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MP3 Recording: Barnum and Bailey's Favorite - U.S. Marine Band

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
Here is a recording that makes a good example of playing a piece that you find on many audition lists: Barnum & Bailey's Favorite. This is one of the most famous circus marches ever written, to the point that it is almost iconic. It was written by bandleader (and euphonium player!) Karl King (1891-1971) in 1913.

Performance is by The United States Marine Band, surely one of the very best wind bands in the world. Enjoy!

Download the free MP3 of Barnum & Bailey's Favorite (March)

Also, some of the Marine Band's recordings are available commercially. Here are about 400+ titles you can get as MP3 files:

Marine Band Recordings


  1. Eupher6's Avatar
    Hmmm. I don't understand why Amazon is SELLING U.S. military band recordings. Once upon a time, those recordings were made free to the public.
  2. musictech's Avatar
    Just to let you know, Andrew Glover at C. L. Barnhouse (who publishes Karl Kings works) just completed a centenial edition of Barnum and Bailey's Favorite. He did a fantastic job in the text of the score breaking down sections and how they should be played as well as historical information on Karl King. You can view it on their website. Incidentally, I get to play this a couple times a year being in the solo Euphonium chair of the Karl King Band here in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
    Updated 08-07-2013 at 02:28 PM by musictech
  3. davewerden's Avatar
    Eupher6: it was some kind of deal Congress passed a while back. I'm not even sure it was necessary to pass a bill, because once the military bands publish a recording, it becomes Public Domain (as far as I understand the legalities - I'm not a lawyer, much less a gov't lawyer). So I guess there is nothing to stop a company from re-pressing it and selling it. The first time I saw this was when I saw my recording of Morceau Symphonique for sale on Amazon.

    But there is history to this. During our nation's bicentennial, there was specific provision granted to sell some recordings:

    However, that bill did not include the Coast Guard's recordings. But I think there was broader legislation later. I THINK there was a provision to share proceeds with the USO or some similar organization, but my memory is very hazy there.
  4. ghmerrill's Avatar
    A lot of Marine Band music is freely available by download from their site ( In terms of other people charging for it, this is a consequence of the copyright laws (which are a bit odd in some of the nooks and crannies). If a book, for example, is out of copyright (either because the copyright has expired or because it's been explicitly placed in the public domain), then you may "republish" that book without penalty or royalty charges. You can even copyright your own publication of it if you include copyrightable features (additional illustrations, instructive comments, etc.). When this sort of thing happens, you're not really charging your customers for the basic material itself (e.g., the text of the book or the music in a recording), but rather for some sort of "service" whereby you deliver the material to them.

    If you look on Amazon you'll see quite a number of "classic" books have been republished (sometimes by more than one source) -- and this is actually good because (a) they're normally cheap, (b) they are often done in Kindle editions, and (c) they can be quite difficult to get otherwise since they may be out of publication and available only on the used book market. I've thought of doing this sort of thing myself a few times (adding some value as part of the process), but in each such case some cleverer person has beat me to it . I do continue to have this fantasy concerning one somewhat arcane book by Leibniz, but unfortunately it is in Latin and I am almost totally ignorant of Latin except for a grab bag of words and phrases.