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Title:The orchestral transcriptions for band of John Philip Sousa: A description and analysis
Author(s):Korzun, Jonathan Nicholas
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Peters, G. David
Department / Program:Music
Discipline:Music Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Education, Music
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to investigate, identify and describe John Philip Sousa's techniques in transcribing orchestral compositions for band instrumentation. The transcriptions studied were limited to those for which a complete score or a complete set of parts in Sousa's hand was extant, and for which a complete orchestral score of the transcribed work was available for comparison. Not included were transcriptions of works originally composed for piano or organ and works that are accompaniments for voice or solo instrument(s).
In order to provide an historical setting for the development of Sousa's band instrumentation and scoring practices, an overview was given of the history of band instrumentation focusing on the military band tradition of the United States from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. Included were the Western European roots of the American band movement, and a discussion of the developments in wind instrument design and manufacturing during the above time frame.
A comprehensive survey was conducted of the extant collections of music from the Sousa Band and from the Marine Band when under Sousa's leadership. Five transcriptions were selected for detailed analysis. A system of abbreviations was used to report how the parts for each orchestral instrument were assigned to band instruments, and to what extent original wind parts were kept intact. The techniques that Sousa used to transcribe such color effects as pizzicato and bowed tremolos were described, as were any alterations and omissions by Sousa. General statements were formulated describing consistencies of the transcription practices of Sousa. Exceptions to Sousa's usual practices were noted.
Findings included: (1) Sousa most often left original wind and percussion parts intact. (2) Although Sousa used the standard practice of scoring string parts in the clarinets, he constantly shifted the combinations (choirs) of wind instruments used to score the string parts, sometimes with the clarinets, sometimes without, for variety of timbre. (3) Sousa usually scored his transcriptions by employing ever changing choirs of instruments ("multiplicity of quartets"). (4) Sousa would often shift the scoring in a given passage when the original scoring remained unchanged. (5) Relatively few transcriptions were actually penned by Sousa; many were apparently penned by copyists under his supervision.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Korzun, Jonathan Nicholas
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9512436
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9512436

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