Crusader March, The

From Wind Repertory Project
John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa

General Info

Year: 1889
Duration: c. 3:10
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print.

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo or I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
E-flat Cornet
B-flat Cornet Solo or I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
B-flat Tenors I-II
Drums, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Legendary conductor and composer John Philip Sousa became a member of the Masons at age twenty-six. Like his father, Sousa was a proud and active Mason and, in 1886, was knighted in Columbia Commandery No. 2, Knights Templar, Washington, D.C. It was soon after this ceremony that Sousa wrote his march The Crusader. The title is presumably derived from the Knights Templar’s theoretical origins in the Crusades, and many of the secret rituals and ceremonies performed by the Masons also derive from the Crusade era. It is interesting to note that it was not only common, but also somewhat expected, that military bandmasters of Sousa’s era be members of Masonic organizations. Though the title suggests a Masonic connection, the music itself contains no known references to Masonic music. Two other Sousa marches that have Masonic connections are The Thunderer (1889) and Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (1923).

- Program Note from U.S. Marine Band concert program, 20 July 2016

The march was one of several sold outright to the Philadelphia publisher Harry Coleman for $35.00. It is interesting harmonically, yet straightforward and simple. If Sousa secretly used fragments of any Masonic music in the march, he concealed it so well that Masonic historians have been unable to bring it to the public's attention.

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


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. 40
  • "New Music Reviews." The Instrumentalist 70.5 (2015): 49. Print
  • Sousa, J. (1889). The Crusader March [score]. Carl Fischer: [s.l.]