Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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of the sea-side holiday, Sunday concerts—winter and summer—playing in the public parks—all have con­tributed to render wind band music indispensable: whilst no gala, flower-show, cricket match, or even race meeting is considered quite complete without its band.
A marked advance, too, is to be noticed in the programmes now performed. France and Ger­many have long included in their open-air band performances excerpts from the best masters, from works of that class which merits, and is distinguished by, the term classical; but it is only of comparatively recent years that any great strides in this direction are found in Britsh bands, such improvements, or attempt at improvement, being often made only with great diffidence, and this for a very odd reason, the fear of incurring the censure of those who, if they do not alto­gether disapprove of military bands, at any rate dis­courage all serious work by those organisations and view such efforts with an amused and superior air—as ' one might Bach on an harmonium or Wagner on a tin-whistle.
And here we may note that there has of late sprung up a school of reaciionnaires who raise their voice—at times a pretty harsh, loud and offensive voice, too— against what they are pleased to term the pretensions of the military conductor. They deplore the perform­ance by military bands of the best musical works, the maltreatment of the most noble productions of art. "Where is the rush of the violins?" "I miss the sweep
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