Commemorating John Philip Sousa's 150th

Music by John Philip Sousa

Listen: Moonlight on the Potomac Waltzes, for piano (or band)

Listen: The Washington Post, march for band

Listen: The Liberty Bell

Listen: The Stars and Stripes Forever

NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Performance Today host Fred Child about the life and music of John Philip Sousa, "the March King." Sousa was born in Washington, D.C., 150 years ago.

Sheet music

Sheet music for 'The Washington Post March,' written by Sousa in 1889. hide caption

itoggle caption

Sousa is perhaps best known for the march "Stars and Stripes Forever," but he also wrote waltzes and other classical pieces in addition to marches.

Another of Sousa's more famous tunes is "The Washington Post March" — named after the oldest newspaper serving the nation's capital. What isn't widely known is that the newspaper commissioned Sousa to write the piece in 1889 to promote an essay contest it was sponsoring.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.