<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
A summary of the history of the ensembles that led to the modern concert, marching, and jazz bands of the U.S.


The term band , referring to a group of musicians playing together, is a very generic one. It can refer to anything from a couple of guitar players with a singer to a large group of brass, woodwind, and percussion players. This overview will only deal with the history and development of bands related to the modern European-American tradition of concert and marching bands.

Bands in early europe

The modern tradition of both concert and marching bands has developed over the centuries out of an even older tradition of military music. There is much evidence of trumpets , horns , and drums being employed for military purposes in ancient times in many places, including Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome. Throughout ancient and medieval times, however, these instruments were mainly used by armies for signaling, not really for playing music. When a tune was wanted for marching, instruments such as flute or bagpipes were preferred. In the middle ages, this led to different musicians being hired as needed by different companies: cavalry required trumpets, horns, and drums, while footsoldiers hired fife and bagpipes players.

Until about the seventeenth century, "band" was a generic term for any group of musicians playing together (much as it still is now). There was not even any differentiation between "band" and "orchestra", or any attempt to standardize the instrumentation of musical groups. Composed music was generally for small consorts of similar instruments, for example a group of recorders of various sizes, or a group of trombones . The modern string quartet is a good example of this sort of consort. Larger ensembles of mixed instruments played popular songs and dances, probably with little or no written music, improvising their parts as early jazz musicians did and as many musicians in traditions around the world still do.

One type of ensemble of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that can be considered a precursor to the band tradition were the municipal, town, or tower musicians. These groups grew out of the tradition of announcing the hours of the day by musical signals, and their duties gradually expanded to playing chorales from the city tower and to providing music for festivals, state occasions, weddings, and church services. Typical instruments for this kind of group included trombones of various sizes, and cornetts. The latter were not the trumpet-like instrument of today, but a wooden instrument with a cup-shaped mouthpiece like a trumpet but with finger-holes like a recorder. Tower musician groups disappeared by the early eighteenth century, replaced by other wind groups.

Military bands

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries also saw the beginnings of a true, standardized, military band tradition. As mentioned above, in earlier times, militaries would simply hire whatever musicians they felt they needed for signaling and marching. It was sometime during this period that a desire to keep better time in marching led to the designation of a "chief drummer", eventually known as the drum major . The most important development at this time, however, was the formation under Louis XIV of France of a regularly constituted military band. These first military bands were oboe bands, which may seem surprising. Recall, however, that flutes and bagpipes had long been the instruments of choice for accompanying marching. Also, the oboes of that day had a much louder, outdoors-appropriate sound than today's more refined concert instrument.

Questions & Answers

Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
QuizOver.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, A parent's guide to band. OpenStax CNX. Jun 25, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10428/1.1
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'A parent's guide to band' conversation and receive update notifications?