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Bands and Music

Stemming from the practice of taunting the enemy with deafening howls and songs, music has been an integral part of warfare for millennia. Hebrews blew rams’ horns at the battle of Jericho, the Saracens played kettledrums and various horns on horseback and camelback to frighten European crusaders, Scots played bagpipes into battle, and Santa Anna’s buglers played El Degüello when attacking the Alamo. Communication has also been a main element of military music as battle operations grew in size and scope, with signaling on trumpets and drums becoming necessary. With the drums of infantry units also supplying cadences for marching, fifes were later added to this “field music” to provide melodic interest, with trumpets and kettledrums doing the same in cavalry units. The hautbois (predecessor ...

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