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Piano and music scores

Our page on the Musical score for God Defend New Zealand notes that the recommended key for massed singing is G major, and that the National Anthem should be performed at a tempo of 108 beats per minute (bpm). 

Many people find that a lower key (C or D) is easier to sing along with.  Performers also have the option of modulating up from the verse in te Reo Māori to the verse in English. Either a semi-tone or a whole tone shift is suitable.

To assist users who wish to have a backing track in their choice of suitable key, the Ministry has provided a recording of the 1979 arrangement of the piano score. This can be accessed here in any key, and this solo piano arrangement modulates up by a semi-tone between the two recorded verses. This version was performed at a tempo of 96 bpm.

The sheet music is also available in every key in the following file download section. These pages start at the first words of the verse, with the introduction being the last two bars on the page. If you wish to modulate up between the verses, print out the relevant sheets for the keys that you wish to use.


File downloads


Updated on 21st September 2015