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.


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo
D-flat Piccolo
Flute
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)
Tuba
Timpani
Drums, including:

  • Bass Drum (Cymbals)
  • Small Drum


Errata

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.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project


Works for Winds by this Composer


References

  • 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.].