John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa
The Life and Acheivements
of The American March King
Annalice Rich
Salt Lake Community College
Music 1010
John Philip Sousa
Musical beginnings
• John Philip Sousa born November
6th 1854.
• Music an important part of his
• Parents : John Antonio Sousa &
Marie Elizabeth Trinkaus.
Sousa the gifted child
At the age of 11Performing with adults
Lead his first small band of adults
Studied with George Felix Benkert
Performed with Washington Orchestral
Union as first violin.
Sousa Journey to Adulthood
• At ages 13-20 enlisted
and played in U.S.
Marine Band.
• Became involved in
Ford’s Theatre and The
• At the age of 18
published ‘Moonlight on
the Potomac.’
Sousa’s history with Broadway and
his wife
• Spends time assisting
with music for operetta
• Assists with Broadway
show Pinafore.
• Meets Jane Van
Middlesworth Bellis.
• Jane and John married
on December 30, 1879.
John Philip Sousa
Director of US Marine Band
• One month after marriage, becomes director
of US Marine Band.
• Played for President Cleveland’s wedding.
• Wrote ‘The Gladiator’ and ‘Semper Fidelis.’
• Began recording and selling military band
Sousa’s love of theatre
• During military duty
composed 15
• His music was
successful, but he
lacked the ability to
write lyrics.
Sousa’s Passing and
• At the age of 77,John
Philip Sousa passes
away March 6th, 1932.
• Commemoration’s of
his life include:
Hollywood Star, Hall of
Fame for Great
Americans, John Philip
Sousa Award.
Composition History,
‘Stars and Stripes Forever. ’
• 1896 Sousa’s friend passes
away while Sousa was on
• The march ‘Stars and Stripes
Forever’ was born as a
• 1987 this march became
official march of the USA.
Listening guide
‘Stars and Stripes Forever’
• 0:00 Introduction: Begins leading into the
first verse.
• 0:09 First verse:. The piece seems to be very
staccato, with only a few slurs.
• 0:17 Within the first verse: there seems to
be a sort of call and response
• 0:24 First verse is repeated
• 0:39 Second verse begins
Listening guide ‘Stars and
Stripes Forever’ (continued)
• 1:11 Chorus: carried by the woodwinds
with somewhat of a narrow range. The
chorus is then repeated again.
• 1:41 Bridge: The brass section come in
strong with forte
• 2:05 Chorus: Woodwinds performing the
chorus with the piccolo as the fugue
• 2:35-3:36 Coda that includes the “Bridge”
section as well as the second chorus
section found at 2:05.
Composition History of
‘The Libery Bell’
• 1893 march written to
commemorate Liberty
• Inspired by exposition
and separate parade
Sousa’s son participated
• Commonly performed at
• Gained popularity from
TV’s Monty Python’s
Flying Circus.
Listening guide
‘The Liberty Bell’
• 0:00 Intro: Duple meter that leads into the first
• 0:04 First Verse: The main theme is carried by
the woodwinds specifically the flutes and
piccolo. Brass section keep a tempo with
quarter notes
• 0:35 Second Verse: This verse is somewhat
similar to the intro. The theme is carried by
both woodwinds and brass.
Listening guide ‘The Liberty
Bell’ (continued)
• 1:08 Chorus: The percussion carries the beat
with a gallop-like beat that includes the
• 1:40 Bridge: The brass section comes in with a
strong fortissimo with the beat that builds the
theme that has been become a varied beat .
• 2:00 Intro to coda: Ensemble crescendos
ascending half notes that lead into the coda.
• 2:03 Coda: The theme is returned to the
• 3:33 Ends
Composition History,
‘The Washington Post. ’
1889 March was written.
Claim that march was written
for the news paper
‘Washington post.’
Others claim it was dedicated
to the nation’s capital.
One of the most recognized
Sousa pieces.
Listening guide
‘The Washington Post’
• 0:00 Intro: The ensemble charges in
with notes changing between only
about three-four different notes.
• 0:08 First Verse: The notes ascend on
the scale. With changing dynamics.
• 0:39 Second Verse: The second theme
of the march begins The beat patterns
are followed throughout the verse.
And then repeated.
Listening guide ‘The
Washington Post’ (continued)
• 1:10 Chorus: The woodwind section
carry the main theme.
• 1:46 Build to Coda: An increasing
scale that crescendos, builds up the
• 1:50 Coda: The march then codas
back to the Chorus found at 1:10,
that then crescendo to a fortissimo
until the end of the march
• 2:33 End
Composition History of
‘Semper Fidelis’
• Semper Fidelis is Latin for ‘Always Faithful’
• Written in 1888 recognized as march of US Marine
• Originally for President Chester Arthur as a march for
the president.
Listening guide
‘Semper Fidelis’
• 0:00 Intro: The ensemble plays with the
woodwinds as the dominant sound. The
percussion keeping the marching
• 0:11 First verse: Brass section playing
scale like fashion while the woodwinds
section carry a similar tune.
• 0:43 Chorus: The woodwinds once again
carry the main theme, all the while the
percussion follow a constant march.
Listening guide ‘Semper
Fidelis’ (continued)
• 1:14 Snare Drum Solo: consists of
Military style rolls.
• 1:22 Second Verse: The brass take
control over the verse, with some
running triplet scales.
• 2:10 Chorus Reprise: A theme
similar to the chorus begins.
• 2:41 Coda: Coda back to the very
• 3:23 End
Library of Congress Website:
Naxos Website:
DWS Biography:
Padbook Website:
Skyways Library:
Washington Post Website:
US Marines Website: