Book: Music & the British Military

bookMusic & the British Military in the Long Nineteenth Century

A new book by Trevor Herbert and Helen Barlow, published by Oxford University Press – ISBN: 0199898316.

The first book to explore the contribution made by the military to British music history, it shows that military bands reached far beyond the official ceremonial duties they are often primarily associated with and had a significant impact on wider spheres of musical and cultural life.

It plots the story of military music from its sponsorship by military officers to its role as an expression of imperial force, which it took on by the end of the nineteenth century. This study is organised around three themes: the use of military status to extend musical patronage by the officer class; the influence of the military on the civilian music establishments; and an incremental movement towards central control of military music making by governments throughout the world. Military music impacted everything from the configuration of the music profession in the major metropolitan centers, to the development of wind instruments throughout the century, to the emergence of organized amateur music making.

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