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Military band information


A massed group of military bands from several countries, at the 2011 Berlin Military Tattoo

A military band is a group of personnel that performs musical duties for military functions, usually for the armed forces. A typical military band consists mostly of wind and percussion instruments. The conductor of a band commonly bears the title of Bandmaster or Music director. Ottoman military bands are thought to be the oldest variety of military marching bands in the world, dating from the 13th century.[1]

The military band is 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 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 brass and woodwind military band was formed. A third type, that of a mounted band, serves cavalry and sometimes artillery formations.

Some police forces have their own police bands that provide a similar function to a military band. These bands are also scored as per a military band, i.e. brass, woodwind and percussion.

It should also be noted that the term "military band" also applies to civilian bands that are scored (that is the same instrumentation) as a military band. It is an older term as most of this type of bands have changed their names to "symphonic wind bands" or "concert bands". In the 1920s and 1930s the BBC maintained the "BBC Wireless Military Band ". The International Military Music Society published some transcribed recordings in the 1980s under their own label (IMMS 102)

  1. ^ Turkish Cultural Foundation. "Military (mehter)". Retrieved 2013-08-09.

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