Unexpected results of some music research

While working on the arrangement of GBBT, I wanted to look at some examples of uses of brass instruments to get that Boston Pops/Hollywood/Disneyschmaltz/over-the-top marchy style sound. In the course of this search I turned to an iconic American master, John Phillip Sousa. Not only was the search edifying, but I learned that one of his very very very famous marches is titled…(drum roll)… The Washington Post March. Naturally, it became imperative that the composition be quoted in the show somehow.

You’ve heard this many times in many contexts. Like the dreaded Sherman brothers, JPS was one of the foremost earworm composers of his day. His stuff is still popular (there seems to be some kind of law requiring orchestras to play The Stars and Stripes Forever at the requisite 4th of July concert as the fireworks go off). One other funny thing I realized about this piece, however, is that I had only ever heard excerpts from it. I instantly recognized every tune in each section, but didn’t realize they were all part of the same piece until I looked at the whole thing.

There is a great recording of The Washington Post March on You Tube of all places. When I really listened, I heard a lot of cool stuff going on in it.

CM says check it out.

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