A Treatise on the Instrumentation of Military Bands

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The inventions and improvements in wind instruments, especially in valved wind instruments, have been carried to such a length, and reached such a point, that it will certainly not be considered out of place that an attempt should be made to give as clear an idea as possible of them, as well as of their advantageous employment in reed bands; and thus to induce both the music-playing and music-loving public to take an interest in them. Reed bands may be said to belong to the public in general. What a band of stringed instruments is in a room, a theatre, a concert-hall, etc., reed bands are in the open air. A merry-making, no matter of what description, held out of doors, appears incomplete Without a reed band; An orchestra of stringed instruments, combined with vocal solos and chorus, always has, and always will produce the most elevating impression, and is alone that which forms, improves, and perpetuates a really artistic taste for music. Reed bands, on. The contrary, permit the minds of those present to be busied with other pleasures, which they endeavour to unite with artistic enjoyment. They cannot indulge in free and original composition, even in marches, which are particularly their own, because the only half-attentive audience must and will have their attention agreeably recalled to art by some well-known song or other, from the old melodies of the people, from some opera, etc. Music for reed bands can, therefore, consist merely of arrangements of universally known and popular operas, songs, and other compositions and thus either, on the one hand, remind the audience of past artistic enjoyments, or, on the other, excite them to such enjoyments.

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