Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/484

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��of Napoleon military bands made rapid strides, both with regard to the augmentation of their numbers and to their executive capacity, and were admitted to be the best then in existence. It seems that between the years 1805 and 1808 the addition of bass-drum, cymbals and triangle was made; and also into the Prussian bands that most useless of toys, the crescent, found its way.

England having in no way contributed to improve or even influence the progress of wind instrumental music, we have of necessity to pursue its course on the continent, from whence any important advance was simply adopted. It is difficult to trace the introduction of mili- tary bands into the English service. In 1783 the Coldstream Guards had a band of eight musicians two oboes, two clarinets, two horns and two bassoons. The Duke of York, wishing to improve the musical service, imported from Germany what probably was the first ' full band' of twenty-four men, who, besides the above-named instruments, brought flute, trum- pets, trombones and serpent. To these were added three negroes with tambourines and cres- cent. 1 A fuller description of the circumstances attending this introduction of a foreign band may be found in Parke's ' Musical Memoirs,' vol. ii. p. 239 (London, 1830).

In the beginning of the present century various inventions were introduced to improve the im- perfect state of trumpets and French horns and render them capable of producing a complete scale. A similar slide to that of the trombone was added both to trumpets and horns, but its manipulation was so difficult that it did not gain ground. A more important addition was that of Tceys to the bugle. Although the tone was thereby rendered unequal, yet this defect was compensated for by the gain of a complete chromatic scale, and the key-bugle became a much-used favourite instrument in most mili- tary and brass-bands of the time. [See BUGLE, vol. i. p. 280.] The greatest event however for all brass instruments was the invention of the VALVE. [See vol. iv. p. 215.] Emanating from two obscure musicians in Prussia, it at first did not meet with the approval of the musical profession, who thought that the ' good old' character of the brass instruments was thereby deteriorated.

Valve-trumpets were introduced here and there, but without creating a favourable impres- sion. Thus it went on till two men came to the front one as a reformer of military music, the other as the inventor of scientifically-constructed brass instruments Wieprecht and Sax. The former had an anomalous position, for being a civilian his propositions for reforming a purely military establishment were received but coolly by the military authorities. However, persever- ing in his endeavours, he at last succeeded so far as to be allowed (at the expense of the command- ing officer) to introduce his instrumentation in a cavalry brass-band. It consisted of two high

i 0. F. Fobl. Mozart and Haydn in London. (Wlen, 1867.)


trumpets in Bb (cornettinos), two key-bugles in Bb, two alto-trumpets in Eb (cornettos), eight trumpets in Eb, two tenor-horns in Bb, one bass- horn in Bb, and three trombones in Bb, the former all having two or three valves, the latter being slide-trombones. The great advantage of this innovation was so apparent that Wieprecht was requested to introduce it into the bands of the Prussian Life Guards, and he went so far as to give the members of these bands personal lessons, to be assured of a proper perception of his ideas. In 1838 he was appointed director of all the Guards' bands, and in this influential position he successfully dealt with the formation and style of playing of the military bands throughout Germany. The first grand effort of combining many bands for a monster per- formance, at which he officiated, was at a fte given at Berlin on May 12, 1838, to the Emperor Nicolaus of Russia, who was on a visit to the King of Prussia, when Wieprecht conducted a performance of sixteen infantry and sixteen cavalry bands, consisting of 1000 wind-instru- ments, besides 200 side-drummers. He directed this great mass of musicians, all dressed in bril- liant uniforms, in plain civilian garb, and it is said that the Emperor was so struck with the incongruity of the thing that Wieprecht was hurriedly put into uniform to conduct a second performance before the crowned beads four days after.* Without following in detail the many results of his well-directed efforts, we will only give the instrumentation of the first military (reed) band, as reformed by him.

2 Soprano Cornetts in Eb.

2 Altocornets in B&.

2 Tenor Horns in Bb.

1 Bariton Tuba (Eupho- nium).

4 Bass Tubas (Bombar- donea).

��2 Flutes. 2 Oboes.

1 Ab (high) Clarinet.

2 Eb Clarinets. 8 BO Clarinets. 2 Bassoons.

2 Contrabassoons. 2 Tenor Trombones, 2 Bass Trombones.

��4 Trumpets.

��4 French Horns. 2 Side Drums, Bass Drum, Cymbals and Crescent. (47 men in all.)

For the cavalry he organised the bands thus (trumpet-bands) : Cavalry.

ICornettinoinBb. 2 Cornettos in El?. 4 Cornets inBp.

2 Tenor Horns. 8 Trumpets.

1 Euphonium.

3 Bombardones.

(21 men in all.)


3 Cornettinos in B b. 3 Cornettos in Eb. 6 Cornets in B b. 6 Tenor Horns. 3 Euphoniums. 12 Trumpets. 6 Tubas (Bombardones). (39 men in all.)

��And for the light infantry (Jager) the instru- mentation was called ' horn-music,' consisting of,

��1 Cornettino In Bb.

2 Cornettos in Eb. 4 Cornets in Bb.

2 Tenor Horns.

��j 4 French Horns. I 3 Trumpets.

2 Euphoniums. I 3 Bombardons.

��The regulation instrumentation of the Aus- trian bands at the same period differed from the above in so far that it regarded less the artistic completeness than the production of greater

2 For a description of a similar performance see Berlioz, 'Voyage Musical. 1 Letter IX. Berlioz wrongly calls him Wlbrecht.

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