The word “band” is derived from the French word “bande” which means troop. The important difference between an orchestra and a band is that musicians who perform in a band will likely play woodwinds, brass, and percussion musical instruments. On the other hand, orchestra comprises of bowed stringed musical instruments.
This word “band” is even utilized to illustrate a bloc of people who perform altogether such as dance bands. It can also be utilized to demonstrate a specific instrument played by a group of brass bands.
Bands are believed to originate in Germany during the 15th century by mainly using oboes and bassoons. Meanwhile, Turkish or Janissary music turned famous by the end of the 18th century where instruments like flute, large drums, cymbals, and triangles are featured.
At these times, the number of musicians playing in a band has significantly increased. In the year 1838, a band comprising of 200 drummers and 1000 wind instrument musicians played for the Russian emperor in Berlin.
Later on, band competitions were started and the notable ones were held at Alexandra Palace in London and Bell Vue in Manchester. It was in the year 1900 that the National Brass Band Festival was commemorated.
In the US, the emergence of military bands happened during the Revolutionary War era. The bands’ role that time was to join soldiers in the battles. Its use and role have started to diminish but it paved the way for town bands to emerge. Town bands comprise of local musicians who play during official events like national holidays.
Town bands stayed up until the 20th century. Band directors and composers such as John Philip Sousa assisted in the band music promotion. Nowadays, various educational institutions in the US have marching bands which mainly comprise of students. Band competitions held in high school and colleges helped promote American bands, generally speaking, the band music.
Here are some of the notable Band Composers:
- Ludwig van Beethoven of “The Ruins of Athens”
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart of the “Piano Sonata in A Major K. 331”
- France Joseph Haydn of the “Symphony No. 100 in G major”
- Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore of the “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”
- John Philip Sousa of “The Stars Stripes Forever, Semper Fidelis”
- Karl Lawrence King of the “Barnum and Bailey’s Favourite”
Band music has truly shaped the music industry and had undeniably played a big role in today’s contemporary music.