Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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Kettledrummers as soloists seem very strange to us, yet listen to what Manesson Mallet says:3
" The kettledrum player should be a man of courage, preferring to perish in the fight, than allow himself and his drums to be captured. He should have a pleasing motion of the arm, an accurate ear, and take a delight in diverting his master by agreeable airs." Nowadays, "agreeable airs" for kettledrums in the orchestra are quite common, witness the solo for four drums in "Robert le Diable." I must confess, however, that Manesson Mallet's "agreeable airs" for a -pair of drums must have been extremely " diverting " !
'Mallet, "Les Travaux de Mars, etc.," 1691.
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