|Share page||Visit Us On FB|
THE RENAISSANCE. 129
France and Italy into band reform, was published in English. In a special preface, the author addressed the Commander-in-Chief on the "inefficiency" of our line bands, and condemned our military music wholesale. What the direct effect was I cannot say, but it is remarkable that from the year 1863 dates the official recognition of army bands in this country.
As I have already pointed out, with the exception of the Royal Artillery and the Royal Military College, bandmasters were not officially recognised. The regulation simply permitted a sergeant to act as such. In 1851-2 the "Army Estimates" allowed bandmasters for the Duke of York's and the Royal Hibernian Schools who had hitherto been paid from another source. This was certainly a step in the right direction, for these two institutions played no small parts in the progress of our military music during the last century. Nothing, however, was done for the line regiments until 1863, when the Government allowed a "sergeant bandmaster" to each regiment of infantry, and a "bandmaster" to each regiment of cavalry, placing them on an equal footing with sergeant-majors. Staff bands, like the Guards, were not taken into consideration, probably for the reason that, being stationary, they had always been able to maintain good bands and bandmasters, and had never been affected by the evils under which the marching regiments laboured.
The staff bands, i.e., those of the Household Cavalry,
Foot Guards, Royal Artillery and Marines, have