Probably one of my favorite types of music (you can't rate them all #1 can you?) is the "March". Some guy named Sousa made a very nice living playing them back during the heyday of the Classic Banjo...and it comes as no surprise that there are lots of them in the Banjo rep.

 

I've been halfway thru this one for some time, so I figured I'd at least get the TAB 90% finished...see attached. The TAB needs dynamics, etc. added but I've thrown in the original dots, so...here's "King Cotton".

 

The original sheet was downloaded from the American Library of Congress site, where they have a half-dozen or so original banjo arrangements published by Sousa's publisher in the 1890's, The John Church Co. I've done a few of these and they're usually not inspiring arrangements. Most are not fingered and often they contain impossible-to-fret chords, which means the arranger wasn't familiar with the banjo. This piece was arranged by "Wessenberg" and is complete with fingering suggestions, etc. It sounds pretty good (even if it is MIDI).

 

So, here you go. BTW, I'm adding a "teaser" for "Liberty Bell March"...a spectacular arrangement by Parke Hunter. I'll post the TAB if anyone wants it.

 

King Cotton all.pdf

 

King Cotton.mid

 

Liberty Bell March.mid

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Yeah, one of these days I need to buckle down and work on a single theme for publishing. With the Library of Congress stuff and my personal Sousa-banjo holdings, I bet I could come up with a dozen for a tune-book. Certainly they would be more "marketable" with the Sousa name attached. ;-)

Bill Knopf published a TAB book of Sousa marches for the 5-string banjo...but they're his own arrangements (and quite good, he is one of my favorite players).
LOL!

How 'bout I do the transcripting and you do the recording? It would take me at least a year per tune to get it up to CD quality. I'm not sure I'll live long enough!

BTW, there are a dozen Sousa marches on the LOC website and I have about 4 more in my collection. I did send a query to the LOC to see if they have more banjo arrangements in their collection (that haven't been yet scanned). I think Sousa wrote ~130+ marches... =^O
136 according to this website: http://www.dws.org/sousa/works.htm

If you click on the title of a march, you can listen to a clip of the first part. I do not recommend listening to the MIDI files as they are particularly awful...it is the sort that even makes ME cringe. ;-)

Just listening to the sound clips there reminds me what a genius ol' J.P. was. I may do "Manhattan Beach" next...
OK you guys. I know you're just talking- but it's actually a great idea if you'd collaborate and actually do this. Really the more I think of it the more brilliant it seems.


Trapdoor2 said:
136 according to this website: http://www.dws.org/sousa/works.htm

If you click on the title of a march, you can listen to a clip of the first part. I do not recommend listening to the MIDI files as they are particularly awful...it is the sort that even makes ME cringe. ;-)

Just listening to the sound clips there reminds me what a genius ol' J.P. was. I may do "Manhattan Beach" next...
no, I want you to record 65 marches. Marc can record the other 65. Well OK, how about 15 each?

Rob MacKillop said:
You seriously want me to record 130 marches??!! I know I'm crazy, but even my craziness has limits. However, anything up to 20 might be possible.
LOL!

Not going to happen, Jody. #1, I doubt all had published banjo arrangements. #2, I won't be able to retire for another, um, 13 yrs. #3 I have a life. ;-)

I will TAB out everything I can get my hands on and I will record a few. That's all I can promise!

If any collaboration is involved, I would like to try parting out a few pieces. That is, one person plays the 1st banjo and another plays 2nd. I don't know how to do that long distance, but I'm sure it can be done.

Hi. Just wondering if you ever posted the tabs for Liberty Bell March... or even the original score (I'm still trying to learn to read the music... very, very slowly)

LOL, no idea what happened to my plan 12.5 yrs ago! Here's pdfs of both the tab and the notation. I'll send them to Ian for inclusion into the library here too.

Liberty%20Bell%20March%20dots.pdf

Liberty%20Bell%20March%201st%20tab.pdf

Liberty%20Bell%20March%20-%202nd%20tab.pdf

Fantastic! Thank you.

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