May 11th commemorates the Day of the Argentine National Anthem, as it marks the date when the Assembly of the Year XIII sanctioned the patriotic march with lyrics by Vicente López y Planes and music by Blas Parera as the official "Anthem."
The theatrical work "El 25 de Mayo" by Luis Morante was the precursor that led to the creation of our national song. The production ended with a hymn written by Morante, set to music by the Spanish composer Blas Parera. As a spectator, Vicente López y Planes was inspired by this work and wrote the first stanza of a new anthem that would replace the previous one.
On July 22nd, 1812, the First Triumvirate suggested to the Buenos Aires Cabildo the composition of a patriotic march to be performed at the beginning of theatrical shows and to be played in schools at the end of daily classes, with the public standing and uncovered. The following year, the General Constituent Assembly of the Year XIII commissioned Vicente López y Planes to write the lyrics for the anthem, and Blas Parera to compose new music. On May 11th, 1813, it was approved as the Patriotic March.
Throughout its history, the national song underwent several modifications. It became the National Patriotic Song, then the Patriotic Song until a copy published in 1847 called it the Argentine National Anthem, a name it has kept to this day.
The original lyrics were markedly independentist and anti-Spanish in spirit according to the times. Later on, the Assembly of the Year XIII requested a "revision" of the lyrics with the idea of maintaining a political approach with Spanish diplomats.
In 1860, Juan Pedro Esnaola made some changes to the music, based on handwritten notes from the composer, creating a more harmonically rich orchestrated version. His original version lasted 20 minutes. In 1900, a shorter version of the march was regulated by decree of the Executive Power for official and public events. In 1924, it was shortened to between 3 minutes 30 seconds and 3 minutes 53 seconds.
Later on, thanks to the discovery of a score attributed to Blas Parera in the National Historical Museum, arrangements were made to the version of Esnaola, which was premiered at the Teatro Colón on May 25th, 1927, receiving criticism.
By decree of the then-president Marcelo T. de Alvear, it was advised to make a version more similar to that of Juan Pedro Esnaola. By decree Nº 10,302, dated April 24th, 1944, the march was approved as the national anthem. Its current version corresponds to the transcription made by Luis Lareta, which adheres to what was agreed upon on September 25th, 1928, by the National Executive Power.