Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Korzun, Jonathan Nicholas. “The Orchestral Transcriptions of John Philip Sousa.” Ed. diss., University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, 1994.

John Philip Sousa performed many orchestral transcriptions, leading both his professional band and the US Marine Band before that, but only a handful of these transcriptions still exist today. Despite the lack of material, a number of features of Sousa’s transcriptions become apparent, including keeping wind and percussion parts generally intact, writing for choirs of instruments, using clarinets like orchestral violins, and shifting scoring even when the original doesn’t change. Most of the transcriptions performed by the Sousa Band were written by Sousa’s assistants and copyists, not by Sousa himself. Only five orchestral transcriptions in full score in Sousa’s hand remain today: Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Wagner’s Overture to The Flying Dutchman, Elgar’s Salut d’Amour, Massenet’s “Angelus” from Suite No. 4, and Leo Sowerby’s Comes Autumn Time. One significant addition not in Sousa’s hand is Wagner’s Overture to Tannhäuser, which does not share the same scoring practices of Sousa’s own transcriptions. Other existing transcriptions come from keyboard music, for example Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.

Works: Sousa: transcriptions of Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 (214–34), Wagner’s Overture to The Flying Dutchman (235–61), Elgar’s Salut d’Amour (262–66), Massenet’s “Angelus” from Suite No. 4 (267–77), and Leo Sowerby’s Comes Autumn Time (278–87).

Sources: Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 (214–34); Wagner: Overture to The Flying Dutchman (235–61); Elgar: Salut d’Amour (262–66); Massenet: “Angelus” from Suite No. 4 (267–77); Leo Sowerby: Comes Autumn Time (278–87).

Index Classifications: 1800s, 1900s, Popular

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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