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Philip Sousa

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See If You Can  Identify This Mystery March Composer?

           An American, born in the last half of the 19th century, at age 12 he was performing as soloist on the cornet, and at age 16  played violin in a theater orchestras. He quickly gained recognition  as an arranger, conductor, and composer.  One of  his  popular marches, Associated Press, was written in 1897.  He formed his own band in 1899 and became a prolific composer with over 140 marches to his credit. His works were published by over 12 publishing companies of the time. He died in 1940.  Click HERE to find out all about our mystery composer.

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Infowars Network w/ Alex Jones 

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What March did John Phillip Sousa say was the best march ever written...besides one of his own?

What's the best known musical composition by a Vermonter? The National Emblem March, written in 1906 by Craftsbury's E.E. Bagley.

John Phillip Sousa named this the finest march he *didn't* write--the National Emblem March quotes extensively from "The Star Spangled Banner" (which wouldn't become America's official national anthem until 1931).

Here's Bagley's Wikipedia entry:

Edwin Eugene Bagley (1857-1922) was born in Craftsbury, Vermont. He began his music career at the age of nine as a vocalist and comedian with Leavitt's Bellringers, a company of entertainers that toured many of the larger cities of the United States. He began playing the cornet, traveling for six years with the Swiss Bellringers.

After his touring days, he joined Blaisdell's Orchestra of Concord, New Hampshire. In 1880, he came to Boston as a solo cornet player at The Park Theater. For nine years, he traveled with the Bostonians, an opera company. While with this company, he changed from cornet to trombone. He performed with the Germania Band of Boston and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Edwin Eugene Bagley is best known for composing marches. His most famous march, National Emblem, is played as a patriotic tune at Independence Day celebrations in the United States and features an excerpt of The Star-Spangled Banner. A theme from this march is popularly sung with the words "and the monkey wrapped his tail around the flagpole".

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Who Wrote The March Used for Script Ohio?

The march used by the  Ohio State University Marching Band for their famous Script Ohio is called (in French) Le Regimet de Sambre et Meuse or (in English) The Sambre-Meuse Regiment, sometimes refereed to as the "French National Defile March."  It was written by Robert Planquette, (1848-1903)  born in Paris, France.  He wrote the march at age 19 and subsequently sold it and all rights rights for practically nothing because he was hungry. It was later arranged for full military band by J.F. Rauski and  first played in 1879. Planquette  wrote mostly operettas and wrote few marches except those that were included in his other works.

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Popular March Websites!

History of The Wind Band  Click Here

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What defines a "March" from other forms of musically composition?

See Wikipedia for best defition!

          The standard march as defined for this website is music that conforms to the march as it was developed in the  Golden Age Of The March,  from about 1870 to 1930!  Such a march is composed of 16 or 32 bar strains,  sometimes with counter themes, mostly repeated, with 4 and 8 bar introductions or breaks throughout the piece. It can also include a 16 or 32 bar unrestricted strain where there are short themes or a free for all, so to speak,  of different sections of the band. The music will usually include at least three different themes throughout the march.         

           The time signature is 2/4 , cut time 2/2. or 6/8 and played at speeds of 100 to 140 beats per second.  The faster marches are usually played by the old time circus bands and are sometimes called gallops! For more complete information about the American march see Wikipedia.
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 jBosserman Bio
   John Bosserman. age 90 is a retired aerospace engineer and secondary school educator who has composed over 75 marches as an amateur musician. His musical background started in high school and continued during WWII  in the  82nd Division  Army Band.  He later  attended Cincinnati Conservatory of Music  for  one year in 1946-47 where he  studied with one of Sousa's solo cornet players, Frank "Doc" Simon,   Later, in 1961-64 while  a member of the North American Aviation Band in Columbus Ohio, he had many discussions with Paul Bierley while Paul  was working on his first Sousa biography book. . In 2001John  started writing marches as a hobby and wrote  a  total of 77  march compositions between 2004 and 2010...


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FREE   Brass Quintet Downloads to Over 60 jBosserman Marches! 

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 Greatest America Marches!      
   (4 Hrs Video) Scroll to Bottom of Page

Click bar for website of composer David Schramm

with listing of nearly 1000 marches & their composers,

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If you missed 'County Fair March" click  HERE.  FREE Concert Band Parts!

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Here's some very interesting comments and links to march music on the website of Ronald B. Standler!

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Which Marches Are Most Popular?

There have been a few march popularity polls that I am aware (15 to 20) taken in the last 50 years, particularly among band directors and music professionals, both in America and Europe. ( There have obviously been many more of which I am not aware) Most of these polls have been quite limited with 1000 or less voters. American polls clearly put Stars & Stripes as number one but international polls consistently have the German march Alte Kameraden (Old Comrades) as number one.  Other than these two marches there is no clear cut lineup of favorite marches in any of the the polls I have studied. jB

An international poll by Norman E. Smith from 1976 - 1986 of 1000 plus qualified voters had the following top 10 marches
In the 99 places listed in the poll, Sousa had 19 places,, Filmore had 6, and King had 5.

The Wikipedia  lists about 65  marches which are labeled "popular" because they are frequently played in America. It is interesting to note that in this list there are 3 marches by Fillmore, 4 by King, and 11 by Sousa.

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Here's some very interesting comments and links to march music on the website of Ronald B. Standler!

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1873- Review - US Marine Band  This was Sousa's first published march, and it was sold outright to the publisher for one hundred copies of the sheet music. It was called Opus 5 and was dedicated to Colonel William G. Moore of the Washington Light Infantry. In later years, Sousa did not have a very high opinion of the march. To wit: "...Happily for me and for the general public it never became at all popular, and the echoes of the strains have long ago died away. I suppose it is now so deeply buried in oblivion that a 1,000 foot pole could not reach it. It is such a long time since I wrote it that I have no recollection whatever of the air. I did not preserve the manuscript...."

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What march by a famous composer is sometimes considered a song instead of a march?   Ans: The Golden Star by Sousa is not listed as one of his marches because it is a slow tempo. (about 70 beats per second) It is generally listed as a song while others consider it a slow march. The controversy stems from the fact it was written and dedicated to the son of Theodore Roosevelt who died in the war.  Rave recording. It is listed on this website.

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 How Many Dufferent Marches Have Been Recorded?

 Heritage of the March is a series of 185 vinyl records of marches and galops released from 1973 to 1988. It remains the largest single march music record series in history, featuring close to 3,000 different marches    

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How can professional brass players hours on end  without hurting their lips?

 Album: American Heritage Original Marches  by jBosserman

Sounds of Sousa Concert Band: American Heritage Original Marches by jBosserman

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Criteria For March Listing  
 A Published March with Band Recording
Indexed by March Title & Composers

Under Construction

This website is in a constent state of update and addition of new marches! 



















Over 500 March Titles Listed So Far!


       Or Brooze  A To Z  Index Above! 

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US Military Band Music 


        108 March Recordings 

          15 March Recordings 

Under Construction

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What's the story behind Sousa's composition known as his "Mystery March?"

                    Sousa's march known as his "mystery march" has perhaps the interesting history of all his marches. In the fall of 1929 Sousa had just finished a march named for a Texas school, but due to an unexpected call to play at the dedication of a new building in Minneapolis fashioned after the Washington Monument, built for magnate W.B. Foshay, Sousa quickly took the Texas school march and named it Foshay Tower March to use at the Minneapolis dedication.

                      After using the new march at the dedication and playing it several times, Sousa discovered that Foshay had been accused of criminal misconduct, so he shelved the march and never played it again or had it published.  He subsequently wrote another march for the Texas school called Daughters of Texas, but the original march written for Foshay was not head from again and its existence and name remained a mystery to the general public until it was discovered again in 1965. Sousa.s daughter then permitted the march to be re-premiered by the Marine Band in 1976 and later published under Sousa's renamed title for the Foshay building.                


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Who Wrote The Most Marches?

.L. H Blankenburg (German) 1876-1936, is probably the most prolific writer of march music. He is credited with writing an average one or more new marches every week for  years. He had a total  officially of 1328 but the actual number may never be known.  His marches have been accused of sounding somewhat alike but when you write that many marches it is understandable. His most famous marches were The Gladiators Farewell (1907) and  Action Front (1912). One of the things he did very well was write Baritone counter melodies.

There have been many composers credited with writing over 100 marches. American composers include Sousa, witrh around 130, Filmore 113+,  and King 188+, and James Fulton 140+.  Of course these composers wrote many other pieces of music and the number of marches written does not indicate the quality of the music

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What march by a famous composer is sometimes considered a song instead of a march?  
Ans: The Golden Star by Sousa is not listed as one of his marches because it is a slow tempo. (about 70 beats per second) It is generally listed as a song while others consider it a slow march. The controversy stems from the fact it was written and dedicated to the son of Theodore Roosevelt who died in the war. 

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