Swiss Guards March

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X:1 T:Swiss Guards March M:C L:1/8 R:March S:Thomas Nixon Jr./Joseph Long copybook (c. 1776-78, pp. 92-93) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D D3 EDGF|F4 GFBA|A4 B2c2|d2 D>D D2 de| F2 fLf f2 (3agf|e2 e>e e2d2|(3cde (3fed c2B2|A2A>A A2:| |:cd|e2 e>e e2 (3fed|e2 e>e e2 f>g|aafg aagf|e2e>e e2z2| D4 EDGF|F4 GFBA|A3g fedc|d2 d>d d2:|]

SWISS GUARDS MARCH. English, American;March (4/4 time). C Major: D Major (Howe/Omnibus). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB: AA'BB (Howe/Omnibus). The "Swiss Guards March," a very popular martial air in America, dates to at least the latter 18th century, when it was printed by London music publisher Thomas Skillern in his Military Amusement (c. 1785, p. 41). It was subsequently printed in fife tutors and martial collections well into the 19th century, and was one of the most common melodies to appear in American musicians' copybooks of the same period. One of the earliest of these was the c. 1776-1778 music copybook of fifer Thomas Nixon Jr. [1] (1762-1842), of Framingham, Connecticut. Nixon was a thirteen-year-old who accompanied his father to the battles of Lexington and Concord, and who served in the Continental army in engagements in and around New York until 1780, after which he returned home to build a house in Framingham. The copybook appears to have started by another musician, Joseph Long, and to have come into Nixon’s possession.

The title honors the elite Swiss Guards, the world's oldest standing army, whose duty it is to secure the Vatican. Enrollment is made up ofSwiss male citizens who served in the Swiss Army and are Catholic, under 30 years of age, stand at least 5 feet 8 inches tall and boast an "irreproachable reputation."

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Howe (Musician’s Companion Part 1), 1842; p. 21. Howe (Complete Preceptor for the Accordeon), 1843; p. 15. Howe (Musician's Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7), 1880-1882; p. 603.

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