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"The Thunderer" is a march composed by John Philip Sousa 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.
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.
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