exploringsingapore is exclusive ExplorerSG mini series where we reveal some of the lesser-known places, facts and history of Singapore.
Composed by late composer Zubir Said in 1958, Majulah Singapura, which translates to “Onward Singapore”, made its debut as the ‘City Council of Singapore’ anthem on 6 September 1958 during the reopening of the newly renovated Victoria Theatre.
After attaining self-government in June 1959, Majula Singapura was modified to become the state’s national anthem. It was formally introduced to the public on 3 December 1959 when Yusof Bin Ishak was sworn in as Singapore’s Yang di-Pertuan Negara (head of state).
However, it was only on 9 August 1965 that the anthem was adopted as the national anthem for the Republic of Singapore, after the country had gained full independence from Malaysia.
In 2001, the national anthem was lowered from G major to F major to make it easier for Singaporeans to sing.
The last rendition was made in 2019, when Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) re-recorded the anthem in a higher quality to allow Singaporeans appreciate the nuances in the music arrangement.