History of Bands

The Military Band has historically functioned as an important adjunct to warfare. Middle Eastern and later into European combatants were traditionally led into the battle with the inclusion of drums and horns and later during the Turkish Ottoman Empire with oboes and ‘jingling johnny’ percussion instruments. During the Napoleonic eras armies marched to war to the accompaniment of enthusiastic and indispensable resplendent regimental bands.

European Traditions

Musical instruments have played an important role in the military of many cultures for thousands of years. In Euro-American culture, drums ordered the daily lives of the average soldiers, providing cadences for marching and signals for battle, as well as marking routine activities such as meal and bed time. The drum most associated with the military was a snare drum. Known as a side drum because it hangs on a sling at the player’s side, the cylindrical instrument has two skin heads: the batter head (top), which the drummer beats with two sticks, and the snare head (bottom), so named for the gut twine that when placed against the head gives the instrument its characteristic “buzzy” sound.

The side drum is first known to have existed in Switzerland, perhaps as early as the fourteenth century, and was soon found throughout Europe. In art, the side drum is often depicted with other military equipment, as a symbol of war. A woodcut from 1544 by Hans Sebald Beham, Nuremberg, pairs a drummer with a standard bearer. In the Guardroom with the Deliverance of Saint Peter, ca. 1645–46, David Teniers (the Younger) depicts a drum with other discarded military equipment. An example of this type of large military side drum is decorated with the cipher of Frederick Augustus (the Strong), elector of Saxony and king of Poland (r. 1693–1733), and was probably an actual instrument used in his army.

The side drum could be played alone or with a fife. The fife is a small flute that provided melodic tunes to accompany the rhythmic signals and cadences of the drum. The fife was usually made of a single piece of wood, with six finger holes that could provide for a diatonic scale. The traditional pairing of the drum and fife developed from the medieval practice of a single player performing on a tabor (small drum) and pipe to accompany dances.

The United States

European military instruments were brought to the New World and used in much the same way as they had been in the mother countries. As militias formed in the towns and villages of colonial America, drummers played an important role in summoning men from rural areas to take up arms. Revolutionary War drummers and fifers were used in battle to signal the soldiers to fire. In the hazy fog of battle, visual command was impossible and musical instruments were the only way to convey orders to the troops.

The combination of the fife and drum became known as military field music. By the time of the Civil War, each company had its own field musicians, one fifer and one drummer, to provide the daily signals telling the soldiers to wake up, eat, and go to bed. The drummers and fifers of a regiment gathered to create the larger drum and fife corps, which provided the cadences and signals for more formal occasions.

Drums, like banners and flags, were important symbols of a military unit. They were often decorated with the unit’s insignia, coats of arms, or national symbols. In the United States, the eagle, a proud symbol of the nation, was a popular decoration on everything from carriages to buttons beginning in the late eighteenth century, and was also emblazoned on drums. The drums became known as eagle drums and by the 1840s, the United States Army was attempting to standardize these decorations. Eagle drums were especially popular with the Union Army during the Civil War.

A third musical instrument was introduced into military field music in the nineteenth century. The military bugle was first used around 1800 in England, and introduced to the United States during the War of 1812. Bugles are brass instruments characterized by a conical bore tubing, usually wound once around, and wide bells. Cavalry units in the United States adopted the bugle for their field signals. Later in the century, the bugle began to replace the more traditional drummers and fifers for infantry use. Many of the calls originally performed on drums were adopted as bugle calls. The most familiar of these is “Taps”; originally named for the action of the drummer playing on his drum, this term now refers to a bugle call.

Military Bands

In addition to field music, the United States military also had bands that were used for ceremonial purposes and to raise soldier morale. Like field music, this tradition has its roots in European military practices. The first outdoor, or military, bands were made up of woodwind instruments. These bands, known asHarmoniemusik, primarily used oboes, horns, and bassoons. These instruments usually had to be imported, but a few were manufactured by makers in the United States. An oboe by Jacob Anthony of Philadelphia and a bassoon by John Meacham of Albany are rare surviving examples of instruments that were typical of those used in Harmoniemusik bands. In Europe, a craze for Turkish music at the end of the eighteenth century introduced the bass drum and cymbal into these ensembles, and these instruments soon found their way into American bands as well.

Noticeably absent from these military bands are the brass instruments familiar to audiences today. At the time, only natural brass instruments, those without keys or valves, were available. Natural brasses could only play the notes of the overtone series and so were not as useful as woodwinds in ensemble playing. In 1810, Irishman John Halliday invented a keyed bugle that allowed a brass instrument to play all of the chromatic notes that previously had to be played on an oboe or clarinet. In Europe, a great flurry of invention created brass instruments of all varieties, first with keys and later with valves and pistons. Although musicians in the United States were slower to adopt these new designs, immigrants brought these newer instruments, along with their taste for brass bands, to the United States in the decades before the Civil War.

By the start of the Civil War, many towns and villages had their own bands, and often sent them along with their militia units. The bands, like the young fighting soldiers, were a symbol of pride for communities large and small across the North and the South. For their part, the soldiers and officers wanted them because they were key to maintaining high morale and were also the primary source of entertainment.

Brass bands of all types were used during the Civil War, but a peculiar type of brass instrument, known as an over-the-shoulder horn, became associated with bands of this era. The tubing on these instruments bent around, and featured a bell that pointed over the player’s shoulder. This allowed the band to march in front of the soldiers, and the sound would be directed back behind the player toward the marching troops. Entire bands of over-the-shoulder brass instruments, from tubas to cornets, were used during the Civil War.

After the war, many veterans returned to their homes in both the North and South. Many others chose to settle in the great expanses of the American West. In both cases, these former soldiers brought their love of military brass music with them, and organized bands in communities large and small across the continent. The American band movement, which would culminate with the great bandleader John Philip Sousa around the turn of the twentieth century, had begun.

 

Australia and the Pacific

Australian army band corps

After World War II there was a need to make an assessment of Army Bands. From this time the system of bands as we know it began to evolve. In 1951Captain R.A. Newman was appointed the first Director of Music and in 1952 he commenced the Band Boy Training Class. In 1953 a central Army School of Music was established to provide standardized formal training for Army musicians from basic to bandmaster level. Until 1961, the then Major Newman held the dual responsibilities of Director of Music and Officer Commanding Army School of Music. With increasing responsibilities of the former appointment he moved to Army Headquarters in Canberra with subsequent promotion to Lieutenant Colonel.
During the 1960s focus centred on the conversion from brass band to military band instrumentation. Commencing in 1964 with the Band of the Royal Military College, all Regular Army bands were converted by 1974. Prior to the formation of the Australian Army Band Corps (AABC), Army musicians were held on the Royal Australian Infantry Corps Special List. It was the ambition of senior band personnel to have the specialization of music recognized by the creation of a corps. This was achieved on 2 August 1968 with the establishment of the AABC, the first Army Corps of Musicians in the world.
After the creation of the AABC, many bands previously belonging to infantry battalions were reassigned corps to become area bands and were affiliated with particular host corps. Significant corps pride was serviced with Armoured Corps at Puckapunyal Camp, Artillery at Singleton, Engineers located at Casula, Corps of Signals at Kapooka and Infantry in Townsville.
Prior to the separation of the bands from the Royal Australian Regiment battalions, bandsmen had served with distinction as stretcher bearers within those battalions. Several were killed in action and a number were decorated for gallantry. These regimental bands were involved in all areas of active service including Korea, Malaya, Borneo and South Vietnam.
Since 1968 the manning and establishment of bands has been constantly reviewed to provide for the efficient organization and operation of bands, and create career progression. Review has also effected disbandment of bands, including four area/corps bands in the early 1970s and the North Queensland Army Band in 1984. Conversely for Reserves, in 1987 Military District and regional Army Reserve bands located in Hobart, Darwin, Perth and Newcastle were first incorporated in the AABC.
Reorganization again impacted significantly on bands in 1993. As a result of rationalisation of the Army with a view to reduce manpower, Regular Army bands were required to reduce by 38% – some 125 positions. 50 piece bands in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne were reduced to 34, the Regular Army band in Adelaide converted to an Army Reserve regional band and the band in Perth combined with the Reserve regional band already in location.
With the disbandment of military districts as a result of organizational adjustments beginning in 1991, the titles of bands were changed to reflect location, negating the need for variation as a result of any future decisions. The new ‘Australian Army Band’ titles also provided a clear Army and geographical identity.
Since the end of the Vietnam War AABC soldiers have not deployed as stretcher bearers attached to Units. Duties in operational areas now involve fulfilling the corps role of maintaining morale and esprit de corps through entertaining troops. In doing so, AABC personnel have been deployed to Bougainville, East Timor, Solomon Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The contribution of bands to the community has been recognized by the granting of Freedom of Entry to many AABC Units:

  1. 1MD Band (AAB Brisbane) – City of Brisbane in 1988;
  2. 1MD Band (AAB Brisbane) – City of Gold Coast in 1989;
  3. 1MD Band (AAB Brisbane) – Shire of Redland in 1989;

History of the Band of the South Australia Police

The South Australia Police is an institution steeped in proud tradition, being the first Police Force in Australia, and one of the oldest in the World. It was formed in 1838, only nine years after Sir Robert Peel created the first Police Force, the “London Metropolitan Police”

In 1884, Police Commissioner W. J. Peterswald encouraged the formation of a volunteer Brass Band from within the ranks of the Adelaide Metropolitan Foot Police. Fourteen musicians formed the Band of the South Australia Police, the first Police Band in Australia, playing their own instruments under the leadership of Foot Constable Robert Howlett. It’s members were given a bonus of sixpence per day and allowed four hours to practice per week. Established as a Brass Band it quickly became very popular with the community and played in parks, gardens and at “Vice Regal” functions at Government House.

A particular feature of the Band’s work of the time was the monthly pay parades through the city, where members of the Police Department were led by the Band to collect their pay at the parade grounds near the River Torrens.

Under the Direction of T. H. Davey the Band entered the Brass Band Contests at the Old Exhibition Hall in 1903. With a total of 273/300 the Police Band won the “B” grade section and two days later came third in the “A” grade with a score of 276/300.

During the early war years, 1914-1916, the band gave concerts at the Adelaide Town Hall to benefit the “Belgian Relief Fund”. 1917 saw a short recession of the band, and it was reformed late in 1918. The band continued until 1924, when again the band went into recession due to the fact that a suitable bandmaster could not be found at the time. In 1931 the band’s instruments were borrowed by the Colonel Light Gardens Band, who performed at some Police Ceremonial Functions, but due to an infraction by this band, the instruments were returned to the police department which initiated the formation of the “Junior Constables Police Band” which operated from 1934 until 1939 directed by Inspector William Johns. During the Second World War, the band was inoperative. 1945 saw the reorganization of the Police Band, and was again encouraged as a volunteer unit by the then Commissioner William Johns. The band regained it’s “A” grade status in 1951, and in 1957 Brigadier McKinna, the Commissioner of Police gave approval for the band to function as a full time unit for the first time. In 1974 the band transformed from Brass to a Military instrumentation with the addition of woodwind instruments.

The New Zealand Police Pipeband

New Zealand Police maintains an award-winning pipe band comprised of police and civilian members. The band performs at formal police functions and civic events. It encourages goodwill between the public and the Police. The band is based at the Royal New Zealand Police College, 20 minutes drive north of Wellington.
The band was formed in 1936 by Detective Sergeant Neil McPhee. From all accounts McPhee was a redoubtable character, who not only taught the pipers, but also manufactured his own make of bagpipe for the Police Band. Initially the band’s practice room was located above the stables of the old Taranaki Street Police Station in central Wellington.
The band is an integral part of the New Zealand Police and a source of pride amongst Police members – most of whom have marched to its music at their graduation parades.The band has accompanied Police through times of celebration and sadness and its pipers are frequently called on for Police funerals and memorial services. As the band grew its player base around the country, and to attain a more accurate international acknowledgement, the name was changed from the Wellington Police Pipe Band to the New Zealand Police Pipe Band in 1994.

From the beginning the band recognised that playing standards would only be maintained through competition. It has an enviable record in national competition, including the Australian and New Zealand Grade One Championships. Internationally the band has competed in North America, Ireland and Scotland, where it has occasionally qualified for the World Championships. The band incorporates crowd pleasing displays to showcase some of the operational aspects of policing. Police dogs, mock offenders, smoke bombs and Police horses are all used in various marching displays.The band has also performed at the prestigious Royal Tournament in Earl’s Court, London. The band has performed with the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in its first performance outside Scotland in Wellington in 2000.

The band can be contacted through the Drum Major Hamish McCardle, phone +64 4 474 9499 at Police National Headquarters, Wellington, New Zealand.

 

Asian and Eurasian tradition

The Ottoman Mehter Band of Turkey

The tablhane (mehterhane) which is one of the symbols of the emperorship in all Islamic states has been passed to the Ottoman State by the Seljuk State. In 1299 The Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat III had sent the sancak as a symbol for the beylik together with drums, etc.

From this date on, which at the same time was accepted as the independence of the Ottoman State, until the period of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror all sultans rose while the nevbet was beaten (played) in respect to the Seljuk emperor. Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror said: “It is unnecessary to rise in respect to a sultan who has died two centuries ago.” and thus abolished the tradition of rising while the mehter was playing.

The mehterhane which for centuries had exeburated the Ottoman soldiers and instilled fear into the enemies was abolished by Mahmud II on 15 June 1826 together with the Janissaries and the other palace corps. Because the Mehterhane was important a military musical organization called Mýzýka-yý hümayun (Royal Band) was established as in Europe. However this change has only been effective in the cities and only apparently, in the rural areas and in the sacred existence and heart of the people who are the basis of the army the drum and zurna, which are the symbol of the Mehter instruments and bravity have preserved their place always and until today they have lost nothing of their identity.
In 1911 Ahmed Muhtar Pasha and Celal Esat (Arseven) founded a new band in order to enliven the mehter. On the orders of the deputy chief commanderEnver Pasha, this band was organized in 1914, took the name of mehterhane-i hakani (Imperial military band) and was united with the army of the World War I. The imperial band also served in the War of Independence and until 1935 the Mehter Band continued to play historical Turkish music at the military museum, but the then Defense Minister Zekai Apaydin abolished it on the plea that it was a relic of the imperial past and should not continue after the establishing of the Republic. It was only in 1952 that the Turkish Chief of the General Staff Nuri Yamut saw the Scottish bagpipe band and ordered to reestablish the mehter, the third time in its history. The Band was thus brought back to life per chance just by participation to the ceremonies of the 500th Anniversary of the Conquest of Istanbul on 29 May 1953. Under the orders of the Turkish Army General Staff dated 10 July 1968, nine Mehter bands were established with its original costumes. Today many counties, provinces, municipalities and army have mehter bands. One of them is the “Istanbul Historical Music Society” which was founded by the Ministry of Culture in 1992.

 

African Tradition

KENYA NAVY BAND

The Kenya Navy Band provides a short yet very interesting history. Started from humble beginnings in the late 1980’s with the first Drum Major, Corporal Mwanzia , today, it has the fortune of having an SVC Band that has developed steadily, overcoming myriad obstacles to produce the formidable and fully fledged Marching Band that it is today.

In December 1986, a batch of 15 Privates Under Training (PUT’s) from the Naval Training School  (NTS) were nominated to form the Naval Corps of Drums. The group underwent a Drummer’s Course for one year at the School of Music at Langata Barracks, after which they returned to the Kenya Navy Base, Mtongwe and took up their respective roles as the Kenya Navy Corps of Drums. They participated in various parades with WOI Mwanzia ( then Sergeant ) as the Drum Major .

In January 1999, another 27 PUT’s from the NTS were nominated to join the Kenya Navy Band and underwent a basic Music Course at the School of Music, Langata for duration of one year.  After completion of the course in 2000, the young Band personnel returned to Mtongwe Base to start a life long journey of learning of music under the guidance of Captain H J Ochieng‘ (then Lieutenant).

Now a strong unit, the Kenya Navy Band has participated in major national events successfully, including all National and ASK Show Parades, the first All African Military Games ( CISM ) 2002 in Nairobi, Passing Out and Commanders Divisions Parades, March and Short Range Exercises and last but not least, landed invitations by various non-governmental organizations to promote their culture and awareness crusades in Mombasa and Nairobi.

In the Kenya Navy military bands fulfils multi-tasking in the diverse generic roles, such as performing in the Military bands, folk group or even functions of entertainment. Furthermore a considerable amount of peacetime activity involves giving dedicated music support to selected charities and authorized fund-raising initiatives.

The Kenya Navy Band under the highly professional direction of the Director of Music, is establishing national reputation by not only performing Military Band Music of an exceptional standard, but also by helping to create a specifically Kenyan Military Music Culture.

The talented Director of Music, Captain H Ochieng has made an important and valuable contribution to this particular cultural development by arranging and composing works incorporating popular and vernacular African Music elements.

Discipline in the Band is a primary value if any measure of success is to be attained. As accepted in the music profession, it has far – reaching effects on the mental development and for proper concentration in the theory and practical apprenticeship, as well as familiarization with and the right use of the instruments. The Kenya Navy Band provides active dedicated support to the government, the DOD and public organizations, in order to encourage high morale and “enspirit de corps”, as well as to promote a positive disposition towards the Armed Forces by its personnel and external public.

Although parades may be considered the core function of service military bands, other indispensable tasks include: general concerts, band festivals of public interests which are coordinated by government institutions, municipal authorities, cultural authorities, performance in support of other government departments, memorial services, and Christmas carols service etc.

The Navy Band is moving uniformly forward together. It is one of the most attractive Departments in the Kenya Navy formations. The Bandsmen are aiming beyond the horizon, taking into account that this is only their third year since inception as a complete Band. Their “Motto” is “Give way, the indomitable ones in white are coming

Latin American and Caribbean Tradition

Jamaica Military Band

Some Jamaicans will know that the Jamaica Military Band, known throughout the Jamaica Defense Force as the ‘JMB’, is the oldest continuous-service unit in the Jamaican Defense Forces. The First Battalion, Jamaica Regiment has longer antecedents, being directly descended from the ancient Jamaica Militia of 1662, but with several changes of designation through the years of the 20th century. Uniquely, under its original name, the Jamaica Military Band celebrated its 80th birthday on 26 February 2007.

The Band’s longevity goes back even further because it was originally the Regimental Band of the first and last-surviving of the old West India Regiments, which was disbanded in 1926 after 131 years service. As the WIR Band, its final performance was at Trafalgar Park House, then the official residence of the commander of British troops in Jamaica (and now of the British High Commissioner) in the presence of the future King George VI and the late Queen Mother who died only five years ago at the age of 101. It is the WIR origin which resulted, in the mid 19th century, in its nearly unique zouave uniform (the only other military unit in the Commonwealth which wears it is the Band of the Barbados Regiment).

On 8 December 1926 the then Mayor of Kingston brought a motion in the Legislative Council of Jamaica for the retention of the Band. This was passed and on 26 February 1927, the day after the bandsmen were discharged as members of the former WIR, the full Band became part of the Local Forces of Jamaica – renamed the Jamaica Military Band.

The JMB was the first to (semi) publicly perform the new Jamaican National Anthem just weeks before Independence in 1962. The performance took place at the Lyndhurst Methodist Church Hall, with the Anthem arranged for military band and also conducted by a young Band Corporal, subsequently Major J. B. Williams, OD – and a long-serving JDF Director of Music. In 1977 on its 50th Anniversary the Band was honoured by the Kingston & St Andrew Corporation with the Freedom of the City and presented with the Keys of the City of Kingston. That year it also visited the United Kingdom, taking part in The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Celebrations. The Band has also performed in various Caribbean countries, and in the United States and Canada.

The US Army School of Music

History

The U.S. Army School of Music can trace its roots back to the early years of the 19th century. The first record of an organized music school was when eleven men from Col. Macomb’s 3d Artillery Band were either transferred or went directly to the 6th Infantry Band School on Governor’s Island. They were trained to play flutes, oboes, bassoons, clarinets, French horns, serpents, bass drums, and tambourines. There are also indications that a small number of men were sent from West Point to the school to learn new percussion instrument techniques which differed markedly from the rudimental drumming used for drills and parades. The first Teacher of Music for the Military Band was musician Daniel Loomis. He was one of the original eleven men transferred from the 6th Infantry Band School to West Point. Post Orders indicate his appointment occurred on 26 May 1816.

During and prior to the Civil War, musical training occurred at the “School of Practice for U.S.A. Field Musicians” at Governor’s Island, New York. The earliest reference about the school is found in a book “Ten Years in the Ranks, U.S. Army” written by a young soldier, Augustus Meyers. He wrote about his experiences at the school. The living quarters were sparse, consisting of double bunk beds with insufficient space for comfort or convenience. The beds were large sacks stuffed with straw. The meals consisted of boiled salt pork and beef, rice soup, bread, potatoes, bean soup, and coffee. The daily duties began reveille with the fife and drums performing at the official entrance to Governor’s Island. At 0800, the guard mount ceremony commenced followed by a period on uniform and equipment maintenance. School started at 0900 until 1100 followed by musical training from 1100 to 1200 and 1400 to 1600. The young drummers and fifers performed at retreat. This schedule occurred every day except Saturday when all instruction ended at 1200. In addition toboard, lodging and musical training, the boys received $7.00 a month. The School of Practice studied from “The Drummers and Fife Guide” by George G. Bruce. A board of musicians assembled by the War Department adopted this book as the official text for the school. This manual was used until the end of the Civil War. Seven years later in 1869, a board of appointed officers investigated the system of training field musicians. The board approved a method book called “Strube’s Manual”.

The closing of the bandsman training facility at Camp Lee resulted in untrained musicians entering Army bands. By 1948, entire bands were untrained and performing poorly. Post commanders complained to the Department of the Army. After studying the problem, the Department of the Army recommended schools for bandsmen be reestablished. In 1951, the Department of the Army established a 20-week basic bandsman course at the United States Navy School of Music, and an 8-week basic course at band training units located at Fort Ord, Fort Knox, Fort Jackson, Fort Leonard Wood, and Fort Dix. These 8-week courses were later increased to 16 weeks.

In January 1956, the Department of the Army closed all band training units, and the Navy School of Music assumed responsibility for all bandsman advanced individual training. Later in that same year, a bandmaster preparatory course was added to the curriculum at the School of Music providing the formal training necessary as a prerequisite to appointment as an Army bandmaster. On April 13, 1961, the Secretary of the Navy announced plans for the US Navy School of Music to be relocated to the Naval Amphibious Base at Little Creek, Norfolk, Virginia. On August 12, 1964, the doors to the Navy School of Music in Washington, D.C. were secured. The USS Cado Parish and the USS Monmouth County proceeded to the US Naval Amphibious Base loaded with musical instruments and Army and Navy personnel. Each ship had a band aboard to play honors as it passed George Washington’s tomb in Mt. Vernon, Virginia. This was the first time a US Army band performed honors on a Navy ship for the nation’s first president, George Washington. The ships landed at the Naval Amphibious Base on the morning of August 13, 1964. By joint service agreement, the facility was renamed the “School of Music” concurrent with the move. One of the highlights of the move of the School of Music was the dedication ceremony concert. Arthur Fiedler, conductor of the Boston Pops, guest-conducted the School of Music Concert Band.

International military music society

History

The International Military Music Society is an association of national branches and individual members. The goal of the society is to encourage interest in all aspects of military and wind band music, and to foster world wide communication between its members.

Origin

The decision to found a society devoted exclusively to specific musical interests was taken in 1976 by members of the Band Section of the Military Historical Society, when Mr. George Brinckley and Mr. Harry Plunkett were authorized to proceed with preliminary enquiries and arrangements. It had been decided to authenticate the new society by appointing an Honorary President, of prominence in military band circles. The present holder of the appointment is Knight 1st Class. Royal Norwegian Order of Merit Trevor J. Ford, LLCM, F.Comp. ASMC

Development

The early enrolment of members was principally from the United Kingdom and Canada followed by the inception of branches in Continental Europe, The United States and Australia. The society was at first administrated from London, but in 1985 the Netherlands Branch proposed an international governing body, having regard to 75% of the membership from the Continent or overseas. The present International Committee came into force on 1st January 1988, on the basis of one representative member from each branch.

IMMS Today

In more recent years the society has expanded further to include branches and members from all over the world. The present membership amounts around 1300 from 38 different countries.

In addition to this central IMMS web site there are also national web sites for France (www.immsfrance.fr), Italy (www.immsitalia.it), Netherlands (www.imms.nl), Poland (www.imms.pl) and United Kingdom (www.imms-uk.org.uk). All members receive the IMMS magazine, “Band International”, which is published in three editions each year. The society is at present working on several different projects such as a jubilee CD in which every member country will be represented and also a cross-reference index for all the editions of Band International since its inception. It will also be noticed that branches, which do not have their own web site, are represented with their own page in this central IMMS web site.

The tablhane (mehterhane) which is one of the symbols of the emperorship in all Islamic states has been passed to the Ottoman State by the Seljuk State. In 1299 The Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat III had sent the sancak as a symbol for the beylik together with drums, etc.

From this date on, which at the same time was accepted as the independence of the Ottoman State, until the period of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror all sultans rose while the nevbet was beaten (played) in respect to the Seljuk emperor. Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror said: “It is unnecessary to rise in respect to a sultan who has died two centuries ago.” and thus abolished the tradition of rising while the mehter was playing.

The mehterhane which for centuries had exeburated the Ottoman soldiers and instilled fear into the enemies was abolished by Mahmud II on 15 June 1826 together with the Janissaries and the other palace corps. Because the Mehterhane was important a military musical organization called Mýzýka-yý hümayun (Royal Band) was established as in Europe. However this change has only been effective in the cities and only apparently, in the rural areas and in the sacred existence and heart of the people who are the basis of the army the drum and zurna, which are the symbol of the Mehter instruments and bravity have preserved their place always and until today they have lost nothing of their identity.
In 1911 Ahmed Muhtar Pasha and Celal Esat (Arseven) founded a new band in order to enliven the mehter. On the orders of the deputy chief commanderEnver Pasha, this band was organized in 1914, took the name of mehterhane-i hakani (Imperial military band) and was united with the army of the World War I. The imperial band also served in the War of Independence and until 1935 the Mehter Band continued to play historical Turkish music at the military museum, but the then Defense Minister Zekai Apaydin abolished it on the plea that it was a relic of the imperial past and should not continue after the establishing of the Republic. It was only in 1952 that the Turkish Chief of the General Staff Nuri Yamut saw the Scottish bagpipe band and ordered to reestablish the mehter, the third time in its history. The Band was thus brought back to life per chance just by participation to the ceremonies of the 500th Anniversary of the Conquest of Istanbul on 29 May 1953. Under the orders of the Turkish Army General Staff dated 10 July 1968, nine Mehter bands were established with its original costumes. Today many counties, provinces, municipalities and army have mehter bands. One of them is the “Istanbul Historical Music Society” which was founded by the Ministry of Culture in 1992

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