08:06 GMT +325 May 2019
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    Flags fly at half mast at NATO headquarters in Brussels, March 23, 2016.

    'What a Dirge!' NATO Adopts Official Hymn, Leaves Netizens Confused

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    Initially, the composition was written for NATO’s 40th anniversary nearly 30 years ago. The hymn has no lyrics and is scored for 20 instruments. The adoption of the hymn has drawn controversial reactions across social media.

    NATO has officially adopted a hymn for the first time in the history of the military alliance. This melody has been used on many previous occasions, but was considered to be the unofficial theme of the alliance.

    The "NATO Hymn" was written by Captain André Reichling, conductor of the Luxembourg Military Band. The tune was composed for the 40th anniversary of the alliance in 1989.

    ​Since then it has been performed at many NATO events, including the Allied Heads of State and Government meeting in May 2017.

    ​The "NATO Hymn" has no lyrics and is scored for 20 musical instruments, including the piccolo, flute, oboe, three clarinets, three saxophones, two cornets, two trumpets, horn, baritone horn, three trombones, tuba, and snare drum.

    Many on social media, however, seemed unhappy with the tune becoming the hymn of the alliance, calling it boring.

    For example, Pascal Heyman, Diplomatic Director of the Belgian Defense Ministry, wrote on Twitter that he would have preferred a "more inspiring" melody.

    ​There have also been similar reactions from other users.

    ​While others wondered how a hymn could be without words.

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