Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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part, we see the movement assuming huge proportions, and spreading all over the country. With the military band, a more artistic combination, there was a mani­festation of progress quite as startling, which had a still greater influence in moulding the tastes of the masses. The regimental band, which hitherto had rarely appeared in public, except on purely official duties, now came into great requisition, not merely for " society" functions, but for the open-air fetes of the masses.6 As the late Mr. Kappey pointed out, it was the military band which furnished in most cases the only medium by which the toiling multitude of the working classes—to whom the high-priced opera house or the fashionable concert-room were not accessible— could get any idea of musical progress.
Perhaps the first great public recognition of military bands in this country was when Jullien brought them into his monster concerts. The "Mons." as "Punch" called him, came from a country where the military band was held in high esteem, and heralded as a new phase of musical art which had yet to be developed, and moreover, had such men as Berlioz,7 Spontini, Fetis and others as its sponsors. The first "grand military concert" given in this country was held at Chelsea in June, 1851, and the following were the chief items played by a massed band of some three hundred
•Reference to the writer's " Memoirs of the Royal Artillery Band" will bear out this point.
' Berlioz once applied for the post of director of the French* Military School of Music.
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