Mór Chluana" / "Amhrán Dóchais" "Mór Chluana" ("More of Cloyne") is a traditional air collected by Patrick Weston Joyce in 1873.[10][11] "Amhrán Dóchais" ("Song of Hope") is a poem written by Osborn Bergin in 1913 and set to the air.[11][12] John A. Costello chose the air as his salute.[12] Though the salute is often called "Amhrán Dóchais", Brian Ó Cuív argues "Mór Chluana" is the correct title.[12][13]
Korea (Republic of) General-rank Officer Star March Abriged version
President BongWhang modified version of Star March,played during Military Parade attend by the President
Korea (Democratic People's Republic of) Supreme Leader "Song of Happiness for the Great Leader" Played during the arrival and departure of the Supreme Leader, with a matching 21-gun salute
Luxembourg Monarch "De Wilhelmus" A variant of "Het Wilhelmus", the national and royal anthem of the Netherlands
Malaysia Raja Permaisuri Agong; Yang di-Pertua Negeri Abridged version of the National Anthem Consisting of first and last sections.[2] Played before the relevant state's anthem[2] if the salute is for the Yang di-Pertua Negeri.
State monarchs Short version of "Negaraku" (the national anthem) Consisting of last section. Played after the relevant state's anthem. Only may be played if the state monarch present representing the King.[2]
Netherlands Members of the Royal House; Governor of the Netherlands Antilles and Governor of Aruba "Het Wilhelmus" The national anthem.[3]
Various officials not entitled to "Het Wilhelmus".[fn 1] "De Jonge Prins van Friesland" [3] Ministers used the national anthem till Queen Beatrix objected in 1986.[14]
New Zealand Monarch "God Save the Queen"[15] Also one of two national anthems, the other being "God Defend New Zealand"[15]
Governor General "Salute to the Governor General" The first six bars of "God Save the Queen"[16] The anthem may also be played in full.[15]
Norway Monarch "Kongesangen" "The King's Song"; an adaptation of "God Save the Queen" and set to the same tune.
Philippines President "Mabuhay"[17] aka "We Say Mabuhay"[18](Presidential march)
"Honor Salute to the President" (Marangal na Parangal)
(Presidential salute music)
1. The word mabuhay means "long live". The song, with music by Tirso Cruz, Sr and English lyrics by American James King Steele, was written c.1935–40.[18] Played during the arrival of the President during major events, but without the four ruffles and flourishes.

2. While an older version was played until 2010, a new version (now including lyrics in Filipino) debuted in 2011 and is used in all events of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Coast Guard when the President is attending, uses the four ruffles and flourishes, and is often done with a 21-gun salute for military events only

Poland President "Sygnał prezydencki"[19] Played in the presence of the President when the Presidential Ensign is raised in major events
Singapore President "Abridged version of Majulah Singapura" First six bars only.[20]
Spain Monarch "La Marcha Real"
Princess of Asturias Short version of "La Marcha Real" Played without the repeated bars.
Sweden Monarch "Kungssången" "The King's Song"
Thailand Monarch, crown prince "Sansoen Phra Barami"[21] "The song of glorifying His Majesty's prestige". Former national anthem, still played before shows in cinemas and theatres and during all major events when the King and Queen are present. "Sadudee Maharacha" (สดุดีมหาราชา "Hymn to the Great King") is often played afterwards following the King and Queen's arrival and the royal anthem.[22][not in citation given]
Senior royalty "Maha Chai" "Grand Victory." It may be also used for the Prime Minister in very formal situations.[22][not in citation given]
Lesser royalty "Maha Roek" "Grand Auspice". It may be also used for provincial governors in very formal situations.[22][not in citation given]
United States President "Hail to the Chief"[23]
Vice President "Hail Columbia"[23]
Various officials[fn 2] "Honors March 1" 32-bar medley of "Stars and Stripes Forever"[23]
Army officers ranked major general and higher "General's March"[23] "Honors March 2"
Navy officers ranked rear admiral and higher "Admiral's March"[23] "Honors March 3"
Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard officers ranked major general and higher "Flag Officer's March"[23] "Honors March 4"
Venezuela President "Hymn to the Liberator Simon Bolivar" (Himno a Bolivar), (military band only),
"Gloria al Bravo Pueblo" (short version or full version, for military band only),
"National Salute March" (Marcha Regular) (for Corps of drums only)
1. Presidential march, played during the arrival of the President during major events
2. National anthem, chorus, first verse and chorus only during all events, can also be played in full or using the chorus only
3. Played during military ceremonies if a Corps of Drums is in attendance, also played as Salute March of the Flag of Venezuela if the national anthem is not used, can also be played by a military band as well if possible
Vice President "Vice Presidential Salute" (Honores al Vice Presidente) Bugle call played to honor the Vice President

Historical anthems

From the nineteenth century, a new Ottoman imperial anthem was usually composed for each Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

Country Office Anthem Notes
Kingdom of Afghanistan Monarch "Shahe ghajur-o-mehrabane ma" ("Our Brave and Dear King") Used from 1943 until the abolition of the monarchy in 1973.
Principality of Albania/Albanian Kingdom Monarch "Himni i Flamurit"
("Hymn to the Flag")
The royal anthem until the abolition of the monarchy in 1943, now the national anthem.
Austrian Empire/Austria-Hungary Monarch "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser"
("God Save Emperor Francis")
Used with updated words for later Emperors until the abolition of the monarchy in 1918.
Kingdom of Bavaria Monarch "Königsstrophe"
("King's Stanza")
An earlier version of the current state anthem glorifying the King.
Empire of Brazil Monarch "Hino da Independência"
("Hymn of Independence")
Used between 1822 and 1831. The current national anthem was used for the rest of the empire's existence.
Kingdom of Bulgaria Monarch "Anthem of His Majesty the Tsar" Royal anthem until 1944.
Empire of China (Qing dynasty) Monarch
Empire of China (1915–1916) Emperor Yuan Shikai "Zhong guo xiong li yu zhou jian"
("中國雄立宇宙間"; "China Heroically Stands in the Universe")
Ethiopian Empire House of Solomon "Ityopp'ya Hoy"
("Ethiopia be happy")
Kingdom of Egypt Muhammad Ali Dynasty "Salam Affandina"
("Royal Anthem of Egypt")
Kingdom of France (c.1590-1789 & 1815-1848) King of France and Navarre "Marche Henri IV"
("Henry IV March")
"Vive la France, Vive le roi Henri" until 1789, "Vive le princes, et le bon roi Louis" after 1815
Kingdom of France (1791–1792) King of France and Navarre "La Nation, la Loi, le Roi"
("The Nation, the Law, the King")
First French Empire (1804–1815) Napoleon I, Napoleon II "Chant du Départ"
("Song of the Departure")
"Chant du Départ" until 1815,
Second French Empire (1852–1870) Napoleon III "Partant pour la Syrie"
("Departing for Syria")
Kingdom of Greece Monarch "Ὕμνος εἰς τὴν Ἐλευθερίαν"
("Hymn to Liberty")
The royal anthem until the abolition of the monarchy in 1974, now the national anthem.
Kingdom of Hawaii Monarch
British Hong Kong Governor of Hong Kong God save the Queen (first stanza only)[24]
Iran (Qajar) Shah "Salamati-ye Shah"
("Health of the Shah")
Iran (Pahlavi) Shah "Sorood-e Shahanshahi Iran"
("Imperial Salute of Iran")
Kingdom of Iraq Monarch "Es Salam al-Malaky"
("The Royal Salute")
Irish Free State Governor-General "The Soldier's Song" (1929–32); none (1932–36) Monarchy in the Irish Free State was a requirement of the Anglo-Irish Treaty resented by nationalists. While unionists felt that "God Save the King" was appropriate anthem for the King's Irish representative, the 1927-32 government decreed that the Governor-General should leave any function at which it was played.[25] The 1933-1937 government eliminated all ceremonial honours before abolishing the position entirely.[26]
Kingdom of Italy Monarch "Marcia Reale d'Ordinanza"
("Royal March of Ordinance")
No official words. Used until the abolition of the monarchy in 1946.
Korean Empire Monarch "Daehan Jeguk Aegukga"
("대한 제국 애국가"; "Patriotic Song of the Korean Empire")
Kingdom of Laos Monarch "Pheng Xat Lao" An earlier version of the current national anthem.
Kingdom of Libya King Idris "Libya, Libya, Libya" This anthem was readopted by the National Transitional Council in 2011, as the national anthem, with the verse glorifying King Idris omitted.
Kingdom of Madagascar Monarch "Andriamanitra ô"
("O Lord")
Glorifies the Malagasy sovereign.
Principality of Montenegro/Kingdom of Montenegro Monarch "Ubavoj nam Crnoj Gori"
("To our Beautiful Montenegro")
Glorifies the Prince/King.
Kingdom of Nepal Monarch "Rastriya Gaan"
("May Glory Crown our Illustrious Sovereign")
Used between 1962 and 2006.
Ottoman Empire Monarch
  • "Mahmudiye" (1808–39 and 1918–22)
  • "Mecidiye March" (1839–61)
  • "Aziziye March" (1861–76)
  • "Hamadiye" (1876-1909)
  • "Reşadiye" (1909–18)
Kingdom of Portugal Monarch "O Hino da Carta"
("Hymn to the Charter")
Used from 1834 until the abolition of the monarchy in 1910.
Prussia/German Empire King of Prussia/German Emperor "Heil dir im Siegerkranz"
("Hail to Thee in Victor's Crown")
Kingdom of Romania Monarch "Trăiască Regele"
("Long Live the King")
Russian Empire Monarch "Боже, Царя храни"
("God Save The Tsar!")
The national anthem until the abolition of monarchy—still used by some descendants of white émigrés.
Principality of Serbia/Kingdom of Serbia Monarch "Bože pravde"
("Lord of Justice")
An earlier version of the current national anthem glorifying the Prince/King.
Sweden Gustav III "Gustafs skål"
("Toast to Gustaf")
Monarch "Bevare Gud vår kung" (1805–1893)
("God Save The King")
Based on God Save The Queen, and with an identical melody.
Kingdom of Tunisia Monarch "Salam al-Bey"
("Beylical Salute")
Empire of Vietnam Monarch "Đăng đàn cung"
("Melody on the Ascent to the Esplanade")
Kingdom of Yemen Monarch "Salam al-Malaky"
("Royal Salute")
No official words.
Kingdom of Yugoslavia Monarch "National Anthem of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia"
Sultanate of Zanzibar Monarch "March for the Sultan of Zanzibar" No words.


  1. Members of the Dutch Cabinet, Netherlands Antilles Cabinet, or Aruba Cabinet; senior Dutch military officers; Secretaries General of NATO, of the UN, and of the EU Council; EU foreign and security High Representative. (In the absence of persons entitled to the anthem).
  2. State governors, chief justice, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, President pro tempore of the United States Senate, chairmen of committees of Congress, Cabinet members, Department of Defense officials ranked assistant secretary or higher, senior diplomats, brigadier generals


  1. "National Anthem". Jamaica: King's House. Retrieved 2012-02-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Act 390: National Anthem Act 1968; Incorporating all amendments up to 1 January 2006" (PDF). Malaysia: Commissioner of Law Revision. 2006. Retrieved 2 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "DP 20-10, Ceremonieel & Protocol; Hoofdstuk 8 Muzikaal eerbetoon". Ministeriële & Defensie Publicaties (in Dutch). Netherlands: Ministry of Defence. §§2,5,10. Retrieved 23 October 2011. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "16.3 Australian national anthem". Protocol Guidelines. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia). Retrieved 2009-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "¿Sabías que "La Marcha de Ituzaingó" es un atributo presidencial como la banda y el bastón?" (3 December 2015). La Nación. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Law No 5700 of 1 September 1971 Cap.3 Sec.II Art.24.V
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Honours and salutes: Musical salute". Ceremonial and Canadian Symbols Promotion. Canadian Heritage. 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2009-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Victor, A.J. "Haitian Patriotic Songs". ayitihistory.com. Retrieved 2009-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "National Anthem". Department of the Taoiseach. Retrieved 2009-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "P. W. Joyce: Ancient Irish Music » 47 - Mór Chluana". Na Píobairí Uilleann. Retrieved 3 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Joyce, Patrick Weston (1827–1914)". Ainm.ie (in Irish). Cló Iar-Chonnacht. Retrieved 3 February 2014. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Ó Cuív, Brian (2010-04-01). "Irish language and literature, 1845-1921". In W. E. Vaughan. Ireland Under the Union, 1870-1921. A New History of Ireland. VI. Oxford University Press. p. 425. ISBN 9780199583744. Retrieved 3 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Amhrán Dóchais". Library. Ireland: Contemporary Music Centre. Retrieved 3 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Hoedeman, Jan; Theo Koelé (5 June 2004). "Beatrix: 'Het Wilhelmus is van mij'". De Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 23 October 2011. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "Protocol for using New Zealand's National Anthems". Ministry for Culture and Heritage (New Zealand). Retrieved 2009-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Instructions for Playing the Anthem". Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage (New Zealand). 1966. If the first six bars only are used, as for a salute to the Governor-General as the Queen's representative, the anthem is to be played "fortissimo" at M.M. 60 crotchets.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Quezon, Manuel L. (2004-06-24). "The Long view". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2009-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. 18.0 18.1 Walsh, Thomas P. (2013). Tin Pan Alley and the Philippines: American Songs of War and Love, 1898-1946 : a Resource Guide. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 271–273. ISBN 9780810886087. Retrieved 6 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. [1] Music notation
  20. Guidelines for playing and singing national anthems Part IV of the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Rules
  21. Rutnin, Mattani Mojdara (1993). Dance, drama, and theatre in Thailand: the process of development and modernization. Tokyo: Centre for East Asian Cultural Studies for Unesco, the Toyo Bunko. p. 132. ISBN 978-4-89656-107-4. Retrieved 7 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 "A collection of Thai anthems" (in Thai). Thailand: Office of Public Relations. Archived from the original on 25 June 2006. Retrieved 7 March 2012. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>; "A collection of Thai anthems". Thailand: Office of Public Relations. Archived from the original on 24 June 2006. Retrieved 7 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 "Army Regulation 600–25: Salutes, Honors, and Visits of Courtesy" (PDF). U.S. Department of the Army. 2004-09-24. pp. 5–6, Table 2-1. Retrieved 2009-03-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. New York Times: On This Day, 30 July
  25. Morris, Ewan (May 1998). "'God Save the King' Versus 'The Soldier's Song': The 1929 Trinity College National Anthem Dispute and the Politics of the Irish Free State". Irish Historical Studies. 31 (121): 72–90.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. Bogdanor, Vernon (1997). The Monarchy and the Constitution. Oxford University Press. p. 282. ISBN 9780198293347. Retrieved 7 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>