Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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EARLY ENGLAND.
7
in peace," and in the " History of Charles and Grymer, Swedish Kings," we find: " All instantly fly to arms, and everyone prepares himself for battle; the trumpet sounds, and each warrior is accoutred." Grose says that several trumpets have been found in England, generally supposed to have been Danish. He gives an illustration of one over five feet in length.2
When William the Conqueror sailed from the Dive for the Sussex shores, his ships "resounded with music."3 The army was accompanied by "minstrels," one of whom named Taillefer, having begged leave to lead the van, advanced to battle, singing the " Song of Roland," the Normans repeating the burden of the song, with shouts of "Dieu Aide!" And Taillefer was not simply a bard, but a valiant soldier. The sort of hero that Thomas Hood had in mind:
Methinks I see the bounding bard Clad like his chief in steely garb.
"Decline of Chivalry."
He began the onset by slaying a Saxon standard bearer. Another likewise went down before his mighty sword. But a third overpowered him, and Taillefer left his song unfinished. In the poetical narratives of the battle of Hastings there are frequent allusions to boisines4 and horns, especially in "Roman de Rou." The name of " minstrel" came with the Normans,
'Grose, " Military Antiquities," 1801.
' Freeman, " History of the Norman Conquest," 1869.
4 The boisine (from buccina) was a large, crooked trumpet.
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