Thursday, August 2, 2012

More Sousa on the Sousaphone

A few years after making his quote about the origin of the Sousaphone in the Christian Science Monitor (see post below), Sousa wrote this in his autobiography, published in 1928:

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 tone 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 (p. 334).

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