Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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always been the finest wind instrumental combinations in England, and as such may justly be considered the pioneers in all matters of military music.
The Foot Guards' bands enjoyed (and still do so) many special privileges which were not extended to any other branch. They resided out of barracks, and only appeared in uniform when on duty, or at band engagements. The Royal Artillery and Royal Marines being " double-handed," supplying a full " string or­chestra" as well as a "wind band," were playing the best music of the day.8 It is not to be wondered at that these staff bands should be such superior organiza­tions to those of "line" regiments.
Being stationary and, with the exception of the Marines, always resident in London, these bands have been able to retain the services of a better class of musician than the " line" bands. With the Guards and Artillery, their members were, for the most part, pro­fessional musicians, engaged in the best concert and theatre orchestras in London. In earlier days, when our great metropolis could not boast of the number of fine educational institutes for music as it does to-day, these bands were looked upon quite in the light of wind instrumental conservatories, which promising players joined, practically to complete their musical
'The Royal Artillery Band has been "double-handed" since its formation in 1762. The Portsmouth Marines raised its string band in 1853 and the Chatham Marines in the early "sixties." The Royal Engineers band have had an orchestra since its formation in 1856.
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