Sheet Music: La Borinqueña

TitleLa Borinqueña
Alternate titlesNational anthem of Puerto Rico
ComposerFélix Astol Artés (1813–1901)
Also attributed toFrancisco Ramírez
InstrumentationFlute trio
KeyG minor
Time signature4/4
Tempo68 BPM
Performance time1:20
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (66 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.1 MB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.2 MB)
Date added2009-10-25
Last updated2009-10-25
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 1.7 (above average)
Habaneras, Marches, National anthems, Patriotic


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Sunday 25 October 2009

Tune of the Day: La Borinqueña

National anthem of Puerto Rico

The title of this anthem refers to the aboriginal Taíno name for the island of Puerto Rico.

The land of Borinquen
where I have been born
is a flowery garden
of magical beauty.

A constantly clear sky
serves as its canopy
and placid lullabies are sung
by the waves at its feet.

These beautiful words form the first stanzas of “La Borinqueña”. But the anthem was not originally sung this way; it was not even an anthem as we know it today.

The music was originally credited to Félix Astol Artés in 1867 as a habanera danza, with romantic lyrics, but there is some evidence that Francisco Ramírez, a native of San Germán, wrote the music in 1860, and named it “La Almojábana”. In 1868, poetess Lola Rodríguez de Tió wrote a poem in support of Puerto Rican revolution, which was set to the Ramirez/Astol Artés music. When the Spanish authorities investigated, Ramirez, out of fear, asked Astol to claim authorship of the music, since Astol was a native of Catalonia and would therefore not raise any suspicion. With the original lyrics deemed too subversive for official adoption, a non-confrontational set of lyrics was written in 1903 and taught in the public schools.

Thanks to Luis for suggesting this piece!