“The Picador” (1889)
“The Picador” was one of several marches sold outright to the publisher, Harry Coleman, for $35 each. That sum included arrangements for band, orchestra, and piano.
The frontispiece of the original sheet music depicts a bullfight scene with a picador in action. If the mild mannered Sousa had seen a bullfight before composing this march, he would surely have chosen another title. After witnessing a bullfight while on vacation in Mexico, he was shocked by what he had seen and thereafter referred to bullfighting as a worthless and unfair sport.
Paul E. Bierley, The Works of John Philip Sousa (Westerville, Ohio: Integrity Press, 1984), 77. Used by permission.