"The Thunderer" is one of John Philip Sousa's marches. It was written in 1889. The origin of the name is not officially known, though it is speculated that it gets its name from the "pyrotechnic [effects] of the drum and bugle in [the] score." It is also one of his most famous, and easy to perform. It was also the election theme for ABC News from 1968 to 1972. The song is also used in a Columbo episode Make Me a Perfect Murder
The piece is in much the same manner as most of Sousa's music; however, it is one of his first "distinctly American-sounding marches.". The march follows the standard form (IAABBCDCDC) that is used in many of his other works. As is common, his themes are contrasting. During the repeat of the B section, Sousa introduces new countermelodic ideas. The trio is songlike. There is a ritardando leading into the repeat of the final theme, seguing to the piece's conclusion.