Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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THE RENAISSANCE.
123
we seek for some explanation as to how this revival was rendered possible, and to find the question untouched.
Wind instruments have always been the vehicle for the musical expression of the masses, from the time when the mediaeval minstrel bagpiper discoursed on the village green down to the monster brass band festivals of to-day. A study of this phase of national music, would alone have furnished an explanation of this re­vival, for the art culture of this, as of every other epoch, can only be understood in reference to economic conditions; and it would not be difficult to show the correlation between the "music of the masses" of the nineteenth century, and the culture-conditions which produced it.
It will be gathered from what has already been said, that this musical renaissance in England found its ex­pression in wind bands before any perceptible move­ment was shown in the so-called higher domain. One might say that it was the wind bands which fertilised the soil that was to bring forth the fruits of the renaissance.
They contributed the greatest service in the improve­ment of the attitude of the public towards music. The gigantic strides which were made by them cannot be paralleled in other branches of the art. The existence of the military band led to the formation of amateur bands and from the "thirties"—the starting point of the peoples' " brass bands "—to the great band festival of i860, in which some fourteen hundred musicians took
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