By Burnett James
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From November 1873. ” Sousa’s tune is once again more instrumental than vocal (ex. 5). He begins with four repeated pitches and an ascending leap of a sixth. Rather than turning around with stepwise motion, he continues upward before skipping down by thirds. The phrase construction is also unusual. The final cadence, which contains the title text, appears an afterthought, lying outside the song’s principal sixteen bars. S. State Department. ” He also wrote an unpublished set of waltzes. But most of Sousa’s time was spent setting texts, almost exclusively poems by friends and acquaintances, a pattern that would remain true throughout much of his Ex.
25 Indeed, Sousa frequently drew from the language of business: “The organizing and maintaining of a superior band I regard in the light of a calm, calculative, business proposition, as much a matter of practical consideration as the selection and training of men for banking or other commercial duties. . As the head of a counting-house exercises powers of selection in gathering about him a staff as nearly perfect as possible, so is the bandmaster untiring in his search for the best available talent.
Once the conductor modified his programming the complaints dissipated, but despite this reprieve the bandleader soon faced a much more serious allegation. 34 On December 31, 1871, just two weeks after Scala’s departure, Sousa and several other boys were released from their contracts. Sousa was only seventeen, and it is unclear why he left the program prior to his twenty-first birthday, but perhaps he had already mastered his musical studies. In any case, several of the boys immediately reenlisted as regular members of the band; Sousa, however, waited until July 8, 1872, before rejoining as a third-class musician.
Bix Biederbecke by Burnett James