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Gliding Girl, The

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John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa (arr. Loras John Schissel)

Subtitle: Tango

General Info

Year: 1912 / 2008
Duration: c. 3:40
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Ludwig Masters
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $95.00  |   Score Only (print) - $14.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet (optional)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Harp (optional)
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Castanets
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

According to a story circulated among former Sousa Band members, Sousa's daughter Priscilla gave him the idea for this composition. She had just returned from Europe, reporting that the tango was the rage there. She gave him a demonstration by gliding around the room, and he captured her graceful motions in music.

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

The Gliding Girl (1912) dates from the time period when the tango was “all the rage” throughout Europe and the United States. Several Sousa bandsmen reported to biographer Paul E. Bierly that Sousa was inspired to compose the work after his daughter Priscilla danced the tango for him in their living room after a return from a holiday in Europe.

The manuscript full score for band is interesting insofar as the subtitle of the work was originally called “A Dance.” The manuscript paper changes at the start of the trio. It is possible that Sousa began composing the piece as a slow foxtrot which was composed from the introduction to the end of the second strain. The remaining strains are certainly more in the style of a tango, particularly with the inclusion of Latin percussion instruments and ostinato rhythm.

- Program Note from University of North Texas Concert Band concert program, 5 October 2016

Commercial Discography


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Atascadero (Calif.) Community Band (Randy Schwabe, conductor) – 8 March 2020
  • Virginia Grand Military Band (Alexandria) (Loras John Schissel, conductor) – 13 October 2018
  • Philharmonia Winds (Hartford, Conn.) (Alan Francis, conductor) - 13 May 2018
  • United States Coast Guard Band (New London, Conn.) (Edward Cumming, conductor) – 11 February 2018
  • Wartburg College (Waverly, Iowa) Symphonic Band (Scott Muntefering, conductor) – 30 November 2017
  • Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Tx.) Meadows Wind Ensemble (Jack Delaney, conductor) – 10 November 2017
  • University of Missouri (Columbia) Symphonic Band (Erin Colleen Cooper, conductor) – 13 October 2016
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Concert Band (Kelly Desjardins, conductor) - 5 October 2016
  • Lone Star Wind Orchestra (Dallas, Texas) (Eugene Migliaro Corporon, conductor) – 3 April 2016

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Sousa, J. (1912). The Gliding Girl: Tango [score]. Bovaco: [s.l.]