In this Book

ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
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summary
Zubir Said is best known as the composer of Majulah Singapura, the national anthem of Singapore, Semoga Bahagia, the Singapore school anthem, and Melayu Raya. Born into a humble and religious family in Sumatra where music was considered haram, at 21 he set out to seek his fortune in Singapore, attracted initially by the glittering lights and the availability of butter and kopi susu, but soon by the opportunities it offered him to pursue his dreams. Armed with his first musical instrument, a bamboo flute he had carved himself, and a basic knowledge of music number notations, Zubir taught himself to read, write and compose music. Despite the many challenges he faced, he became a musical icon of the 1950s and 1960s on both sides of the Straits of Johor, at a time when Independence was the clarion call and nationalist fervour was running high. This book, which includes numerous photographs, documents, musical scores and articles, as well as a CD of a selection of Zubir Said's compositions, vividly reveals one of Singapore's leading composers as family man, friend, composer and mentor. It also accords Zubir Said his rightful place in the history of Singapore.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. 2-6
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vi-7
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  1. Majulah Singapura
  2. pp. vii-8
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. viii-ix
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  1. Message
  2. pp. x-11
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. xv-xviii
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  1. Prologue
  2. pp. xix-21
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  1. Map
  2. pp. 1-22
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  1. 1. The Birth of an Anthem and Challenges to Overcome
  2. pp. 2-19
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  1. 2. Headlong into Adulthood
  2. pp. 20-41
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  1. 3. Mystical Singapore: City of Lights, Butter, Coffee and Milk
  2. pp. 42-53
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  1. 4 World War II: New Directions
  2. pp. 54-63
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  1. 5. Where the Sky Above I Hold, the Earth Beneath I Tread
  2. pp. 64-95
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  1. 6. 190A Joo Chiat Place: A Sanctuary of Bliss and Blessed Woes
  2. pp. 96-129
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  1. 7. The Lull, Celebrations, Respite, Music, Then the...
  2. pp. 130-209
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  1. 8. The Storm Afterwards
  2. pp. 210-225
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  1. 9. The Birthday Bash and Final Curtain
  2. pp. 226-237
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 238-269
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 270-274
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 275-279
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  1. About the Accompanying Music CD, Back Cover
  2. pp. 280-302
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