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Music: John Philip Sousa Essay

1200 words - 5 pages

John Philip Sousa
John Philip Sousa, “The March King,” helped musicians gain rights to music, and made American history with the march “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Sousa isn’t thought about by most modern people, however musicians think of Sousa as a hero. Musicians can create a piece and not have to worry about the piece getting stolen, or misused by other people. Sousa also requested an instrument that changed the marching band field. Sousa was a great band leader, a great musician, and an important part of music history.
Sousa was born on November 6, 1854 at a small place on 636 G Street, in southeast Washington D.C., near the Marine Barracks that would later have some influence on ...view middle of the document...

” (Sousa)
In these next few years, Sousa went on to write his initial comedy piece called, “The Smuggler.” Also, in 1875, he was discharged, unfortunately, from the Marines and began, soon after that, performing for audiences, and touring in different cities while playing his violin. Eventually, he was conducting theater orchestras, one the orchestras was entitled, “H.M.S. Pinafore,” by Gilbert and Sullivan, on Broadway. Two things happened in 1879; first, Sousa met a lovely woman named Jane van Middlesworth Bellis, they were married on December 30, 1879. (Sousa) Second, Sousa wrote the comic opera called, “The Smugglers,” one year later, Sousa and his wife, returned to D.C., where Sousa took leadership of the Marine Band. Over the next two years, Sousa conducted a very sacred band, “The Presidents Own,” where he served under President Hayes, Garfield, Cleveland, Arthur, and Harrison. (Ewin 77)(Sousa)
Sousa continued writing pieces; he wrote music in many different genres. Some of these genres included; comedies, operettas, and marches. The amount of marches that Sousa wrote was massive. Some of these magnificent pieces include; “The Liberty Bell,’ written in 1893; “King Cotton,” in 1895, “El Capitan,” in 1896 and finally, an American classic, “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” in 1897. Being our national march, most people probably have, or should have heard this piece being played at different sport events. (Sousa)(Ewin 78)
Sousa did not know it at the time, but he would change history. From his account, while he and his wife were favationing in Europe, a melody kept haunting him, as soon as he put the melody down on paper when they got back to New York, it became the main theme of his most famous march, “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” After 100 years, Congressmen debated over what the national march should be, after what was probably days, they decided it should be “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Congressman Quiller said he thinks that “America should have both an anthem and a march from which to choose, depending on the occasion. I certainly don’t want to do away with the National Anthem, he hastened to add. ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ couldn’t be better, but there are times when a good stirring march is more suitable. Can’t carry a tune,” he says. (Irvin) Sousa also pushed for music education for young children. World War I, was quite the problem for Sousa, because all the nations were fighting, Sousa couldn’t tour. After World War I...

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