Semper Fidelis

By: John Philip Sousa
For: String quartet
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Composer
John Philip Sousa
Year of composition
1888
Arranger
Lyricist
none
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.

America’s March King, John Philip Sousa, was the director of the U.S. Marine Band from 1880-1892. As such, he brought the band to new heights of professionalism, turning it into one of the world’s premiere bands. Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful) is the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps, and is meant as a tribute those gallant fighting men for whom his band served as the musical voice.

The U.S. Marine Corps is a versatile armed service–land, sea, and air–and is attached to the U.S. Navy. This arrangement was written to be performed in October, 2007 at the U.S. Navy Birthday Ball at the Naval Air Facility, El Centro, California, where there are sure to be many Marines in attendance.

When performed by the U.S. Marine Band, there is an eight measure drum cadence prior to the trio. In this arrangement, the drums are simulated using a guitar technique–golpe–by drumming the fingers of the left hand on the body of the instrument (or, alternately, by dropping the bow stick, col legno fashion, onto a C on the strings).

The bugle-call melody in the first part of the trio was originally intended as a slow love song from one of Sousa’s ventures into operetta. Nowadays, one can hardly think of that famous tune in any context other than this march.

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O Canada (Eb) for String Quartet, Who’s Who in Navy Blue, Glory of the Yankee Navy, Blow the Wind Southerly, Funeral March from the Sonata in B-Flat Minor, Op. 35, The Water Is Wide (O Waly, Waly), The Caisson Song (Over hill, over dale), Amapola, The Carman's Whistle, Sonata in G minor, Vol. I, No. 11, arr. for viola and string orchestra, The Big Book of Christmas Carols II for Clarinet Quartet, Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean (1843), Shenandoah, Voices of Spring, The Big Book of Christmas Carols II for String Orchestra, The Big Book of Christmas Carols I for Brass Quintet, The Big Book of Christmas Carols I for String Orchestra, Semper Paratus (official song of the U.S. Coast Guard), What do you with a drunken sailor?, "Goin’ Home" ("New World" Symphony, Mvt. II) EASIER KEY-D, arranged for string orchestra, The Midshipmite, The Holy City (String Quartet), Royal Fireworks Music, Overture (Saxophone Quartet, AATB), Wedding Processional, Op. 21 (1889), Royal Fireworks Music, La Rejouissance (Clarinet Quartet), Royal Fireworks Music, Minuets I & II (Clarinet Quartet), Sailing, Sailing (Over the Bounding Main), Medley of Popular American Children’s Songs, La donna e mobile (for string quartet) Easier Key Bb, Royal Fireworks Music, Overture (Clarinet Quartet), Susy, Little Susy (from the opera Hansel und Gretel), Evening Prayer (from the opera Hansel und Gretel), Bruder, komm und tanz mit mir (from the opera Hansel und Gretel), Grün, grün sind alle meine kleider, A quoi bon la richesse (from Cendrillon) for voice, violin, and piano, Hungarian Dance #5, Two-Part Invention, No. 1 (arr. for violin & viola), Air from the Third Orchestral Suite (arr. for string quintet of 3 violins, viola, and cello), Ave Maria (Two Flutes and Cello) G, Tritsch Tratsch Polka, Radetzky March, Op.228 (Clarinet Quartet), Radetzky March, Op. 228, La Golondrina (SATB), The Prince of Denmark’s March (Viola Solo in String Quartet, Transposed to B-flat), Badinerie from the Second Orchestral Suite (String Quartet), Rigaudon & Trio from the Water Music, Little Fugue in G Minor, BWV 578, Concerto in A Minor (3rd Mvt.), Concerto in C Major for Four Guitars (Unaccompanied), Ave Maria (Voice with Solo Viola Accompaniment) Bb, Ave Maria (Voice with Solo Viola Accompaniment) Bb-EASIER, Waltz from Sleeping Beauty, Ave Maria (Voice and Solo Cello) G, Tritsch Tratsch Polka (Sax Quartet), Perpetuum Mobile, Op. 257 (Clarinet Quartet), Pizzicato Polka (arr. for Saxophone Quartet--2A,T,B), Thunder and Lightning Polka (arr. for Saxophone Quartet--2A,T,B), Thunder and Lightning Polka (arr. for Clarinet Quartet), Symphony in C, III, Ave Maria (1599) (3 violins, viola, and cello), Habanera from "Carmen" for String Quartet, Voi, che sapete from "Le Nozze di Figaro", Je suis déshéritée (arranged for String Quintet - 3 violins, viola, and cello), Largo from The Four Season's "Winter" (for String Quintet - 3 violins, solo viola, & cello), Funeral March for a Marionette, Adagio from the Oboe Concerto in D Minor (Arr. for Solo Cello, 3 Violins, and Viola), Largo from the Mandolin Concerto in D Major, R.V. 93 (String Quintet - 3 Violins, Viola, Cello), Passacaglia in g (String Quintet - 3 Violins, Viola, and Cello), Gigue (String Quintet - 3 violins, viola, and cello), Roses from the South, Op. 388, Blue Danube Waltzes, Op. 314 (String Quartet), Overture to "H. M. S. Pinafore" (String Trio), Ave Maria (String Trio w/solo in viola) G, The Navy Hymn ("Eternal Father, Strong to Save"), Wedding March from "The Marriage of Figaro", Ave Maria (String Trio w/solo in violin) G, Ciribiribin (for String Quartet), Miserere (arranged for String Quartet), Salut d’Amour, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (SATB Choir w/String Quartet), Two Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34, No. 2, The Last Spring, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Chamber Orchestra), Two Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34, No. 1, Heart Wounds, Country Dance No. 4 (for Two French Horns), Country Dance No. 2 (for Two French Horns), Romanza Andaluza, Op. 22, No. 1 (Arr. for String Quartet), Crown With Thy Benediction (for String Quartet), Overture to "Iolanthe" (String Quartet), Overture to "The Pirates of Penzance" (String Quartet), Mattinata, Funiculi, Funicula, O Sole Mio, Io Te Vurria Vasa (I Know I'm Only Dreaming), Royal Fireworks Music, Bourrée, Royal Fireworks Music, La Paix, Royal Fireworks Music, La Rejouissance, Alleluja from the motet "Exultate, jubilate", K. 165, arranged for string quartet alone, Ave Maria (High Voice and String Orchestra) Bb, Celtic Medley No. 1 for Solo Violin with Guitar and String Bass accompaniment, Romanza Andaluza, Op. 22, No. 1 arr. for TWO Solo Violins and String Orchestra, Las Campanas de Belén (SAB), Romanza Andaluza, Op. 22, No. 1 for Solo Violin and String Orchestra, Adiós, Mamá Carlota (SAB Chorus with Guitar and String Bass Accompaniment), March and Procession of Bacchus from the ballet Sylvia (Piano), Water Music Suite II in D for String Quartet (COMPLETE: Nos. 10, 11, 19, 14, 15), Ave Maria on the First Prelude of J. S. Bach (String Quartet. plus Voice and Kbd.) F, Air from the Third Orchestral Suite, arr. for String Quartet, Bridal Chorus from "Lohengrin" for String Quartet, The Prince of Denmark’s March (EASIER KEY [Bb] FOR AMATEUR TRUMPET), La Golondrina (String Quartet), Overture to "H. M. S. Pinafore" (String Quartet), Suite of Spanish Christmas Carols for Two Flutes and String Orchestra, Water Music Suite III in G for String Quartet (COMPLETE: Nos. 12, 13, 16, 17, 18), Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Water Music Suite, No. 18, Cantabile & Affettuoso (G), "Goin’ Home" ("New World" Symphony, Mvt. II) EASIER KEY D MAJOR, Water Music Suite, No. 17, Menuetto II (g min.), Water Music Suite, No. 16, Menuetto I (g min.), Water Music Suite, No. 13, Rigaudon (G), Water Music Suite, No. 12, Menuetto (D), Water Music Suite, No. 10, Allegro (D), Ein Kleines Liebeslied, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Vln Solo), Ave Verum Corpus, K.618, String Quartet, Komm, süsser Tod (String Quartet), Panis Angelicus, String Quartet, Water Music Suite, No. 9, Dialogue (d min.), Ave Maria (Solo Violin in String Quartet. w/opt. Voice/Piano) G, Water Music Suite, No. 2, Adagio e staccato (d min.), Water Music Suite, No. 4, Menuetto and Trio (F), Water Music Suite, No. 8, Hornpipe (F), Water Music Suite, No. 7, Bourrée (F), Water Music Suite, No. 3a, Allegro Deciso (F), Pizzicato Polka (String Quartet), Ode to Joy (Hymn) for String Quartet, Etude in C, Träumerei (String Quartet), Emperor Waltzes, Op. 437, for String Quartet, A la Nanita Nana (SATB) and Two-part Invention in C Major in the Style of J. S. Bach

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