Who is Sousa?

Spin your yarns here.
Post Reply
whitbey
Posts: 237
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:44 am
Location: Rochester Michigan North of Detroit.
Contact:

Who is Sousa?

Post by whitbey » Wed May 29, 2019 7:05 am

Donating blood the other day and the clock was available to count the 30 seconds to rub the antiseptic.
I suggested count to 30 while humming a Sousa march, like Stars and Stripes Forever.

She said why and who is Sousa?

In disbelief she listened to me count off 30 seconds while she looked at her phone.

I suggested she look up Sousa on her phone later.

:o
Edwards Sterling bell 525/547
Edwards brass bell 547/562
Edwards Jazz w/ Ab valve 500"/.508"
Conn 34H Alto
Bass Bach 50 Bb/F/C dependent.
Cerveny oval euphonium
Full list in profile
User avatar
BGuttman
Posts: 1447
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:19 am
Location: Cow Hampshire

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by BGuttman » Wed May 29, 2019 8:06 am

While all us "olde fartes" know who Sousa was, today's Gen Xers and later often have no clue unless Sousa was part of a current Rock band

Using music as a timing mechanism is a lot older. Mannes and Godowsky, who were classical musicians as well as chemists, used familiar themes to time the many development stages of Kodachrome film back in the 1930s. Now you'll probably ask "What's Kodachrome" :(
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
"Almost Professional"
Bach5G
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:10 pm

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Bach5G » Wed May 29, 2019 9:56 am

Raoul?
User avatar
DougHulme
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:54 am
Location: Portsmouth UK
Contact:

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by DougHulme » Wed May 29, 2019 11:05 am

Oh yea, I know Raoul... he's a well known flugel and trumpet player over here in the UK!!!!
harrisonreed
Posts: 678
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:18 pm
Location: Yokohama, Japan

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by harrisonreed » Wed May 29, 2019 11:28 am

In the grand scheme of things everyone on earth should know ... Sousa probably doesn't rank all that high on the list and it's a bit conceited to expect everyone to understand "wind band culture" and look down on people who don't. Far better to be kind, and be an ambassador for your interests and hobbies.
Jimprindle
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:01 pm

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Jimprindle » Wed May 29, 2019 12:44 pm

Just tell the uninformed that he is "The March King". Then try to explain what march music is. That should take up your waiting time at the Blood Bank.
sungfw
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:15 am

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by sungfw » Wed May 29, 2019 1:44 pm

The American Kmoch, of course. :clever:
Schlitz
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:01 am

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Schlitz » Wed May 29, 2019 2:57 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 11:28 am
In the grand scheme of things everyone on earth should know ... Sousa probably doesn't rank all that high on the list and it's a bit conceited to expect everyone to understand "wind band culture" and look down on people who don't. Far better to be kind, and be an ambassador for your interests and hobbies.
Sousa in a pickup line? Please stop.
Last edited by Schlitz on Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mikebmiller
Posts: 270
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:13 am
Location: Spartanburg, SC

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Mikebmiller » Wed May 29, 2019 5:14 pm

FWIW, I once worked with a lady who had a friend who was married to Sousa's grandson.
Bach5G
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:10 pm

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Bach5G » Wed May 29, 2019 5:16 pm

Who is Sousa?

Why does that sound like a title to an Ayn Rand novel?
Mikebmiller
Posts: 270
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:13 am
Location: Spartanburg, SC

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Mikebmiller » Wed May 29, 2019 6:50 pm

Isn't he that nut job writer that Trump pardoned?

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/us/p ... souza.html
Bach5G
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:10 pm

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Bach5G » Wed May 29, 2019 6:56 pm

Raul not Raoul. My error.

Doubler
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:56 pm

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Doubler » Wed May 29, 2019 9:07 pm

Bach5G wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 5:16 pm
Who is Sousa?

Why does that sound like a title to an Ayn Rand novel?
:good:
Current instruments:
Olds Studio trombone, 3 trumpets, 1 flugelhorn, 1 cornet, 1 shofar, 1 keyboard

Previous trombones:
Selmer Bundy, Marceau
Gary
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:39 am

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Gary » Thu May 30, 2019 10:07 am

All kidding aside, I once took a graduate course on wind music and musicians and, in cruising the library section (remember those days!?), I came across a bio of Sousa.

Now, I had already been a military musician for at least 15 years and had played, reluctantly after a redundant while, plenty of Sousa. Never was interested in the guy or his music.

But I got a Sousa bio and was surprised at the versatility and depth of the man. Really worth a good look.
timothy42b
Posts: 448
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:51 am
Location: central Virginia

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by timothy42b » Thu May 30, 2019 2:11 pm

Sousa marches are commonly played by wind ensembles. (yes I know he had violins, we don't)

The role of a wind ensemble in US society is................................change of command ceremony for a general every three years. That's pretty much it. That, and to be a hobby for old farts like me.

Given that, there's very little reason for the average person to know who he is, unless maybe you're James Holzhauer.
User avatar
BGuttman
Posts: 1447
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:19 am
Location: Cow Hampshire

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by BGuttman » Thu May 30, 2019 2:24 pm

Sousa is as contemporary as Haydn or Bruckner. He didn't write anything for electric quartet (lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, drums).

In his day many of the pieces we know him for were dance music. A dance called the One-Step that was popular a century ago. It was also popular as circus music at that time.

People who hear a Sousa march usually recognize it for what it is, but they don't often go seek that kind of music.

It's their loss.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
"Almost Professional"
Doubler
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:56 pm

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Doubler » Thu May 30, 2019 8:25 pm

Stars and Stripes Forever (1952) is a fun movie to watch. If you haven't seen it or haven't seen it lately, you might consider watching it or watching it again.
Current instruments:
Olds Studio trombone, 3 trumpets, 1 flugelhorn, 1 cornet, 1 shofar, 1 keyboard

Previous trombones:
Selmer Bundy, Marceau
Bach5G
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:10 pm

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Bach5G » Thu May 30, 2019 9:51 pm

Is that the film in which the Sousa character humiliates a trumpet player who is auditioning for his band?
Gary
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:39 am

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Gary » Fri May 31, 2019 10:19 am

BGuttman wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 2:24 pm
Sousa is as contemporary as Haydn or Bruckner. He didn't write anything for electric quartet (lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, drums).

In his day many of the pieces we know him for were dance music. A dance called the One-Step that was popular a century ago. It was also popular as circus music at that time.

People who hear a Sousa march usually recognize it for what it is, but they don't often go seek that kind of music.

It's their loss.
Sousa also wrote and directed operatic music.
User avatar
JohnL
Posts: 499
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:01 am
Contact:

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by JohnL » Fri May 31, 2019 12:21 pm

Gary wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:19 am
Sousa also wrote and directed operatic music.
I know he wrote operettas (in the same general style as Gilbert and Sullivan); did he write any actual operas?

Several of his marches are based on themes originally composed for his operettas (El Capitan, The Free Lance, The Charlatan, The Bride Elect, etc.). Several of his operettas were very successful - long (for the time) Broadway runs and tours; I seem to recall one of his (El Capitan, maybe) was the first American operetta to have a successful run in London.
Doubler
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:56 pm

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Doubler » Fri May 31, 2019 9:27 pm

Bach5G wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 9:51 pm
Is that the film in which the Sousa character humiliates a trumpet player who is auditioning for his band?
I don't recall. I guess it's time to watch it again!
Current instruments:
Olds Studio trombone, 3 trumpets, 1 flugelhorn, 1 cornet, 1 shofar, 1 keyboard

Previous trombones:
Selmer Bundy, Marceau
brtnats
Posts: 144
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:07 am
Location: Louisville KY

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by brtnats » Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:56 am

I’m really glad you posted this. 600 kids at my school will know who Sousa is now, because you reminded me that sometimes we take our “common” knowledge for granted. I really mean it: Thank you.
Doubler
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:56 pm

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Doubler » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:15 pm

Bach5G wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 9:51 pm
Is that the film in which the Sousa character humiliates a trumpet player who is auditioning for his band?
I watched Stars and Stripes Forever last night; I still enjoy it as a very pleasant movie. "Humiliates" might not be the best description for the interaction between Sousa and the auditioning cornet player. There was a point to be made and a portrayal to be expanded in that scene.
Current instruments:
Olds Studio trombone, 3 trumpets, 1 flugelhorn, 1 cornet, 1 shofar, 1 keyboard

Previous trombones:
Selmer Bundy, Marceau
User avatar
Kingfan
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:32 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Kingfan » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:00 pm

Since 2011, Make Music Chicago has pioneered the “Sousapalooza” – an invitation for hundreds of brass, wind, and percussion players to come together and sightread the music of The March King, John Philip Sousa. It has spread to Anchorage, Fullerton, Iowa City, Hartford, Wichita, and Salem. I'm really happy to hear about the first Sousapalooza in Cleveland, Ohio this year on June 21. Yes, I'm going!
http://www.makemusicday.org/national-pr ... sapalooza/
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are still missing! :D
King 2B, 3B, 3B-F, 4B-F, Holton TR-180.
Mikebmiller
Posts: 270
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:13 am
Location: Spartanburg, SC

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by Mikebmiller » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:57 am

timothy42b wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 2:11 pm

The role of a wind ensemble in US society is................................change of command ceremony for a general every three years. That's pretty much it. That, and to be a hobby for old farts like me.
The role of our wind band is to be the warm up act for the 3rd rate country singer that the local radio station brings in for the annual July 4th shin dig. We get our biggest audience of the year for that gig.
User avatar
BGuttman
Posts: 1447
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:19 am
Location: Cow Hampshire

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by BGuttman » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:42 am

Marching bands add a lot to a parade. Try marching with a bunch of electronics in tow. Not as easy.

Also, we have adopted wind ensembles in our school systems. Unfortunately, most of the kids who play in them put the horn in the closet (or sell it on Ebay) as soon as school is over.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
"Almost Professional"
timothy42b
Posts: 448
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:51 am
Location: central Virginia

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by timothy42b » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:05 am

BGuttman wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:42 am


Also, we have adopted wind ensembles in our school systems. Unfortunately, most of the kids who play in them put the horn in the closet (or sell it on Ebay) as soon as school is over.
When I was in high school, they were trying to revamp gym classes away from traditional organized sports teams into "life sports."

The rationale was that later on in life you might not be able to find 10 other people to form a competitive football team, so you should be teaching golf, tennis, bowling, darts etc., sports where one person could find an outlet to have fun.

And we play in wind ensembles that require 45 people of just the right instrument mix. ESPN NEVER covers our concerts, unlike every sport there is. And nobody but our relatives willingly listen. Hmmmm.........
User avatar
elmsandr
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: S.E. Michigan
Contact:

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by elmsandr » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:38 am

BGuttman wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:42 am
Marching bands add a lot to a parade. Try marching with a bunch of electronics in tow. Not as easy.

Also, we have adopted wind ensembles in our school systems. Unfortunately, most of the kids who play in them put the horn in the closet (or sell it on Ebay) as soon as school is over.
You are dating yourself in this thread, Bruce. All parades have bands (or just recordings) on trailers playing music. Not hard at all to get a small generator that makes almost no noise and power the band for a trip through all but the biggest of cities.

Also from above, there are actually people concerned that not enough young people are taking up guitar and just skipping to sampling and mixing music. Live music is adapting. Keeping the old traditions and instruments alive is still a fairly new thing for humans, relatively.

Cheers,
Andy
dxhall
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:43 pm

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by dxhall » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:42 pm

I’ve seen similar claims about the death of other instruments. Remember a hit song from 1981 called “Tainted Love”? It was the first serious popular hit that used only synths, and no real musical instruments. There were many claims after that song hit the charts that “real guitar is dead,” “real drums are dead”, etc.

What’s dying, I think, is not one particular instrument or another — it’s the once-common interest in making music oneself. I’m a long time guitar guy who took up the trombone late in life in the study of old jazz. I tell people (only those who ask - I never volunteer) that I practice the trombone every day and they think I’m nuts.

To get a real life sense of this, go to the musical instruments section of your local craigslist and look for pianos for sale. There are usually decent pianos on my local list that are offered for free - with no takers. Yet not that long ago, every middle class household had a piano or pump organ in the living room.

What deep conclusion about human nature do I draw from this? I don’t know. But the need to not be involved in the world around us is slowly taking over western culture. Makes you want to buy a self-driving car, doesn’t it?
SirJohn
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:11 pm

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by SirJohn » Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:39 pm

Electric guitar has been in a prolonged sales slump for a while. Acoustic guitar made up some of the difference due to the neo folk popularity (which is beginning to show signs of fading), but definitely the trend to all sampling has hurt the traditional rock/pop instruments. Modern hip-hop and R&B which is primarily all sampling, drum tracks, and autotuned vocals has displaced rock and pop as the most dominant genre in popular music right now. The 80s move away from guitar driven music gave way to a resurgence in the 90s of the guitar. Rock today as a genre has basically been devalued to just being called dad music. It will be interesting to see if there is a rebound again. Point is that popular music is always evolving and every style will eventually become dated and niche music. Sousa was popular music in his day, but now Sousa and the wind band are niche areas, mostly kept alive by school music programs. That doesn't mean we give up on it, but we do need to acknowledge that there is a battle to stay relevant.
User avatar
JohnL
Posts: 499
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:01 am
Contact:

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by JohnL » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:11 pm

dxhall wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:42 pm
To get a real life sense of this, go to the musical instruments section of your local craigslist and look for pianos for sale. There are usually decent pianos on my local list that are offered for free - with no takers. Yet not that long ago, every middle class household had a piano or pump organ in the living room.
Pianos are a somewhat special case. Electronic keyboards have pretty much taken over the bottom end of the home market, and digital pianos have made a serious dent in the the mid-range. Of course, buying an acoustic piano off of Craigslist is a crap shoot, anyway. Even if it looks nice, it may have been neglected to the point that putting it back in good working order will be cost-prohibitive - if it possible at all.

At least around here, a lot of the free or near free pianos are spinets. Between the drop action (which makes piano techs hate the very sight of them) and acoustic compromises necessary to make them that small, they should probably just be left to fade away.
mrpillow
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:19 am

Re: Who is Sousa?

Post by mrpillow » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:51 am

The saving grace of free Craigslist pianos is that they make excellent sacrifices for cities and other organizations to install in public spaces and outdoors. I suppose also converting them into trendy up cycled furniture. Other than that, 90% of the free CL pianos will serve you far worse than a low-end digital piano for actually playing piano.
Organologique et plus!
Post Reply

Return to “Tangents”