The digital sousa and new online resources from the United States Marine Band

Jane Cross, Patrick Warfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The oldest continuously operating musical ensemble in the United States, “The President's Own” United States Marine Band, is also home to a significant performing ensemble library and archives. In recent years the band and its library have been working to make their resources-especially those related to their most famous director John Philip Sousa-more readily available to the public. This article outlines the history of the ensemble and Sousa's relationship to it. It then describes the band's two major digital initiatives. The Complete Marches of John Philip Sousa is a multiyear project to edit and record each of Sousa's approximately 130 marches. The Marine Band editions rely on the earliest printed sources, but they differ from other Sousa editions in that they document this ensemble's long history with Sousa's music. In undertaking this project, the Marine Band has also scanned two major primary sources related to Sousa: the Sousa Band encore and press books. This article outlines the ways scholars might use both resources by examining the encore books' value in editing Sousa's music, and the press books' remarkable potential for looking at musical interaction with American social and political history. All of these materials-the press books, encore books, and newly created editions-are freely available on the Marine Band's Web site. Taken together they provide a unique level of access to one of America's most celebrated musicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-408
Number of pages22
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

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© 2019 Music Library Association. All rights reserved.


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