Romanian National Anthems, Historical, Stylistic and Aesthetic Considerations


  • CARMEN CHELARU “George Enescu” National University of the Arts Iași


anthem, national, Romanian, Mureșanu, Porumbescu.


This text represents an abridgement of an extensive research paper, recently completed, and titled The Song-Symbol, History and Content. About the National Anthems. It has not been long since I wrote about a sensitive subject: that of prejudices in considering and reconsidering history, those which could manipulate (in fact do manipulate!) consciences positively or negatively, and sometimes generate extremist ideas and attitudes (Chelaru, 2017). Following the course of history, a dilemma arose regarding the national anthem, particularly regarding its origins, the circumstances under which a particular anthem was chosen, and above all, comparisons of one anthem to another. From a general point of view, the first observation is that the anthem, especially as it is perceived nowadays in Europe, involves historical meaning, symbols of human communities and nations. As a result, I want to suggest certain improvements towards the current configuration of this musical genre. First I will summarize the history of the Romanian national anthems, beginning with the very first one, adopted during the reign of Alexandru Ioan Cuza, continuing with the monarchic period, then the anthems of communist Romania, and finally the present one, Deșteaptă-te, române! – which is in fact the oldest of all. The main reason I chose this issue does not concern purely academic curiosity; it pursues my entirely subjective interest in the circumstances that prompted Romanians to adopt, over the last century and a half, just these hymns and not others.