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1. The Incredible Band of John Philip
2. John Philip Sousa (Getting to
3. Sousa at Illinois: The John Philip
4. John Philip Sousa: American Phenomenon
5. The Life & Times of John Philip
6. Works of John Philip Sousa
7. Perspectives on John Philip Sousa
8. John Philip Sousa: The March King
9. John Philip Sousa: The King Of
10. Marching Along: Recollections

1. The Incredible Band of John Philip Sousa (Music in American Life)
by Paul E. Bierley
Hardcover: 480 Pages (2006-08-30)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$60.00
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Asin: 0252031474
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A long-needed reference work!
This book is primarily a reference work for those looking for deeply detailed information from primary sources.It has other excellent background material as well, but if you want to see a nice cross-section of actual Sousa Band programs, or you want to find out if your great-grandfather actually played in Sousa's Band like your grandmother always told you, this is the most definitive reference available.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sousa the Great!
This author has written extensively about Sousa and his band before.Much of that information is repeated here, but there are some new additions as well.The author has nicely highlighted each aspect of Sousa's career which makes for easy reading.

The problem with Sousa is that we tend to exclude all other band composers and their music.There were many other great band composers around including R. B. Hall, Karl King, and Henry Fillmore to name some of the prominent American ones.Their music deserves notice as well, as Sousa often played their works.

Sousa's band also tends to be somewhat over-rated by hero worship.Sure it was a great band, probably the best in the US at that time.But it was not the greatest in the world!Too many other European bands were around to deny Sousa that title.Sousa knew that any British Guards band like the Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards etc. was certainly as good.The French Garde Republicanne were also.In Prussia you had William Wieprect who did much to modernize the modern military band.His combined Prussian Guards band got top ratings in Paris during a band festival there just before the Franco-Prussian War.How ironic indeed!

So Sousa was not the only around with a great band, and any serious reader should know this.Certainly Sousa did.But what Sousa did was market himself far better than anyone else.He saw that as a civy street guy he could make a lot more fame and money than he was as director of the US Marine band.This was Sousa's main advantage, and he knew how to make the most of it.His conducting style was flamboyant, his programing entertaining and interesting.The whole concept of the encore march after a long piece of music was unique, and introduced excitment to his concerts.These things are what made him and his band great.

Unfortunately Sousa developed the cult of his personality so much for his concerts that when he was not on the podium concert hall attendence often suffered.This indicated that his band would not likely outlive him.Americans came to see Sousa the man as much as the great music his superb band played.I doubt Sousa could have promoted his works any other way in this country.In that regard he was the first super-star who got his name all over the media.Many have followed in his foot-steps since.

Some might think I am trying to downgrade Sousa and his great band here. Certainly not.One should merely have a little sense of perspective when reading about him.His marches were first-rate.He wrote 136 of them, of which only the top 10-15 often get played now.Most of them were excellent, some certainly were better than others.While this sounds like a lot of music, keep in mind some famous German march composers wrote hundreds of marches.Blackenberg is believed to have composed over a thousand!Kenneth Alford, the Great British march composer did only about 20, but they are all classics.Alford was a regimental bandmaster, and thus did not have the means to promote himself like Sousa did.

Sousa should also be known for his many opperettas, novelty pieces, and classical transcriptions.In this regard he greatly expanded the musical level in the US during this time.Orchestras were around as well, but these did not travel like Sousa.There were also other great bands, like the Allentown band, far odler than Sousa's from 1828.In fact Sousa took many players from this great band which still exists today, and which probably recreates the approximate sound and style of Sousa better than any other.

The great strength of this book are the many details provided of the personnel who played in the band, as well as concert programs, and tour iternary.There is one chapter devoted entirely to a band memebers diary recording his expereinces during Sousa's great World Tour of 1911.Great stuff, if perhaps a little too much at times.There is a lot of detail here, perhaps excessive at times, but obviously a labor of love by the author.This is certainly THE book to have about Sousa and his incredible band who left their mark in the world's concert halls. ... Read more

2. John Philip Sousa (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)
by Mike Venezia
 Paperback: 32 Pages (1999-03)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$3.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 051626401X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
Presents a biography of John Philip Sousa ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Biography
This is an excellent book about the life and times of Sousa.Short-Sweet-To the Point.It has great historical pictures of Sousa along with some cartoon drawings that enhance the story.I will be putting mine in my school's library for the student's to use on their biography project.A great book for an early reader 3rd grade and up. ... Read more

3. Sousa at Illinois: The John Philip Sousa And Herbert L. Carke Manuscript Collections at The University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign: A Catalogue Of ... (Detroit Studies in Music Bibliography)
by Phyllis Danner
Paperback: 179 Pages (2005-10-30)
list price: US$55.00 -- used & new: US$47.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0899901158
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4. John Philip Sousa: American Phenomenon
by Paul E. Bierley
 Hardcover: Pages (1973-06)
list price: US$20.95
Isbn: 0138235341
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Story of SOUSA.
This book is very well written with lots of great pictures of Sousa and people involved in this great
American's life.
This is a great book.

Highly recommeded.

3-0 out of 5 stars Like eating crab
There seems to be little in the way of information on this amazing composer.The author, an engineer, writes like one:dry, factual, and with lots of padding -- a trait that the March King himself abhorred.However, as with trying to get the sweet meat out of Dungeness crab, there are some tidbits worth fighting for.On the back, I may have found a reference to what I was really seeking:the stories behind Sousa's music.I guess the best I can say is that, despite pedantic and fussy details, I was able to cull the appreciation of a true musical genius and American.I'll keep looking for a book I can enjoy -- perhaps Sousa's own autobiography, if I can find it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Life of John Philip Sousa
This is the definitive bio on J. P. Sousa.The author has lovingly researched his topic, gathering in all sorts of details about the legendary March King.It is sad that most Americans are only familiar with a handful of the great mans works.What this book reveals about Sousa is the great variety of music that he composed.Besides 136 excellent marches, he composed operettas, humouresques, and many other kinds of works.Without a doubt Sousa is our most prolific composer, the sheer volume and qaulity of his works far surpassing all other American composers.Yet the vast majortiy of his music is little heard these days.It is true that Sousa's music appealed to an America of a different time.His marches have all the power of an emerging young United States, just entering into the realm of international politics and industrial might at the turn of the century.In these political correct times Sousa's music might be perceived as being too chauvanistically patriotic in outlook.Hopefully in the post 9/11 world that we live in there is room for a revival of his music to bring back some of the nations pride in itself.Mr. Bierley considers the Sousa band is the greatest of its kind in the world.There is more than a little typical American tendency for overstatement here.Certianly in the States in the latter part of the 19th century there were few rivals for Sousa's band.But in Europe many fine military bands already existed and Sousa, though well received on his numerous tours abraod, faced much more critical acclaim.As director of the US Marine Band, Sousa certainly transformed that musical organization into the top-notch band that it is today.In fact, Sousa probably modelled his own band on the Garde Republicanne of Paris, but also any of the British or Prussian Guards bands could have served as inspiration as well. Mr. Bierley has brought together a number of fine photos of Sousa and his band, and highlights the many well known and famous musicians that served within the Sousa Band during its 40 year life-span.The music of J P Sousa evokes a bygone era in the United States.He was instrumental in both introducing and uplifting the music that was performed in this country.We could certainly use his like again as current music standards and tastes have fallen fall below what they were even in Sousa's day.Let us hope for a healthy re-birth of music and someone like Sousa to inspire us musically once more.

5-0 out of 5 stars The biography of John Philip Sousa
This book is by far and away THE book for the life of John Philip Sousa. Mr. Bierly has researched his subject in depth from help with the Sousafamily former sousa Band Members and material in the Library of Congress,Masrine Band Archives, Univ. of Illinois and others. If you want to knowSousa, this is the book Joe L. Norcross ... Read more

5. The Life & Times of John Philip Sousa (Masters of Music) (Masters of Music)
by Susan Zannos
Hardcover: 48 Pages (2003-07)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$21.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1584152125
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Editorial Review

Book Description
The most famous of the bandmaster-composers was John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), who in 1880 became leader of the U.S. Marine Band. In 1892, he organized his own band that toured throughout the world. Known as "The March King," Sousa was a highly skilled composer of marches. He wrote more than one hundred of them, including the famous Stars and Stripes Forever that became the official United States march in 1987.

A strong-willed child, Sousa's first memories of his childhood include the time he was not permitted to eat as many donuts as he wanted, so he ran away in the rain and lay outside for half an hour. He got so sick he almost died. But the best story Sousa tells is the one where he almost ran away to join the circus band!

In this delightful story, young adults are introduced to one of the greatest band composers of all time. Combining music, history, and culture with biography, this story is a musical journey back through time. ... Read more

6. Works of John Philip Sousa
by Paul E. Bierley
 Hardcover: 234 Pages (1984-06)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$19.95
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Asin: 0918048044
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7. Perspectives on John Philip Sousa
 Hardcover: 144 Pages (1984-01)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$8.74
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Asin: 084440425X
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8. John Philip Sousa: The March King (Rookie Biographies)
by Carol Greene
 Paperback: 48 Pages (1992-09)
list price: US$4.95
Isbn: 0516442260
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Big Fan of this book!
I am an elementary Music teacher and have read Ms. Greene's biography of the great JPS to my 2nd graders for the past 16 years.It is chock-full of wonderful photographs and concisely-written information about his life, his music, and his times.My students love hearing about him running out in the rain, angry because his mother wouldn't let him have more doughnuts, about how he unwittingly signed himself up for the Marines after planning to run away with the circus.The personal photographs of him with his dogs, horse named Charlie, and of his funeral are quite moving and show the "real man" behind the Marches.After reading it to my students, I have them color his portrait while listening to his music.They love this book and retain the information as a result.Bravo, Ms. Greene.My only problem:My paperback copy is falling apart, and, being a public school teacher, I can't quite afford the huge replacement prices I currently see on this site!!!I guess I'll keep reading my poor beat-up copy until I win the Lotto (if I ever play, that is).

4-0 out of 5 stars Great help for my school project.
This book was easy to read with good pictures.Very understandable.I was able to find this book in my school library (it was the only one!). I would recommend this book to kids my age that need it (I am 11 years old). ... Read more

9. John Philip Sousa: The King Of March Music (Lives and Times)
by Jennifer Blizin Gillis
Library Binding: 32 Pages (2005-08-30)
list price: US$25.36 -- used & new: US$7.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 140346751X
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10. Marching Along: Recollections of Men, Women and Music
by John Philip Sousa, Paul E. Bierley
 Hardcover: 390 Pages (1994-12)
list price: US$24.95
Isbn: 0918048117
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars The March King
It was a very good book. I do think that Mr. Sousa waas a better march writer than book writer though. ... Read more

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