Military Band

A military band originally was 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 Director of Music. Ottoman military bands are thought to be the oldest variety of military marching band in the world, dating from the 13th century.

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 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 (see military 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.

The term "military band" is not, however, confined to military organizations, nor does it necessarily imply that the ensemble is a marching band. It is the correct term for a wind ensemble comprising both woodwinds, and brass, together with percussion, with an instrumental complement that was always typical in service bands. It is the inclusion of woodwind instruments that makes a military band different from a brass band, and the two terms should never be confused.

There is a certain amount of confusion between the terms 'military band' and 'concert band' (or 'symphonic wind band'). The latter may play music written for military band, but describes a larger (usually non-military) ensemble that includes all symphonic instruments, except for bowed stringed instruments.

Read more about Military Band:  Military Band Formations Worldwide, Images

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