総集編19-20J.P.スーザ自叙伝"Marching Along"... 自身のバンド、家族、ジャズ、米国音楽の将来、仲間達への言葉

CHAPTER 19 - 20 





















































As I have already said, Sousa’s Band was born back in the “gay nineties” when David Blakely called upon me in Chicago where the Marine Band was giving a concert. Blakely had taken it for granted that I would eagerly accept his offer to leave Washington. On the contrary I refused it at first, held by familiar ties in the capital.  




But the idea pleased me and secretly I was always favorable to it. I had often dreamed of a real band of my own, composed of the most talented musicians, who would provide a perfect response to my aspiring baton. Besides, it meant a considerable financial advancement—six thousand dollars salary, twenty per cent. of the profits and a five-year contract. Mother told me, after I had made my decision, that Father, only two weeks before his death, on reading the April ninth newspaper report of my opportunity to leave the Marines and go on tour had said to her slowly,  




“Well, Philip ought to have his own organization. The time has come for him to go!”  




At the end of July, 1892, I gave a farewell concert at the National Theater and left for New York, carrying with me hundreds of gratifying and encouraging messages. Then came the organization of my band. I had met one of the leading cornetists in London, Arthur Smith, a splendid musician who had been solo cornet with the Coldstream Guards and soloist at the promenade concerts at Covent Garden. I then engaged Staats, of Boston, a graduate of the Paris conservatory; Henry D. Koch, one of the finest French-horn players in the United States; Arthur Pryor, the talented trombonist; Frank Holton, another fine trombone player; Jambon, a bassoonist, also a graduate of the Paris conservatory; John S. Cox, the Scotch flutist who calmly faced myriad-noted cadenzas; Richard Messenger, oboe; and a glorious array of clarinets, tubas, saxophones, as well as a valiant bass drummer from the Garde du Corps of Berlin. I had good reason to be proud of this assemblage.  




I strove in every way to improve the quality and variety of the instruments. Way back when I was with the Marines they used a Helicon tuba wound around the body. I disliked it for concert work because the one would shoot ahead and be too violent. I suggested to a manufacturer that we have an upright bell of large size so that the sound would diffuse over the entire band like the frosting on a cake! He designed a horn after that description and it has been in use ever since, by many bands, under the name of the Sousaphone.  




There are now eighty-four men in my band. It has become almost entirely American in personnel. Last year—1927—there was only one player who was born abroad and he is a naturalized American citizen. That is quite in contrast to the early days when nearly all of them were foreigners, and the dramatis personæ reminded you of a concert in Berlin or Rome.  




We have a familiar and beloved routine. Every man knows his duty and performs it. Perhaps that is why there is so seldom any display of jealousy—less than in any organization I have known. No man is ever called upon to do another’s part. Similar tastes promote a great friendship among them, and if a vain man joins the band he very soon is brought down to earth!  




About July first we start on our tour. Contracts have been made from six months to a year ahead by my manager, Mr. Harry Askin. We assemble in New York from every corner of the country—each man with his trunk and his suitcase. The instruments are stowed in specially-designed trunks under the care of the band baggage man. Arrived at our destination, the men go to their hotels, and the band luggage is sent to the hall where we are to appear. The band librarian lays out our music, the accumulation of which is, I believe, one of the greatest libraries of band music in the world. We carry our own music stands and my podium. The men arrive about three quarters of an hour before the concert to tune up, soften their lips, and make sure everything is in order. That is the prelude which the public rarely hears—a pleasant, busy crooning and tuning, plucking of strings and blowing of low, disconnected notes. It is not music—yet, but it is the sign of efficiency and activity to the conductor, and always gives me a satisfactory feeling of “things about to happen.”  




When the concert is about to begin, the librarian calls out, “All on!” and they file on the stage. Each man is provided with a list of encores which, nine times out of ten, are Sousa marches, for we generally have advance letters containing requests for many of them. It is my invariable rule to begin the encore almost immediately after the programme number. This habit has come in for its share of criticism. I chuckled over this extract from the “pearls” of John F. Runciman when he wrote, “Sousa in London” for a British journal:  




 At a Sousa concert, I am given to understand, the great things are  the Sousa marches. We were certainly given plenty of them. After a  piece by some lesser man, Sousa would lightly descend from his  platform, and as lightly step up, and the band would uproariously  break out with the Washington Post; and this done with, the  gymnastics would be repeated and we would hear some other thing of which I don’t know the name. It appears to me that encores must be  easily earned in Mr. Sousa’s country. In this retrograde one of  ours, the audience is invariably given an opportunity of proving  that it really wants to hear something a second time. If an English conductor, or even an English bandmaster, did anything of this sort  he would promptly be called a humbug, a charlatan. But I suppose  customs differ, and I must add that if we must needs have encores,  the English custom seems to me the better one. And though Sousa may  scorn us as a people who don’t come from Chicago, and have not been  fed on the sacred gospel of “hustle,” it may be useful to him to know that our custom is our custom.  




Press notices telling how Mr. Sousa was enthusiastically encored are  worse than worthless to those of us who observed that he never  allowed time for an encore to be demanded. As for the marches, I  have heard them in music-halls, pantomimes, cafés and on  street-organs, but until last week I had no notion of their  ear-splitting blatancy. Now I understand why Mr. James Huneker falls  back on Strauss as a calm refuge. After one hour of Sousa I could  have fallen asleep with the battle in “Heldenleben” falling sweetly  on my ears as a soothing lullaby. . . . The Americans are, they  themselves state, a great people, and apparently they like great  noises. In no other country in the world but America could Sousa and  his Band have gained the reputation they have there.  




This critic evidently doesn’t want an overdose of music. The audiences, however, do not seem to object to my practice. I prefer to respond quickly rather than to await the vigorous smacking-together of tiring hands, hitherto comfortably folded and relaxed.  




There has been only one type of uniform for the men and we have not changed it in more than thirty years. Salaries are from seventy-four dollars to two hundred dollars a week, according to proficiency and experience. Everywhere there is manifest good will and impartiality in the entire organization. The human contacts established are, of course, many and interesting. Four years ago one of my original players, Joseph Norrito, a solo clarinetist who had been with me ever since the band was “born,” retired and went back to Italy. Sometimes band members marry and settle down, forsaking our nomadic life, but of late many of the men have taken their wives along on tour. Last year half a dozen wives were with us.  




We have had basketball and baseball teams of our own and the latter have played the Marine teams at Philadelphia and at various Expositions. In 1900 on our Paris tour, we played the American Guard. We usually make a goodly showing. Recently we have had two teams in the band itself—one of reed players, the other of brass; the average is about equal, even though one might expect the brass to win by virtue of long-windedness!  




The Band is unique in the number of concerts given and mileage covered. In the thirty-six years of its existence it has visited every part of the United States and Canada, has made five tours of Europe and one of the world. We have travelled, in all, one million two hundred thousand miles. And this was accomplished quite without subsidy, depending entirely on our own drawing-power. From the ranks of the band have arisen several men who are now conductors of their own bands; among them, Herbert L. Clarke, Arthur Pryor, Walter Rogers, Bohumir Kryl, Fred Gilliland, Frank Simons and others. I am proud to call them graduates of Sousa’s Band.  




To obtain the best musicians we choose those belonging to the American Federation of Musicians and I have found them unfailingly loyal to me. Every man gives of his best, at all times, uncomplainingly and with spirit and vigor. Their punctuality too, which is the politeness of kings, is admirable. I rejoice at their attitude and at our rehearsals in June, when we go over everything which we are to play for the coming season, I look them over with affection and pride.  




I have often been asked the reason for some of my methods of conducting. Is it not the business of the conductor to convey to the public in its dramatic form the central idea of a composition; and how can he convey that idea successfully if he does not enter heart and soul into the life of the music and the tale it unfolds? The movements which I make I cannot possibly repress because, at the time, I am actually the idea I am interpreting, and naturally I picture my players and auditors as in accord with me. I know, of course, that my mannerisms have been widely discussed. They have even said, “He goes through the motions as if he were dancing one of his own two steps.”  




Now I never move my legs at all. Perhaps my hands dance; they certainly do not make really sweeping motions, for the slightest movement suffices to carry my meaning. In Germany one man said, “Your band is like oil.” I knew what he meant. Instead of waving my arms vigorously, I had gone at it smoothly. It struck them as something different. Moreover, they liked the way we did the pianissimo passages.  




To my men the raising of a thumb is significant. Whenever we introduce a new man into the band, he invariably stands out too much, particularly if he has been playing under an extremely vigorous conductor. Always I have to jump on him and press him back into the united whole. All organizations work the same way—they must be a unit, and since I strive to paint my melodies usually with a camel’s hair brush instead of with the sweeping stroke of a whitewash brush, I must insist upon that delicate oneness of tone.  




Very clever players, they are—all of them in the Band—but if their interpretation of a passage does not agree with mine they can and will subordinate their idea to mine. That is why the greatest generals would make the finest privates. These men know that the whole effect will be better if they submit to one dominating spirit—the leader. On the other hand, the leader who doesn’t watch for outbursts of genius in his men, in the playing of a phrase, makes a sad mistake. For example: I would be rehearsing a piece and would stop for five minutes to rest. As I went out, I would hear some fellow going over a portion of the piece and playing with it—trying it this way and that, until finally I would hear him play it in a certain way and I would say to myself, “That’s the way it ought to be done!” Invariably, continuing the rehearsal, I would say to the men, “I heard Jones playing this over a while ago, and his way is better than mine,” and after Jones, beaming with delight, had demonstrated, I would lead it in that fashion. If I were not open-minded I could not improve as a director—I am a better director than I was last year, and I hope to be a better one next year!  




One of the most amusing and yet perhaps one of the truest things that has been said of me is that I resemble one of those strolling players who carries a drum on his back, cymbals on his head, a cornet in one hand and a concertina in the other—who is, in fact, a little band all in himself. That is what I am constantly trying to do all the time—to make my musicians and myself a one-man band! Only, instead of having actual metallic wires to work the instruments I strike after magnetic ones. I have to work so that I feel that every one of my eighty-four musicians is linked up with me by a cable of magnetism. Every man must be as intent upon and as sensitive to every movement of my baton as I am myself. So, when I stretch out my hand in the direction of some player, I give him the music I feel and, as I beckon to him, the music leaps back at me. But the element which welds us all into one harmonious whole is sympathy—my sympathy for them and theirs for me.  




I have always selected my programmes according to my own conception of the dictates of good taste. Of course, this disregard of precedent and tradition gives rise to a good deal of criticism—generally from affronted musicians, not from the public. To a critic who was shocked at my using Kelly as an encore on a programme which included Wagner’s Siegfried I replied, “But I’d just as soon play Kelly for an encore to Siegfried as to play Siegfried as an encore to Kelly!”  




Artistic snobbery is so ridiculous! Many an immortal tune has been born in the stable or the cotton-field. Turkey in the Straw is a magic melody; anyone should be proud of having written it, but, for musical high-brows, I suppose the thing is declassée. It came not from a European composer but from an unknown negro minstrel. I am, however, equally enthusiastic about the truly great compositions of the masters. My admiration for Wagner and Beethoven is profound. I played Parsifal—or excerpts from it—ten years before it was produced at the Metropolitan. Most audiences had to learn to understand and appreciate it.  




Once upon a time, however, the Parsifal music was wildly applauded. We were giving a concert in a Texas town during a howling blizzard. The hall was frigidly cold. The audience retained overcoats and even added blankets to their equipment. There was about $124.00 in the house—and I can safely say that it was the smallest, politest, coldest audience I had ever encountered. There was absolutely no applause. During the intermission, the mayor of the town, the editor of the local newspaper and the manager of the hall came backstage to request two encores, Dixie and The Stars and Stripes Forever. They added an apology for the small attendance. “I don’t mind the attendance,” I exclaimed, “I don’t blame anybody for dodging a blizzard. But if they appreciate our presence here as you say they do, why don’t they at least give us a little applause?” They hastened to assure me that the audience, out of consideration for us, had purposely refrained from applauding; they knew that we, on the stage, were equally chilly and they didn’t want us to feel obliged to give encores. Said I, “Never you mind about encores! There is one thing that freezes a musician more than the deadliest physical cold, and that is the spiritual chill of an unresponsive audience! Just give us a little applause—have some man let his leg fall off the chair, and you shall have both Dixie and The Stars and Stripes Forever!”  




The next selection was from Parsifal, a long and very dignified number. But the audience well-nigh lifted the roof off. Applause was vociferous and prolonged. The men woke up—we played encore after encore—we gave what was practically another concert. Overcoats came off and the audience went wild. Parsifal had loosened the tension. Everybody was more than happy and the blizzard raged unnoticed.  




Nowadays I allow myself a bit more of vacationing than formerly. Up to the time of the World War I toured with the Band practically the entire year, often following the road for fifty weeks, including both summer engagements and winter tours; but since the War I travel from July to December and then gather together my guns and equipment and go south for the shooting season. Then to Pinehurst for golf, and back to Long Island to write and to enjoy my home and my family. When June comes, I turn to programme-arranging for the next tour, to determining the personnel of the Band and to rehearsals. Once the tour is mapped out by my business manager it is submitted to me. On long engagements, and on foreign tours, I have always had my family with me.  




I have been singularly blessed with a home life which has given me peace, harmony and understanding between the tours that demand so much of my energy, a home life far different from that of many a composer and musician. Surely nothing is so invaluable to a professional musician as the sincere and considerate affection of a loyal family. I have had it—and all because of Mrs. Sousa’s sympathy and foresight.  




When we were first married and lived in Washington (on A Street, S. E., then on 6th Street and finally at the corner of 4th and B Streets, Capitol Hill) Mrs. Sousa realized that my life work was to be music, that music was an exacting mistress and that domestic affairs would have to be subordinated to the musical demands of the moment. She was therefore careful never to interrupt my train of thought or disturb me at my work. She has always had the kindliest words for my achievements, proving herself a constant inspiration because of her incurable belief that I can “do it better than anybody else!”  




When I left Washington and my directorship of the Marine Band in 1892, I established my family in an apartment in New York City and the children began school there. We kept an apartment in New York until 1915 when we moved to the present family residence at Sands Point, Port Washington, Long Island.  




Our children have brought us only happiness. Mrs. Sousa has been the most devoted of mothers—and grandmothers. My son John Philip, Jr. married Eileen Adams, who has presented us with five fine grandchildren, Eileen, John Philip, 3rd, Jane Priscilla, Thomas Adams and Nancy. My daughter Jane Priscilla is with us at Port Washington, and my other daughter, Helen, the wife of Hamilton Abert, has brought us still another lovely little Jane Priscilla 




At home, this family of mine has given me cooperation, appreciation and constructive criticism. As I write, I can recall the many conferences—frank in the extreme—about my work, and I have always profited by them. My wife and my children have been companions, editors, critics and audience, sharing my hopes and my hobbies, one harmonious company—like my Band.  




“Recollection is the only Paradise from which we cannot be turned out,” says Richter. Every day has been and still is rich in its contacts with beautiful and talented women and gifted men. Their public often sees them as lovable but remote. I have found them lovable and human—in their play hours the most delightful of grownup children—Chaplin “in the wings” or De Koven at a dinner table.  




I met De Koven when the American composers formed a Baton Society and we immediately became warm friends. He was a stickler for proprieties—his fastidious appearance being equalled only by the perfection of his manners, but at one banquet he said to me with the engaging candor of a child, “I wish you’d let me call you ‘Philip.’”  




“All right,” was my reply, “but I should like to call you ‘Reggie.’” So thereafter it was “Philip” and “Reggie” although I doubt if many people addressed the dignified De Koven with so little ceremony. He had been educated in Vienna and England—at Oxford, in fact, and his excellent accent showed it. Of all De Koven’s operas, and there are twenty-five or more, Robin Hood retains best its pristine youth and vigor. It was first presented in England under the title of Maid Marian and was played here with great success by “The Bostonians.” I believe that it is the most popular opera ever written by an American composer.  




To talk of light opera is, inevitably, to talk of Victor Herbert. It is always a pleasure to me to include many of his compositions on my programmes. I was handicapped in my own opera-writing by the difficulty of getting first class librettos and by the arduous demands of my long band tours, but I followed with interest the creative work of Herbert. He was the best-equipped man of his time for this work; curiously enough he always did his best when he was composing for some particular star; evidently it was necessary to him to have a definite human picture in his mind. Herbert was an excellent example of fine musicianship and it was a distinct aid to his success that he could give so much of his time to operatic writing. Perhaps no two men in the profession have been paired more often in the minds of the people than Herbert and myself. When I planned to go to Europe with my band for its first overseas tour (which the approach of the Spanish War prevented) Herbert, then conductor of the Twenty-Second Regiment Band, formerly Gilmore’s famous group, took my place at Manhattan Beach.  




Since Herbert was a ‘cellist, orchestra work was naturally his first love and so it was that he formed an orchestra and became conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony; before he left his New York band he presented me with a number of military pieces he had arranged and I still have them all. In those good old days, the three names most familiar to patrons of light opera were certainly Herbert, De Koven, and Sousa. Herbert, I am sure, wrote more light operas of high quality than any other composer in Europe or America.  




The younger composers of to-day are immensely pleasant fellows to meet. It was at my first attendance of a “gambol” of the Lambs that I met Irving Berlin. William Courtleigh, Shepherd of the Lambs, had asked me to become an honorary member; I accepted gratefully, since I had many warm friends in the club. I went along on that famous “gambol” as general musical conductor. I wrote what is perhaps the only medley overture ever designed to be “acted out,” in which I had introduced solos, duets, choruses and dances in a new style of an old-time minstrel overture. It was a novelty and Frank McIntyre (of “Travelling Salesman” fame) afterwards told me that there had been some doubt as to whether it would “get over.” Well, no one ever knows which way “the cat will jump” just as no one ever knows just what will receive the stamp of public approval. In that respect, it resembled every other new creation! Berlin had a special song for that night—about Mexico—and he did it most cleverly. I found him a charming fellow, modest, entertaining and a mighty satisfactory companion. Our friendship is still very much alive.  




Rudolph Friml, Berlin’s contemporary, has appeared with me several times in the Hippodrome stunt which combined a group of composers, each playing his most popular number. I considered him one of the very finest composer-pianists in the lot, and I might add that I was probably the very worst! I am perfectly sure that Friml knows it.  




It was at the Hippodrome Sunday feature concerts in 1915 that I first met that public idol, Charles Chaplin. We had been revelling in the vocal gifts of Melba, Culp, Garden and Fremstad. Charlie was therefore quite a departure.  




“I want to lead your band!” said Charlie.  

 “In what number?” I asked.  

 “The Poet and Peasant overture,” he confidently replied.  






At the rehearsal he mounted the podium, took my baton and as the band started the stately measures of the opening, he proceeded to beat time fully four times too fast! That well-known blank expression came over his face but this time it was involuntary. “That isn’t it!” he exclaimed. I smiled. “But I’ve played it many years,” I reminded him. Suddenly I realized that he remembered only the allegro and had forgotten all about the moderato, so I told the band to begin again, this time with the allegro, and we were off! On the night of the performance, the audience, reading his name on the program and never having seen him in the flesh, suspected a trick—some clever impersonation of Chaplin—but, as he came from the wings, he did his inimitably funny little step and slowly proceeded to the band-platform. The house, convinced, rang with applause.  




Among many pleasant musical associations has been my friendship with that gifted director and interpreter of music, Walter Damrosch. I have the following cordial letter from him:  




_November 9, 1915_  

  Dear Mr. Sousa:  

I regret more than I can say that I cannot be present at the  presentation of the testimonial on your sixty-first birthday. In  fact, having just seen and heard you at the Hippodrome in the full  zenith of your activities I refuse to believe that it is your  sixty-first!   Your enthusiasm has kept you young and you are a wonderful example  of the power of music over such a purely arbitrary thing as the  marking of time, for you have “marked time” so ably and successfully  that the “March King” has become a household word in every quarter  of the globe. Your stirring rhythms have quickened the pulses of millions and we  are all proud of you as a fellow American and fellow musician. Please accept my heartiest congratulations on this happy anniversary  and believe me  

Yours most cordially,  

Walter Damrosch  








I have a host of friends among America’s actors. And I have worked with them at the pleasantest of tasks—that of amusing a group of sympathetic people. James T. Powers brought back to New York from Washington a song of mine, written for the Gridiron Club, whose guest he had been and he sang it many times for the Lambs. We had enjoyed the planning of that song and I still quote it at intervals. The refrain was “Do We, We Do!” a confirmation of the poet’s predilection for wine, woman and song, and Powers put a lot of energy into his eloquent rendition of “Do We, We Do!”  

私にはアメリカ人俳優の友達が沢山いる。そして彼らとこの上なく嬉しい仕事をご一緒させていただいている。彼らは心優しい人達である。ジェームス・T・パワーズはワシントンからニューヨークへ、報道関係者団体「グリンドン・クラブ」のために私が書いた歌を引っさげてやってきた。彼はグリンドン・クラブにはゲストとして何度も歌を歌いにやってきている。その歌の企画は私達にとっては楽しい仕事で、今でも私は、自分の公演の幕間でこの曲を採り上げている。サビの部分に「Do We, We Do!」という歌詞がある。作詞者の酒好き・女好きがスゴイことを歌ったもので、パワーズもこの部分を歌う時は、特に力を込めて、堂々たる歌いっぷりで「Do We, We Do!」と演ってくれる。 



Then there are Fred Stone, Frank Daniels and Francis Wilson. I came into constant contact with Wilson in my younger days. He was a contemporary of mine—born in 1854. I never wrote an opera for him, but I did do much of his orchestrating—The Merry Monarch, The Lion Tamer, etc. One of my prized possessions is a gold watch which he gave me in recognition of a “rush order” which I filled for him in the early nineties. He telegraphed me, “Will you orchestrate The Lion Tamer?” and I went on to New York immediately. Much of the music and some of the libretto had been taken from the French, but a few American numbers were included. I did the orchestration in one week, working from twenty to twenty-two hours a day. The play was a great success. Then came the gold watch—and Wilson offered me the position of musical director of his company, at a very high salary, which I declined.  




Frank Daniels, since our first meeting, has always been extremely kind to me. One night, while he was playing in The Wizard of the Nile and I was in a box, thoroughly enjoying his performance, at the end of the first act, when the applause was at its height, someone in the gallery spied me and sent up the shout of, “Sousa!” The whole house turned to me and applauded. Frank rang up the curtain once more, took my hand and led me on to the stage. Of course the next cry was “Speech!”  




Fred Stone—excellent shooter, fine horseman, all-round athlete and, incidentally, something of a comedian—has especially endeared himself to me because of his devotion to his daughter, Dorothy. Although we are both busy men, whenever we meet he says, “I’m sure Dorothy would be delighted to see you. Let’s go!” And we go.  




It may seem a sort of inverted politeness to leave the ladies to the last but it is only following the rule of the most vivid impressions. Certainly it is not likely that I shall ever forget beautiful Maxine Elliott, vivacious Henrietta Crosman or the lovely Violet Heming. When I last saw Maxine we were in London where an English gentleman gave a supper to Nat Goodwin, Maxine, Edna May, Mrs. Sousa, and myself. About midnight, Nat said lugubriously, “Here we are,—all but the host—Americans, and according to my way of seeing it, you’re a success in London and so are Edna and Maxine, and I’m the only failure!” Nat never spoke to failure!  




I am always looking for beauty everywhere, and I am among the first to pay it homage. I found it raised to the nth degree when I first met glorious Violet Heming. If all women were as beautiful as she the managers of marriage license bureaus would be working overtime!  




In 1927 I met delightful Henrietta Crosman while she was appearing as one of the three stars in Merry Wives of Windsor. The others were Mrs. Fiske and Otis Skinner. I also renewed my acquaintance with Mrs. Fiske and was set right about the conductor in New Orleans who told me about that many-times-dedicated polka. To my friendly, “I knew your father well!” she contradicted me, “Why, no, that was my uncle!”  




Marie Tempest sang with us at Manhattan Beach and the members of my Band won her heart completely. In one of her songs—Vogelhander—they hummed the chorus, as she sang. The combination, a new one at the time, “brought down the house.”  




Lillian Nordica—there was a glorious voice! I was invited by the Rubinstein Society of New York to be toastmaster at a banquet at which Nordica was a guest. When I introduced her, I said, “We have the very great pleasure of having with us to-night the first ‘brass band girl’!” (For Gilmore, planning his trip to Europe in 1878, wanted a girl of talent with an American name and found both qualifications in this Maine girl—Lillian Norton. Once having heard her sing, of course he took her. The gifted girl found it a short step from brass band soloist to queen of the operatic stage.) That night she sang song after song, with the greatest generosity and with magnificent artistry. I shall never forget it, though the voice is stilled.  




 There comes to me out of the Past  

 A voice, whose tones are sweet and wild  

 Singing a song almost divine  

 And with a tear in every line.  














































Music, whatever may be the opinion prevailing at home and abroad, is a vital and integral part of American life. What I have said earlier in this book concerning the capacity of Americans to write good music is not intended to apply to the future alone—I am proud to have known many and admired all of a host of American composers, Charles Wakefield Cadman, George W. Chadwick (Director of the New England Conservatory of Music), Arthur Foote (dean of American composers), Frederick S. Converse, Horatio Parker (a singularly brilliant and talented man), Stillman Kelly, John Alden Carpenter (my dear Western friend), Ethelbert Nevin, Henry Hadley, Homer N. Bartlett, Mrs. H. H. A. Beach, Howard Brockway, George F. Bristow, Dudley Buck, Arthur B. Whiting, Edward MacDowell, Ernest Richard Kroeger, Adolph Martin Foerster, Reuben Goldmark and John Knowles Paine. Every one of these stands out in musical annals as an originator, not an imitator, and as a typical American. 

音楽は、国内外で色々あるが、アメリカ人の生活にとっては、活力を与えてくれる無くてはならない存在だ。この本でも先に記したが、アメリカ人が良い音楽作品を書く能力については、これから先のことに限って申し上げているのではない。我が誇り高き知人である、アメリカ人作曲家達の数々をここに沢山ご紹介したい。チャールズ・ウェイクフィールド・カドマン、ジョージ・W・チャドウィック(ニューイングランド音楽院長)、アーサー・ウィリアム・フット(我が国の作曲家の最古参)、フレデリック・S・コンヴァース、ホレイショ・パーカー(無双の才能家)、スティルマン・ケリー、ジョン・オールデン・カーペンター(西部の我が親友)、エセルバート・ウッドリッジ・ネヴィン、ヘンリー・ハドレイ、ホーマー・N・バートレット、H. H. エイミー・マーシー・ビーチ婦人、ハワード・ブルックウェイ、ジョージ・F・ブリストー、ダッドリー・バック、アーサー・B・ホワイティング、エドワード・マクダウェル、アーネスト・リチャード・クルーガー、アドルフ・マルティン・フォエレステル、ルービン・ゴールドマーク(コープランドの先生)、ジョン・ノウルズ・ペイン。彼ら全員、誰もが音楽史に燦然と輝く、ゼロから物事を興し、他人のマネをせず、アメリカ人の鑑である。 



When the question arises as to influences, I feel sure that the only influence which American composers can be said to have had on others is that shown in imitations of Stephen Foster’s darky ballads, or of my marches. The European has had a style of his own to pursue and accordingly has not often attempted ours. On the other hand the younger country has of necessity been influenced by Continental methods. America has given us many harmonists, and men who have produced excellent examples of the purest music; ninety-nine per cent of these men were educated in Europe and are dominated by foreign methods. However, just as opera programmes now display with pride such typically American names as Tibbets, Johnson, Hackett, Talley, Homer and Farrar, and foreign names are no longer particularly helpful to success in grand opera, so the influence of the German, French and Italian composers upon American composers is becoming almost negligible. I have always believed that ninety-eight per cent of a student’s progress is due to his own efforts, and two per cent. to his teacher. We are rapidly developing teachers of rare ability, and students of talent and purpose; with such a combination, the whole hundred per cent ought to emerge triumphant. Moreover, American teachers have one indisputable advantage over foreign ones; they understand the American temperament and can judge its unevenness, its lights and its shadows. They bring a native understanding to their pupil. 




Such discussion leads inevitably to the question of nationalism in 

music. Mark Twain tells a story of a celebrated actor who was 

absolutely confident of the power of the human face to express the 

passions hidden in the breast. He claimed that the countenance could disclose more surely than the tongue what was in the heart. 




“Observe my face,” said he. “What does it express?” 


“Bah! It expresses peaceful resignation. Now, what is this?” 


“Nonsense! It means terror. This?” 


“Are you mad? It is smothered ferocity. Can you tell this?” 


“The devil take you! Any ass can see it means insanity.” 












An attempt to place a melody within geographical limits is bound to fail. Rhythmic qualities are imitated in all popular forms, but music, although it has many dialects, is, after all, a universal language. 




The waltz may have been German in the beginning but it certainly belongs to the world to-day. It is true that a phase of nationality can be depicted by national instruments but not always infallibly. A bagpipe can play a German melody quite as well as Comin’ Thro’ the Rye.” The only true nationalism I have observed is that of imitation—where a man writes something fresh and original and is slavishly imitated by lesser lights who repeat the rhythmic flow in other compositions. If nationalism were a factor in music, would it be Wagner or Brahms in Germany who would represent the German in music, Debussy or Gounod in France, Sullivan or Elgar in England, Puccini or Respighi in Italy? We speak of music which is typically Irish; I have in my library nearly five hundred compositions by Irishmen and not one of these works shows the slightest trace of what we have been pleased to call the Irish note in music. And in Scotch, French and Spanish music we find any number of compositions that bear not the slightest tinge of localism. 




Nor can one nationalize a melody by the placing of its harmonic structure. Because you meet a blonde in Spain, is she a Swede; or a brunette in Sweden, is she a Spaniard? From a melody itself one cannot deduce its birthplace. Yankee Doodle is old English and not American at all. It is the individuality and the genius of the composer that matters, not the individuality of his race. Americans like the martial rhythm of the march but that does not make it more distinctly American than it is Serbian or Norwegian! 




If there were absolutely national schools of music, then there would be no Wagnerian style, no Weberian style, nor would there be much difference between Schumann and Schubert. Mozart’s style is a combination of his own individual genius and the imitation of certain early Italians—is he then to be classed as typically German, when, instead, he is typically Mozart? We often hear that Chopin wrote essentially Polish music; he did not. He interpreted his own soul. His music is the faithful poetic revelation of the enigma of his heart. If that resembles the revelation of other Polish hearts it is because Poles feel things much as the rest of the great human family. No, I do not believe there is any such thing as nationalism in music. 




I have every sort of faith in America’s meed of musical artists and music-lovers. I firmly believe that we have more latent musical talent in America than there is in any other country. But to dig it out there must be good music throughout the land, a lot of it. Everyone must hear it, and such a process takes time. Most schools to-day have bands and orchestras for boys and girls; I have often met high school bands (one-third girls) who were not confined to ordinary routine instruments but joyfully executed pieces on tubas, trombones, clarinets, etc. This enlivening of interest means an increase in the number of American concert-goers and, accordingly, in the number of concerts. I think that the quality of all bands is steadily improving and it is a pleasant thought to me that perhaps the efforts of Sousa’s Band have quickened that interest and improved that quality. 




It is fascinating to watch the barometer of public favor and to 

observe what gains interest and how. We have a secret love for the old hymn tunes and the American response to these melodies is a keen one. There is a deep-lying foundation of religious sentiment in our temperament which quickens to those songs, and the simple fervor of hymn tunes (the older the better) makes a profound impression upon American audiences. True, we do not wear our religion on our coat-sleeves, but we are nevertheless strongly affected by religious impulses. 




At the moment, radio is undoubtedly wielding a tremendous influence over the public. By this medium the masses are becoming acquainted as never before with the best of the world’s music. It is pleasanter, moreover, at times to give oneself up to the charms of music with pipe and foot-stool at hand than in the crowded concert hall. I cannot tell whether this influence extends to the student of music in his practice, for I am sure that the progress of any student depends largely upon the urge he feels within him. But even at its highest and finest degree, radio will never take the place of the personal performance by the artist. It fulfills its purpose, just as the movies do, but its scope is limited. The rapport between performer and audience is invaluable and can be fully attained only through actual vision. I have refrained from broadcasting for this very reason; I am reluctant to lose the warm personal touch with my audience. 




Still, the radio is excellent for our busy people. Americans have such a diversity of interests! The United States has, I think, a greater variety of sport attractions than any other country. We have clubs where much time is given to encouraging and perfecting tennis, golf, baseball, trap-shooting, hockey, prize-fighting—even dominoes! Therefore the American man, rising from his dinner and seeking diversion, may often be torn between two loves—the lure of a concert and the stronger lure of a hockey match or a track meet. It is just another case of “t’other dear charmer!” Variety is the spice of life to an American and so he doesn’t always choose the opera or the concert. Your German or your Frenchman has fewer attractions from which to select his programme for the evening—and the opera or the concert has become a habit with him. 




Certainly “jazz” takes up a goodly share of the American’s time,—too much, to my way of thinking. “Jazz,” like the well-known little girl with the curl, when it is good is very, very good, and when it is bad it is horrid. The greater part of it is very bad. Its popularity is the result of the avowed tastes of those people who care only for music which is strongly rhythmical. Its harmonic structure is not new and its melodic design is very, very old. I have seen advertisements offering to teach the “art” of jazz in twenty lessons! And this wonderful art will, I am positive, some day disappear—when the dancer tires of it—unwept, unhonored and unsung. It is raging now, to be sure, and has a considerable following, but it does not truly represent America to the world; it does reflect a certain phase of the world’s life (not America’s alone) since it employs primitive rhythms which excite the basic human impulses. It will endure just as long as people hear it through their feet instead of their brains! 




Almost every good tune in the world has been unmercifully jazzed—exquisite melodies whether grave or gay—themes from Aïda and the lovely creations of Saint-Saens and Tchaikowsky. Some of the writers of jazz are not composers at all. “Jazz” permits people of no talent whatever to write stuff and call it music. There is no short cut to skill in composition. 




Marches, of course, are well known to have a peculiar appeal for me. Although during a busy life I have written ten operas and a hundred other things—cantatas, symphonic poems, suites, waltzes, songs, dances and the like—marches are, in a sense, my musical children. I think Americans (and many other nationals for that matter) brighten at the tempo of a stirring march because it appeals to their fighting instincts. Like the beat of an African war drum, the march speaks to a fundamental rhythm in the human organization and is answered. A march stimulates every center of vitality, wakens the imagination and spurs patriotic impulses which may have been dormant for years. I can speak with confidence because I have seen men profoundly moved by a few 

measures of a really inspired march. 




But a march must be good. It must be as free from padding as a marble statue. Every line must be carved with unerring skill. Once padded, it ceases to be a march. There is no form of musical composition where the harmonic structure must be more clean-cut. The whole process is an exacting one. There must be a melody which appeals to the musical and unmusical alike. There must be no confusion in counterpoints. The composer must, to be sure, follow accepted harmonization; but that is not enough. He must be gifted with the ability to pick and choose here and there, to throw off the domination of any one tendency. If he is a so-called purist in music, that tendency will rule his marches and will limit their appeal. 




How are marches written? I suppose every composer has a somewhat similar experience in his writing. With me the thought comes, sometimes slowly, sometimes with ease and rapidity. The idea gathers force in my brain and takes form not only melodically but harmonically at the same time. It must be complete before I commit it to paper. Then I instrument it according to the effects it requires. Often I fix my mind upon some objective—such as the broad spaces of the West, the languorous beauty of the South, the universal qualities of America as a whole. And then comes its musical expression—be it thunder or sunshine! 




I do not, of course, manufacture my themes deliberately; the process isn’t direct or arbitrary enough for that. It is not a nonchalant morning’s work. I often dig for my themes. I practice a sort of self-hypnotism, by penetrating the inner chambers of my brain andreceiving the themes. Any composer who is gloriously conscious that he is a composer must believe that he receives his inspiration from a source higher than himself. That is part of my life credo. Sincere composers believe in God. 




Curiosity has often been expressed as to the building up of a musical background, of the whole complex orchestration. The process is difficult of description. In the fashioning of the orchestration the theme occupies somewhat the relation to the whole structure that a leader does to his orchestra—forever weaving in and out, emerging vividly here and subordinating itself there. Of course it is necessary to understand the science of music-making. I might say the theme sounds through the brain—it wakens vibrations from the memory chords of the brain and produces creative activity; the mind quickens, hovers intently about the suggested theme, and gradually the theme, the technique and artistry of the composer all work together to build up the orchestration. 




Composers are an odd lot, but I sometimes think visiting ones are oddest of all. I remember one composer-musician who made a tour of the United States and later abused the country in general but added thatone part of it was charming—California. The explanation was that, at the time,—years ago—the Californians were not as relentless in their criticisms as were the Easterners. So it is that wounded egotism often permits itself ridiculous untruths. 




Despite such occurrences nearly every European artist looks forward with eagerness to the day when he can vend his musical wares in the U. S. A. He never gives a thought to presenting them to the Patagonians. Why not? Because there would be no monetary quid pro quo and because he could not find an intelligent public. These artists—at least the honest ones—must feel that in the United States they are well paid for their efforts and that those efforts if worthy, are invariably appreciated. Moreover, the symphonic orchestras of America are as well equipped as those of Europe (often better equipped) to provide an adequate medium for composer or soloist, and the range of musical literature is greater here. I know that we have greater variety in that field, for when I toured Germany they knew little and cared less about French music; the same attitude prevailed in France concerning German music. Our population is more cosmopolitan in character, our tastes are less limited and we are more open to the delights of eclecticism in music. Europeans claim to be international in their tastes, but to my interested eye they were pathetically provincial, perhaps deliberately so, for they always magnified their own music. 




Once in Germany I met a sour-faced man who informed me that my outfit played well enough but that their music was too sugary! Well, Wagner, Tchaikowsky and Saint-Saens were included on that programme and although I was guilty of choosing the pieces and my audience was guilty of liking them, primarily the composer was guilty of having written them! 




It is much easier to ridicule the taste of a nation than to improve or correct it. Foreigners laugh at our naïve taste in the arts, and we, with equal thoughtlessness, journey abroad and find food for mirth in their obsolete customs. There are plenty of explanations for both.Our limitations are due to the fact that we have been developing an enormous territory in an astonishingly short time and have been trying simultaneously to absorb the literature, art and music of Europe. 




We can afford the best in this country, and once convinced that we desire it, we shall achieve it; the desire is rapidly being implanted, therefore we are going to achieve the best in music. Of course our cousins across seas, like all affectionate relatives, persist in prolonging our infancy. Witness Williams of the English Grenadier Guards Band, who said, indulgently, upon his return to London after an American tour: “We did not try to force upon the American people too ‘hifalutin’ music—and that is no doubt the secret of our success.” 




If I could meet the rising army of young American composers face to face, I should say to them, speaking with a veteran’s privilege of 

frankness, “Be yourself and never an imitator. Do not be obscure, and do not be a materialist—it will ruin your work. Remember always that the composer’s pen is still mightier than the bow of the violinist; in you lie all the possibilities of the creation of beauty. You need turn to the orchestra, the piano and the band only for the faithful interpretation of what you have envisioned.” 




The rest of the world has had a long start, but the American composer with his heritage of creative genius from a race which has produced thirteen out of twenty of the great inventions of the past three centuries, is well qualified to catch up! We require time but (to employ the American vernacular) “we’ll get there!” 




To-day, if I were a young composer, I would rather submit my chances of success or failure to an American public than to any other public in the world. It is essentially music-loving. I have “laid my ear to it, to see if it be in tune” for these many years, and it has never discouraged or disappointed me. I can think of a thousand glorious and satisfying responses. Moreover, there is concrete evidence of musical interest all over the country. Looking over the field of the finest, I find some twenty-five orchestral societies giving series of concerts; some forty-five festival associations appearing before the public every year; some hundred choral groups and musical ensembles; some eight grand opera companies; at least a hundred and fifty pianists and an equal number of violinists and ‘cellists; more than two hundred agencies, and a myriad of singers going up and down the highways and byways of this great land. All this confirms my assertion that ours 

is a musical nation. 




As for myself, I began my apprenticeship as an orchestral player—a violinist, and I paid little attention to wind organizations until I led the Marine Band. Like most people who are, so to speak, brought up on the fiddle, I didn’t have a proper respect for wind combinations. 




To me, band instrumentation in those early days left a void that cried out to be filled—I was never satisfied. Wholly lacking were the qualities I felt a band should and could possess—a tone as sustained as that of an organ and a brilliancy of execution similar to that of the piano. I began my career with the Marines determined to develop a musical body as important in its own field, as any orchestra. This determination was bound, of course, to deflect my sympathies and affection from orchestra to wind-band. 




Since the day when I strove to lift the Marine Corps Band out of its narrow rut of polkas, grand opera cavatinas and national airs, the public has accepted my offerings graciously. The press too, has always treated me with the utmost consideration, and has ever shown a kindly spirit toward the work I produced. Whenever I look over my unwieldly tomes of clippings, I feel like saying, “Gentlemen of the press, I salute you!” Success is, after all, only the friendly fusion of the feelings of giver and receiver and I appreciate every cordial handclap and every printed word which has paved the way to the long continuation of my band appearances. Had I not received so overwhelming a reception thirty years ago I could not have proceeded with enthusiasm and confidence; in those days when the air resounded to the strains of Sullivan, Strauss and Sousa, I was warmed and delighted by this appreciation of my work. 




But inevitably there will come a time when I shall be too feeble to serve my public longer. When that time comes I shall lay down my baton and say, “God bless all of you—every member of a faithful following. The love shown me is returned a hundredfold, I assure you, and I am proud to say it. I thank you, every one, for what you have done to make my life so rich in happy memories. I hope that, long after my marches have been forgotten, the clarion call of America which I tried to make the keynote of my compositions will continue to inspire her children with undying loyalty.” 




Well, every concert must reach its last number, the echo of the last fine fanfare must fade away and the conductor’s baton be laid aside. At the behest of the Baton of Memory I have called back the melodies of a thousand happy concerts, re-awakened the echoes of many a stirring march and tuneful opera. If, out of the cadences of Time, I have evoked one note that, clear and true, vibrates gratefully on the heartstrings of my public—I am well content.