Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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REVIVAL OF THE MILITARY ART.                   15
always expected for special services, to which there is a reference in an old fifteenth century (?) ballad made on the battle of Otterbourne.9
Wherefore schote archars, for my sake
And let scharpe arowes flee:
Mynstrells playe up for your warysou (reward)
And well quyt it shall be.
To judge by the old English chronicles, these minĀ­strels were undoubtedly held in high estimation, and their contribution to the battle's success was invariably recorded. When the Scots suffered defeat at the hands of Edward III on Hallidon Hill (1333) the musical part of the programme is described by a ballad historian:
This was do with merry sowne
With pipes, trompes and tabers thereto
And loud clarionnes thei blew also."
The minstrels that accompanied the king's army to France held fine positions, ranked as officers and paid twelve pence per diem,1 a big sum in those days, and at the triumphal entry into Calais in 1347 they comĀ­bined in a grand military concert (says Froissart) of " trompes, de tambours, de nacaires, de chalemies et de muses," to greet the king. That this was martial music far excellence is borne out by Chaucer in his account
"Percy, "Relics of Ancient English Poetry."
" Grose, " Military Antiquities," 1801.
' Ibid.
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