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Monday, June 11, 2012

Sneak Peek from the Stacks: John Philip Sousa and the Cherokee Songs

Manuscript 2283 Transcription of two Cherokee songs by John Philip Sousa  
John Philip Sousa, nicknamed the "March King," is best known for composing "Semper Fidelis," "Washington Post," and "Stars and Stripes Forever." In 1890, he lent his services to Smithsonian anthropologist James Mooney by transcribing two Cherokee songs traditionally performed during the Cherokee ball play dance. Sousa's musical notations were published that year in Mooney's article, "The Cherokee Ball Play" (American Anthropologist 3(2): 105 - 132).  

Listen to the melody, sung by Andrew J. Sikora in 2008.

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