The Manhattan Beach March

By: John P. Sousa
For: String quartet
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John P. Sousa
Year of composition
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
2 minutes
Classical music
License details
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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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Orchestral Suite No.2 - 2. Rondeau, Sleepy Sidney, Little Jesus, Sweetly Sleep, Symphony No.40 - 1. Allegro molto, Chanson de Matin, Brook Green Suite - 3. Dance, I Got The Blues, Sonata in A, KV 331 - 1. Andante grazioso (Theme and variations), Symphony No.40 - 4. Allegro assai, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 6. Menuet, Jingle Bells, Trumpet Tune, Radetzky March, Op.228, The Nutcracker - Overture, A Thousand And One Nights, Preludes, Book 1 No.8 - The Girl With The Flaxen Hair, Slavonic Dance, Op.46 No.7, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 1. Largo; Allegro molto, Lullay My Liking, Chanson Triste, Op.40 No.2, While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks, A Cyclone in Darktown, Siegfried Idyll, The Barber of Seville - Overture, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 5. Romanze, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 5. Polonaise and Double, Orchestral Suite No.3 - 2. Air, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 7. Badinerie, Ode To Joy, Pavane, Op.50, It Came Upon The Midnight Clear, Symphony No.29 - 3. Menuetto, La Damnation de Faust - Rakoczy March, Angels From The Realms of Glory, God Save The Queen, Orchestral Suite No.3 - 5. Gigue, Swan Lake - Dance of the Cygnets, Song Without Words No.45 - Scherzo Op.102 No.3, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 1. Overture, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 3. Adagio, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 7. Rondo - Allegro molto, The Cannon Ball Rag, Morning Has Broken, In The Bleak Mid-Winter, Brandenburg Concerto No.6 - 2. Adagio ma non tanto, Brandenburg Concerto No.2 - 2. Andante, Rosamunde - Ballet Music No.2, Of The Father's Love Begotten, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 - Scherzo, Unto Us A Child Is Born, Brandenburg Concerto No.6 - 1. Allegro, Piano Sonata No.14 "Moonlight" - 2. Allegretto, La Marseillaise, Joy To The World, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 4. Bourree I and II, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Water Music Suite No.2 in D, Once in Royal David's City, The First Noel, Minute Waltz, Op.64 No.1, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 1. Allegro, Symphony No.25 - 1. Allegro con brio, Carmen - Act 1: Prelude, Song Without Words No.30 - Spring Song Op.62 No.6, Children's Corner, No.6 The Golliwog's Cake-Walk, Kinderszenen, Op.15 No.11 Furchtenmachen (Frightening), Christians, Awake!, The Blue Danube Waltzes, Symphonie Fantastique - 2. Un Bal, The Magic Flute - March, The Amazon Rag, Birthday Minuet, Silent Night, Rosamunde - Ballet Music No.2, Key-Stone Rag, Babes in Toyland - March of the Toys, Habanera from "Carmen", Who Let The Cows Out?, Solomon - Act III, Sinfonia "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba", Symphony No.25 - 4. Allegro, Brandenburg Concerto No.3 - 2. Adagio - Allegro, Symphony No.25 - 3. Menuetto, Bethena - A Concert Waltz, Children's Corner, No.6 The Golliwog's Cake-Walk, Semper Fidelis, Espana - 2. Tango, Orchestral Suite No.3 - 3. Gavotte I and II, The Coventry Carol, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 3. Sarabande, Song Without Words No.27 "Funeral March" Op.62 No.3, Slavonic Dance, Op.72 No.2, Brandenburg Concerto No.2 - 3. Allegro assai, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, Symphony No.29 - 1. Allegro moderato, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Water Music Suite No.3 in G, Symphony No.40 - 1. Allegro molto, Water Music Suite No.1 in F, The Blue Danube Waltzes, Lullaby, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 "The Wedding March", Roses From The South, Orchestral Suite No.3 - 1. Overture, The Holly And The Ivy, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 "The Wedding March", Brandenburg Concerto No.6 - 3. Allegro, Kinderszenen, Op.15 No.7 Traumerei (Dreaming), The Washington Post March, The Sleeping Beauty - Waltz, Tales From The Vienna Woods, O come, O come, Emmanuel, Gymnopedie No.1, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 2. Affettuoso, I Saw Three Ships, Pictures at an Exhibition - Promenade, Wine, Women and Song, Symphony No.29 - 2. Andante, Brandenburg Concerto No.3 - 1. Allegro, Maple Leaf Rag, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 3. Allegro, The Marriage of Figaro - Overture, Orchestral Suite No.3 - 4. Bourree, Angels We Have Heard On High, Suite Bergamasque - No.3 Clair de Lune, Le Coucou, In Dulci Jubilo, The Flight of the Bumble Bee, Trombone Johnsen, O Christmas Tree, Symphony No.29 - 4. Allegro con spirito, Humoresque, Op.101 No.7, Serenade No.10 , We Three Kings, O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fidelis), Brandenburg Concerto No.2 - 1. Allegro, Away In A Manger, O Holy Night, Lohengrin - The Bridal Chorus, 16 Songs for Children, Op.54 No.6 Legend ("When Jesus Christ Was Yet A Child"), Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 2. Menuetto; Trio 1; Trio 2, The Entertainer, Symphony No.25 - 2. Andante, O Little Town Of Bethlehem (1), Deck The Halls, William Tell - Overture, Auld Lang Syne, The Ragtime Dance, Policy King, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 - Nocturne, Marche Militaire, Op.51 No.1, Piano Sonata in A "Alla Turca" - 3. Rondo, 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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