Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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36                 MILITARY MUSIC AND ITS STORY.
In the German empire, the army was supplied with its musicians by a "guild" known as the "Royal Trumpeters and Army Kettledrummers," of ancient origin, and enjoying special privileges by Imperial decree. Anyone desiring to be initiated into the mysteries of trumpeting and drumming, had to be apprenticed to the guild, and could not practise his vocation until he had been made a " freeman." One curious privilege which it claimed was, that its members were exempt from military law, the guild holding itself responsible for the discipline of its members. With the Germans, kettledrums were only granted to corps aVelite, such as Life Guards and regiĀ­ments whose colonels were nobles, excepting those that had captured their instruments on the battle-field.2 This rule also found favour in France3 where, says Kastner,4 the introduction of the kettledrum preceded the reign of Louis XIV by a few years. In England, the "service" was furnished with its trumpeters and drummers by the sergeant-trumpeter and the drum-major-general of the royal household, who were empowered to "impress" the musicians they required for the king's army, when more peaceable methods had failed. Impressment seems to have been anything but
'Turner, "Pallas Armata," 1683. ' In later years this custom came in vogue in England and outside of the Life Guards, only the Royal Irish Dragoons and the King's Dragoons were allowed kettledrums, having capĀ­tured them in battle.
'Kastner, "Manuel General de Musique Militaire," 1848.
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