Military Bands

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Why do Military Regiments have Bands?

Music is an important and influential part of military life and is seen as a strong source of morale. Musicians support the regiments at ceremonial events and consist mostly of wind and percussion instruments. As well as appearing at parades such as the Remembrance Day Parade, military bands have also been known to be deployed on operations to Iraq to serve as army reserve soldiers. There are two types of historical traditions in military bands. The first uses field music instruments such as drums or trumpets. This type of band was used to control troops on the battlefields. Long before the high-tech battlefields of today, signalling in camp and on the field was carried out by the beating of a drum and the sounding of the trumpets. The second tradition uses brass and woodwind instruments. Bands were formed by soldiers, and each regiment in the British Army maintained its own military band. Until 1749 bandsmen were civilians and then at a later date became enlisted men who accompanied the regiment to provide music to raise the morale. The oldest British military band is the Royal Artillery Band which dates back to 1557. After 1994 the number of bands was reduced from 69 to 22. The Regular Army Bands in the British Army are part of the Corps of Army Music. They range from traditional marching bands to concert bands to small string orchestras. The Corps of Army Music (CAMUS) is dedicated to the provision of military music. Bands such as the Band of The Household Cavalry, The Royal Artillery Band, Band of the Scots Guards and the Band of the Queens Division make up the bands of the corps. Military bands vary in function, from troop entertainment to public relations to playing at special events.  They play ceremonial and marching music and the modern day military musicians perform in other styles such as rock and roll. View our Corps Of Army Music Items here

2021-03-30T16:39:55+01:0015 November 2016|

Military Tunic Embellished With Fleur-De-Lis

Military Tunic The May 2016 edition of popular fashion magazine Vogue contains a feature exploring some of the Rolling Stones’ most unforgettable costumes, modelled by Kate Moss (Photographed by Craig McDean). One piece of clothing in particular caught our attention, which is the red drummers’ military tunic, traditionally worn by drummers in the bands of the Infantry regiment. “What the Stones did was to adopt the clothes of the establishment and make them irreverent and threatening.  Suddenly these gentlemanly suits become a raucously sexual kind of veneer over their wildness.” (Bella Freud, Vogue 2016). Mick Jagger had many military jackets, but the one pictured here is the only remaining example in the Rolling Stones archive. He actually bought it for approximately £4 from Robert Orbach at John Stephen on Carnaby Street and wore it for a performance on Ready Steady Go! on October 1966 and recollects that: “The next morning there was a line of about a hundred people wanting to buy it… We sold everything in the shop by lunchtime” says Orbach. Mick is shown in one of his military tunics here, in March 1967. Wyedean has manufactured the fleur-de-lis lace used on the military jacket for over 100 years on a specialist jacquard loom. The jacket features both the 19mm and 13mm versions of the lace which are both available to purchase from our store here. We have been specialists in this field for many years, and are one of the manufacturers of these jackets. If you have requirements for these tailored tunics or complete band uniforms please contact us. Fleur De Lis Lace The literal translation of “fleur-de-lis” is “flower-of-the-lily”. Traditionally the design has been used to represent French royalty, and signify perfection, light and life. Legend has it that an angel presented Clovis, the Merovingian king of the Franks, with a golden lily as a symbol of his purification upon his conversion to Christianity. Others claim that Clovis adopted the symbol when waterlilies showed him how to safely cross a river and thus succeed in battle. In the twelfth century, either King Louis VI or King Louis VII (sources disagree) became the first French monarch to use the fleur-de-lis on his shield. Later, English kings used the symbol on their coats of arms to accentuate their claims to the throne of France. In the 14th century, the fleur-de-lis design was often incorporated into the family insignia that was sewn on the knight's surcoat, which was then worn over their coat of mail, hence the term “coat of arms” originated. What was once used as a purpose of identification, then transformed into a system of social status designations after 1483 when King Edmund IV established the Heralds' College to supervise the granting of armour insignia. Others say when Joan of Arc led the French troops to victory, she carried a banner which depicted God blessing the French emblem, fleur-de-lis. The Roman Catholic Church indorsed the lily as the symbol of the Virgin Mary. Due to its three [...]

2021-03-30T17:11:01+01:0029 April 2016|
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