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- 12 -052016

Rouget de Lisle & La Marseillaise : episode 21

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La Marseillaise Today

As Chief of the Music of the Republican Guards from 1927 to 1944, Pierre Dupont (1888-1969) adapted the music of the French national anthem to military orchestras taking into account their instrumental diversities. La Marseillaise is played or/and sung during official ceremonies and also during international sporting events.

On 24 January 2003, the French National Assembly introduced in the Loi de programmation de la sécurité intérieure–LOPSI–[Homeland Security Framework Act] an amendment by which all offense to the symbols of the Republic such as the national flag and anthem must be punished by law as a crime of outrage upon national dignity, particularly during demonstrations regulated by the public authorities. In March 2005, the Loi Fillon made the teaching of La Marseillaise mandatory in all French primary and secondary schools.

In September 2015, in a context of strong reaffirmation of French values and principles such as secularism, equality, fraternity and rejection of all discrimination, French President François Hollande officially declared the year 2016 “Year of La Marseillaise”. He reminded that the French national anthem was for all Frenchmen a rallying song, adding “[…] It is–in the difficult times we are going through–very important that we need to be united in the face of threats, and they exist–terrorism–in the face of major challenges that are happening far away from us but that concern us all–war–in the face of the fears we are feeling inside, the security concerns that we may have, the hopes that we must have […]”.

Paris victims of 2015 honoured in national memorial service

Following the Paris terrorist attacks of 13 November 2015, the French national anthem was spontaneously sung all over the world by all, famous and ordinary people alike. Internet offered a live broadcasting of the national homage paid to the victims and world-wide moral support was provided to the French.MA_BA_marseillaise_2103

The Hôtel national des Invalides is a place where national tributes are normally paid to servicemen, French resistance fighters, pensioners of the Institution nationale des Invalides and honourable personalities.

On 27 November 2015, the President of the French Republic led a memorial ceremony to civilian and military victims as the entire French government and members of the opposition, relatives and friends stood in silence. La Marseillaise by Hector Berlioz was performed by the singers of the Academy of the Opéra de Paris and the Chœur de l’Armée française [French Army Choir] accompanied by the Orchestra of the Republican Guard. During official ceremonies, it is customary to perform only two verses and the chorus, the choice of the verses being made according to the nature of events. During the solemn ceremony at the Invalides, the sixth verse which is rarely sung followed the first one and the chorus.

At the Place de la République in Paris, ordinary people, French and foreign personalities also sung La Marseillaise. At the same time, the monumental statue by Léopold Morice (1846-1919) named Monument à la République suddenly became a memorial site to pay tribute to the victims as pictured on the photograph above

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