Stars and Stripes Forever

In 2013, I learned to play the Sousa/Horowitz piano transcription as best as I could. I found three sheet music transcriptions (Pellisorius Editions by Jon Skinner; Christian Jensen, 1999; Florian Wolf, 2010). Each edition differed from each other, and also differed from the available audio recordings in minor but unsatisfying ways.

I took it upon myself to create a new, highly accurate transcription of one particular performance by Horowitz: the seminal April 23, 1951 radio broadcast from Carnegie Hall. I attempted to capture as much detail as possible all aspects including notes, dynamics, pedaling, and tempi. I even tried to capture his apparent mistakes, which I have largely indicated in the music. (Of course, this being his own version, “mistakes” is a very subjective term.)

Once again, I relied on Transcribe! software for listening and GNU LilyPond for typesetting. The process took many days.

The PDF file of the sheet music:

The MIDI file generated by LilyPond. I didn’t put much effort into this so the dynamics leave a lot to be desired. Generating a MIDI file was not an objective.

My amateur performance on YouTube:

The original recording I started with was from the video below. A fourth sheet music transcription that is displayed matched to the music doesn’t correspond well.

A couple other notable professional and amateur performances:

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