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John Philip Sousa: American Phenomenon Hardcover – June, 2001

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John Philip Sousa: American Phenomenon + John Philip Sousa's America: The Patriot's Life in Images and Words + The Incredible Band of John Philip Sousa (Music in American Life)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred Music (June 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0757906125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0757906121
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,424,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Roger Kennedy VINE VOICE on March 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is the definitive bio on J. P. Sousa. The author has lovingly researched his topic, gathering in all sorts of details about the legendary March King. It is sad that most Americans are only familiar with a handful of the great mans works. What this book reveals about Sousa is the great variety of music that he composed. Besides 136 excellent marches, he composed operettas, humouresques, and many other kinds of works. Without a doubt Sousa is our most prolific composer, the sheer volume and qaulity of his works far surpassing all other American composers. Yet the vast majortiy of his music is little heard these days. It is true that Sousa's music appealed to an America of a different time. His marches have all the power of an emerging young United States, just entering into the realm of international politics and industrial might at the turn of the century. In these political correct times Sousa's music might be perceived as being too chauvanistically patriotic in outlook. Hopefully in the post 9/11 world that we live in there is room for a revival of his music to bring back some of the nations pride in itself. Mr. Bierley considers the Sousa band is the greatest of its kind in the world. There is more than a little typical American tendency for overstatement here. Certianly in the States in the latter part of the 19th century there were few rivals for Sousa's band. But in Europe many fine military bands already existed and Sousa, though well received on his numerous tours abraod, faced much more critical acclaim. As director of the US Marine Band, Sousa certainly transformed that musical organization into the top-notch band that it is today.Read more ›
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By joetuba@lightspeed.net on September 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is by far and away THE book for the life of John Philip Sousa. Mr. Bierly has researched his subject in depth from help with the Sousa family former sousa Band Members and material in the Library of Congress, Masrine Band Archives, Univ. of Illinois and others. If you want to know Sousa, this is the book Joe L. Norcross
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DRob VINE VOICE on June 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I've always loved John Phillip Sousa without really knowing why other than remembering playing his marches in band and tearing up every time I hear The Stars and Stripes Forever. In John Phillip Sousa, America Phenomenon, Paul Bierley shows that Sousa was a true American hero-- a musical genius who was also a caring boss and an inspiration to the musicians he led for decades. While at times the book seems somewhat detached from its subject and a little too dry and scholarly, there are enough anecdotes to give a good picture of the man known as the March King. Bierley also gives a good picture of what the musical scene was like at the turn of the century during the transition years at the start of the radio and audio recording era.

How nice to read a biography of a man who was close to his family, treated his employees in an honorable manner and who held himself to the same strict standards he did others. If you want to read about a true American hero, this would be a good book to read.
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By Rick on August 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having the surname Souza prompts frequent questions like, "Are you related to the band director?" I have to answer, "I don't know, but I hope so." When I saw this book was available as a Kindle publication, I knew I had to know more than I did about Sousa, and I found the book interesting and useful. I would have given it five stars, except that there were some long sections that I skimmed over or skipped altogether. Sousa was certainly an American Phenomenon. I had no idea! I knew that Sousa had written a lot of music that was not marches, but the list of his titles and genres was truly amazing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent portrayal of a critically important American patriot. John Phillip Sousa brought the US Marine Band up to the standards it enjoys today, and made concert band music the equal of orchestra selections. He is probably more responsible than anyone else for the rich tradition of concert bands in our schools, colleges, and communities. The fact that he had the finest and best known instrumental group IN the WORLD about a hundred years ago is an awesome claim to fame. I wish more people knew about this fine musician------an American gem!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The copy that came to me had several blank pages where the content did not get printed. The number of blank pages amounts to about the size of a chapter... The content didn't just continue after the blank pages, some things just were not printed. A shame, because the book is a great source of information.
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