On YouTube we've created a Fourth of July playlist! The music chosen is meant to inspire patriotism and explore a small portion of the nation’s history. Much of the music is written by American composers, such as Samuel A. Ward, George M. Cohan, Irving Berlin, and John Philip Sousa. John Philip Sousa is known as “The March King” for setting the standard march form with his 136 march compositions. Sousa served as the director of the United States Marine Band from 1880 to 1892, helping the Marine Band rise to prominence where he also became well known. After leaving the military, Sousa’s music was so popular in the United States, and around the world, that he toured with his Sousa Band for nearly 40 years.
Other music included are patriotic and folk songs known to many who grew up in the United States. The songs “America the Beautiful,” "America (My Country, 'Tis of Thee)," and “The Star Spangled Banner” were all written in the 1800’s and set to well known music of their time. The folk songs “Yankee Doodle,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” and “This Land Is Your Land” have become a few of the most well known, with the oldest (“Yankee Doodle”) dating back before the Revolutionary War. Also included is the well known Shaker song “Simple Gifts: Tis the Gift to be Simple” and the African-American Spiritual “ Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” More songs and pieces can be heard in this playlist, including unique arrangements of traditional American folk songs.