Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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some little extent reduced the importance of the French horn. Although mostly confined to the military band, the " saxhorn" family has been found a rare adjunct to the orchestral "brass" in the case of the euphonium and bombardon. The powerful tonal effects of the latter were recognised by Wagner, who employs it in the "Rheingold."
Nor had the brass family alone been improved upon. Boehm, Triebert, Klose and others, had greatly in­creased the executive capacity of the "wood-wind" by their improvements and inventions. In 1839 Wieprecht constructed the "batyphone" to supply the bass to the clarinet family, but, outside Germany, it gained no per­manent footing. The alto and bass clarinets began to be looked upon with favour from the days of Sax, and now have completely displaced basset horns, although Grove's "Dictionary," 1904 (article, "Arrangement"), on the authority of so distinguished a writer as Sir Hubert Parry, thinks otherwise. Berlioz regretted that so very beautiful an instrument as the alto clarinet was not to be found in all well-constituted orchestras. The bass clarinet has received more attention from com­posers—Auber, Halevy and Meyerbeer having written specially for it, notably the fine solo in the latter's opera, "Les Huguenots." Wagner also employs it in " Tristan und Isolde." The most important addition to wind bands was the saxophone, one of Sax's patents, registered 1846. This instrument, practically a clari­net of metal, gave a fresh tone colour to wind bands,
and furnished a desired link between the reeds and
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