Please DONATE to help with maintenance and upkeep of the Wind Repertory Project!

Stars and Stripes Forever, The (Sousa)

From Wind Repertory Project
John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa

General Info

Year: 1897 / 1951
Duration: c. 3:25
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: John Church
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print

For availability information, see Discussion area, above.


Full Score
C Piccolo
D-flat Piccolo
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Bass Saxophone
B-flat Cornet (Flugelhorn) Solo-I
B-flat Cornet II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
Drums, including:

  • Bass Drum (Cymbals)
  • Small Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Sousa consistently stated that this march was divinely inspired and was born of homesickness. In his autobiography, Marching Along, he provides the details of its creation after he had received a cablegram in Italy that his manager, David Blakely, had died:

“Aboard the Teutonic, as it steamed out of the harbor on my return from Europe in 1896, came one of the most vivid incidents of my career. As I paced the deck, absorbed in thought, suddenly I began to sense the rhythmic beat of a band playing within my brain. It kept on ceaselessly, playing, playing, playing. Throughout the whole tense voyage, that imaginary band continued to unfold the same themes, echoing and reechoing the most distinct melody. I did not transfer a note of that music to paper while I was on the steamer, but when we reached the shore, I set down the measures that my brain-band had been playing for me, and not a note of it has ever changed. The composition is known the world over as The Stars and Stripes Forever and is probably my most popular march.” (By permission of John Philip Sousa, Inc., New York City)

Paul Bierley states that The Stars and Stripes Forever is “by far the most popular march ever written, and its popularity is by no means limited to the United States.” A ten-year international march popularity survey confirms Bierley’s statement. The universal appeal of Sousa’s march is illustrated by an article in The New York Times by Harold Schonberg which tells of a tour to China by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1973. After sitting politely but stonily through a program which ranged from Beethoven to Copland, the orchestra struck up The Stars and Stripes. “All of a sudden electricity permeated the hall. Faces broke into smiles; feet began tapping; there was a general air of understanding and happiness. Maybe,... (it) really is the greatest piece of music ever written by an American. In any case, it has made more friends for America than any other piece of music...”

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Marist College (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) Concert Band (Joshua E. Long, conductor) - 23 November 2019
  • Northwestern State University of Louisiana (Natchitoches) Wind Symphony (Jeffrey C. Mathews, conductor) – 10 July 2019 - WASBE Conference (Buñol, Spain)
  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Jason K. Fettig, conductor) – 26 May 2019
  • Central Iowa Wind Ensemble (Mark A. Doerffel, conductor) - 10 March 2019
  • United States Air Force Band (Washington, D.C.) (Linda Moorhouse, conductor) - 8 March 2019 (84th Annual ABA National Convention)
  • Colorado State University (Fort Collins) Symphonic Band (T. André Feagin, conductor)- 4 March 2019
  • Vandegrift High School (Austin, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (Mike Howard, conductor) - 15 February 2019 (2019 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • United States Army Band (Ft. Myer, Va.) (Andrew J. Esch, conductor) - 19 December 2018 (2018 Midwest Clinic)
  • Winchendon (Mass.) Winds (James Chesebrough, conductor) - 1 July 2018
  • Encore Winds (Traverse City, Mich.) (Timothy Topolewski, conductor) - 15 March 2018
  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Michelle A. Rakers, conductor) – 11 March 2018
  • Ventura County (Calif.) Concert Band (Julie Judd, conductor) – 12 November 2017
  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Gary Smith, conductor) - 10 March 2017 (82nd Annual ABA National Convention)
  • University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) Summer Band (Kelly Cartwright, conductor) - 21 July 2016
  • Oakland (Calif.) Municipal Band (Troy Davis, conductor) – 4 July 2016
  • Champaign-Urbana (Ill.) Civic Wind Band (Linda Moorhouse, conductor) - 2 July 2016
  • Danville (Calif.) Community Band (Robert Calonico, conductor) – 10 April 2016
  • Kings Park Concert Band (Springfield/Burke, Va.) (Richard Bergman, conductor) – 9 April 2016
  • United States Marine Band (Jason K. Fettig, conductor) – 10 January 2016

Works for Winds by this Composer


  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 555-556.
  • Sousa, J. (1897). The Stars and Stripes Forever [score]. John Chuch Co.: [s.l.].