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Making the March KingJohn Philip Sousa's Washington Years, 1854-1893$
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Patrick Warfield

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037795

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037795.001.0001

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Theater on the Bandstand

Theater on the Bandstand

(p.226) Chapter Nine Theater on the Bandstand
Making the March King

Patrick Warfield

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on John Philip Sousa's theatrical works, dances, and songs. Even as his reputation as a bandleader overtook his work in the theater, his musical outlook remained thoroughly dramatic. Sousa was an actor in the same way many modern pop icons are actors, and it was through the character of the March King that the bandsman and the theatrical musician were reconciled. At the heart of this character stood the Sousa march. These three-minute works became theatrical delights when performed under the composer's baton, and every element of the Sousa march—from its initial announcement to its appearance in concerts and in middle-class parlors—converged to create the dramatic persona recognized by audiences across America.

Keywords:   theatrical works, bandleader, March King, Sousa march

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