Music has been a driving, inspirational factor to human beings of all walks of life for longer than anyone can remember. Early military-centric music may go as far back as a drummer boy on a boat, keeping the tempo for everyone as they rowed. Large, organized military bands have unique histories within their respective nations, and they serve to instill a sense pride and act as a source of inspiration to the both the troops and the nation that they fight for.
Joining a military band can actually provide quite a few benefits, on top of the regular benefits — both practical and abstract — that come with being in the military in the first place. Work is not always easy to find for the aspiring musician, and though life in the military is never easy, the stability is undeniable, and it also gives musicians a chance to serve their country and play music for a living full time. This is especially true for high school musicians that perhaps don’t want to spend their youth in a walled off conservatory or a cut-throat, competitive music school. Bands within the United States military often have the opportunity to deploy and entertain the troops — boosting the morale of service members on top of travelling to interesting places, not all of which are necessarily combat zones.
Still, the musicians in the military have to be at the top of their game and it is not without competition. And each country might demand different things from their military’s musicians — be it waking up early for morning colors, playing at festivals or parades, playing during specific events or even funerals or most likely all of the above. The tempo can be demanding and it takes a special type of person that can balance the art of music with the rigor and discipline of the military.
Take a look at some of the military bands around the world:
Featured image: A member of the Royal Guard music band holds a double bass after playing outside the Royal Palace in Madrid, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. | AP Photo/Francisco Seco