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The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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BANDS OF MUSIC.                             61
at least as it regards the British service: The musi­cians belonging to the guards formerly wore plain blue coats, so that the instant they came off duty, and frequently in the intervals between, they visited ale­houses, etc., without changing their uniform, and thus added considerably to its wear and tear. It will be here remarked that the clothing of the musician falls wholly upon the colonels of regiments; no allowance being specially made for that article by the public. It is probable that some general officer undertook to prevent this abuse by obtaining permission from the king to clothe the musicians, etc., in so fantastical a manner that they would be ashamed to exhibit them­selves at public houses, etc."
Needless to say, there is not a grain of truth in the statement. So well informed a writer as James might have known that it had been the custom from time immemorial, to clothe musicians differently and on a more lavish scale from the "rank and file." At the period to which James refers, the general practice was to dress musicians in the colour of the regimental facings, in accordance with the Clothing Warrant of 1751. So that bands might be seen in a variety of hues—red, blue, black, buff, white, orange, yellow and green (the latter in seven different shades). But revenons a nos moutons.
Although bands were now being raised everywhere, the instrumentation was of the most meagre descrip­tion. Nothing would persuade the authorities to shift from the old harmonie musik combination. In the
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