What is a marching band?
Essentially, a marching band is a short, loud piece of music played to announce the arrival of someone important – or a special event. It consists of a fanfare of trumpets or other brass instruments. Percussion is also often used. Webster’s Dictionary defines a marching band as “a marching band of trumpets, a showy outward display”.
Besides this ceremonial meaning, the “band” also has a more figurative meaning. This meaning probably has its roots in the late 15th century Spanish word fanfa, meaning ‘to brag’. It may also derive from the Arabic word far (“trumpets”). Whatever its origins, the word “band” first appeared in the English language in 1605.
A marching band should not be confused with The last post, a moving tune played at military funerals and memorial services. The Last Post is played on the bugle, a simple brass instrument without valves. The Last Post was performed at Prince Philip’s funeralElizabeth’s husband, because the latter had had a brilliant military career.
What instrument do you play a brass band on?
A marching band is often played on a dedicated marching trumpet, which may also be called a herald trumpet. This specialized instrument is similar to a normal trumpet, but longer. In addition to being able to play specially composed marching bands, the extra length of the marching trumpet allows for the attachment of ceremonial banners.
Was there or will there be a marching band for the Queen?
Marching bands were a feature of the mourning period. For example, a trumpet fanfare was played as Queen Elizabeth’s coffin was carried into St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh for a 24-hour vigil on Monday September 12.
Are there other well-known brass bands in classical music?
Yes, in fact, the marching band has received a few different interpretations by classical composers. The most famous of them is undoubtedly that of Aaron Copland. Marching Band for the Common Man. We have selected this beautiful piece as one of our best music tracks for independence day. Other composers to try their hand at a marching band include:
Arthur Bliss, in his role as Master of Music to the Queen, wrote a series of royal fanfares for the wedding of HRH Princess Margaret at Westminster Abbey on 6 May 1960. However, these were not the only fanfares composed by Bliss : others included ‘Greetings to a City’, for three brass choirs.
Paul Dukes, most famous for his orchestral magnum opus The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, composed a fanfare for his ballet “La Péri” in 1912. In fact, Dukas’ fanfare proved far more popular than the ballet itself.
Benjamin Britton. In 1959, the great British composer of the 20th century wrote a Marching Band for St Edmundsbury: a fanfare for three trumpets, written for a Magna Carta Pageant at St Edmundsbury’s Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds.
french composer André Jolivet has produced numerous works for trumpet – including the fanfare “Narcisse”, written for a production of Britannicus by Jean Racine at the Comédie Française in Paris.
In 1942-43, Richard Strauss composed on Festmusik der Stadt Wien – ceremonial music for the city of Vienna. The program includes an impressive fanfare for the Vienna City Trumpet Choir.
Sir Harrison Birtwistle composed a fanfare to mark the royal opening of the Tate Modern in 2000. The opening ceremony was attended by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
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