El Capitan March
for Symphonic Band

by John Philip Sousa
edited by David P. Miller

"Never again worry about lost parts, or about squinting to see those tiny notes!"

Everyone loves John Philip Sousa's  El Capitan March

You can still buy Sousa's original arrangement of this march. But if you do, you probably won't be happy...

There are problems in the original edition. We have fixed them all. Here are some examples:  

There are no rehearsal markings. if you want to start at a certain spot in the piece, you have to tell your band "start in the ninth measure of the second strain" or "Take the pickup to the seventeenth bar of the trio." This is awkward, time consuming, and confusing. We have added measure numbers and rehearsal markings at approximate 8-measure intervals.
The original march is available only in march-size format. While this is fine for putting into a flip folder on a marching music lyre, it's very inconvenient for concerts, especially if some of your musicians have less than 20-20 eyesight.  We have formatted this tune in large print format, so what used to fit on one 6"x9" piece of paper is expanded to take up two full-sized sheets. Yes, it takes more paper to print it this way, but it sure is easy to read!

If you have adult musicians in your band, you need this edition.
There are many inconsistent dynamics throughout the piece. There are places where some instruments play f and others play fff. There are other places where some instruments are marked mp or mf and other instruments have no markings at all. This may be what Sousa intended, but it's confusing to the players.  We have made dynamics consistent throughout all parts. We believe today's symphonic bands have enough musical sophistication to know how loud to play their own instrument to get the overall band sound to be mp or fff.  We added consistent crescendos and decrescendos for all instruments.
There are many articulation inconsistencies throughout the piece. There are places where some instruments have accents and others have none. There are places where some instruments have a standard accent and others have a tepee accent, and many other inconsistencies. We have made all articulations consistent for all instruments throughout the piece.
The piccolo part was in Db only. We rewrote the piccolo part into C
The horn parts are in Eb. We have put the horn parts into the key of F.
There are no alto or bass clarinet  or bells parts. We created alto and bass clarinet and bells parts, duplicating parts of other instruments of similar register.
There is no timpani part. I mean, hey. This is a march, right? Sousa never thought of marching with timpani, so ... no timpani part. 
(Did you ever wonder how Sousa would react if he saw a modern Drum Corps?)
We wrote a new timpani part from scratch.


All in all, we have made thirty-two significant edits to this piece, in addition to formatting it in large print layout.

When you buy this arrangement, you will get

  • All the parts for symphonic band

  • A license to make as many copies of each part as you need for your band! 

  • A condensed score, ideal to conduct from

  • A full score - not really suitable for using to conduct from, but useful if you need to check out a certain note in a specific instrument.

Just think!

  • No more lost parts!

  • No more music out of print!

  • No more scrambling to find enough parts for your flute or trumpet section!

  • No more squinting to see those tiny notes!

  • No more worrying if someone writes on their music, or mangles it. 

  • No more confusion when some people have different dynamics than others.

The price of this piece is $35.00, with score and parts in PDF format. The parts are laid out ideally for printing two-up on 11"x17" paper. So if you have a printer or copy machine that can handle paper that size, you'll be very pleased with your sheet music. 

Please see our duplication policy on our Copyright Page.

Order El Capitan Now! To order this piece, see our Order Page.