When Johnny Comes Marching Home

arr. M.C. Handel/orch. by Paul Jennings

This march dates back to the Civil War. It was written in 1863 by Patrick S. Gilmore who was a bandmaster for the Union Army. To adapt it for your young recorder players, we have slowed it down a little and set it in 3/4 instead of the traditional 6/8 time signature. The arrangement features a small orchestra of strings, muted brass, and percussion.

You might consider adding percussion players to this either imitating the recording or playing something simpler on snare drums or toms. It could either be a straight quarter note pattern or quarter, two eighths, quarter in each bar. At measure 25 each time, you should stop the steady pattern and just have a quarter note at the beginning of every other bar. Resume the pattern at bar 33. This could also be played on hand drum or a similar instrument. You could even add a bass drum part, playing beat one of every measure. To give your students a feel for the history of the march, show them pictures of Civil War era bands. Check MusicK8.com for help with this.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.