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Black Horse Troop

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John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa (edited by Frederick Fennell)

General Info

Year: 1924 / 1974
Duration: c. 3:10
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Publishing
Cost: Score and Parts - $70.00 | Score Only - $9.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Contra-Alto Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Cornet (in Bb) I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Cymbal (crash)
  • Field Drum
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Black Horse Troop march was completed December 30, 1924, at Sousa’s Sands Point, Long Island, estate. It was played for the first time about ten months later on October 17, 1925, at a concert of the Sousa Band in the Public Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio – and I was there. I had not been to such an event as this one. I remember that as Sousa’s march was being played, Troop A rode [their horses] onto the stage and stood behind the band to the tumultuous cheering of all. The March King enjoyed a long relationship with the men and horses of Cleveland’s Ohio National Guard Cavalry, known as Troop A.

It is recommended that both the characteristically loose-slung field drum be used together with the conventional snare drum. The bass drum heads’ tension should be loose, and the instrument should be played with a hard beater.

- Program Note by Fredrick Fennell

March King John Philip Sousa wrote this march in honour of Troop A, or The Black Horse Troop. This was an independent military organisation which was established in Ohio after The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 amongst fears about the military’s ability to maintain law and order. The Black Horse Troop then became part of the Ohio National Guard Cavalry. The remarkable first performance of The Black Horse Troop in 1925 has been documented by legendary band conductor Frederick Fennell, who attended it at the age of 11. At the conclusion of the concert, just before the march was to be played, the whole of Troop A of the Ohio National Cavalry Guard rode their horses onto the stage and stood to attention behind The Sousa Band as Sousa conducted his musicians in the premiere of this elegant, triumphant march.

- Program Note by Suzanne Sherrington and Brendan Champion for the New South Wales Public Schools Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert program, 17 December 2014

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


None discovered thus far.