Libya sounds discordant note among 2012 anthems

LONDON (Reuters) - The recording of the 205 national anthems for next year's London Olympics has finally been wrapped up although the conflict in Libya struck a discordant note.

The contract for the anthems to be used at medal and welcoming ceremonies was awarded in April to the London Philharmonic Orchestra which has spent 50 recording hours since then in the Abbey Road Studios made famous by The Beatles.

The orchestra had only 12 minutes to sight read and record each piece which must be between a minute and 90 seconds long.

The anthems were recorded in alphabetical order, starting with Afghanistan in May and ending with Zimbabwe on Sunday, to reduce the risk of a nation being accidentally overlooked. Libya's was recorded months ago.

"I'll be perfectly happy not to hear another anthem for a long time," composer and conductor Philip Sheppard told the Independent website (

Upheaval in the Arab world could see him and the orchestra back in the recording studio before the Games, however, with Libya's anthem already replaced by the country's National Transitional Council (NTC).

"The majority of anthems are about the country but Libya's was associated directly with (deposed leader Muammar) Gaddafi," said Sheppard.

"It doesn't reflect the new government. I suspect Libya won't be the only nation that we have to find a way to accommodate."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Tony Jimenez. For Reuters sports blog Left Field go to: