Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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THE INFLUENCE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. 85
combinations of Napoleon's armies, then came to be felt, and progress was, as the French say, "in the air." As an illustration of the rapid developments which our bands were making, we may take the band of the Royal Artillery. Until 1792 this organisation only numbered eight musicians. In this year nine are allowed, and two years later the strength is increased to. ten. In 1802 an augmentation is made to twenty-one, and in 1812 the band numbers thirty-five exclusive of three black drummers. Such developments as these would scarcely pass unnoticed, and so we find in the "Quarterly Musical Register" for 1812 (No. 3) there is " a retrospect of the state of music in Great Britain since the year 1789," and the "military band" is included in the survey. We are told that:
"The military bands of music have been much enlarged, and the serpent, trombone and the German flute, as well as the different kinds of smaller flutes, have been introduced in them, which formerly were not generally used. England therefore has at present a great number of excellent performers on the different wind instruments."
Towards the close of the eighteenth century our cavalry regiments began to perceive that something might be done in the way of improving their music for mounted purposes. Although cavalry regiments had generally adopted bands for dismounted duties, the trumpets and kettledrums were all they could boast of when "boot and saddle" sounded. The first step towards extending the scope of the trumpeter bands,
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