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The Beethoven link to Afghan anthem

The Beethoven Orchestra in the former German capital Bonn is rehearsing the new Afghan national anthem preparatory
By Indo-Asian News Service | None, Bonn
UPDATED ON APR 15, 2006 01:09 PM IST

The Beethoven Orchestra in the former German capital Bonn is rehearsing the new Afghan national anthem preparatory to recording a definitive instrumental version of it next week, a media report said.

The anthem's lyrics, which Afghanistan's government and parliament agreed on last autumn, celebrate the country as the homeland of many tribes.

The German radio and TV Corporation is supporting the project to create a new anthem for the Asian nation.

The anthem's composer, Afghan-born Babrak Wassa, conducted the orchestra during the recording Wednesday in Bonn, the city that was the birthplace of classic German composer Ludwig van Beethoven, the Deutsche Welle said.

Wassa, who has lived in Germany for 25 years, was commissioned by Afghanistan's ministry of culture to compose the music.

From 1978 he was head of music for radio and television in the Afghan capital Kabul.

Wassa, 58, left Afghanistan for political reasons in 1980 and is now a German citizen living near Cologne.

He said he aimed for a melody that was "simple and catchy" and also "optimistic".

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