John Philip Sousa “The March King”. Early Life. Born November in 1854 in Washington, D.C. He was exposed to music at a young age by his father Antonio de Sousa, who was a trombone player in the U.S. Marine Band.
Born November in 1854 in Washington, D.C.
He was exposed to music at a young age by his father Antonio de Sousa, who was a trombone player in the U.S. Marine Band.
At age 6, he began music and voice lessons, he was considered to have a ‘perfect pitch’ voice and studied a wide array of instruments.
He became a virtuoso with the violin, being his favorite instrument.
His love for music expanded and he sought to join a circus band.
His father wouldn’t allow it and made him join the Marine Corps at age 13 as an apprentice and there he gained much of his music knowledge.
The Conductor of The U.S. Marine Band
1880 marked his lead of the U.S. Marine Band.
A 12-year tenure was significant in creating famous American marches in military today.
He had strict devotion to the works and gained popularity from American people because of the devotion and American style themes.
John Philip Sousa created some of the most iconic military marches that are used in modern military ceremonies today.
Along with his marches, he composed over 200 works of music.
He was hard-pressed on not recording his music because it would tarnish the music he created.
He was a major factor in the creation of the marching tuba called the Sousaphone.
He is revered as the Master of the March.
The Washington Post
0:00: The song starts loudly with the brass and percussion sounding off as to inform that the song is starting in a smooth even beat.
0:07: Begins here is the first subject of the song, which ranges from high and low dynamic sounds in each of the two verses. The flute also joins, hearing it strongly through the piano style segments and not as strong through the forte style segments.
0:40: Subject two is shown with a highlighting of the trombones in a sweeping upward motion through the two verses.
1:11: A third subject appears and is continued throughout the rest of the piece in different variations. Here, the brass and the percussion have lowered and clarinet and flute joined in harmony playing the third subject.
1:25: A startling bellow from the trumpets, trombones, and tubas and bass drum end the first verse and introduce the next. Which repeats from last.
1:41: A larger bridged section once heard at the 1:25 mark introduces the second variation of subject three.
1:51: Enters the woodwinds and flute again with a larger role with the brass. A minor variation of a French horn is played in the background.
2:05: The bridge as heard at the 1:25 mark enters to introduce the coda of the song.
2:14: The third and final variation of subject three is introduced with a much larger presence of the brass. While the woodwinds and flutes are heard still, this final subject is meant to wrap up the entire arsenal of instruments and bring a show stopping affect to the end of the song.
0:00: Sharp sounds of the percussion and short bursts of the brass create a hard-hitting sound to form the first subject of this piece. Drum roll eventually ushers in the subject.
0:07: A very precise march theme is heard here, tempo is very even and it highlights the brass with crashing cymbals at the end of each verse.
0:20: Between each verse the single trumpet and flutes bring the second verse into view.
0:40: The second subject starts in a arching way inn which is starts high and goes low to high and so on highlights different trumpets playing slight variations underneath the main melody of this particular verse.
1:11: A single snare drums roll gives a sense of unknown to what’s coming but establishes a bridge between the second and third subject.
1:19: A piano style melody is played by a solo trumpet with the background of trombones creating a ascending sound.
1:35: The flutes are added in triples to add depth to the melody being played and gives it a whimsical sound to it.
1:50: More trumpets, tubs and French horns are added to the mix to increase the depth of the melody started by the solo trumpet; they add different variations of the melody.
2:06: A slight stop indicates the step to the coda; all the instruments are played together in similar variations and the drum bass, the melody is repeated until the end, which has an abrupt stop.