The Liberty Bell (1893)
Last updated: 28.08.18
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Composer: J.P. Sousa Suppliers: dbe15.gif
Editor: Geoff Grainger Sextet D/A/T/T/B/GB(B)
Publisher: Ditty Box Enterprises Publication: DBE 1327
Audio midi15.gifmp315.gif    
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Length: approx. 3½ mins.
The Liberty Bell is arguably Sousa's most successful march also considered his finest in many circles, beloved everywhere by circuses, military bands (even the British Brigade of Guards had (have) it their repertoire) and Monty Python of course as well the general listening public. The story goes that Sousa had intended to publish this piece as "The Devil's Deputy" but due to commercial considerations and other difficulties reason prevailed. He and his manager George Hinton, on tour in Chicago, were inspired on seeing a huge backdrop of the Liberty Bell (that cracked icon of American patriotism) and that coupled with the news that Sousa's son had marched in a parade in honor of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia settled the matter. Thus it was consequently announced that it had been written for the celebration of the arrival of the Liberty Bell in Chicago for the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893.
This adaptation for recorder sextet is a splendid ensemble piece each voice being involved in a share of the limelight. Its form is ABCCDCD with a 4-bar introduction whereby the AB- and CD-strains are written in the major keys of F and Bb respectively. In the catchy but quiet A-strain the 1st tenor has the honour and hands over to the treble for the B-strain. The initial C-strain is shared by all and the basses have their great moment in the D-strain. The, hopefully, patient descant finally has the closing CD-strains. The 2nd tenor has a particular bright spot, bar 84 actually, when he or she is takes up a sopranino whilst the other melody voices are called on for some tricky over-blowing. The editor whimsically suggests that performers keep Conrad Poohs and his incredible Dancing Teeth in mind when tackling this musical firework. Splendid stuff indeed!
The Liberty Bell was published by John Church Jr. Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
A tempo of 180 crotchets/min. is suggested.

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