Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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FOREWORD.
xi
way influenced by the diatribist. They will be guided solely by consideration for the dignity of their art; for the steady and certain advance of the peculiar branch which they have made their own; modestly, yet firmly, believing that it is with them either to ennoble or to de­grade that branch, and that by setting themselves lofty ideals and by the earnest pursuit of only the nighest aims, they may contribute to real progress, as well as to the diffusion of the joys of music among the people; having special and solicitous regard too, for that vast majority of the people who find little or no opportunity of hearing the best orchestras.
Music—so frequently likened to medicine—should always be of the best. Bad drugs, 'tis said, only aggra­vate an ailment and are worse than none at all. So with music. If the carping critic would effect reforms in military band programmes, would place limitations on our possibilities for evil, then we say: " Very well, delete the bad, excise the musical slang and have only good music." Do not force us to " deck the lovely mes­senger of peace" in cap and bells, in rouge, powder and pompons.
It is recorded that during the "hundred days" Napoleon created Cherubini a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur—as leader of the band of the National Guards of Paris. At a lecture delivered quite recently at the Royal United Service Institute it was suggested that by certain reductions in the numbers of our army bands a saving of 7,000 men might be effected! Another type of the reactionary.
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