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John Philip Sousa

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Title: John Philip Sousa  
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Subject: American march music, Semper Fidelis (march), King Cotton (march), Ragtime, 1886 in music
Collection: 1854 Births, 1932 Deaths, 19Th-Century Classical Composers, 20Th-Century American Musicians, 20Th-Century Classical Composers, American Classical Composers, American Classical Tubists, American Conductors (Music), American Male Classical Composers, American Military Personnel of World War I, American Opera Composers, American People of German Descent, American People of Portuguese Descent, American People of Spanish Descent, American Tubists, Burials at the Congressional Cemetery, Hall of Fame for Great Americans Inductees, John Philip Sousa, March Music, Military Musicians, Music of Washington, D.C., Musicians from Washington, D.C., Opera Composers, People from Sands Point, New York, Ragtime Composers, Romantic Composers, Trap and Double Trap Shooters, United States Marine Corps Officers, United States Navy Officers, Vaudeville Performers
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John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa
Sousa in 1900; photo by Elmer Chickering
Nickname(s) "The March King"
Born (1854-11-06)November 6, 1854
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Died March 6, 1932(1932-03-06) (aged 77)
Reading, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Buried at Congressional Cemetery
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Marine Corps
 United States Navy
Years of service 1868–1875, 1880–1892 (U.S. Marine Corps)
1917–1918 (U.S. Navy)
Rank Warrant officer (U.S. Marines)
Lieutenant commander (U.S. Navy)
Commands held United States Marine Band
U.S. Navy Great Lakes Naval Station Band

John Philip Sousa (;[1] Portuguese pronunciation:  (November 6, 1854 – March 6, 1932) was an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era, known primarily for American military and patriotic marches. Because of his mastery of march composition, he is known as "The March King" or the "American March King" due to his British counterpart Kenneth J. Alford also being known as "The March King". Among his best-known marches are "The Liberty Bell", "The Thunderer", "The Washington Post", "Semper Fidelis" (Official March of the United States Marine Corps), and "The Stars and Stripes Forever" (National March of the United States of America).

Sousa's father was sousaphone, a large brass instrument similar to the tuba. On the outbreak of World War I, Sousa was commissioned as a Lieutenant Commander and led the Naval Reserve Band in Illinois. Following his tenure, he returned to conduct the Sousa Band until his death in 1932.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Military service 4
  • Music 5
    • Marches 5.1
    • Operettas 5.2
  • Writings, views and interests 6
    • Trapshooting 6.1
    • Writing 6.2
    • Opposition to recording 6.3
    • Other interests 6.4
  • See also 7
  • Notes 8
  • Citations 9
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
    • Music sources 11.1
    • Archives 11.2
  • External links 12

Early life and education

Sousa's birthplace, still standing on G St., S.E., in Washington, D.C. is currently owned by a member of the "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band

John Philip Sousa was born in Washington, D.C., to John Antonio Sousa, who was of Portuguese ancestry, and Maria Elisabeth Trinkaus, who was of Bavarian ancestry.[1] Sousa started his music education by playing the violin as a pupil of John Esputa and George Felix Benkert for harmony and musical composition at the age of six. He was found to have absolute pitch. During his childhood, Sousa studied voice, violin, piano, flute, cornet, baritone horn, trombone and alto horn.[2] When Sousa was 13, his father, a trombonist in the Marine Band, enlisted him in the United States Marine Corps as an apprentice to keep him from joining a circus band.[3]


Several years long after serving his apprenticeship, Sousa joined a theatrical (pit) orchestra where he learned to conduct. He returned to the U.S. Marine Band as its head in 1880 and remained as its conductor until 1892. Sousa led "The President's Own" band under five presidents from Rutherford B. Hayes to Benjamin Harrison. Sousa's band played at two Inaugural Balls, those of James A. Garfield in 1881, and Benjamin Harrison in 1889.[4][5] The marching brass bass, or sousaphone, a modified helicon, was created by J. W. Pepper – a Philadelphia instrument maker who created the instrument in 1893 at Sousa’s request using several of his suggestions in its design. He wanted a tuba that could sound upward and over the band whether its player was seated or marching. The sousaphone was re-created in 1898 by C.G. Conn and this was the model that Sousa preferred to use.[6]

Problems playing this file? See .

He organized The Sousa Band the year he left the Marine Band. The Sousa Band toured from 1892–1931, performing at 15,623 concerts[7] both in America and around the world,[8] including at the World Exposition in Paris, France.[1] In Paris, the Sousa Band marched through the streets to the Arc de Triomphe – one of only eight parades the band marched in over its forty years.[9]

Personal life

US Postage, Issue of 1940

On December 30, 1879, Sousa married Jane van Middlesworth Bellis (1862–1944).[1] They had three children: John Philip, Jr. (April 1, 1881 – May 18, 1937), Jane Priscilla (August 7, 1882 – October 28, 1958), and Helen (January 21, 1887 – October 14, 1975). All were buried in the John Philip Sousa plot in the Congressional Cemetery. Wife Jane, daughters Jane Priscilla and Helen Abert joined the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in 1907. Their Patriot was Adam Bellis.[10]

Late in his life, Sousa lived in Sands Point, New York. Sousa died of heart failure at the age of 77 on March 6, 1932, in his room at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Reading, Pennsylvania. He had conducted a rehearsal of "The Stars and Stripes Forever" the previous day with the Ringgold Band. He is buried in Washington, D.C.'s Congressional Cemetery.[11] A school (John Philip Sousa Elementary) and a band shell were named after him and there was a memorial tree planted in nearby Port Washington, New York.[12] Wild Bank, his seaside house on Hicks Lane, has been designated a National Historic Landmark, although it remains a private home and is not open to the public.[13] He was posthumously enshrined in the Hall of Fame for Great Americans in 1976, one of just 102 Americans ever to be honored in such a manner.[1]

Military service

Sousa served in the U.S. Marine Corps, first from 1868 to 1875 as an apprentice musician, and then as the head of the Marine Band from 1880 to 1892; he was a Sergeant Major for most of his second period of Marine service.[1]

On May 31, 1917, shortly after the United States declared war on Germany and entered World War I, Sousa was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He was later promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander. During the war, Sousa led the Navy Band at the Great Lakes Naval Station near Chicago, Illinois.[1] Being independently wealthy, he donated his entire naval salary minus one dollar a year to the Sailors' and Marines' Relief Fund. After returning to his own band at the end of the war, he continued to wear his naval uniform for most of his concerts and other public appearances.

For this service during the war, Sousa received the World War I Victory Medal. After the war, he was elected as a Veteran Companion of the Military Order of Foreign Wars.


The United States Marine Band performs "The Stars and Stripes Forever", The national march of the United States

Problems playing these files? See .


Sousa wrote 136 marches, published by the Sam Fox Publishing Company beginning in 1917 and continuing until his death.[14] Some of his notable ones are:

The Gladiator March, Sousa's first hit.

"King Cotton", an 1895 Sousa military march.

"The Gallant Seventh", was in the 1920s and is distinguished as his only march with two breakstrains.

Sousa's The Thunderer (1889), performed in 1896 by the United States Marine Band

"Manhattan Beach", a commemorative march by John Philip Sousa.

Sousa's Hands Across the Sea (1899), performed by the United States Navy Band

Sousa's Fairest of the Fair (1908), performed by the United States Navy Band

Problems playing these files? See .

Sousa wrote marches for several American universities, including University of Illinois,[19] University of Nebraska,[20] Kansas State University,[21] and Marquette University.[22]


Sousa and his newly formed civilian band, 1893

Sousa wrote many notable operettas including:

  • The Smugglers (1882)
  • Désirée (1883)
  • The Queen of Hearts (1885), also known as Royalty and Roguery
  • El Capitan (1896)
  • The Bride Elect (1897), libretto by Sousa.
  • The Charlatan (1898), also known as The Mystical Miss, lyrics by Sousa[23]
  • Chris and the Wonderful Lamp (1899)
  • The Free Lance (1905)
  • The American Maid (1909), also known as The Glass Blowers.

Marches and waltzes have been derived from many of these stage-works. Sousa also composed the music for six operettas that were either unfinished or not produced: The Devils' Deputy, Florine, The Irish Dragoon, Katherine, The Victory, and The Wolf.[24]

In addition, Sousa wrote a march based on themes from Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera The Mikado, the elegant overture Our Flirtations, a number of musical suites, etc.[25] He frequently added Sullivan opera overtures or other Sullivan pieces to his concerts.[26] He was quoted saying, "My religion lies in my composition.[27]

Writings, views and interests

Sousa had several additional interests outside of music. He wrote three novels – The Fifth String, Pipetown Sandy, and The Transit of Venus – as well as a full-length autobiography, Marching Along and numerous articles and letters-to-the-editor on a variety of subjects. He participated in trapshooting, taking an active role on the national stage in competitions.


As a [28] Sousa was a regular competitor representing the United States Navy in trapshooting competitions, particularly against the United States Army. Available records indicate that Sousa registered more than 35,000 targets during his shooting career.[29] A quote from his Trapshooting Hall of Fame biography says it best: "Let me say that just about the sweetest music to me is when I call, ‘pull,’ the old gun barks, and the referee in perfect key announces, ‘dead’."[28]


In his 1902 novel The Fifth String, a young violinist made a deal with the Devil for a magic violin with five strings. The strings can excite the emotions of Pity, Hope, Love and Joy – the fifth string was of Death and can be played only once before causing the player's own death. He was unable to win the love of the woman he desired. At a final concert, he played upon the death string.[30] In 1905, Sousa published a book Pipetown Sandy, which included a satirical poem titled "The Feast of the Monkeys". The poem described "a lavish party attended by variety of animals, however, overshadowed by the King of Beasts, the lion...who allows the muttering guests the privilege of watching him eat the entire feast". At the end of his gluttony, the lion explained, "Come all rejoice, You’ve seen your monarch dine."[31]

In 1920, he wrote a 40,000-word story, "The Transit of Venus". It was about a group of misogynists called the Alimony Club who, as a way of temporarily escaping the society of women, embark on a sea voyage to observe the transit of Venus. The captain's niece, however, had stowed away on board and soon won over the men.[32] Sousa also wrote a booklet, "A manual for trumpet and drum", published by the Ludwig drum company, with advice for playing drums and trumpet. An early version of the trumpet solo to "Semper Fidelis" was included in this volume.[33]

Opposition to recording

Sousa held a very low opinion of the emerging and upstart recording industry. Using an epithet coined by Mark Twain,[7] he derided recordings as "canned music", a reference to the early wax cylinder records that came in can-like cylindrical cardboard boxes. In a submission to a congressional hearing in 1906, he argued:

Sousa in 1900, by Elmer Chickering.
These talking machines are going to ruin the artistic development of music in this country. When I was a front of every house in the summer evenings, you would find young people together singing the songs of the day or old songs. Today you hear these infernal machines going night and day. We will not have a vocal cord left. The vocal cord will be eliminated by a process of evolution, as was the tail of man when he came from the ape.

Law professor Lawrence Lessig cited this passage[34] to argue that in creating a system of copyrights in which control of music is in the hands of record labels, Sousa was essentially correct.

Sousa's antipathy to recording was such that he almost never conducted his band when it was being recorded. Nevertheless, Sousa's band made numerous recordings, the earliest being issued on cylinders by several companies, followed by many recordings on discs by the Berliner Gramophone Company and its successor, the Victor Talking Machine Company (later RCA Victor). The Berliner recordings were conducted by Henry Higgins (one of Sousa's cornet soloists) and Arthur Pryor (Sousa's trombone soloist and assistant conductor), with Sousa quoted as saying,[35] "I have never been in the gramophone company's office in my life." A handful of the Victor recordings were actually conducted by Sousa, but most were conducted by Pryor, Herbert L. Clarke, Edwin H. Clarke, or by four of Victor's most prolific house musicians: Walter B. Rogers (who had also been a cornet soloist with Sousa), Rosario Bourdon, Josef Pasternack, and Nathaniel Shilkret.[35] Details of the Victor recordings are available in the external link below to the EDVR.

Other interests

Sousa also appeared with his band in newsreels and on radio broadcasts (beginning with a 1929 nationwide broadcast on NBC).[1] In 1999, Legacy Records released some of Sousa's historic recordings on CD.[36] In 1922, he accepted the invitation of the national chapter to become an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi, the national honorary band fraternity.[37] In 1925, he was initiated as an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national fraternity for men in music, by the fraternity's Alpha Xi chapter at the University of Illinois.[38] In 1952, 20th Century Fox honored Sousa in their Technicolor feature film Stars and Stripes Forever with Clifton Webb portraying the composer. Fox music director Alfred Newman arranged the music and conducted the studio orchestra for the soundtrack. It was loosely based on Sousa's memoirs, Marching Along.[39]

See also


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster Also commonly


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "The Library of Congress Biography: John Philip Sousa". Archived from the original on December 9, 2010. Retrieved January 10, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Biography". Sousa and His Band. Dallas Wind Symphony. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Biography of John Philip Sousa". A Capitol Fourth – PBS. Capital Concerts. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  4. ^ James A. Garfield (1989). "Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States". Archived from the original on December 9, 2010. 
  5. ^ Benjamin Harrison (1989). "Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States". Archived from the original on December 9, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Sousaphone". Virginia Tech Music Dictionary. Virginia Tech University. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Bierley, Paul Edmund, “The Incredible Band of John Philip Sousa”. University of Illinois Press, 2006.
  8. ^ "The Sousa Band". America's Story. Library of Congress. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "The Incredible Band of John Philip Sousa". p. 46. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  10. ^ McSherry Jr., Jack L. "John Philip Sousa". The Spanish-American War Centennial Website. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  12. ^ "The John Philip Sousa Bandshell". Port Washington, NY Patch. Patch. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  13. ^ Richard Greenwood (May 30, 1975), National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: John Philip Sousa Home (pdf), National Park Service  and Accompanying photos, exterior, from 1975 PDF (1.09 MB)
  14. ^ "Sam Fox, 89, Dies; Music Publisher", New York Times, December 1, 1971
  15. ^ "US Code: Title 36, 304". Cornell Law School. October 30, 2006. Archived from the original on December 9, 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2006. 
  16. ^ Army Regulation 220–90, Army Bands, November 27, 2000, para 2-5f, g
  17. ^ "Who's Who in Navy Blue". Wingert-Jones Music Inc. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  18. ^ "Troop A – The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History". Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  19. ^ Frank, Brendan. "The Legacy of Illinois Bands". Illinois Bands. College of Fine and Applied Arts – University of Illinois. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "Sousa writes special march for Nebraska". The Daily Nebraskan (Lincoln, Nebraska). 22 February 1928. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "History – Kansas State Bands". Kansas State Bands. Kansas State University Bands. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  22. ^ "Student Organizations – Band". Marquette Archives | Raynor Memorial Libraries. Marquette University. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  23. ^ "The Charlatan"Vocal score of . 2001-03-10. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  24. ^ "John Philip Sousa". Guide to Musical Theatre – Operetta. The Guide to Musical Theatre. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  25. ^ Hughes, Gervase. Composers of Operetta, New York, 1962
  26. ^ Bierley, Paul E. John Philip Sousa: American Phenomenon, Prentice–Hall, Inc., 1973p. 102
  27. ^ "". 1932-03-06. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  28. ^ a b c "John Philip Sousa". National Trapshooting Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on May 5, 2008. Retrieved February 25, 2008. 
  29. ^ "John Phillip Sousa". Trapshooting Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 29, 2012. 
  30. ^ John Philip Sousa (1902). The fifth string. Bowen-Merrill. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  31. ^ "Pipetown Sandy: Sousa, John Philip, 1854–1932". Free Download & Streaming: Internet Archive. California Digital Library. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  32. ^ "Willow Grove Park". Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  33. ^ John Philip Sousa (1985). A book of instruction for the field-trumpet and drum: together with the trumpet and drum signals now in use in the Army, Navy and Marine Corps of the United States. Ludwig Music Pub. Co. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  34. ^ Lawrence Lessig, 2008, Remix: making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy, London: Bloomsbury Academic. Chapter 1.
  35. ^ a b Smart, James R., The Sousa Band: A Discography, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 1970
  36. ^ "March King: John Philip Sousa Conducts His Own Marches". Archived from the original on December 9, 2010. Retrieved February 25, 2008. 
  37. ^ "Prominent Members – Kappa Kappa Psi". Kappa Kappa Psi. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  38. ^ Brian, Greg. "Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity: A History of this Secret Society for Musicians". Yahoo! Voices. Yahoo! Inc. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  39. ^ Crowther, Bosley. "Stars-and-Stripes-Forever – Trailer – Cast – Showtimes". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 


  • 75 years after death here, Sousa sells out the Abe – Reading Eagle Newspaper
  • Congressional hearing: in Copyright's Communication Policy by Professor Tim Woo, University of Virginia, May 2004 – Caution, 560k PDF.
  • John Philip Sousa was raised as a freemason at the Hiram-Takoma Lodge No.10 in the District of Washington

Further reading

  • Berger, Kenneth W. The March King and His Band : The Story of John Philip Sousa. New York: Exposition Press, 1957.
  • Bierley, Paul E. John Philip Sousa: A Descriptive Catalog of His Works. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1973.
  • Bierley, Paul E. John Philip Sousa: American Phenomenon. Miami, FL: Warner Bros. Publications, 2001.
  • Bierley, Paul E. The Incredible Band of John Philip Sousa Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006.
  • Delaplaine, Edward S. John Philip Sousa and the National Anthem. Frederick, MD: Great Southern Press, 1983.
  • Heslip, Malcolm. Nostalgic Happenings in the Three Bands of John Philip Sousa. Westerville, OH: Integrity Press, 1992.
  • Lingg, Ann M. John Philip Sousa. New York: Holt, 1954.
  • Newsom, Jon, ed. Perspectives on John Philip Sousa. Washington: Library of Congress, 1983.
  • Warfield, Patrick. Making the March King: John Philip Sousa's Washington Years, 1854–1893 (University of Illinois Press; 2013) 331 pages; scholarly biography

Music sources

  • Bierley, Paul E. The Works of John Philip Sousa Columbus, OH: Integrity Press, 1984.
  • Sousa, John Philip. Marching Along: Recollections of Men, Women and Music. Edited by Paul E. Bierley. Boston: Hale, Cushman & Flint, 1928, rev. 1994.
  • Sousa, John Philip. National, Patriotic and Typical Airs of All Lands. N.Y.: Da Capo Press, 1977.
  • Sousa, John Philip. Through the Year with Sousa: Excerpts from the Operas, Marches, Miscellaneous Compositions, Novels, Letters, Magazine Articles, Songs, Sayings and Rhymes of John Philip Sousa. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell &, 1910.
  • Warfield, Patrick, ed. (2010). John Philip Sousa: Six Marches. Music of the United States of America (MUSA) vol 21. Madison, Wisconsin: A-R Editions.


  • Bennett, Jeb. "John Philip Sousa: 100th Anniversary." Marine Corps Gazzette 64, no. 10 (1980): 31–34.
  • Bierley, Paul E. "Sousa: America's Greatest Composer?" Musical Journal 25, no. 1 (1967): 83–87.
  • Bierley, Paul E. "Sousa on Programming." Instrumentalist, December 1973.
  • Bierley, Paul E. "Sousa's Mystery March." Instrumentalist, February 1966.
  • Dvorak, Raymond F. "Recollections of Sousa's March Performances." School Musician, Director and Teacher, December 1969.
  • Evenson, Orville. "The March Style of Sousa." Instrumentalist, November 1954.
  • Fennell, Frederick. "Sousa: Still a Somebody." Instrumentalist, March 1982.
  • Gaydos, Jeff. "Stars and Stripes and Sousa Forever!" Bandwagon, June 1980.
  • Goldberg, Isaac. "Sousa." American Mercury 27 (1932): 193–200.
  • Goldman, Richard Franko. "John Philip Sousa." HiFi/Stereo Review 19, no. 1 (1967): 35–47.
  • Gordon, Marjorie M. "John Philip Sousa: A Centennial-Year Salute to the March King." Musical Journal 11, no. 11 (1954): 28–34.
  • Heney, John J. "On the Road with the Sousa Band." School Musician, Director and Teacher, 1976.
  • Howard, George S. "A New Era for Brass: Sousa's Role." Music Journal, January 1966.
  • Intravaia, Lawrence J. "Wind Band Scoring Practices of Gilmore and Sousa." School Musician, Director and Teacher 36, no. 7 (March 1965): 62–63.
  • Larson, Cedric. "John Philip Sousa as an Author." Etude, August 1941.
  • Mangrum, Mary Gailey. "I Remember Sousa." Instrumentalist 24, no. 5 (1969): 38–41.
  • Mangrum, Mary Gailey. "Sousa the Patriot." Instrumentalist 24, no. 6 (1970): 33–35.
  • Marek, George Richard. "John Philip Sousa." HiFi/Musical America 23, no. 11 (1973): 57–61.
  • Mathews, William Smith Babcock. "An Interview with John Philip Sousa." Music: A Monthly Magazine 9 (1896): 487–92.
  • Mayer, Francis N. "John Philip Sousa: His Instrumentation and Scoring." Music Educator's Journal, January 1960.
  • Peterson, O. A. "The Human Side of Sousa." Musical Messenger, May 1916.
  • Pleasants, Henry. "A Look at Sousa: Ormandy and Critics." International Herald Tribune (Paris Edition), December 1969.
  • "Sousa and His Mission." Music: A Monthly Magazine 16 (July 1899): 272–76.
  • "Sousa as He Is." Music: A Monthly Magazine 14 (May 1899).
  • "Sousa's New Marine Band." Musical Courier, November 9, 1892.
  • Stoddard, Hope. "Sousa: Symbol of an Era." International Musician, December 1948.
  • Thomson, Grace F. "Memories of the March King." Musical Journal 22, no. 5 (1964): 27–49.
  • Trimborn, Thomas J. "In the Footsteps of Sousa." Instrumentalist 35, no. 4 (1980): 10–13.
  • Wimbush, Roger. "Sousa at the "Proms"" Monthly Musical Record 68:238–40.


  • Bly, Leon Joseph. “The March in American Society.” Diss., University of Miami, 1977.
  • Bowie, Gordon W. “R. B. Hall and the Community Bands of Maine.” Diss., University of Maine, 1993.
  • Carpenter, Kenneth William. “A History of the United States Marine Band.” Diss., University of Iowa, 1971.
  • Church, Charles Fremont. “The Life and Influence of John Philip Sousa.” Diss., Ohio State University, 1942.
  • Darling, Matthew H. “A Study and Catalogue of the Solos Composed, Arranged, and Transcribed for Xylophone and Band by John Joseph Heney (1902–1978), Percussionist (1926–31) and Xylophone Soloist (1931) with the John Philip Sousa Band.” Diss., University of Arizona, 1998.
  • Hemberger, Glen J. “Selected Songs for Chamber Winds and Soprano: Rediscovering a Forgotten Repertoire of John Philip Sousa.” Diss., University of North Texas, 2001.
  • Hester, Michael E. “A Study of the Saxophone Soloists Performing with the John Philip Sousa Band, 1893–1930.” Diss., University of Arizona, 1995.
  • Jorgensen, Michael R. “John Philip Sousa's Operetta El Capitan: A Historical, Analytical, and Performance Guide.” Diss., Ball State University, 1995.
  • Korzun, Jonathan Nicholas. “The Orchestral Transcriptions for Band of John Philip Sousa: a Description and Analysis.” Diss., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1994.
  • Kreitner, Mona Bulpitt. “'A Splendid Group of American Girls': The Women Who Sang with the Sousa Band.” Diss., University of Memphis, 2007.
  • Norton, Pauline Elizabeth Hosack. “March Music in Nineteenth Century America.” Diss., University of Michigan, 1983.
  • Stacy, William Barney. “John Philip Sousa and His Band Suites.” Diss., University of Colorado, 1973.
  • Summers, C. Oland. “The Development of Original Band Scoring from Sousa to Husa.” Diss., Ball State University, 1986.
  • Warfield, Patrick. “"Salesman of Americanism, Globetrotter and Musician" the Nineteenth-century John Philip Sousa; 1854 – 1893.” Diss., Indiana University, 2003.
  • Whisler, John A. “The Songs of John Philip Sousa.” Diss., Memphis State University, 1975.
  • Wright, Maurice. “The Fifth String: an Opera in One Act.” Diss., Columbia University, 1989.


  • J. P. Sousa Collection. Washington D.C.: Archives of the U.S. Marine Band, 2011.
  • The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011.

External links

  • MIDI sequences of piano transcriptions of compositions by Sousa
  • Harris, Neil: "John Philip Sousa and the Culture of Reassurance"
  • Fennell, Frederick: "The Sousa March: A Personal View"
  • Works by John Philip Sousa at Project Gutenberg
    • The Experiences of a Bandmaster – Project Gutenberg e-text of book by Sousa
    • The Fifth String – (ditto)
  • Works by The Sousa Band at Project Gutenberg (audio recordings)
  • John Philip Sousa at Music of the United States of America (MUSA)
  • The Feast of the Monkeys – the "nonsense verse" that Sousa wrote.
  • Sousa discography
  • Victor Records by Sousa's Band from the Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings (EDVR)
  • Numerous Sousa photos
  • Free scores by John Philip Sousa at the International Music Score Library Project
  • The Mutopia Project has compositions by John Philip Sousa
  • Free Brass Band version of Stars & Stripes Forever
  • The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music – Provides research-oriented management of band-related collections, including a large portion of Sousa's manuscripts and personal papers, held for use by students, scholars, and performing musicians
  • The Works of John Philip Sousa – Marches in MIDI format; from The John Philip Sousa Home Page by David Lovrien, hosted by the Dallas Wind Symphony
  • Statue Becomes First National Landmark Honoring John Philip Sousa
  • John Philip Sousa statue at the Marine Barracks near the Washington Navy Yard in Washington DC
  • John Philip Sousa Foundation
Historical recordings
  • Recordings by Sousa (
  • Recordings by Sousa (Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project)
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