Sheet Music: Lift Every Voice and Sing

TitleLift Every Voice and Sing
Alternate titlesLift Ev'ry Voice and Sing
The Black National Anthem
The Negro National Hymn
ComposerJohn Rosamond Johnson (1873–1954)
InstrumentationFlute and Piano
KeyA-flat major
Time signature6/8
Tempo60 BPM
Performance time1:20
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (88 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.1 MB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.1 MB)
Date added2011-02-21
Last updated2011-02-21
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 0.9 (average)
Hymn tunes, Patriotic


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Monday 21 February 2011

Tune of the Day: Lift Every Voice and Sing

Music by J. Rosamond Johnson

“Lift Every Voice and Sing”, now often called the “Black National Anthem”, was originally composed as a poem as part of a celebration of Lincoln's Birthday on February 12, 1900 at the segregated Stanton School. Its principal, James Weldon Johnson, wrote the words, which were later set to music by his brother John in 1905. Singing this song quickly became a way for African Americans to demonstrate their patriotism and hope for the future. In 1919, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) adopted the song as “The Negro National Anthem”. By the 1920s, copies of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” could be found in black churches across the country, often pasted into the hymnals. During and after the American Civil Rights Movement, the song experienced a rebirth, and by the 1970s was often sung immediately after “The Star Spangled Banner” at public events and performances across the United States where the event had a significant African-American population.

Thanks to Stephanie for suggesting this piece!