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Philip Sousa

Stars & Stripes Forever as played by Sousa's Own Band   (Scroll down to MP3 Audio - Main Site)

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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.

  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:  1- Stars & Strips by Sousa,  2-Old Comrades (Kameraden) by Teike, 3- Washington Grays by Grafuila (Spanish), 4- Colonel Bogey by K. Alford (British), 5- Barnum & Bailey by King,  6-National Emblem by Bagley,  7- Florentiner by Fucik (Check), 8-Semper Fidelis by Sousa, and (tied) Valdres by Hanssen (Norway), 9- Inglesina (Little English Girl) by Cese, and 10-Under The Double Eagle by J.Wagner (Austria).  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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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".
Category:  Music

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If you missed 'County Fair March" just click on pix below:

Last strain of County Fair March!

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County Fair Downloads

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Washington Post Banjo Busters

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SmileVideo Slideshows   

There are presently over 75 jBosserman marches available on UTube.. The current most viewed slideshow  is Graduation March   (the score)  with over 40,000 views.

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Click for website of march composer David Schramm

with listing of nearly 1000 marches & their composers,

National Anthems!

Over 175 National Anthems played by the US Navy Band!

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Indian Air Force Marches

15 plus marches not yet listed in this website!

All original marches and recordings of jBosserman
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C2004-2008. by John J. Bosserman. All rights reserved.
March Trivia

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

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. 
Whats 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.                

Who Wrote The Most Marches?

H.L.  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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March Title or Composer Search   Over 500 Marches Listed!
  (Do not use "The" in front of  march title! Ttitles  starting with  "March" listed under M's))



















Over 500 March Titles Listed!

      Recorded  May 2010
   18 Original jBosserman Marches by the     
Sounds Of Sousa Concert Band 
Preview CD below:

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

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 NOTE:  Any band interested in playing a jBosserman march please contact me for details. jB

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 jBosserman Marches Played by Brass Quintet with Trumpet Score Follow Along & FREE PDF Parts Download!

Additions to Brass Quintets in progress!
Under Construction
Other PDF's available at jBosserman Marches link!

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A  Alley Park 
      American Heeritage 
       ATO March  PDF

B Best Friends  

      Big Top 

      Bobcat Wrestlers 

      Bradford Iron Horse

 D   Drum & Bugle  PDF
           Deacon Power  PDF
                     Defender Of Wildlife 
E    Easter Sunday     PDF
                       Easter Bunny 
F    Festival 04  PDF
                       Field Of Stars     PDF
                      Fourth Of July 

 G      Graduation

                  Gory Of The Flag

   F       Field Of Stars     PDF


 I      Iraq Peace  PDF  

J          Jublie  PDF

K              Kings Island

M      Myrtle Beach
                       Marching Home
                  Memorial Day 

N     New Years Eve PDF
                   National Pride    PDF

O       Onward Ohio

     Presidents Day  PDF
         Polka     PDF

R      Red,White,& Blue

        Saddydog    PDF

T      Tree Of Peace

                          Town Square 

                            Thunder Bay 



U     United Nations  PDF
               USA Today    PDF


W      Welcome Home

The Best of German Marches!