Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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music, chiefly operatic. Musical advertisements and catalogues, as well as statements by contemporaries support this view, which is strikingly and delightfully illustrated by Mozart in the second act of his dramatic chef d'ceuvre, where Don Giovanni's musicians (two oboe, two clarinets, two horns' and two bassoons, the most complete and a very common combination) enter­tain him at dinner with three extracts from popular operas of the day, one from 'Le Nozze di Figaro.' But although, undoubtedly, the arrangements enor­mously outnumbered the original compositions we may safely assume that the musical conductors of the princes and lesser nobles who had wind bands in their service provided largely for their repertoire, of which, however, comparatively little was printed, and much less than a tithe has come to our knowledge."
The instrumental works of the great German sym­phony composers—Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, do not seem to have appealed to the military band arranger. It was rather to the field of vocal music that he turned. There we find transcriptions from the best known oratorio choruses of Handel, and excerpts from the masses of Haydn and Mozart. Dr. Turpin was of opinion that it may even be questioned whether the glee did not actually survive its original use, in an arranged form, as a piece of display for military bands.
The favourite forms of military band music were the " military concerto," " serenade" and " diverti­mento." The former sometimes took the shape of an
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