Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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find a bandmaster, who as a bandsman had attracted the attention of the commanding officer, and had been nursed and partially trained for the position. There was also a fair sprinkling of appointments from the ranks of the staff bands. Civilians reigned almost everywhere, and the incongruous spectacle of a con­ductor in civilian attire, directing a regimental band, would occasionally be seen. This class, both English­man and foreigner alike, invariably declined to serve abroad, and terminated their engagement when a regi­ment was ordered there, looking out for a homecoming regiment with a vacancy.
In these days each band was formed on its own model using instruments of whatever kind or pitch the officers or bandmaster liked. The latter seems to have had a free hand in such matters. Indeed it was quite an understood thing, that when a new band­master took over his appointment, his first action was to condemn all the instruments in use, a custom which served the two-fold purpose of gratifying his own particular instrumental combination fad, and of re­warding the instrument maker to whom he owed his appointment, by ordering a new set of instruments. Regiments that had a substantial "band fund" would engage trained professionals, mostly from abroad, at big salaries, and obtained the best instruments procur­able. " As a matter of course," says Kappey, " a certain rivalry soon arose between the different regiments as to the superiority of their bands. Whatever may be said of such a system, it is undeniable that the musical
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