The Liberty Bell March

By: John P. Sousa
For: String quartet
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Composer
John P. Sousa
Year of composition
1893
Arranger
Difficulty
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
Duration
3 minutes
Genre
Classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

American bandmaster and composer John Philip Sousa did more than anyone to elevate the status of the military wind band through creation and performance. Sousa's boyhood coincided with the American Civil War. The sounds of military bands were constantly in the air. His first musical training was on the violin, and his father instructed him on several wind instruments. At 13 the lure of a visiting circus was a powerful incentive for the boy to join up as a musician; however, his astute father, himself a bandsman, caught wind of the lad's intention and procured an apprenticeship in the Marine Corps Band for his son. It proved to be a happy move for all involved. The young musician sharpened his skills in that musical organization called the "President's own." He composed his first march, ?Salutation?, at 16.

At 18, Sousa began to play violin in various theater orchestras. In 1880, Sousa was appointed leader of the Marine Corps Band, which he would serve for 12 years, under five presidents. He now began to hit his stride with his own marches, turning out such classics as ?Semper Fidelis?, ?The Washington Post?, ?The Thunderer?, and ?The High School Cadets?. In 1892 Sousa, resigning his position with the Marine Corps, organized his own band, known simply as ?Sousa's Band?. Through national, European, and world tours, the band's success was nothing short of a phenomenon, Sousa receiving many honors and decorations from the royal families of Great Britain and Europe.

He continued turning out his series of comic operas, including the highly successful ?El Capitan? (1895). From his pen flowed songs, symphonic poems, and more marches, this period seeing ?The Liberty Bell? (1893), ?King Cotton? (1895), ?Hands Across the Sea? (1899) and, most notably, ?The Stars and Stripes Forever? (1897).

Among his many achievements was his being a founder of ASCAP. He also helped develop the Sousaphone, a large tuba which features in parade bands. Ultimately, his compositions are his monument. But particularly it is the marches which endure. Sousa was not afraid to invest his marches with beautiful melody and unusual harmonies, placing them above being merely parade music. Sousa continued to explore within his chosen field until the end and many from his final decade such as The Gridiron Club and Sesquicentennial Exposition are remarkable for their inventiveness and vitality. The composer himself mused upon what constitutes the perfect march, stating that "it should make a man with a wooden leg step out." In virtually all of his creations in this field, Sousa passed this standard with flying colors.

This arrangement comes with a supplemental third violin part, and an optional bass part for use with string orchestra.

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Symphony No.40 - 1. Allegro molto, The Nutcracker - Overture, Anvil Chorus, from "Il Trovatore", Anvil Chorus, from "Il Trovatore", Au fond du temple saint, from "The Pearl Fishers", Slavonic Dance, Op.46 No.7, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 5. Polonaise and Double, Brook Green Suite - 2. Air, The Barber of Seville - Overture, Brook Green Suite - 3. Dance, Canon in D, Chanson de Matin, Concerto for Two Violins "L'estro armonico" Op.3 No.8 - Movement 1, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 7. Badinerie, Concerto for Two Violins "L'estro armonico" Op.3 No.8 - Movement 3, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 1. Overture, Pavane, Op.50, Symphony No.29 - 3. Menuetto, La Damnation de Faust - Rakoczy March, Concerto in D minor for 2 Violins - 3. Allegro, Duet: Sous le dome epais, from "Lakme", El Capitan, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 3. Adagio, Swan Lake - Dance of the Cygnets, Brandenburg Concerto No.6 - 2. Adagio ma non tanto, Holberg Suite - 2. Sarabande, Carmen - Act 1: Prelude, Holberg Suite - 4. Air, Holberg Suite - 5. Rigaudon, Jerusalem (And Did Those Feet In Ancient Time), King Cotton, L'Autunno ("Autumn") - 1. Allegro, L'Autunno ("Autumn") - 3. Allegro, L'Estate ("Summer") - 1. Allegro non molto, L'Estate ("Summer") - 2. Adagio, Presto, L'Estate ("Summer") - 3. Presto, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 4. Bourree I and II, L'Inverno ("Winter") - 3. Allegro, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 1. Allegro, Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op.42 - No.3 Melodie, Symphonie Fantastique - 2. Un Bal, Largo al factotum, from "The Barber of Seville", Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix, from "Samson et Dalila", O soave fanciulla, from "La boheme", Water Music Suite No.2 in D, Birthday Minuet, Brandenburg Concerto No.3 - 2. Adagio - Allegro, Sextet: Chi mi frena, from "Lucia di Lammermoor", Habanera from "Carmen", Habanera from "Carmen", Symphony No.25 - 4. Allegro, Si. Mi chiamano Mimi, from "La boheme", Sonata "Pathetique" Op.13 - 1. Grave - Allegro, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 3. Sarabande, Sonata "Pathetique" Op.13 - 2. Adagio cantabile, Sonata in A, KV 331 - 2. Menuetto and Trio, Water Music Suite No.3 in G, The Coventry Carol, Gradual, Song to the Moon, from "Rusalka", Espana - 2. Tango, Song Without Words No.27 "Funeral March" Op.62 No.3, St. Paul's Suite - 4. Finale (The Dargason), String Serenade - 2. Waltz, The Blue Danube Waltzes, String Sonata No.1 - 2. Andante, The Holly And The Ivy, O come, O come, Emmanuel, Tales From The Vienna Woods, I Saw Three Ships, Gymnopedie No.1, The Gladiator March, Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade, Brandenburg Concerto No.3 - 1. Allegro, The High School Cadets, Trio No.1, Trio No.2, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 3. Allegro, Trio No.3, Angels We Have Heard On High, Un bel di vedremo, from "Madama Butterfly", Suite Bergamasque - No.3 Clair de Lune, Orchestral Suite No.3 - 4. Bourree, O Christmas Tree, Le Coucou, Trombone Johnsen, Vissa d'arte, from "Tosca", Symphony No.29 - 4. Allegro con spirito, Humoresque, Op.101 No.7, O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fidelis), We Three Kings, Brandenburg Concerto No.2 - 1. Allegro, O Holy Night, Away In A Manger, Lohengrin - The Bridal Chorus, The Entertainer, 16 Songs for Children, Op.54 No.6 Legend ("When Jesus Christ Was Yet A Child"), Who Let The Cows Out? - For Sax Quartet (AATB), O Little Town Of Bethlehem (1), Symphony No.25 - 2. Andante, The Ragtime Dance, William Tell - Overture, Deck The Halls, Auld Lang Syne, Policy King, Marche Militaire, Op.51 No.1, Piano Sonata in A "Alla Turca" - 3. Rondo, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 - Nocturne, Emperor Waltz, Marche Militaire, Op.51 No.1, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, Kinderszenen, Op.15 No.13 Der Dichter Spricht (The Poet Speaks), Ave Maria, Op.52 No.6, Berceuse, Op.16, Artist's Life Waltz, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 6. Theme and variations, Solomon - Act III, Sinfonia "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba", Symphony No.40 - 2. Andante, The Merry Wives of Windsor - Overture, Symphony No.40 - 3. Menuetto and Slavonic Dance, Op.46 No.8

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