Marching Song of Democracy (arr Brion)

From Wind Repertory Project
Percy Aldridge Grainger

Percy Aldridge Grainger (ed. Keith Brion)

This article is a stub. If you can help add information to it,
please join the WRP and visit the FAQ (left sidebar) for information.

General Info

Year: 1917 / 1991
Duration: c. 7:15
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Schirmer
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $75.00   |   Score Only (print) - $9.95


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

When in Paris during the Exhibition of 1900, I happened unexpectedly upon the public statue of George Washington while trolling about the streets one day, and somehow or other this random occurrence galvanized in me a definite desire to typify the buoyant on-march of optimistic humanitarian democracy in a musical composition in which a forward-striding host of comradely affectionate humanity might be heard, “chanting the great pride of man in himself.”My original plan was to write my Marching Song of Democracy for voices and whistlers only (no instruments) and have it performed by a chorus of men, women and children, singing and whistling to the rhythmic accompaniment of their tramping feet as they marched along in the open air; but a later realization of the need for instrumental color inherent in the character of the music from the first ultimately led me to score it for the concert hall.

The musical material dates from the summer of 1901 (Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany), December, 1908 (Stawell, Vic, Wangratta, Vic, Albury, N.S.W., Australia) and the summer of 1915 (New York City, U.S.A.) The final scoring was made in the summer of 1915, the spring and summer of 1916, and the spring of 1917 (New York City). The work, which perhaps it might not be amiss to describe as a kind of modern and Australian version of the Gloria of a Mass, carries the following dedication: “For my darling mother, united with her in loving adoration of Walt Whitman."

- Program Note by Percy Aldridge Grainger

The band version, created for the Goldman Band in 1948, was not published until 1991. Grainger integrated the vocal lines into the texture of the wind band in this version, marking the work purely instrumental.

- Program Note from Teaching Music through Performance in Band

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

  • Oklahoma: V-A


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln Symphonic Band (Anthony Falcone, conductor) – 11 October 2016

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Carson, William S. "Marching Song of Democracy." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 583-597. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.
  • Grainger, P.; Brion, K. (1991). Marching Song of Democracy: Concert Band [score]. Schirmer: New York, N.Y.