Google honours Singapore national anthem composer with doodle

Google honours Singapore national anthem composer with doodle

SINGAPORE - Search engine giant Google honoured Singapore's national anthem composer, the late Zubir Said, with a doodle on its website today.

The musician, who is known for composing Majulah Singapura, would have been 107 years old on this date (July 22).

The caricature of Zubir embedded within the Google logo appears on both the Singapore and global search page (Google.com). Clicking on the doodle brings readers to articles and results relating to the musician.

According to online reports, Google said that the doodle was created for its Singapore site only. The Google spokesperson also said that they "wanted to celebrate this beloved man's spirit and legacy on Google Singapore's homepage today."

Zubir was born the eldest in a family of three boys and five girls in the town of Bukit Tinggi in Minangkabau, Central Sumatra.

He was a self-taught musician who played the flute and the guitar. However, at 21 years old, Zubir left home to head to Singapore to pursue a musical career when his father, who was also the village headman, objected to his musical ambitions.

He played in Malay opera troupes and took on a number of jobs, including a stint as a recording supervisor for British recording company His Master's Voice, and as a band conductor during the Japanese Occupation.

In 1958, Zubir was asked to compose a song for the re-opening of Victoria Theatre. When Singapore achieved self-government in 1959, Majulah Singapura, the tune Zubir had composed, was chosen as the national anthem.

Zubir has written about 1,500 songs during his career. He died on Nov 16, 1987, aged 80, and is survived by four daughters and a son.

klim@sph.com.sg

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