Sunday, March 31, 2013

Three New Marches By John Philip Sousa

from The Publisher's Monthly Newsletter (advertisement), 

  Lieutenant Commander John Philip Sousa, U.S.N., is a remarkable example of the persistence of youthful freshness of ideas in musical creative work.  To his long string of successful marches Mr. Sousa has recently added three new numbers, all of remarkable distinction.   Outstanding among these is the “Royal Welch Fusiliers.”  This March was written in recognition of the friendship fostered between the United States Marine Corps and the British Regiment of Welch Fusiliers during the Boxer War in China.  During this present summer Mr. Sousa has conducted this march in London in the presence of a distinguished gathering including Royalty.  We believe this is the best march written since “Semper Fidelis.”
  Another new march is “The Salvation Army March.”  This was written for the recent Jubilee Gathering of the Salvation Army in New York City.  It was played by all of the combined bands.  The original instrumentation was for the all brass combination usually found among Salvation Army Bands; but it also has a complete scoring.  This march includes in its middle section the hymn “O Boundless Salvation.”

  The most recent of the three marches is the “Harmonica Wizard.”  This is a jaunty, lilting march in six-eight time.  The old two step, by the way, seems to be coming back.  This march was written for the celebrated Harmonica Band in Philadelphia conducted by Mr. Albert Hoxie, and for all harmonica players all over the United States.  

  All of these marches are published for piano solo, for full band, and for orchestra.  In addition there is a fine four hand arrangement of the “Royal Welch Fusiliers.”

Enjoy the Harpbeats and Friends' performance of 
John Philip Sousa's "Harmonica Wizard":


Friday, March 29, 2013

He Is Risen


He is risen, he is risen!
Tell it out with joyful voice:
he has burst his three days' prison;
let the whole wide earth rejoice:
death is conquered, man is free,
Christ has won the victory.

Come, ye sad and fearful-hearted,
with glad smile and radiant brow!
Lent's long shadows have departed;
Jesus' woes are over now,
and the passion that he bore--
sin and pain can vex no more.

Come, with high and holy hymning,
hail our Lord's triumphant day;
not one darksome cloud is dimming
yonder glorious morning ray,
breaking o'er the purple east,
symbol of our Easter feast.

He is risen, he is risen!
He hath opened heaven's gate:
we are free from sin's dark prison,
risen to a holier state;
and a brighter Easter beam
on our longing eyes shall stream.

Lyrics from "He Is Risen" hymn published in 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

When I Read Homer


                “When I read Homer I look at myself to see if I am not twenty feet in height,” said Michael Angelo.
                We often think that great music has a corresponding effect upon its hearers.  Who can hear the thrilling Beethoven “Fifth Symphony,” the Chopin Sonatas, The Brahms “First Symphony,” the Verdi “Requiem,” without experiencing that peculiar sensation of being exalted to spiritual and even physical altitudes, which rarely seems to come through any other source.
                The stirring strains of a fine band have a similar psychological effect.  Watch a crowd of Americans as they listen to a body of skilled players marching down the street to the music of Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” “Semper Fidelis,” or his recent march triumph, “Power and Glory.”  Watch them throw back their shoulders.  Watch the rich red blood come to their cheeks.  Watch their chests expand.  Life has a new purpose, a new vision.  The sense of integrity, of patriotism, of valor, of honor is exalted.  They actually seem to grow taller, happier, stronger, more alert, and in every way finer human beings.
                We know from interminable demonstrations by psychologists and educators that music properly studied makes for better citizenship.  That is one of the reasons why The Etude Music Magazine has circulated over twenty-five million times its forceful slogan,