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Bullets and Bayonets (arr Fennell)

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John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa (arr. Frederick Fennell)

General Info

Year: 1919 / 1989 / 2005
Duration: c. 3:30
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Ludwig Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $50.00   |   Score Only - $10.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet/B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone/Contra-Alto Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Tuba/String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Field Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

More than many of Sousa's other marches, this World War I composition has a distinctly military character. In studying the music, Sousa's apparent inspiration by visions of battlefield glory is not difficult to imagine. But perhaps its war-like title accounted for the relative lack of popularity. In the trio, one can hear the percussion beating out a staccato rhythm meant to recall machine gun fire.

There is no record of solicitation by a specific regiment, but the march was dedicated "To the officers and men of the U.S. Infantry."

-Program Note from John Philip Sousa: A Descriptive Catalog of His Worksand Appalachian State University Concert Band concert program, 20 February 2017

Bullets and Bayonets is held by a legion of aficionados to be one of the best in Sousa’s legendary output; many believe it to be is best. (Of course, that is a distinction usually attributed to half of his marches, if not more.) Sousa was 64 when he wrote the march in 1918. It is thoughtfully composed, with flashes back to the charming style of his marches in the mid-1880s. The scoring is fresh, imaginative, and wonderfully sonorous. The musical ideas, deceptively simple are solid and immediately rewarding to the player and the listener.

Always, by way of his march commentary, the title and its dedication “to the officers and men of the US infantry” are no surprise. That it happens to be a really great march is of no surprise, either.

- Program Note by Frederick Fennell


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Bierley, P. (1973). John Philip Sousa: A Descriptive Catalog of His Works. University of Illinois Press; Urbana, pp. 36-37.
  • Sousa, J; Fennell, F. (1989). Bullets and Bayonets: March [score]. Ludwig Music: Cleveland, Ohio.