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The Brazilian National Anthem

Coat of arms of BrazilIn the feature article of our June issue, Empire of Exceptions, Gabriel Paquette charts the little-known history of Brazil’s early years as an independent state.

The history of the Brazilian national anthem is closely linked the making of modern Brazil. It was composed, at the time, by Francisco Manuel da Silva (1795-1865), in 1822. Pedro I declared Brazil independent in September of the same year. The anthem became a popular song in 1831, following the addition of lyrics celebrating the abdication of Pedro I. The lyrics were later changed at the time of Pedro II’s coronation.

Although it was not officially designated as the national anthem, the melody without the lyrics became popular during the reign of Pedro II and was widely used. It was formalised as the National Anthem in 1890, following the proclamation of the Brazilian Republic. However, the anthem had different lyrics in different states.

It was not until 1922, during the celebration of the centenary of the Proclamation of Independence, that an adaptation of the lyrics, initially proposed by Osorio Duque-Estrada (1870-1927) in 1909, became the official lyrics.

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The website of the British Embassy of Brazil has further information about the Brazilian coat of arms and national flag. It also features useful information about Brazilian themed events organised in the UK, a selection of books about the history of Brazil and links to the websites of other Brazilian associations and organisations in the UK.