Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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40                 MILITARY MUSIC AND ITS STORY.
tion trumpet used for signalling7 under the direction of a trumpet-major.
Similar to the drummer and fifer, the trumpeter also was expected to be a man of sundry accomplishments, together with a comely figure, a good deportment and the rest, but above all "a politic, discreet and cunning person," says Elton.8 In the "Souldier's Accidence'' (1635) it is laid down among the arms, accoutrements, etc., of a trumpeter (which insists, by the way, that his horse " shall be a good hackney with gentleman-like furniture"), that he shall be provided with a sword with the point broken! This was intended to show that the trumpeter was distinctly a non-combatant, and entitled to be respected as such. Military musicians were held almost sacred in battle. At least, so it appears from Markham's "Five Decades of Epistles of Warre" (1622). He says of the drummer—he is to be considered " rather a man of peace than of the sword, and it is most dishonourable in any man wittingly and out of knowledge to strike him or wound him."
Let us turn now to the music of the trumpeter bands. That they played in parts, in "line" regiments, at any rate, before the eighteenth century, is doubtful. Of music for these bands, there is little or none extant; at least in this country. No doubt most of the marches and nourishes were learned by ear, for we are told that these army trumpeters were not learned musicians, but
' Kappey, "Military Music." •Elton, "Comnleat Body of the Art Military," 1650.
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