Finding Aid for John Philip Sousa Music and Personal Papers, circa 1880-1932 | The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

By Tad Boehmer, Kelly Carlson, Adriana Cuervo, Kathryn Feazel, Reed Gallo, Eduardo Herrera, Lisa Lehman, Elizabeth Miller, Mary Miller, Tracy Parish, Noah Lenstra, and Aaron, Samantha and Scott Schwartz

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Collection Overview

Title: John Philip Sousa Music and Personal Papers, circa 1880-1932Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: 12/9/51

Primary Creator: Sousa, John Philip (1854-1932)

Extent: 239.5 cubic feet

Arrangement: The collection of papers is organized into four series: Series 1, Original Music Manuscripts; Series 2, Published Music; Series 3, Ephemera and Uniforms; and Series 4, Photographs. The original music manuscripts are arranged alphabetically by either composer or arranger and the published music is arranged sequentially by a number that was unique to the original Sousa music catalog. Unidentified and unnumbered music was placed at the end of each grouping of music. Whenever possible an identification of the format of the music for each title(i.e., full score, condensed score, piano score, and parts) has been identified with the corresponding abbreviations, FS, CS, PS, P. The ephemera, consisting of correspondence, newsclippings, programs, and artifacts, is arranged alphabetically by type of material. The photographs are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Subjects: Military History, Music Composition, Sousa, John Philip

Formats/Genres: Papers

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Consists of original and published music, arrangements of western European symphonic music for wind band by Sousa and other musicians, microfilm of original music, correspondence, newsclippings, photographs, programs and artifacts documenting the life and career of John Philip Sousa as musician, composer, bandleader, and "March King." Of particular interest are the original parts to "Stars and Stripes Forever," correspondence between A. Austin Harding and Sousa, and photographs of Sousa with the Band.

Biographical Note

John Philip Sousa was born in Washington, DC on November 6, 1854.  It was an era of the 5-cent cigar, Saturday evening baths, the horse and buggy, candle-lit parlors and gas-illuminated street lights.  During his formative years Sousa witnessed the destructive forces of the Civil War as a child growing up in his nation's Capitol.  Later in life he experienced the new-found joys of Ford's automobile and the painful trauma of the War to end all wars.

Sousa joined the United States Marine Band as an apprentice musician on June 9, 1868, not even fourteen years old, and remained until 1875.  His Portuguese father, a trombonist with the band since 1850, believed if his son was a member of the band he could more readily monitor his son's youthful exploits and mentor his gift for music.  Five years after leaving the Marine Band Sousa was asked to return as its director in 1880, a post that he retained until August 1, 1892.

It was under Sousa's leadership that the Marine Band finally gained permission from President Benjamin Harrison to tour beyond the immediate region surrounding Washington, DC (i.e., Richmond, Baltimore and Philadelphia).  This first tour performance took place at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre.  After meeting David Blakely in Chicago Sousa was convinced that his talents would not be utilized to the fullest with the Marine Band.  Sousa signed a contract with Blakely on May 27, 1892 to form and direct a civilian band of his own creation.  On July 30, 1892 Sousa received a second honorable discharge from the Marine Band and began establishing what today has become best known as the John Philip Sousa Band by seeking out and engaging the finest nationally and internationally recognized musicians from America and Europe.  Among the most celebrated soloists to play with the band were Herbert L. Clarke (cornet), Arthur Pryor (trombone), Simone Mantia (euphonium), Estelle Liebling (soprano) and Maud Powell (violin).

Sousa made annual transcontinential tours with his famous band from 1892 until 1931.  In those thirty-nine years the Sousa Band traveled over 700,000 miles and presented over 10,000 concerts in 1,000 cities throughout the world.  Between the months of May and October 1893 the Sousa Band, for a repeat performance, furnished the music for the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of the Americas in  1492.  This engagement solidified Sousa's legacy in the annals of music and band history.  During his life time Sousa composed 137 marches, 15 operettas, 5 overtures, 11 suites, 24 dances, 28 fantasies, and 322 arrangements of nineteenth-century western European symphonic works.  In addition he wrote numerous reviews, articles on music and music education, and seven books.

Sousa's "The Washington Post" march, written for the Washington Post Amateur Author's Association ceremony held at the Smithsonian Institution on June 15, 1889, became a sensation as the accompaniment to the newly created "two-step" dance.  This truly new American dance replaced the popular western-European waltz as the most popular form of entertainment in America and Europe.  On Christmas Day 1896 Sousa composed his most recognizable work, "The Stars and Stripes Forever," the only march ever declared the national march of the United States.  This work was the last piece that Sousa conducted in public before he died in Reading, PA on March 6, 1932.

Subject/Index Terms

Military History
Music Composition
Sousa, John Philip

Administrative Information

Repository: The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

Accruals: 1932

Acquisition Method: The music and papers were bequested to the University Bands in 1932. Thirty-nine trunks and two boxes arrived at the University in August of that year. Responsibility for the papers was transferred to the University Library in 1994.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Original Music Manuscripts],
[Series 2: Published Music],
[Series 3: Ephemera and Uniforms],
[Series 4: Photographs],
[All]

Series 4: PhotographsAdd to your cart.
Box 738Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Sousa and His Band, 1880-1920Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Folder 2: Band Members, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Candids, 1900-1930Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Folder 4: Sousa and ABA Leaders and Members,ca. 1930Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Sousa Enlistment Papers, 1872Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Portraits, 1873-1930Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Folder 7: Sousa and the University of Illinois Band, ca. 1930sAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Sousa Marine Band Baton, 1892Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Various Musicians, ca. 1915Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Sousa Birthplace and HeadstoneAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Glass Plate Negatives, ca. 1930Add to your cart.
HANDLE WITH CARE
Folder 12: Service Print NegativesAdd to your cart.View associated digital content.
Box 739Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Sousa and His Band, 1910-1930Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Various Musicians, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Candids, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Sousa and ABA Leaders and Members, ca. 1930Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Sousa and the University of Illinois Band, ca. 1930Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Portraits, 1873 - 1930Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Leonard B. Smith Sousa Photograph Collection, 1901-1927Add to your cart.
Duplicates from the personal collection of Leonard B. Smith
Box 740Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Folder 1: Negatives, 1854-1920Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Sousa and ABA Leaders and Members, ca. 1930Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Sousa and the University of Illinois Band, ca. 1930Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Sousa with other Bands, ca. 1925Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Folder 5: Portraits, ca. 1930Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Programs: Handwritten Program by Sousa, UndatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Sousa Band Fraternal Society, 1940s-1950sAdd to your cart.
Box 741Add to your cart.
Item 1: See Oversize Panoramic Photo Box 1Add to your cart.
Box 742Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Portrait,ca. 1920sAdd to your cart.
Box 753Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Sousa and his Band, 1890-1930Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Sousa and his Band, 1890-1930Add to your cart.
MapCabinet 3Add to your cart.
MapDrawer 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Sousa Band at Hamburg, Germany, 1900Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Portrait of J.P. Sousa, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Potrait of J.P. Sousa in U.S. Navy uniform, undatedAdd to your cart.
Location: Cabinet 3, Drawer 1, Folder 3, Left side
Folder 4: Oversized Sousa Photographs, 1898-1904Add to your cart.

Location: Cabinet 3, Drawer 1, Folder 4

Right Side: Sousa and Various Bands, 1898-1901

Left Side: Sousa Band at St. Louis World's Fair, 1904

Folder 7: American Bandmasters Association First Annual Convention, 1930Add to your cart.
Location: Cabinet 3, Drawer 1, Folder 7
Oversize Panoramic Photo Box 1Add to your cart.
Item 1: This box was formerly box 741.Add to your cart.
Item 2: Poster for performance at University Auditorium, Urbana., Tuesday Oct. 14, 1930Add to your cart.
38th Season. Sousa and his Band.
Folder 4: Sousa at Interlochen, 1930Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Interlochen Group Photograph, 1930Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Sousa Band at Denver Auditorium, 1921Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Sousa Band in St. Louis, MO, 1917Add to your cart.
Inscription reads, "NY Hippodrome Hip. Hip. Hooray--St. Louis, MO, 1917"
Folder 8: Sousa and His Band at Willow Grove Park, 1920Add to your cart.
Includes copy of photograph.
Folder 9: Sousa's Band. Steel Pier, Atlantic City, NJ, 1926Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Sousa and His Band, Steel Pier, Atlantic City, NJ, 1927Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Sousa Band, Steel Pier, Atlantic City, NJ, 1928Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Sousa Band, Steel Pier, Atlantic City, NJ, 1928Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Sousa's Band, Chattanooga, TN, 1924Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Sousa Band, Steel Pier, Atlantic City, NJ, 1919Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Original Music Manuscripts],
[Series 2: Published Music],
[Series 3: Ephemera and Uniforms],
[Series 4: Photographs],
[All]

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