Ukraine National Anthem – Piano Solo Arrangement

Given the events of the past month in Ukraine, I started to research Ukrainian music to try and come up with something that might provide some comfort as well as raise awareness of Ukraine and their heritage. 

In that research I found many wonderful songs but the song that I kept coming back to was the Ukraine National Anthem, also known as “Shche ne vmerla Ukrainy i slava, i volia”, translated in English known as ‘Glory and freedom of Ukraine has not yet perished’. 

In recent weeks since the Russia invaded Ukraine, this melody has been performed locations far and wide as part of protests in Russia as well as in concert halls, NBA arenas and other locations throughout the world. 

The song and especially the opening line “Ukraine’s glory has not perished,” is also being played, sung and performed daily in Ukraine. There are dozens of videos and social media posts of people in Ukraine, military bands, opera companies and others singing this song throughout the streets of Ukraine. 

There have been reports from those in Ukraine of hearing the anthem as often as 20 times a day, on Ukrainian TV, where it is being used to rally the country. 

In Russia, the anthem has been sung by anti-war protesters as they are being arrested. 

According to political scientist Paul Kubicek of Oakland University who has studied and written extensively about Ukraine, the music for the Ukraine National Anthem was written around 1860 at a time when much of what is today Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire. It was written at “a time of cultural awakening” to “revive and celebrate Ukrainian heritage that was at risk of being lost to a process of Russification.”

Pavlo Chubynsky wrote the lyrics in 1862 after being inspired by patriotic songs from Serbia and Poland. The following year, a composer  and priest, Mykhailo Verbysky, set Chubynsky’s words to music. 

The lyrics and text used in the song worried the Russian authorities at the time and in 1863 they began censoring almost all Ukrainian publications. Shortly after, Chubynsky was expelled from Ukraine “for disturbing the minds of the public. 

Shortly after World War I, Chubynsky’s song returned as the national anthem of Ukraine until it was absorbed into the Soviet Union. At that time, Soviet leadership gave Ukraine a new anthem claiming the country had “found happiness in the Soviet Union.” 

When the Soviet Union collapsed, Chubynsky’s work returned as the national anthem and has been used to inspire those within Ukraine as well as those around the world who wish to show support. 

As I started to research the many performances of the song, I realized there were very few piano arrangements available of the tune and got to work coming up with ideas. The final sheet music is now available for free on my website in hopes that it will bring some awareness to the conflict in Ukraine and motivate people to help in any way they can, whether it be by saying a prayer or helping with the millions of refugees affected by the war. 

The day I finished the arrangement, my friend John Knudson who plays violin showed up at my house about 10 minutes after I had finished the first draft and I was able to have him play along with me. My iPhone captured the recording from my garage and then I was able to overlay some images of Ukraine on the video. 

It’s funny how things work out, given that this was only the third time I’d seen John in more than two years. 

Hopefully our song inspires others and brings more awareness to the need to help and support those in need who have been affected by the war. 

“Ukraine is not yet lost” – National Anthem of Ukraine – Piano & Violin Instrumental

You can download the sheet music for free at: https://tonioli.com/product/ukraine-national-anthem-piano-solo/ 

Hopefully our song inspires others and brings more awareness to the need to help and support those in need who have been affected by the war. 

“Ukraine is not yet lost” – National Anthem of Ukraine – Piano & Violin Instrumental

You can download the sheet music for free at: https://tonioli.com/product/ukraine-national-anthem-piano-solo/ 

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