Sheet Music: The Thunderer

TitleThe Thunderer
ComposerJohn Philip Sousa (1854–1932)
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyF major
RangeC4–A6
Time signature2/2
Tempo120 BPM
Performance time2:45
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (71 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.3 MB)
Date added2010-01-31
Last updated2010-01-31
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 0.7 (average)
Categories
Circus music, Marches

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Sunday 31 January 2010

Tune of the Day: The Thunderer

by John Philip Sousa

The origin of this march's evocative title, “The Thunderer”, is not clear; some have guessed that it refers to a celebrated orator of the time when it was composed (1889), or to the pyrotechnic effects of the drum and bugle in Sousa's score. Whatever the story behind its name, “The Thunderer” is one of Sousa's finest and most famous marches; it is also one of the easier Sousa marches to perform, and for this reason it was often a favorite of circus bands, who liked to take it at impressively fast tempos.

It appears that “The Thunderer” was Mrs. Sousa's favorite march, as reported by their daughter Helen.