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What Instrument did John Philip Sousa

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Q: What instrument did John Philip Sousa play?
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The Sousaphone was developed in the 1890s by C.G. Conn at the request of John Philip Sousa, who was unhappy with the helicons used at that time by the United States Marine Band. The hélicon is an instrument that resembles the sousaphone in principle but has a far narrower bore, and a much smaller bell which points between straight up and to the player's left. Sousa wanted a tuba that would send sound upward and over the band with a full warm tone, much like a concert (upright) tuba, an effect which could not be achieved with the narrower-belled (and thus highly directional) hélicon. Contrary to popular belief, the sousaphone was not initially developed as a marching instrument, as the professional band Sousa started after leaving the Marines (for which he wanted this new instrument) marched only once in its existence. Rather, Sousa wanted a concert instrument which would be easier to hold and play, while retaining a full, rich sound. The tone he sought was achieved by widening the bore and throat of the instrument significantly, as well as pointing it straight upward in a similar manner to concert instruments, a feature which led to the instrument being dubbed a "rain-catcher". This bell configuration remained the standard for several decades, and a version with a forward-facing bell did not debut until the mid-1920s. Early sousaphones had 22 inch diameter bells, with 24 inch bells popular in the 1920s. From the mid-1930s onward, sousaphone bells have been standardized at a diameter of 26 inches.

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