military bands and music
- Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers - History and personnel of these world travelers; photos, info on careers, uniforms, the band's recordings, recent events, booking the band, tour calendar.
- Droit Music - Sales of military band CDs; growing collection of British army band history pages.
- Royal Air Force Bands (UK) - Short history and photo fact pages for the 4 RAF bands; the Central Band, College Band, Regiment Band, and Massed Band.
A military band is a group of soldiers assigned to musical duties. A typical military band consists mostly of wind and percussion instruments. The conductor of a band usually bears the title of bandmaster. The military band should be capable of playing ceremonial and marching music, including the national anthems and patriotic songs of not only their own nation but others as well, both while stationary and as a marching band.
Military Band formed up for parade.Military bands also play a part in military funeral ceremonies.
There are two types of historical traditions in military bands. The first is military field music. This type of music includes bugles (or other natural instruments such as natural trumpets or natural horns), bagpipes, or fifes and almost always drums. This type of music was used to control troops on the battlefield as well as for entertainment. Following the development of instruments such as the keyed trumpet or the saxhorn family of brass instruments, a second tradition of the all brass military band was formed.
During the American Civil War most Union regiments had both types of groups within the unit. However, due to changes in military tactics by the end of World War I field musical had been mostly phased out in favor of the brass bands. These performed in a concert setting for entertainment, as well as continued to perform drill and martial events. In the United States, these bands were increased in instrumentation to include woodwinds, which gives us the modern military band in the United States, as well as the basis for high school and college marching bands and concert bands.
Field music is still popular at ceremonial functions, with many organizations such as police, fire, and veterans groups maintaining pipe and drum, fife and drum, or drum and bugle corps.
In the United States Army, the band is attached to the headquarters element and one of its duties is to provide security for the command post. British Army bandsmen are trained to work in NBC 'Casualty Decontamination Areas' and 'General Duties'. Modern-day military musicians often perform a variety of other styles of music in different ensembles, from chamber music to rock and roll.
top of the page