Star-Spangled Banner, The (orch Sousa)

From Wind Repertory Project
John Stafford Smith

John Stafford Smith (orch. John Philip Sousa; harmonized Damrosch; ed. Brion)

General Info

Year: 1814 / 1917 / 2013
Duration: c. 1:25
Difficulty: III-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Song
Publisher: C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts - $65.00   |   Score Only - $8.00


Full Score
C Piccolo/Flute
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
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Orchestra Chimes
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the United States. The lyrics come from Defence of Fort M'Henry, a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in the Chesapeake Bay during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.

The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men's social club in London. To Anacreon in Heaven (or The Anacreontic Song), with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States. Set to Key's poem and renamed The Star-Spangled Banner, it would soon become a well-known American patriotic song. With a range of one octave and one fifth (a semitone more than an octave and a half), it is known for being difficult to sing. Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today.

'The Star-Spangled Banner was recognized for official use by the Navy in 1889, and by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover.

Before 1931, other songs served as the hymns of American officialdom. Hail, Columbia served this purpose at official functions for most of the 19th century. My Country, 'Tis of Thee, whose melody is identical to God Save the Queen, the British national anthem, also served as a de facto anthem. Following the War of 1812 and subsequent American wars, other songs emerged to compete for popularity at public events, among them The Star-Spangled Banner.

- Program Notes from Wikipedia

This is the first concert-sized publication of the superb Sousa-Damrosch Star Spangled Banner. Their A-flat version remains one of the most standard and sing-able arrangements of our National Anthem. It was richly harmonized in 1917 by Walter Damrosch and skillfully arranged by John Philip Sousa. This arrangement has been carefully edited by Keith Brion.

- Program Note from publisher

Sousa, along with Walter Damrosch and three others, was appointed to a committee established by the U.S. Bureau of Education to standardize The Star Spangled Banner. This [1918] version is the result.

- Program Note from John Philip Sousa: A Descriptive Catalog of His Works

This evening’s version of The Star-Spangled Banner was a group effort in 1918 that included the great American composer/conductor John Philip Sousa and German-born American conductor Walter Damrosch. Damrosch was perhaps the most well-known orchestral conductor of the early 20th -century, and was the long-time director of the New York Symphony Orchestra (which would merge in 1928 with the Philharmonic Society Orchestra and eventually be known as the New York Philharmonic Orchestra). Damrosch produced the harmony for this new version, while Sousa created the orchestration. It was premièred in 1919 at Carnegie Hall with Walter Damrosch conducting his New York Symphony Orchestra along with members of the Oratorio Society of New York.

- Program Note from State University of New York, Fredonia, Concert Band concert program, 27 September 2018


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Association of Texas Small School Bands (ATSSB) Concert Band (William Owens, conductor) – 10 February 2024 (2024 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • Heart of Texas (San Antonio) Concert Band (R. Mark Rogers, conductor) - 1 October 2023
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Wind Ensemble (Matthew O. Smith, conductor) - 2 March 2023 (88th Annual ABA National Convention)
  • Association of Texas Small School Bands (ATSSB) All-State Concert Band (BJ Brooks, conductor) – 11 February 2023 (2023 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • Watsonville (Calif.) Community Band (Brad Gronroos, conductor) - 9 December 2022
  • Heart of Texas (San Antonio) Concert Band (R. Mark Rogers, conductor) - 22 November 2020
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Concert Band (Catherine Daniels, conductor) – 21 November 2019
  • University of Iowa (Iowa City) Symphony Band (Mark Heidel, conductor) – 12 November 2019
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Concert Band (Ray Stewart, conductor) - 26 September 2019
  • Hancock College (Santa Maria, Calif.) Concert Band (Garson Olivieri, conductor) – 11 May 2019
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Concert Band (Ray Stewart, conductor) – 26 February 2019
  • New Sousa Band (Keith Brion, conductor) - 21 December 2018 (2018 Midwest Clinic)
  • University of Iowa (Iowa City) Symphony Band (Richard Mark Heidel, conductor) – 15 November 2018
  • Western Illinois University (Macomb) Wind Ensemble (Mike Fansler, conductor) – 10 November 2018
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Concert Band (Ray Stewart, conductor) – 8 November 2018
  • Berea (Ky.) College Wind Ensemble (James A Dreiling, conductor) – 23 October 2018
  • Austin (Tx.) Civic Wind Ensemble (Robert Laguna, conductor) - 4 July 2018
  • Cary (N.C.) Town Band (Stuart Holoman, conductor) – 3 July 2018
  • Classic City Band (Athens, Ga.) (Michael Brewer, conductor) - 1 July 2018
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Concert Band (Ray Stewart, conductor) – 7 March 2018
  • Lufkin (Tx.) Community Band (David E. Smith, conductor) – 3 December 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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