See If You Can Identify
This Mystery March Composer?
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?
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
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 Wikipedialists 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.
off preview music before clicking other links!
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
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.
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.