My Favorite Marches

Copyright 2007, 2013 by Ronald B. Standler

Table of Contents
My Favorite Marches
Links to websites about composers of marches
Links to publishers of sheet music
Links to recordings of band music
Links to band websites


I have enjoyed listening to military band music since the mid-1950s, when my mother purchased a phonograph record of French and American military marches, recorded by the Band de la Garde Républicane and sold in the USA on the Angel record label, a label normally devoted to recordings of classical music.

During approximately 1850 until the 1930s, life in the USA included community bands that played marches, polkas, and other short works. Before commercial radio stations (radio began in 1920s) and television (began around 1950), people made their own entertainment, and community bands were part of that entertainment. Many of the better bands (e.g., Dodworth's Saxhorn Band, Claudio S. Grafulla's 7th Regiment Band of the New York State Militia, Sousa's Band during 1892 until 1932) toured the nation, giving concerts. By the 1940s, jazz had replaced marches as popular music in the USA.

My criticism of most recordings of military band music is that there is too much emphasis on the percussion instruments, and often the brass instruments overwhelm the woodwind instruments (particularly the tuba, which often has little to contribute to either the melody or harmony).

After I purchased a computer-controlled synthesizer in May 1992, I experimented with arranging some of Sousa's marches for a string ensemble. I was pleasantly surprised to see that such arrangements could expose the real music contained in the band version. The Washington Post March is particularly suited for strings. I have read that the original version of that march was composed in 1889 not as a march, but as a two-step dance to be played at an ice cream social sponsored by that newspaper. In looking at sheet music for concert versions of Sousa's marches, I sometimes found ornaments and syncopation that were omitted from sheet music intended for school/college bands. Including such ornaments and syncopation in my arrangements made the march sound more like classical music for an orchestra.

In 1993, I was not able to find a retail music store in the USA that would sell me authentic versions of French or German military marches.   The development of the Internet makes it easier to find obscure publishers of military marches worldwide.   I have posted this webpage to make it easier for other people to find music for these military marches.

My Favorite Military Marches

The following are my personal favorite marches.
American marches:
Sanderson: Hail to the Chief
Sousa: Belle of Chicago
Sousa: El Capitan
Sousa: High School Cadets
Sousa: King Cotton
Sousa: Semper Fidelis
Sousa: Thunderer
Sousa: Washington Post March

French marches:
J. Alazard: Saint-Cyr
Gabauer: Premier pas de Manoeuvre
Duvernoy: Deuxieme pas de Manoeuvre
Hoering: Marche de la Légion Etrangère
Mehul: Le Chant du Départ
G. Meister Le Grenadier du Caucase
G. Parès: Trocadéro
F. Romain: Sonnez Clairons
Wettge: Défilé de la Garde Républicaine
?: Pas Cadénce des Sans-Culottes
?: Les Trainards

German military marches
Michael Haydn: Der Koburger Marsch (composed in 1793)
anonymous: Herzog von Braunschweig
Möllendorf: Parademarsch Nr. 1 (composed in 1846)
Scherzer: Bayerischer Defiliermarsch (composed in 1850)

My Favorite National Anthems

In selecting these anthems, I only judge the music, not the words, and not the country. In alphabetical order:
Webpages about national anthems: by David Kendall has history, MIDI files, lyrics, and sheet music for more than 400 anthems.

U.S. Navy Band MP3 files


John Philip Sousa

Publishers of sheet music for military marches

retail stores:
See my list of sources for sheet music for classical instrumental music at

Fest-Musik-Haus in Texas (USA) imports German and European marches

recordings of military marches

See my general list of sources for recordings of classical music at

Bundeswehr CD production

Corelia French manufacturer of CDs

retail stores:

Discurio retail store in England

links to band websites

Some of these websites contain downloadable recordings, copies of sheet music, history, etc.

This document is posted at
created 24 Dec 2007, revised 27 Jan 2013

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