Music Phenomenon/Design/Tune Tune-Up Shop/Anthems/La Marseillaise

Sound & Score
La Marseillaise

The words and music of the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, are from Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle, 1792.

La Citoyenne

Play: La Marseillaise (Original)

La Marseillaise offers beautiful and passionate themes with potential for a truly great anthem.

La Marseillaise offers powerful themes, but it is a recitativo, rather than a song, and seems rather improvised and formless. Without symmetry or disposed entities, each melodic motif (usually of 4 bars but two of them only 2 bars) appear only once. The lyrics are also not set to the level of the French "Liberté, Fraternité, Egalité" (Freedom, Brotherhood, and Equality) standards. Various groups like La nouvelle Marseillaise Association, are also working to reform the lyrics of the French national Anthem to "better reflect the spirit of our modern democracy". With such an interesting project and challenge, balancing musical structure with tradition, for such a well known song, our specialists, coordinated by Jean-Claude Belanger have developed this proposal for the new French Anthem:

Sound & Score
La Citoyenne

The new version is better structured and offers improved musicality. It is easier to learn and remember, as well as easier to sing and perform, especially for crowds or groups of children.

The new lyrics paraphrase the original and, inspired by other lyrics revision work, offer better prosody, on an improved structure, while definitely better reflecting the spirit of modern democracy.

Having reworked both words and music, our team proposes calling the new version "La Citoyenne", to better reflect the spirit of modern democracy, while protecting the identity of the initial La Marseillaise for study, reference, and history.

La Citoyenne

Allons enfants de la patrie
Les jours d'espoir sont arrivés
Voici les temps pour une vie
D'égalité, de liberté

Contre toutes les tyrannies
L'étendard de France est levé
Ses cohortes se sont réunies
Pour la paix, dans la fraternité

Ensemble, citoyennes
Ensemble, citoyens
Marchons, marchons
Vers l'avenir de la nation

Sound & Score
Polyphonic Duo

2 Voice Canon
While the main melody stands on its own, highlighting the beauty of the traditional anthem themes, La Citoyenne, can also be sung in harmony, by a crowd (ex: men/women), or in duo, to fully enjoy its harmonic richness, all while still easily recognized by everyone as the famous traditional French anthem.

Evolving Canon
In most cases, evolving (Pachelbel) canons are presented as separate pieces. However, in the case of the French national anthem, the three 2-voice evolving canons were incorporated into the reconstruction, not only in the vocal part, as a polyphonic possibility, but also as an integral part of the instrumental version for concert band.


La Citoyenne, 4 Part Choral, digital

La Citoyenne, 4 Part Choral, Instruments

La Citoyenne, Concert Band, digital

La Citoyenne, Concert Band, Instruments

La Citoyenne, Solo, Human Voice La Citoyenne, Solo, Instruments
La Citoyenne, Duo, Human Voice La Citoyenne, Duo, Instruments


Try it
Try the revised version and compare it to the original, compare the original to the duo version of La Citoyenne, listen and tell us which do you prefer. Try and comment some of the other variations, also available from links on this page. Compare also the choral and the concert band versions.

Voice your analysis
Contribute your analysis and see and hear what others think : join's Analysis Judges, and submit your appreciations and suggestions, as well as contribute to the appreciation statistics available on that site's page proposing to replace the French Anthem, La Marseillaise, by La Citoyenne, a revised, modernized, and improved version.


La Marseillaise

  • French National Anthem, documenting "La Marseillaise"
  • La nouvelle Marseillaise Association, revising the lyrics of "La Marseillaise"
  • Music

  • MusicNovatory, encyclopedic reference document
  • Analysis, provide a forum for everyone to analyze and evaluate the revisions and originals