March for the Sultan Abdul Medjid

From Wind Repertory Project
Gioacchino Rossini

Gioacchino Rossini (ed. Douglas Townsend)

This work may also be known as A March for the Sultan and Marcia per Sultano.

General Info

Year: 1851 / 1967
Duration: c. 3:15
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Mercury Music Corp., through Theodore Presser
Cost: Score and Parts - $135.00   |   Full Score Only - $25.00   |   Condensed Score Only - $18.99


Condensed Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
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
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Triangle


  • In full score:
  • p. 32, m.1: Delete reh. 95
  • p. 32, m.2: Add reh. 95

Program Notes

Giuseppe Donizetti, brother of the composer Gaetano Donizetti, served as bandmaster for the Sultan Abdul Medjid and his father from 1832 to 1856. He wrote a march for them, and commissioned his brother Gaetano and Rossini to write marches to honor them as well. Rossini wrote his march in 1851. Originally titled Marcia Militare, the score was discovered by American musicologist Douglas Townsend who edited it for today’s band instrumentation.

- Program Note from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music

Through influence from his education in France, the Sultan Abdul Medjid Khan of Turkey became enamored with Westernliterature and classical music, including opera. This led him to hire Giuseppe Donizetti, brother of renowned opera composer Giuseppe, to be his royal composer. The Sultan's infatuation with European music also influenced him to have the military music of his army revised to be comparable to that to which he had become familiar. For this, Giuseppe Donizetti composed a great deal of music and commissioned two marches: one from his brother and another from Rossini. Douglass Townsend provided this edition of Rossini's contribution using modern American band instrumentation in 1965 after he discovered Rossini’s manuscript at the Turkish Institute in Ankara. The use of Janissary -- Turkish military -- percussion instruments, cymbals and triangle in particular, is prevalent, and the style is delightfully familiar Rossini.

- Program Note from Texas State University Wind Symphony concert program, 6 May 2021

When Sultan Abdul Medjid Khan of Turkey decided to have the military music of his army revised on a basis comparable to that of Western Europe, he invited Giuseppe Donizetti, brother of the renowned opera composer Gaetano Donizetti, to take over this task. The Italian musician, later to be called by the honorary title of Giuseppe Donizetti-Pasha, remained in Turkey from 1832 until his death in 1856. One of his accomplishments was the establishment of an army music school in Ankara, which still exists today.

Giuseppe Donizetti composed a great deal of music for his royal patrons. He also commissioned the present marches from his brother Gaetano and from Rossini. I had never been able to trace copies of these marches until 1965 when I found the Rossini march in the library of the Conservatory of Music in Milan. In February of the same year I visited the Turkish Institute in Ankara and inquired about the Donizetti march. Although it was not listed in the catalog, a library page remembered that some music had been stored in the basement. And thus, wearing my overcast against the cold, I went down to a freezing cellar and “bought it to light,” in this case that of a single bulb on an extension cord.

- Program Note by arranger


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Texas A&M University (College Station) Wind Symphony (Timothy Rhea, conductor) - 30 September 2022
  • Texas State University (San Marcos) Wind Symphony (Chase Failing, conductor) - 6 May 2021
  • University of Northern Colorado (Greeley) Wind Ensemble (Wesley J. Broadnax, conductor) – 13 February 2020
  • Philadelphia (Penn.) Wind Symphony (Wesley Broadnax, conductor) – 18 March 2019
  • Philadelphia (Penn.) Wind Symphony (Paul Bryan, conductor) – 20 March 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Donizetti, G.; Rossini, G.; Townsend, D. (1967). Two Marches for the Sultan Abdul Medjid [score]. Mercury Music Corp.: New York.
  • Girsberger, Russ. Percussion Assignments for Band & Wind Ensemble: Volume 2 L-Z. Galesville, MD: Meredith Music Publications, 2004, 258. Print.
  • Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Giacchino Rossini." Accessed 10 August 2017