Military Music And Its Story - online book

The Rise & Development Of Military Music

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true music, instead of confining them almost wholly to the most ephemeral productions, their influence would be highly beneficial."
Note that our military bands had reached "a very high degree of perfection." All the talk, however, about instilling into the bandsmen some notion of true music, was ridiculous! Most of the best performers of the Guards' bands held good appointments in London orchestras; and as for the Royal Artillery, the advice was certainly ill-fitting, since this band had been giving high-class orchestral concerts for over forty years, upon the same model as the Philharmonic Society. Blame for these "ephemeral productions" could not be laid even against the bandmasters. Take, for instance, Grattan Cooke, the bandmaster of the Second Life Guards; surely it would be idle to pretend that a pro­fessor at the Royal Academy of Music, and one of the best known musicians in London, had no higher tastes than the "Quadrille of All Nations." The piece selected by the " Times" as the only one worthy of consideration was selected, arranged and conducted by the bandmaster of the First Life Guards—James Waddell, an ardent musician—who with the band­master of the Royal Artillery, William Collins, were talked of in military band circles as progressive band­masters, who madehigh-class compositions the chief items on their programmes. At the funeral of the Duke of Wel­lington in 1852, the bands of Waddell and Collins were specially mentioned by the papers, the reason being, that whilst most bands were playing the "Dead
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