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Royal Artillery Band 


An Account of the Rise of Military Music in England 


Bombardier, Royal Artillery Band 

1 am beholden to you for your sweet music " 













Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

National Library of Scotland 


" Now, instead of going on denying that we are an 
unmusical nation, let us do our utmost to prove that we 
are a musical nation."— SIR ALEX. MACKENZIE. 

" A History of British Military Music is much needed." 
So said the Musical Times some six or seven years ago ; 
and to-day, when military music and military bands are so 
much discussed, a work of this kind appears to be urgently 
called for. 

This volume, however, makes no pretence whatever to 
supply the want, but merely claims to be a history of one of 
the famous bands in the service, that of the Royal Artillery. 
The records of this band date as far back as 1762, when it 
was formed, and I doubt if there is another band in the 
army with a continuous history for so long a period. It 
was the first regimental band to be officially recognised and 
provided for in the Army Estimates, and may therefore 
justly claim to be the pioneer band of the British Army, 
whilst its history may fairly be stated to represent the 
growth of the military band in this country. 

I desire to tender my thanks to all those who have so 
readily responded to my enquiries, several of whom I have 
acknowledged in the body of the work ; but more especially 
have I to acknowledge the services of three old members 
of the band — the late James Lawson, Esq. (bandmaster, 
R.A. Mounted Band), Joseph Smith, Esq., and W. F. Howe, 
Esq., for their untiring efforts to make these memoirs as 
complete as possible. 

To the Superintendent of the R.A, Record Office — 
R. C. W. Williams, Esq., R.A., I respectfully beg to 
acknowledge my indebtedness for his courtesy in permitting 

me to have access to the regimental records. I have also 
to thank C.-S.-Major A. W. H. Seville, R.A., of that office, 
for his kind assistance. 

Major R. H. Murdoch, late R.A. — late Superintendent of 
the R.A. Record Office ; R. J. Jackson, Esq.— Editor of the 
Kentish Independent; and W. T. Vincent, Esq. — President 
of the Woolwich Antiquarian Society, and author of the 
Records of Woolwich ; have all most kindly given me infor- 
mation, for which I beg leave to tender my most cordial 

But above all these, I have to express my deepest 
gratitude to the Editor of the Orchestral Times — James 
A. Browne, Esq., the author of England's Artillerymen, 
which work formed the nucleus of these memoirs. This 
gentleman most generously placed his services at my dis- 
posal, and not only have I had the benefit of his invaluable 
collection of notes and papers relating to artillery history 
and military music, but I feel that I can never sufficiently 
thank him for his great interest, encouragement, and 
excellent advice, to which is due in no small way any 
success which this little volume may attain. 

The four plates, showing the dress worn by the band at 
various periods, are from the pen of a talented member 
of the band — Frank Ashton, to whom I am extremely 
grateful for the great care and attention which he gave to 
ensure absolute accuracy in the matter of dress. 

In placing this work before the regiment and public 

generally, it is with the hope that they may consider the 

matter worthy of the time and labour bestowed upon it. 

With the members and ex-members of the R.A. Band who 

have so enthusiastically supported its publication, it may 

be the means of furthering that esprit de corps which has 

always been so highly maintained among them, and I trust 

that they may derive as much pleasure in reading of their 

worthy ancestors as I have done in unearthing their 


H.G. F. 

R.A. Band, Woolwich, 

June, 1904. 



INTRODUCTION— Military music from the earliest 

times to the sixteenth century . . . . 5 

CHAPTER I. — Earliest mention of music in the 
Royal Artillery, 1557, to the formation of the 
R.A. Band, 1762 . . . . . . . . 19 

CHAPTER II.— Formation of the R.A. Band, and 
its progress under the early bandmasters, 
1762-1810 .. .. .. .. .. 35 

CHAPTER III.— The band under Mr. George 

McKenzie, 1810-1845 .. .. .. 59 

CHAPTER IV.— Under Mr. William G. Collins, 

1845-1854 .. .. .. .. ' .. 83 

CHAPTER V.— Under Mr. James Smyth, 1854-1881 107 

CHAPTER VI.— Under Cavaliere L. Zavertal, 1881 

to the present time . . . . . , . . 147 

APPENDIX A.— The Establishment of the R.A. 

Band, June, 1904 .. .. .. ..173 

APPENDIX B— List of Bandmasters, R.A. Band 174 

APPENDIX C— List of Band Sergeants, R.A. Band 175 

APPENDIX D.— Short History of the Royal Horse 

Artillery Band . . . . . . 176 

APPENDIX E.— Short History of the R.A. Mounted 

Band (Woolwich) . . . . . . 181 

APPENDIX F.— Rules and Regulations for the R.A. 

Band, April, 1856 .. .. .. ..187 

List of Illustrations. 

1. Royal Artillery Band (Frontispiece) 

to face page 

2. The Great Kettledrums, Train of Artillery, 1702 26 

3. Major-General W. Phillips, Founder of the 

R.A. Band .. .. .. .. 34 

4. Mr. George McKenzie, Bandmaster, R.A. .. 59 

5. The Dress of the R.A. Band in 1830 . . . . 70 

6. Mr. William G. Collins, Bandmaster, R.A .. 83 

7. The Dress of the R.A. Band in 1847 . . . . 90 

8. Mr. James Smyth, Bandmaster, R.A. .. 107 

9. The Dress of the R.A. Band in 1856 . . . . 114 

10. The Dress of the R.A. Band in 1879 . . . . 140 

11. Cavaliere L. Zavertal, m.v.o., 2nd Lieut., R.A. 147 

12. The Duke of Cambridge decorating Cavaliere 

Zavertal in 1896 .. .. .. ..170 

13. Mr. James A. Browne, Bandmaster, R.H.A. .. 177 

14. Mr. James Lawson, Bandmaster, R.A. (Mounted 

Band) .. .. .. .. ..182 


1 What passion cannot music raise and quell." — DRYDEN. 

" Music the fiercest grief can charm, 

" And Fate's severest rage disarm." — POPE. 

y^V~\ USIC is an essential to war, and an army 

I / would as soon think of leaving its 

J gunpowder as its harmony at home. 

In all nations from the earliest times 

music has been the accompaniment of feats of 

arms, and served the two-fold purpose of inspiring 

the troops to fight, and as a means of conveying 

orders or commands. The noisiest instruments 

were naturally the best adapted for this purpose : — 

"The shrill trump, 1 the spirit-stirring drum." 

— Shakespeare. 

and with no less policy do those act who trust to 
their efficacy in the hour of battle, and use them as 
a means of exciting that passion which the most 
eloquent oration imaginable would fail to inspire. 

1 BARTHOLOMiEUS, who wrote De Proprictatibits Rermn 
about 1366, says: — 

" A trompe is properly an instrument ordeyned for men 
that fyghteth in batayle, to crye and to warne of the sygnes 
of batayle. . . Men in olde tyme usyd trompes in battayle 
to fere and affraye theyr enmyes, and to comforte theyre 
owne knyghtes and fyghtynge men. . . . For it is somtime 
blowe to arraye battaylles, and somtyme for that bataylles 
sholde smyte togyder." (Published by Stephen Batman in 

Both of these instruments are of the most 
remote antiquity. The Ethiopians attribute to 
the Egyptian god Thoth the introduction of the 
drum into their country in the first year of the 
creation of the world. But it is more probable 
that it was transmitted from the Ethiopians to the 
Egyptians, for it is historically affirmed that the 
latter originally migrated from Ethiopia. 

Some Greek historians credit the Tyrrhenians 1 
with the invention of the trumpet, to direct their 
soldiers in time of war, and to supersede lighted 
torches and shells of fishes, which were sounded 
like trumpets. But others, with greater probability, 
ascribe it to the Egyptians. Martial music had its 
place with the Egyptians, as with all nations of 
antiquity, but with them it was almost entirely 
confined to the use of trumpets and drums. 2 
These trumpets were straight, and, according to 
Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson, eighteen inches in length. 
They also used an instrument called the sistrum, 
which, according to Batman, before quoted, was 
" like a horn, used in battaile insteed of a trumpet." 

The trumpets used by the Hebrews during their 
forty years sojourn in the wilderness were doubtless 
of Egyptian origin. Moses, as the disciple of 
Egyptian priests, was intimately acquainted with 
the practice of music. He was commanded to 
make "two trumpets of silver." (Numbers x.) 
These trumpets, called by the Jews chatzozeroh, 
are the only Jewish instruments of which any 

1 Virgil calls it the Tyrrhenian trumpet. 

2 History of Music. — Naumann. 

authentic representation exists. They appear in 
the celebrated bas-relief on the Arch of Titus at 
Rome. A portion of the mosaic ordinances is 
devoted to the use of these trumpets. The tribes 
were gathered together by the blowing of trumpets, 
and in the 9th verse of Numbers x. we find : — 

" And if ye go to war in your land against 
the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall 
blow an alarm with the trumpets." 

Josephus says that they were a little less than 
a cubit in length, but, from the representation, 
they would appear to have been longer. The horn 
(shopJiar and keren) was also a warlike instrument 
with them ; for Josephus says that the soldiers of 
Gideon used it. 

Music was held in the highest estimation among 
the Greeks during the whole period of their history. 
The trumpet was not in use with them during the 
Trojan war, although it was quite common in the 
time of Homer. 1 The celebrated Athenian general, 
Tyrtasus, who lived six centuries before Christ, was 
an excellent performer upon the trumpet, and it 
was he who first induced the Spartans to employ it 
as a military instrument, during the wars with the 
Messenians. It seems that the most important 
martial instruments of the Greeks were the 

1 Sir James Turner (Pallas Armata) explains how the 
Greeks got the trumpet. He says they learned the use 
of it from the Tyrrhenians, and they, having their name 
and origin from the Tirians, had their trumpats also from 
them. The Tirians being neighbours of the Jews, learned 
many things from them, and probably the trumpet. Thus 
we see how the trumpet was transmitted from Egypt into 



straight trumpet — salphinx, the small trumpet with 
a curvature towards the bell, and the horn — keras. 
Every company of infantry had a trumpeter ; and 
in the cavalry also, although not mentioned by 
iElian, there appears to have been a trumpeter, 
or horn-player. 

The Romans had, no doubt, a national music 
peculiar to themselves, but music as an art they 
borrowed, as they did every other artistic adjunct 
of their national life, from the Greeks. The 
Romans were a race of fighting men, and regarded 
military music more seriously than any other 
branch of the art. It was King Servius Tullius 
who introduced into the Roman army trumpets 
and horns of metal, in the year 570 b.c. In later 
years, however, we find quite a host of martial 
instruments, the most important of which were 
the straight trumpet — tuba 1 ; the huge curved 
trumpet — buccina ; the small trumpet — lituus ; 
and the horn — cornu. 2 The performers on these 
instruments were called .^neatores. Every troop 
of horse, and every maniple, if not every century 
of foot, had either a trumpet or horn, or both. 8 

The tuba was employed for signals of every 
description in war, and Vegetius says that the 
signal for the advance and retire was sounded 
upon it, as was also the fanfare at the sacrifice 
celebrated in the presence of the army. The 

1 The tuba is usually designated as being about 39 inches 
long. There are several specimens in the British Museum. 

2 The cornu in the British Museum measures 4 feet 
6 inches in length. 

3 Pallas Armata— Turner, 1683. 

guards and sentries were posted to the sound of 
the tuba, and relieved by the sounding of the cornn. 
The signal for the starting of the army was given 
on this instrument, and probably a marching tune 
was played on it ; cornicines at least walk in front 
of the marching army 1 on the Column of Antonius 
and the Arch of Constantine. 2 The purpose of the 
buccina, which was an enormous instrument, the 
tube measuring fully eleven feet in length, was to 
direct the movements of troops detached from 
camp. 3 The lituus probably served the same 
purpose as the tuba, the former being allotted to 
the cavalry, and the latter to the infantry. 4 

But there can be no doubt that our pagan 
forefathers used neither trumpet nor bugle when 
preparing for the fray, but the more uncouth 
buffalo horn. Caesar himself writes that the 
aboriginal inhabitants of our island, the Ancient 
Britons, were passionately fond of music, both 
instrumental and vocal. Their music, like their 
national character, was sensitive, impetuous, ardent, 
and at times imbued with a wild melancholy and 
deep pathos. It is said to have been so extremely 

1 Marechal de Saxc in his Reveries gives as one reason 
the Romans were generally victorious that they were made 
to march in time. " This is the perfect secret, the military 
step of the Romans. It is the reason of the institution of 
marches and the beating of the drum." 

2 Life of the Greeks and Romans. — Guhl & Koner, 1877. 

3 History of Music.— Naumann. 

4 This does not seem to have always been the rule. 
Ovid mentions that the infantry of the Sabines and Romans 
used the lituus, and we find that the cavalry used both the 
tuba and buccina. — Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. 
— W. Smith, 1891. 


affecting that sometimes when two armies were 
standing in the order of battle, and on the point 
of engaging in the most furious combat, the bards 
would step between them and by their soft, 
fascinating strains, calm the fury of the warriors, 
and so prevent bloodshed. 1 

The Ancient Britons were in the habit of using 
horns to increase the din of battle. We are told 
that they began their attacks with taunting songs 
and deafening howls, accompanied by the blowing 
of horns, with which each warrior was provided. 
Several instruments of the horn species have been 
discovered in Ireland, a country rich in Celtic 
antiquities, and are considered by many writers to 
be Celtic, although several have assigned them to 
the Danes. 2 There is a record of ten or twelve 
being discovered in the bogs of County Cork. 
Several specimens are preserved at the Royal Irish 
Academy at Dublin, and are of considerable size, 
having the embouchere at the side, like an Ashantee 

The horn was also a martial instrument with the 
Saxons. There is a drawing in the manuscript of 
Prudentius, which seems to represent a sort of 
military dance or sham combat. There are two 
men, equipped in martial habits, armed with sword 
and shield, engaged in combat to the music of the 
horn. 3 

The reference to the war-horn in the poem 

1 History of Music— Stafford, 1838. 

2 Irish Antiquities.— ■ Wakem an, 1847. 
8 Sport ami Pastimes.— Strutt, 1833. 


Beowulf is sufficient evidence that it was a martial 
instrument with them in the fifth century : — 

"They away hurried bitter and angry 
The instant they heard the war-horn sing." 

It is mentioned also in later Anglo-Saxon 
glossaries, so that we may come to the conclusion 
that although Tacitus tells us that they marched to 
battle to the sound of their own voices, yet they' 
were collected in the first instance by the sound of 
the horn. 1 

" Besides the horn," says Strutt, 2 " they had a 
long trumpet," which, in the manuscript given by 
him, is slightly curved and of great size, being fully 
five feet in length. On the side of the manuscript 
is inscribed : — 

" When the trumpet ceases to sound, the 
sword is returned to the scabbard." 

With the Danes, also, " the call to arms was by 
the sound of the trumpet, or horn." 

In the History of Charles and Grymer, Swedish 
Kings, Harec, hearing of his son's death, cries 
out: — 

" Let the bugle-horn sound to arms, I will 
go and ravage Sweden." 

In the same history we find : " All instantly fly to 
arms, and everyone prepares himself for battle ; 
the trumpet sounds, and each warrior is accoutred." 
Several trumpets have been found in Britain, and 

1 Older England, — Hodgetts, 1884. 

2 Manners, Customs, etc., of England. — Strutt, 1775. 


are generally supposed to have been Danish. 1 
The science of music suffered nothing in England 
from the Norman invasion. Their martial music 
was much upon the same plan as that of the 
Saxons. 2 When William the Conqueror sailed 
from the Dive for the shores of England, we are 
told that his ships " resounded with music ; the 
pipe, the zittern, the drums, the cymbals, all were 
heard, and the voice of the trumpet sounded 
proudly over all." 8 His army was accompanied by 
minstrels, one of whom, named Taillefer, having 
obtained leave to begin the onset, advanced at the 
head of the army, singing with a loud voice the 
songs which immortalised the valour of Roland and 
Charlemagne, and as he sang he performed feats 
with his sword. The Normans repeated the burden 
of the song, with shouts of " Dieu Aide !" Taillefer 
was killed in the struggle. In the several poetical 
narratives of the battle of Hastings there is frequent 
mention of trumpets and horns : — 

" Dez fci li dous ost s'entrcvirent." 
" Grant noise e grant temulte flrent." 
"iVIult oissiez graisles soner." 
" E boisines e cors corner." 

—Roman de Rou. 

Military music did not assume any definite shape 
until the time of the Crusades. The returning 
Crusaders brought with them many new customs 

1 Military Antiquities — Grose, 1801— in which there is 
an engraving of a Danish trumpet, over five feet in length. 

2 Manners, Customs, etc., of England. — Strutt, 1775. 

3 History of the Norman Conquest. — Freeman, 1869. 


from the East, and they are credited with the 
introduction of drums and kettledrums into our 
armies. 1 These instruments are frequently men- 
tioned in the accounts of the Crusades. The side 
drum 2 (labour*) is introduced into the romance of 
Richard Coeur de Lion 4 : — 

"Tambours beten and trumpes blovve." 

The kettledrums (nakeres*) occur in the Memoirs 
of St. Louis (Joinville), where we are told that the 
tumult and noise made by the Saracens with their 
horns and nacaires was frightful to hear, and 
seemed very strange to the French. 

In the Saracen armies, trumpets and drums were 
used to indicate a rallying point ; for although at 
ordinary times the standards sufficed to show men 
the places of their leaders, yet in the dust of battle 
these were often hidden from sight ; and it was 
therefore the rule to gather the minstrels around 
the standards, and bid them blow and beat 
strenuously and unceasingly during the action. 
The silence of the band was taken as a proof that 
a battalion had been broken, and that the colours 
were in danger ; and the fashion lasted so long 
that even in the seventeenth century the bandsmen 
in all battle pictures are depicted, drawn up at a 
safe distance, energetically playing. 6 

1 History of Music. — Naumann. 

2 Drum, from the Erse, Drumme. 

3 Tabour (English), Tambour (French). 

4 History of English Poetry. — Warton, 1824. 

3 Nakcres (English), nacaires (French), nacchera (Italian), 
from the nagarah of the Arabs and Moors. 

6 History of the British Army. — Fortescue, 1899. 


For the next two hundred years at least the 
instrument used for signalling appears to have been 
the trumpet alone, 1 although so far as can be 
gathered it sounded no distinct calls, but was 
dependent for its significance on orders previously 
issued. (The signals for the horn in the chase 
were, however, numerous.) Froissart informs us 
that orders were made known by the trumpet : — 
'• Au premier son de sa trompette ou s'appareillat, 
au second on s'armat, et aut tiers son montat a 
cheval et partit." 

After the Norman Conquest the itinerant pro- 
fessors of music became known as minstrels. The 
king and nobility had their minstrels, who held 
important ranks in the court of the Norman 
monarchs. When they took command of their 
armies in the field of war, they were accompanied 
by their minstrels, both for signalling and for 
enlivening the dreariness of the camp or march. 2 
In the public expenditures made in the fifth year 
of Edward I. (1276) there is payment to one 
named Robert, styled " King of the Minstrels," 
being chief of them apparently for military service 3 ; 

1 Dictionary of Music and Musicians. — Grove. 

It is in Italy that the side drum seems first to have been 
used for this purpose. Macchiavelli, in his Art of War 
(1521) clearly states that the drum commands all things in 
a battle, proclaiming the commands of the officer to his 
troops. It was from Italy that in all probability the earliest 
musical signals came : spread over Europe by mercenaries, 
they were modified and altered by the different troops 
which adopted them : but the names given to the different 
sounds long retained evidence of their Italian origin. 

2 Military Music — Kappey. 

3 History of the British Army. — Scott, 1868. 


and in 1293 there is a payment to Randolph, the 
King's Trumpeter, who had also been trumpeter to 
Henry III. In the fourth year of Edward II. (1310) 
there is a charge for Janino la Chevretter (bagpiper), 
Roger the Trumpeter, and Janino le Nakerer 
(kettledrum mer), all of them King's Minstrels, 
who received sixty shillings from the king. The 
court minstrels of Edward III. consisted of: 5 
trompetters, 2 clarions, 1 5 pypers, 3 wayghtes, 2 and 
four others, 3 who held fine positions, each being 
paid 7^d. daily, " by letters patent," to be received 
at the exchequer during his life ; besides other 
rewards, such as in 1359, when forty pounds were 
given to the king's herald and his companions the 
minstrels for attending the tournament at Smith- 
field. 4 

There is a ballad (Harleian MS.) made on the 
victory of Edward III. over the Scots at Hallidon 
Hill (1333) :— 

"This was do with merry sowne 

With pipes, Trompes and Tabers therto 
And loude clarionnes thci blew also." 

and in the prose account to be found in the same 

manuscript : — 

" Then the Engliche mynstrcllcs bcten ther 
tabers, and blcwen their Trompes, and pipers 
pipedene loude and made a grcte schowte upon 
the Skottes." 

1 Clarion — a small trumpet. 

2 Wayglits or Waits — an ancient wooden instrument 
played with a double reed ; the precursor of the oboe. 

3 History of Music. — Hawkins, 1776. 

4 Issue Roll of Thomas de Brantiugham. — a.d. 1370. 


Froissart describes how, in the year 1347, when 
Edward III. and his queen made their triumphal 
entry into Calais, they were greeted with a grand 
military concert of " trompes, de tambours, de 
nacaires, de chalemies 1 et de muses." That these 
were instruments of martial music there can be 
no doubt, for Chaucer, in his description of the 
tournament in the Knight's Tale, says : — 

" Pipes, trompes, nakeres, and clariounes 
That in the bataille blowen blody sounes." 

He also informs us that the archer of this period 
was furnished with a horn : — 

"An horn he bare, his baudrik was of grene." 

Among the court minstrels of the good King 
" Hal " we find one named John Cliff and seventeen 
others, ten of whom were clarion players, and were 
paid twelvepence each per diem. They accompanied 
the king on his expedition to Harfleur in 1415, 
and served at Guienne and elsewhere. 

This John Cliff was one of the court minstrels 
with Henry VI. when he and others were empowered 
to impress minstrels into the king's service. 2 

One of this name also appears among the 
thirteen minstrels of Edward IV. (1470), " whereof 
some be trompets, some with the shalmes and 
small pypes." 3 They were paid and clothed by the 
king, besides other rewards from the exchequer ; 

1 Chalemie or chalemeau (French), shalm or shawm 
(English), was the precursor of the clarionet. 

2 Rymer's Fcedera. 

3 History of Music— Hawkins. 


and received nightly " four gallons of ale," together 
with fuel, light and lodging for themselves and their 
horses. Two servants were also allowed them " to 
bear their trompets, pypes and other instruments." 

As they served on horseback, the custom arose 
of looking upon trumpet music as being specially 
appropriate for the cavalry service, 1 whilst in the 
" bands " of foot the tabour, or side drum, was 
used, and frequently in conjunction with the 
bagpipe. 2 The latter was a decided favourite in 
England, being used on all public occasions, and 
very popular with troops raised in Ireland and in 
the north. 3 

There exists a curious and most remarkable piece 
of music, by William Byrd, composed somewhere 
about the end of the sixteenth century, entitled 
The Battell, in which is to be found " The 
Souldiers' Summons," " The Martch of Ffoote," 
"The Martch of Horse," "The Irish Martch," 
" The Trumpetts," " The Bagpipe and the Drum," 
etc. They are most probably old and familiar 

1 The trumpet retained its original straight form until 
the sixteenth century, which is proved by a picture that 
hangs in Windsor Castle representing the interview between 
Henry VIII. and Francis I. in 1520. The credit of having 
bent the tube of the trumpet is usually claimed for a 
Frenchman named Maurin (1498-1515), but the transforma- 
tion really took place in Italy about the middle of the 
thirteenth century. 

2 Bartholomaeus, who wrote about 1366, says that the 
tympanum " maketh better melody yf there is a pype 

3 The bagpipe is mentioned by Procopius as an instru- 
ment of war with the Roman infantry. 


During the reign of Henry VIII. the fife appears 
as a martial instrument in England, and in time 
became so popular as to almost oust the bagpipe 
from its position as an accompaniment to the drum. 
Grose, in his Military Antiquities (1801), says that 
the fife is a German invention introduced into 
military music by the Swiss. 1 In an " Ordonnance " 
of Francis I. of France, in 1534,. each band of 
1,000 men, was to have four tabourins and two fifes 
(Memoirs de Du Bellay), and therefore, according to 
precedent, we may infer that it was introduced 
shortly afterwards into the British service. We 
find it first in the muster of the citizens of London 
in 1539, when " droumes " and " ffyffers " are 

Henry VIII. evidently took some interest in this 
class of music, for it is recorded that he sent all the 
way to Vienna to procure kettledrums that could 
be played on horseback "after the Hungarian (that 
is to say the hussars) manner," together with men 
that could make and play them skilfully. Ten good 
drums and as many fifers were ordered at the same 

The employment of fifes in our armies was the 
first step towards the formation of the miltary 

1 Mersenne (Harmonie Universelle — 1639) calls it tibia 
helvetica, and says it is the same species as the flute, but 
proportionately less in every respect, wherefore it sounds 
more acutely and vehemently, which it ought to do, lest the 
sound of it should be drowned by that of the drum. 



" Nothing is more apt, than music to raise man to great 
deeds, and chiefly to inspire him with the degree of courage 
necessary to brave the dangers of war."— PLUTARCH 

" The sound of trumpet and of drum, 
That makes the warrior's stomach come ; 
Whose noise whets valour sharp, like beer 
By thunder turned to vinegar ; 
(For if you hear a trumpet sound or drum beat 
Who has not a month's mind to combat ?)" 


'^>- H E earliest mention of " music " or 
(Gj "musician" in the Royal • Artillery is 
given in the list of the army despatched 
to St, Quentin, 1557, where a " drumme " and 
" phife " are employed at one shilling each per 
diem, for the " Trayne of Artillery." 

These drum and fife bands were but poor affairs 
of a very dull kind. The manipulation of the fife 
was very rudimentary, and the side drums, instead 
of being short, having a bright and powerful tone, 
which is greatly increased by the addition of snares 
over the lower head, were twice as long as the 
modern ones, had no snares, 1 and the shell was 
made of wood. 

1 So says Kappey {Military Music). But in the work of 
Michael Pretorius (Syntagma Musicum — 1619) the side drum 
is distinctly shown with snares. 


There are rules laid down for drummers and 
fifers of this period by one Ralph Smith : — " All 
capitaines must have drommes and ffifes and men 
to use the same, whoe shall be faithfull, secrette, 
and ingenious, of able personage to use their 
instruments and office, of sundrie languages ; for 
oftentimes they bee sent to parley with their 
enemies, to sommon theire efforts and dyverse other 
messages, which of necessitie requireth language. 
If such drommes and ffifes should fortune to fall 
into the hands of the enemies, noe guifte nor 
force should cause them to disclose any secrettes 
that they knowe. They must ofte practice theire 
instruments, teach the companye the soundes of 
the marche, allarum, approache, assaulte, battaile, 
retreate, skirmishe, or any other callinge that of 
necessitie should be knowen. They must be 
obediente to the commandemente of theire captaine 
and ensigne, when as they shall command them 
to comme, goe, or stande, or sounde theire retreate 
or callinge." 

For all these requirements and accomplishments 
they received the munificent reward of one shilling 
per diem, which was fourpence more than the 
common soldier received. Indeed, if they did a 
tithe of that which was expected of them, they 
were worth every penny of it. Trumpeters of 
horse were required to know six calls : " Saddle !" 
"Mount!" "Mess!" "March!" "Alarm!" and 
"Charge!" 1 

1 History of the British Army — Fortescue, 1899. 


In the train of artillery raised in 1620, for the 
recovery of the Palatinate, a trumpeter and 
drummer are employed at two shillings and one 
shilling per diem respectively. But in the " train " 
commissioned in 1639 for service in Scotland they 
are omitted, although other branches had them. 
Trumpeters of " horse " two shillings and sixpence 
per diem, and drummers of " foot " one shilling per 
diem. However, the artillery train of 1685 has a 
drummer at one shilling, and three years later two 
are allowed at one shilling and sixpence per diem. 

Trumpeters and drummers were furnished for the 
army by the Sergeant-Trumpeter and the Drum- 
Major-General 1 of the Royal Household, whose 
duty it was to impress musicians for the service.' 2 
They also granted licences to other than King's 
troops wishing to sound a trumpet or beat a drum. 
Impressing musicians seems to have been anything 
but a pleasant duty ; for we find that in the year 
1637, the Sergeant-Trumpeter appointed Cuthbert 
Collins, a " Trumpeter in Ordinary," to impress 
one John Digges, when the latter challenged him 
to fight and otherwise abused him. 

All this was many years before the " Royal 
Regiment of Artillery" was established; and in 
these pre-regimental days the Master-General of 
Ordnance was responsible for the raising of the 
trains of artillery, of which he was ex-officio colonel- 

1 These offices first appear in the reign of Edward VI., 
when Benedict Browne was Sergeant-Trumpeter, and 
Robert Bruer was " Master Drummer." 

2 In 1679, there is a payment of five pounds twelve 
shillings made to Drum-Major-General Mawgridge, for 
impressing sixteen drummers for the Coldstream Guards. 


in-chief. Not only did he control this depart- 
ment, but he directed the Board of Ordnance, 
which included everything pertaining to ordnance 
and military stores. When the Master-General 
took to the field in time of war, we find among 
his staff or retinue, a trumpeter and kettledrummer. 
The kettledrums were mounted on a chariot drawn 
by six white horses. 1 They appear in the field for 
the first time during the Irish Rebellion of 1689, 
and the estimates for ordnance, &c, includes " large 
kettledrums mounted on a carriage with cloaths 
marked I.R. (Jacobus Rex), and cost £158 9s." 2 

The kettledrummer, whose name was John Bur- 
nett, held a fine position, being paid four shillings per 
diem, and his uniform cost fifty pounds. Even the 
driver of the kettledrums received three shillings per 
diem, and could not be clothed under fifteen pounds, 
while a gunner's suit was valued at five pounds 
six shillings and fourpence. These kettledrums 
were peculiar only to the artillery. The cavalry 
kettledrums, although mentioned in the reign of 
Henry VIII., were not universally acknowledged 
until James II. came to the throne. Sir James 
Turner, who wrote Pallas Armata (1683), speaks 
of them as being quite a novelty : — " There is," 
he says, " another martial instrument used with the 
cavalry, which they call the kettledrum ; there be 
two of them, which hang before the drummer's 
saddle, on both which he beats. They are not 
ordinary ; princes, dukes and earls may have them 

1 History of the R.A.— Duncan. 

2 Artillery Regimental History. — Miller. 


with the troops which ordinarily are called life 
guards. So may generals and lieutenant-generals, 
though they be not noblemen. The Germans, 
Danes and Swedes permit none under a baron to 
have them unless they are taken in battle from an 
enemy." 1 

Manesson Mallet says : — " The timbal player 
should be a man of heart, preferring rather to 
perish in the combat than to allow himself to be 
taken with his drums. He should have a pleasing 
motion of the arm, an accurate ear, and take 
delight in diverting his master by agreeable airs 
in deeds of mirth." 2 

It has already been shown how the fife came 
into such favour, as to entirely supersede the 
bagpipe, except perhaps in the north, where it 
continues a favourite to the present day. Sir 
James Turner (1683) says : — " In some places a 
Piper is allowed to each company : the Germans 
have him, and I look upon their Pipe as a Warlike 

1 A similar rule was observed in England. At the 
Restoration, no regiment of horse was permitted to use 
kettledrums. The only regiment that had them was the 
Life Guards. However, on the accession of James II., 
every regiment of horse was furnished with them. At the 
latter part of the eighteenth century there were only two 
regiments in the service, besides the Life Guards and Horse 
Guards, who were allowed to employ them : the Royal 
Irish Dragoons and the King's Dragoons (3rd Hussars), by 
virtue of having captured them from an enemy ; the former 
at Hockstedt, 1704, and the latter at Dettingen, 1743. 
Why these regiments should have been specially favoured 
is not quite clear, for similar trophies were in the possession 
of other regiments. The 3rd Dragoon Guards captured 
the drums of the Bavarian Guards at Ramilies, 1706, and 
the 7th Dragoon Guards captured a pair from the French 
at Dettingen, 1743. 

2 Paris, 1683. 



Instrument. The Bagpipe is good enough musick 
for them who love it, but sure it is not so good as 
the Almain whistle [fife]. With us any Captain 
may keep a piper in his company and maintain 
him too, for no pay is allowed him, perhaps just 
as much as he deserveth." 

Even the fife did not receive universal accep- 
tance. Francis Markham, in his Five Decades of 
Epistles of Warre (1622), seems to have been 
somewhat opposed to its use, for in action the 
soldier was likely to have his attention diverted 
from the drum signals by the music of the fifes. 
He says : — " It is to the voice of the Drum the 
Souldier should wholly attend, and not to the aire 
of a whistle." Shakespeare, whose eye and ear 
escaped nothing, refers to the " ear-piercing fife," 
and in the Merchant of Venice he has a word for 
" the vile squealing of the wry-neck'd fife." 

In turn, the fife suffered the same fate as the 
bagpipe ; perhaps even worse, for it appears for 
a time to have been banished altogether from our 
service. It appears for the last time in the 
Coronation Procession of James II. In Sandford's 
picture of that event, a fifer is shown (having a 
banner attached to his fife) dressed in the king's 
livery, marching in front of the four drummers of 
the Guards, 1 dressed in a like manner. 

The instrument that in all probability caused the 
abandonment of the fife was the hautboy. It is 
said by Mersenne, a learned French philosopher, 

1 In the Souldier 's Accidence (1643) it says : — " The phipher 
(if there be more than one) the eldest, shall march with the 
eldest drumme." 


who was the author of Harmonie Universelle (1636), 
to be a French invention, and shown by him in 
three forms — the treble, tenor, and bass. In France 
it was customary to attach two hautbois and two 
drums to each company. 1 We notice it first in our 
service in 1678, in which year the Horse Grenadier 
Guards were raised, each troop employing two 

One of the last acts performed by Charles II. con- 
cerning the army is a warrant dated January 3rd, 
1684-5, authorising the entertainment of twelve 
hautbois in the companies of the King's Regiment 
of Foot Guards in London, and that a fictitious 
name should be borne on the strength of each of 
the other companies of the regiment quartered in 
the country, with a view to granting these musicians 
a higher rate of pay. 2 The introduction of the 
hautboy was a further advance towards the military 
band. That they played in parts is evident from 
the " music of the Grenadier Company " of the 
Honourable Artillery Company, which in 1731 
consisted of " one curtail, three hautbois, and no 
more." So popular did the instrument become 

1 Charles II. of England copied many of his court 
manners and customs from the French. He introduced 
a court band of " 24 violins," after the manner of the 
French king's " Vingt-quarte Violons du Roi." So that it 
is quite likely that the introduction of the hautboy into our 
army came also from the French. The French word 
" bande " was applied to the " Violons du Roi " of Louis XIV., 
so we may infer that Charles borrowed the term " bande " 
when he introduced his " Violins." The word first appears 
in a MS. order in the Lord Chamberlain's Warrant Books 
for 1661. The old English word for a combination of 
musical instruments in performance, was " noise." 

2 History of the Grenadier Guards.— Hamilton 1874. 


that it was generally adopted by regiments of 
dragoons and foot. 1 

Strange to say, it never found its way into the 
" Trains of Artillery." They still continued to 
employ the " Great Kettledrums " which accom- 
panied the Duke of Marlborough to Holland in 
1702, and formed a conspicuous feature at his 
funeral. A model of these drums and their carriage 
is preserved in the Rotunda Museum at Woolwich, 
and the silk and gold embossed bannerols are to 
be seen in the hall of the Ordnance Office, Royal 

On the 26th May, 1716, the " Royal Regiment of 
Artillery " was formed ; when two companies were 
permanently established at Woolwich. No drum- 
mers or other musicians are shown upon the 
establishment, although they appear in the " train " 
of 1715, and the Vigo expedition of 1719. But in 
1720, His Majesty George I. was pleased to 
authorise an alteration in the establishment of the 
two companies, and we find two drummers at one 
shilling each per diem attached to each company. 2 

1 " The dragoons long had the Haubois and side drum," 
says Grose (Mil. Antiq., 1801), " but about the year 1759 
changed them for the trumpet." Gnose is evidently mis- 
taken on this point. It was in 1764 that His Majesty 
George III. thought proper to forbid the use of brass side 
drums in the light cavalry. Lieut. -Col. Dalrymple, of the 
King's Own Dragoons, wrote an essay on the merits of both 
instruments, and it is not improbable that this assisted in 
its abolition (Story of the 17th Lancers— Parry). It was not 
dispensed with at once, for we find that both the 3rd 
Dragoon Guards (Cannon's Records) and the 3rd Light 
Dragoons (Records of the 3rd Light Dragoons — Kauntze) 
did not adopt trumpets until 1766. The hautbois continued 
in favour some little time afterwards, and was retained in 
the Guards longer than any other corps. 

2 Early History of the R.A, — Cleaveland. 


The first drummer enlisted was Joseph Brome, 
aged eight years, 1 who, however, first appears upon 
the pay lists of 1721. These drummers were 
clothed in scarlet, a privilege extended to Royal 
regiments only. 2 

Joseph Brome died in 1796 a lieutenant-general, 
and had been three times Commandant of Woolwich 
garrison. There is an anecdote related of him 
in Browne's England's Artillerymen: — "On one 
occasion, while he was Commandant, he was 
entering the Warren (now the Royal Arsenal) when 
the guard turned out, presented arms, and the 
drummer beat two ruffles ; little Brome ran up in 
great displeasure to the drummer, and upbraiding 
him for his inefficiency in the art of drumming, 
snatched the drum away, passed the suspending 
belt over his own neck, 8 and began to rattle away 
in a very superior style. Finishing with the two 
ruffles, he exclaimed : ' There, you young dog, 
that's the way I used to beat the drum when I was 
a drummer.' " 

The kettledrummer continued to be borne on the 
staff of the regiment, 4 and accompanied the " train" 
in the Vigo expedition of 1719. These kettledrums 
appear in the field for the last time during the 
Flanders campaign, which terminated in 1748. 5 On 

1 This is not, however, an early age for the R.A. Most 
probably the youngest soldier to be borne on the pay lists 
of the regiment was Joseph Elliot, who was enlisted in 
1804, when only four years old. 

2 The Brome Family. — Murdoch. 

8 In the old days, drummers wore the drum sling round 
their necks, not over their shoulder as to-day. 
4 History of the R.A.— Duncan, 1872. 
6 Artillery Regimental History. — Miller. 


this occasion they were mounted on a triumphal 
car, finely ornamented and gilt, and drawn by six 
white horses. 1 On the fore part of the car was 
carried the Ordnance flag. 2 The position of the 
kettledrums on the march was in front of the flag- 
gun, and behind the Artillery front-guard 8 ; when in 
camp they were placed in front of the quarters of 
the Duke of Cumberland, and the Artillery guns 
parked round them. 4 A regimental order of the 
19th June, 1747, Herenthout, directs the kettle- 
drummer " to mount the kettledrum carriage every 
night half an hour before the sun sett, and beat till 
gun fireing." 

The kettledrums appear on the establishment as 
late as 1756, when Cotterel Barret was kettle- 
drummer at three shillings per diem, but in 1759 
the Artillery was divided into independent brigades 
or batteries ; and as it now ceased to march in one 
column, as has formerly been the case, the kettle- 
drums were abolished. 5 The drums and their 
carriage were deposited in the Tower of London, 6 
and in Brayley and Britton's History of the Tower 
are mentioned as being on the ground floor of the 

1 Memoirs of the R. A, — Macbean. 

2 British Military Journal, 1798. 

3 Artillery Regimental History. — Miller. 

4 England's Artillery. — Browne, 1865. 

6 Early History of the R .A . — Cleaveland. 

6 At this time there was also a pair of kettledrums 
preserved in the Tower which, according to Dr. Burney, 
had been captured at Malplaquet, 1709. These " Tower 
Drums " were in frequent request by Handel for his 
Oratorios, and there are documents signed by him acknow- 
ledging the loan of these drums from the Master-General 
of Ordnance. 


small armoury, but they were probably destroyed 
in the fire of 1841. 

Among other customs brought from Flanders was 
that of employing fifers as well as drummers : — 
" The first fifers in the British service," says 
Colonel Macbean (Memoirs of the Royal Artillery, 
1743-79), "were established in the Royal Regiment 
of Artillery at the end of the war, being taught by 
John Ulrich, 1 a Hanoverian flfer brought from 
Flanders by Colonel Belford when the Allied Army 

A claim of priority in this little particular has 
been set up for the Guards, by Grose in his Military 
Antiquities (1801), who says that the fife was 
restored to the army by the Duke of Cumberland, 
who re-introduced it into the Guards about 1745. 
There is no mention of the fife, however, in 
Cumberland's general orders, which are printed in 
Sime's Military Guide (1772), although the drum is 
frequently mentioned ; neither do any fifers appear 
on the establishment of the Grenadier Guards 2 
until 1757, nor in the Coldstream Guards 3 until 
1758. There is, however, an interesting engraving 
by William Hogarth, representing " The March of 
the Guards towards Scotland in the year 1745," in 
which a drummer and fifer are depicted. It was 
painted and published in December, 1750. Grose 
goes on to say that the fife was not, however, 
adopted by the marching regiments till the year 

1 He subsequently became 6fe-major, and was discharged 
in 1766. 

2 History of the Grenadier Guards. — Hamilton, 1874. 

3 History of the Coldstream Guards.— MacKinnon, 1833. 


1747: — "The first regiment that had it was the 
19th, then called the Green Howards, in which 
I had the honour to serve, and well remember a 
Hanoverian youth, an excellent fifer, 1 being given 
by his colonel to Lieutenant- Colonel Williams, 
then commanding that regiment at Bois-le-Duc, 
in Dutch Flanders." 

With respect to this assertion, we cannot dis- 
credit it ; but it is remarkable that Grose makes no 
reference to the claim of the Royal Artillery, a 
fact that must have been patent to his personal 
knowledge. Sir George Grove, in his great work, 
A Dictionary of Music and Musicians, gives the 
Royal Artillery the credit of the introduction of the 
fife. Another work of authority 2 says that it was 
introduced at the siege of Maestricht in 1747. 
Cannon, in his Records of the 19th Foot, shies at the 
subject by merely adding a foot-note : — " In the 
year 1747, fifes were introduced into the regiments 
of infantry." 

The historians of the Royal Artillery make no 
mention of Grose in this matter, except the author 
of England's Artillerymen, who maintains that: — 
" The use of fifes was revived by the Duke of 
Cumberland 3 at the termination of the war in 

1 Note that he speaks of a fifer, whereas Macbean refers 
to fifers. 

2 Lloyd's Encyclopedic Dictionary , 1895. 

8 On this point an extract from Nollekens and his Times, 
by J. I. Smith (1828), may prove interesting: — "One 
morning, when a fifer and drummer were rovv-de-dowing 
to a newly-married couple at the ' Sun and Horseshoe,' at 
the opposite house to Nollekens, Mrs. Nollekens observed 
that her father, Mr. Welch, used to say that fifing boys 
were first introduced by the Duke of Cumberland." 


Flanders in 1747, the Royal Artillery being the first 
regiment to which they were attached. The Guards 
adopted the use of fifes soon after the Artillery ; 
the first marching regiment to use them was the 

There had been a Drum-Major 1 borne on the 
establishment of the Cadet Company, R.A., since 
1744. 2 The first to hold this office was (I believe) 
John Hollingshead, who served in that capacity 
with the regiment in Flanders until 1747, when he 
was recalled by the following 3 : — 

"Woolwich, 16th June, 1747. 
" To Colonel Belford : 

" All our Drummers being at present boys, and 
three of them lately Enterred, 4 the General 
desires that you will order the Drum Major to 
England, as we have nobody here [who] can 
instruct them to beat." 

In the following year (1748) a Fife-Major was 
added to the regiment. The duties of the Drum- 
Major and Fife-Major were not only to teach their 
respective instruments, but it was also part of their 

1 Drum-Majors were admitted into our service during 
the latter part of the reign of Charles I. (Grose). Sir James 
Turner (Pallas Armata, 1683) denies altogether their exis- 
tence : — " There is," he says, " another inconsiderable staff 
officer in most armies, yet necessary enough in all regiments 
of Foot, and that is the Drummer-Major, the French call 
him Colonel-Drummer. In some places he gets a third 
more pay than other drummers, but here at home we 
acknowledge no such creature." Notwithstanding this, the 
Drum-Major is mentioned by Ward (Animadversions of 
Warre, 1639) and by Venn (Military and Maritime Discipline), 
and his duties defined. I find one on the strength of the 
Royal Scots in 1639, and in the Coldstream Guards in 1650. 

a Records of the R.M. Academy. —Jones, 1851. 

3 Letter Books, R.A. Record Office. 

4 Enterred — enlisted. 


office to inflict corporal punishment upon offenders 
sentenced to such. 1 

Up to the time of William III. corporal punish- 
ments were executed by the Provost- Marshal and 
his deputies, after that they were carried into effect 
by the Drum-Major and his drummers. 2 

By this time the Artillery fifers had progressed 
favourably, and were soon employed to march at 
the head of the regiment. 3 At a review, held by 
the King in Green Park on the 13th June, 1753, 
the Artillery was headed by a Drum-Major, ten 
drummers, one Fife-Major, and five fifers. 

These drum and fife bands were common to all 
regiments of " Foot," 4 whilst cavalry regiments 
had their trumpeter-bands, and these were kept 
strictly upon the lines of past centuries. 

The hautboy was still a favourite with the cavalry 
and infantry, and it became the nucleus of the 
military band, as we understand the modern sig- 
nification of the term. In past years, bands of 
hautboys played in parts, the bass being given by 
an instrument called a curtail, an ancient species 
of bassoon. But since then the hautboy and 
bassoon had been greatly improved. We are told 

1 A curious instruction appears in the Records of the 
Coldstream Guards — MacKinnon (1833) :— "The Drum-Major 
to be answerable that no cat has more than nine tails." 

2 History of the British Army. — Scott, 1868. 

3 England's Artillerymen — Browne, 1865. 

4 It would appear that the fife was used also in the 
cavalry, for we find that in the Light Dragoons in 1799 the 
fife was used for playing the quick-march when the troops 
were dismounted (Story of the 17th Lancers — Parry). 


in a military work of 1760 (Discipline of the Light 
Horse — HiNDE)that horns and bassoons were issued 
to the trumpeters, which gave them a " band of 
musick," consisting of hautbois, trumpets, horns, 
bassoons ; this was the beginning of the military 
band in England. 

A new era begins with the introduction and rapid 
improvement of the clarionet. 1 Its brilliant tone, 
capable of every shade, and its large compass, at 
once placed it as the leading instrument, pushing 
the hautboy into a second place. 

It was in Germany, however, that the modern 
military band became properly established. With 
them, bands were at first a privilege granted to 
but few especially renowned regiments. But it was 
found to be such a useful addition, that in time 
every regiment obtained one, the members of 
which were called " hautboisten " on account of 
that instrument being the most prominent. There 
was no fixed plan in the instrumentation, the 
arrangement of which rested with the Colonel or 
Bandmaster. 2 

The military genius and musical instincts of 
King Frederick II. (the Great) of Prussia took the 
first step in establishing the military band on a 
recognised model. 8 This first organisation as fixed 
by his order was comprised of two hautboys, two 

1 The clarionet is said to have been introduced into 
England in 1760 by J. C. Bach, the son of the great 
Sebastian Bach. 

2 Military Music. — Kappey. 

3 History of Wind Band Music. — Turpin. 


clarionets, two horns, and two bassoons. 1 This 
combination, which received the title of " Harmonie 
Musik," was a great favourite with composers. 
Beethoven composed an octet in E flat (op. 103) 
and a rondino in E flat for this combination. 
Mozart also wrote three serenades for the same. 2 

Frederick the Great's band of eight became 
generally adopted throughout Europe, for there 
can be no question that all European nations 
copied the Germans in matters of military music. 
Rousseau speaks of the superiority of German 
military music, and says that the French had few 
military instruments and few military marches, 
most of which were tres malfaites. 

Another writer says : — " The English easily 
adopt innovations from abroad, and complete their 
military bands easily enough " ; which is perhaps 
true, for one of the earliest, if not the earliest, 
record of a band in our service is one " Made in 
Germany," and that, the " Band of the Royal 
Regiment of Artillery," which was formed there 
in 1762. 

1 Dictionary of Music and Musicians. — Grove. 

2 Verzeichniss Tonwerke Mozarts. — Kochel, 1862. 

From an engraving in the R.A. Institution. 






" I'll no more drumming, 
A plague of all drums ! " 


" Disputed which the best might be, 
For still their music seemed to start 
Discordant echoes in each heart." 


IN August, 1758, a large body of British troops 
embarked for the Continent to co-operate 
with the Hanoverians and Hessians in ex- 
pelling the French from Germany. Captain 
William Phillips was sent in command of the 
Royal Artillery attached to the army of H.S.H. 
Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick. The following 
year, reinforcements were sent over, and a regular 
brigade of artillery was established there, con- 
sisting of three companies, commanded by Captain 
Phillips, Captain Macbean, and Captain- Lieutenant 
Drummond, 1 who at Minden (1759) and Warberg 
(1760) behaved with great gallantry. 

Whilst peace negotiations were in progress 
(1762), Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips 2 and his officers 
had excellent opportunities of hearing the very fine 

1 This was Captain Cleaveland's company. 

a He was appointed Brevet-Lieutenant-Colonel in 1760. 


bands of their German allies, which were considered 
the finest in existence. 

It must be remembered that the " great kettle- 
drums " did not accompany the artillery in this 
campaign, and it is most probable that they were 
greatly missed, for we find that in 1762, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Phillips 2 gave instructions for the formation 
of a band, after the German model, known as the 
" Royal Artillery Band.'* 3 

The following are the Articles of Agreement 4 
upon which the musicians were engaged. The 
original is written in both English and German, 
the last article, in English only, being added by 
Colonel Phillips himself: — 

i. The band to consist of eight men, who must 
also be capable to play upon the violoncello, bass, 
violin and flute, as other common instruments. 

1 Memoirs of the R. A. — Macbean. 

2 William Phillips joined the regiment as a Cadet-Gunner 
1746, and appointed Lieutenant-Fireworker 1747, and Second 
Lieutenant 1755. His later commissions are dated, First 
Lieutenant, 1st April, 1756 ; Captain, 12th May, 1756 ; 
Brevet-Lieutenant-Colonel, 15th August, 1760; Major, 25th 
April, 1777 ; Lieutenant-Colonel, 6th July, 1780. He was 
appointed Major-General in the Army, August, 1777. He 
served with great distinction at Minden and Warberg, and 
later in the American War — at Stillwater and Saratoga. 
He conducted the retreat from Saratoga in October, 1777, 
and was second senior officer at the council of war when 
Burgoyne decided on surrendering to the Republican forces. 
In 1781 he was sent with 2,000 picked troops to Rhode 
Island, to prevent the French sailing for the Chesapeake. 
Here he contracted a disease which, unhappily for his 
country, was beyond the skill of his physician. He was 
taken to Petersburg, Virginia, where he died 13th May, 
1781.— Kane's List. 

9 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 

4 Ibid. 


ii. The regiment's musick must consist of two 
trumpets, two French horns, two bassoons, and 
four hautbois or clarinetts 1 ; these instruments 
to be provided by the regiment, but kept in 
repair by the head musician. 

iii. The musicians will be looked upon as actual 
soldiers, and cannot leave the regiment without 
a formal discharge. The same must also behave 
them, according to the articles of war. 

iv. The aforesaid musicians will be clothed by 
the regiment. 

v. So long as the artillery remains in Germany 
each musician to have ten dollars per month, 
but the two French horns to have twelve dollars 
per month, out of which they must provide their 
own bread ; but when they arrive in England, each 
musician to receive one shilling, the two French 
horns one shilling and twopence per day ; this 
payment to commence at their arrival in England. 

vi. The musicians shall be obliged to wait upon 
the commanding officer so often as he shall 
desire to have musick, without any hope of 
gratification, but if they shall be desired to 
attend upon any other officer, they are to have a 
ducat per night, but in England half a guinea. 

vii. Should the aforesaid musicians be taken 
sick they are to be attended by the surgeon of 
the regiment, for which they are to allow five- 
pence farthing sterling monthly to be given out 
of their wages. 

viii. The two French horns will enter into pay, 
as soon as they sign their articles, the pay of 
the other six musicians, to commence as soon as 
they arrive at the corps. 

ix. [In the handwriting of Colonel Phillips.] 
Provided the musicians are not found to be good 

1 Ten instruments are here provided for eight men. 
Vide Clause i. 


performers at their arrival they will be dis- 
charged, and at their own expense. This is meant 
to make the person who engages the musicians 
careful in his choice. 

W. Phillips, 
Lieut.-Col. Comdt. of British Artillery. 1 

This was the nucleus of a band, a " wind " and 
" stringed " band from the first, " which," says 
Colonel Duncan, M.P. (History of the R.A.) "has 
developed into probably the best military band in 
the world." 

There is, however, no reference to music or 
musicians in the muster rolls, nor in the pay 
accounts of the companies serving in Germany. 
This may easily be accounted for, as the musicians 
were not properly attested soldiers, which is very 
evident from the Articles of Agreement, which 
would have been unnecessary had the musicians 
been regularly enlisted. 

Peace was proclaimed in November, 1762, and 
early in the following year the Artillery commenced 
their homeward march through Holland, embarking 
at Bremen in June for Woolwich. They had 
scarcely got settled in England when these com- 
panies were ordered abroad again. Lieutenant- 

1 This interesting document was discovered among the 
old records of the 1st Battalion R.A. during the " fifties," 
and was claimed for the band by Mr. Smyth, the bandmaster 
at that time, into whose custody it was given. After his 
death in 1885, enquiries were made by J. A. Browne, Esq., 
the author of England's Artillerymen, as to the safety of the 
document, when he was informed by Madame Smyth that 
she was not aware of its existence. These " Articles of 
Agreement " were fortunately copied from the original by 
J. A. Browne, Esq., when he was writing England's 
Artillerymen, and are to be found in the chapter on " Music 
in the Royal Artillery." 


Colonel Phillips' company was despatched to 
Minorca, under Captain-Lieutenant Foy, Phillips 
remaining at Woolwich. The band doubtless 
remained there also. It was certainly at Woolwich 
in 1765-8, for the earliest bandmaster of whom 
there is any record is the one in appointment at 
this time. It was he who gave the celebrated Irish 
flautist, Andrew Ashe, 1 his first lessons in music. 
The latter was born in 1756, 2 and before his ninth 
year he was sent to an academy near Woolwich, 
where he remained more than three years. 

" At an early age he showed a great disposition 
for music, and devoted a certain sum of his weekly 
allowance to the Master of the Artillery Band (who 
occasionally attended the academy) to receive 
lessons on the violin." 8 

Although the band was to be considered " the 
regiment's musick," yet it is far more likely that it 
was quite a private affair so far as its maintenance 
was concerned, being supported by the officers of 
the regiment, perhaps by the 1st Battalion alone, 
by whom it was raised in Germany. It does not 
appear to have been officially recognised until the 
4th Battalion R.A. was formed in January, 1771, 
" when the band was taken over and subscribed for 
by Colonel Ord and the officers of the battalion." 4 

1 For many years principal flute at the Salomon Con- 
certs, where Haydn produced his symphonies ; later of the 
Italian Opera, and for twelve years director of the Bath 

2 Handbook of Musical Biography. — Baptie, 1883. 
8 A Dictionary of Musicians, 1824. 

4 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 



Colonel Macbean, in his Memoirs of the Royal 
Artillery, says: — "Colonel Ord being appointed 
Colonel to the new or 4th Battalion, formed a band 
of eight musicians, 1 which he and the Captains 
supported till the next year, when this battalion 
embarked to relieve the 1st Battalion in America, 
the battalions remaining at home took on them- 
selves to support it." 

The musicians were placed on the establishment 
of the various companies as Matrosses, 2 at nine- 
pence halfpenny per diem. In January, 1773, the 
Master Musician and the eight private musicians 
of the Royal Regiment of Artillery are shown upon 
a separate muster roll and pay list 3 ; the former 
receiving three shillings and sixpence per diem, and 
the latter one shilling per diem, 4 which together 
with other items necessary for their maintenance, 
are charged to the non-effective account of the 

The Band of Musick, 

Royal Regiment of Artillery, 

January, 1773. 

Master Musician - - Antony Rocca. 

Private Musicians 1 

1. Andrew Peddie. 5. John Bingle. 

2. Stephen Bolitho. 6. Phillip Geary. 

3. John Stephens. 7. John Richardson. 

4. John Winslow. 8. William Elliott. 

1 Macbean says it was in 1771 that the band was taken 
up, but in the Dickson Memoirs it appears under the year 1772. 

2 Matrosses — Soldiers in the Artillery next below the 
gunners. The rank was abolished in 1783, when all private 
soldiers in the regiment were called gunners. 

8 Muster Rolls, R.A. Record Office. 

4 This was twopence halfpenny more than the private 
rank (a matross) received, which distinction remains to the 
present day. 


These were placed under the charge of Lieut. 
Alex. Mackenzie, Quarter-Master in the 3rd Bat- 

Antony Rocca is the first bandmaster whose 
name I have been able to trace : — 

onu JCj>0£ ccL 

In October, 1771, he is shown as a matross in 
Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips' Company. 1 He was 
most probably the leading musician, for in December 
he is transferred to Anderson's Company as Cor- 
poral. Later he appears in Buchanon's Company, 
and in September, 1772, he is appointed " Master 
Musision," 2 a position he held until his death, after 
a short illness, 16th January, 1774. 3 

The officers now advertised for a master musician, 
and nine shillings is charged to the non-effective 
account for the following to be inserted three times 
in the Daily Advertiser \ — 

" WANTED, immediately, a Person qualified as 
a Master Musician to a Military Band of Musick, 

1 He may have been one of the original band which 
Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips brought from Germany. 

2 He is also called " Music-Major," "Chief Musician," 
"Music Master," "Principal Musician," and "Master." 

8 At this period the Royal Artillery had their barracks 
in the Warren (Royal Arsenal), which were built in 1719. 
They are now officers' quarters. The present barracks on 
Woolwich Common were occupied in 1776. This was, how- 
ever, only the eastern half; the other half was commenced 
six years later. 


who is a perfect Master of the French Horn, and 
performs on other Wind Instruments, as Great 
encouragement will be given. None need apply 
who is not a perfect Master, and can be well 
recommended as a Person of great Sobriety and 
good character." 

" N.B. — Apply to Mr. George Drummond, at 
Messrs. Cox and Mair, Craig's Court, Charing 
Cross, for further particulars." 1 

It is not until May that anyone appears as 
Master Musician, when Herr Georg Kiihler, who 
afterwards styles himself " George Kealer," is con- 
sidered a " perfect master," and appointed to lead 
the band :— 

9 ' 

In this year the Master-General and Lieutenant- 
General of Ordnance were pleased to ease the 
regiment of that expense 2 incurred by the band, 
by each contributing one shilling and fourpence 
farthing per diem towards the expenses of the 
master musician. The band went to Chatham in 
this year with the 3rd Battalion, but returned in 

1 Muster Rolls, R.A. Record Office. 

2 Memoirs of the Royal Artillery. — Macbean. 


Herr Kiihler is succeeded in 1777 by Herr 
Friedrich Wielle, 1 a very capable musician : — 

He was most certainly a much smarter man than 
either of his predecessors. The increase of his 
pay to four shillings per diem in 1782, and the 
frequent, very frequent music bills bear evidence to 
this. One of these bills is inserted here, as the 
English of Herr Wielle is very interesting 2 : — 

Bought by Fried. Wielle, Music Master, for the use of the 
Band of Musick belonging to the Royal Regiment of Artillery. 

The 5th January, 1787— Due to Mr. Wielle from a £ s. d. 

Bill from the year 1786 ... ... ... 17 9 

The 13th February— To a Sett of Frensch Millitary 

Concertos ... ... ... ... 9 o 

3 large Drum heads for the Bass Drum ... ... «6 o 

Caen for Clarinett Rieds ... ... ... 3 6 

4 Brass Hucks to the Cimbals ... ... ... 1 6 

For two Drum Sticks for ditto... ... ... 7 

The 6th April— For Oil & Caen for the Clarinetts ... 5 o 

10 Bassoon Rieds at 1 Shill. each ... ... 10 o 

2 Large Drum heads for the Tamborins ... ... 6 6 

The 5th June— To a Leder skin for the use of the 

Bass Drum ... ... ... ... 3 o 

For making it into a Breechess ... ... 1 9 

The 1st August— For 6 Bassoon Rieds at 1 Shill. each 6 o 

The 4th November— For a Drum Card ... ... 1 5 

For Oil & Caen for the instruments ... ... 4 6 

The 1 Ith April, 1788— For Oil & Caen for the instru- 
ments ... ... ... ... 8 6 

12 Basson Rieds at 1 Shill. each ... ... 12 o 

For 2 Setts of Millitary Concertos ... ... 1 1 o 

Music Paper ... ... ... ... 16 o 

£7 5 7 

1 The author of England's Artillerymen mentions (on the 
authority of Mr. JVlcKenzie, who served in the band from 
1795-1845) a Mr. Bennett, who was bandmaster before Herr 
Wielle, but I can find no trace of him on the muster rolls 
or pay lists at the Record Office. 

2 Muster Rolls, R.A. Record Office. 

3 He evidently means an apron, not " a breeches." 


The band was ordered on duty to Coxheath 
Camp, near Colchester, in 1778, and again in 1803. 
On the latter occasion it was presented with a 
handsome side drum by the Master-General of 
Ordnance, inscribed : — 








This was most probably the first side drum used 
by the band. For many years this old instrument 
was lost sight of, until 1881, when Captain Morgan, 
the Band Secretary, informed the Band Committee 1 
that this drum was in the possession of a local 
instrument maker, who did odd repairing work for 
the band, from whom it was gleaned that the drum 
was originally a long drum of the Guards' pattern, 
and was given to him to cut down, to furnish two 
smaller ones. 

The drum was purchased back by the officers for 
three pounds, and handed over to the care of the 
band, but in 1894 it was considered advisable to 
deposit it in the R.A. Institution, where it remains 
at present. 

During the whole five years that Rocca and 
Kuhler were " masters," there had been only one 
alteration in the personnel of the band ; but from 
the many changes during the early years of Herr 
Wielle's regime, it would appear that the talents of 

1 R.A. Band Committee Proceedings, &c, 1881. 


the musicians were not to his satisfaction. He 
begins with discharging two of them within a year, 
and in less than six years eighteen musicians are 
tried in the ranks of the "band of musick." 1 
The muster roll in January, 1784, was : — 

Master Musician - - Friedrich Wielle, 

Private Musicians : 
i. Carly Franky. 5. Anton Reichenbach. 

2. Joseph Hampton. 6. Frantz Sternberg. 

3. Carl Daumichen. 7. Georg Spindler. 

4. Andreas John. 8. John Schroeder. 

From this we see that the whole of the band, with 
one exception, were foreigners ; in fact, it became 
to be generally understood in England that no 
one but a foreigner knew anything of musical 
matters. At one time the rage was for Italians, at 
another for Germans, and the result was that 
though a few very excellent musicians were thus 
imported, the majority were needy adventurers, 
and the result disastrous for military music in 

Whether this importation of foreign bandsmen 
into the Royal Artillery was a fad of the officers, 
or the extreme partiality of Herr Wielle for his 
own countrymen, cannot be said ; but one thing is 
certain : these musicians did not come within the 
expectations of their masters, for they are very 
soon superseded by native talent, and in November, 

1 By this means he gets rid of all the old members of 
the band. The last of the old band to leave was Andrew 
Peddie, who was pensioned with sixpence per diem. After 
a little time, this musician presents a memorial to the 
Board of Ordnance, begging for an increase in his pension 
to ninepence, on account of his " disorder," which incapa- 
citated him from further employment. 


1787, six out of the eight musicians are English. 
The list of the band is given here, as this is the 
last time that they appear on one muster-roll 1 : — 

Master Musician » - Friedrich Wielle. 

Private Musicians < 

1. Joseph Hampton. 5. John Carson. 

2. Anton Reichenbach. 6. John A. Vernan. 

3. John Schroeder. 7. Jacob Henry. 

4. James Emerson. 8. James Lambert. 

There is an interesting letter 2 which might serve 
to show that even at this period the bandsmen of 
the Royal Artillery were musicians of talent, and 
that their services were in demand outside their 
military capacity: — 

" Chatham Barracks, 

" 27th January, 1787. 
" Colonel Macbean, 

" Sir, — I shall esteem it a favour if you will 
permit Charles Dimechin of your band to come 
here for two or three days. s 

" I am. Sir, etc., 
" Edmd. Eyre, Lt.-Col., 64th Regt." 

In November, 1787, some question arises at the 
Ordnance Office concerning the maintenance of 
the band, and the paymaster requests that Major 
Macleod, the Brigade Major at Woolwich, "will 

1 Muster Rolls, R.A. Record Office. 

2 Letter Books, R.A. Record Office. 

3 The letter says nothing why the Colonel of the 64th 
Regiment should want a musician of the R.A. for " two or 
three days." It may have been an ordinary engagement, 
but more likely than not he was engaged to train a band 
for this regiment ; as it was about this period that the line 
regiments began to raise bands. He takes his discharge, 
moreover, a few months later. 


have the goodness to inform him by what Authority 
or Order the Extra expence of the Master of the 
Band is charged to the Master- General and Lieut.- 
General of the Ordnance each Half. The Surveyor- 
General of the Ordnance allowing only 9£d., the 
pay of a Mattross per Diem, with the addition of 
sixpence granted by the Board to be charged to the 
Non-effective Acct. of the Regt." 1 

Major Macleod's answer to the Board cannot be 
found, but he must have given a sufficient explana- 
tion, for the charge against the Master and Lieut. - 
General remains unchanged. It, however, opened 
the eyes of the Board to the necessity of placing 
the musicians upon the establishment of the regi- 
ment, and so reduce the enormous drain on the 
non-effective accounts, by which the band was kept 
up. The pay alone of the master and eight 
musicians amounted to two hundred and nineteen 
pounds per annum ; so the Board now decided to 
place the eight musicians upon the strength of the 
various companies, to be paid as musicians at one 
shilling per diem, thus reducing the charge on the 
non-effective accounts by one hundred and forty-six 
pounds per annum. The " master musician " still 
continued to be paid from the old source, but his 
daily pay was reduced three shillings. 2 

In 1772 and 1775, the Royal Artillery was 
reviewed by King George III. on both occasions 
at Blackheath. 8 His Majesty visited Woolwich in 

1 Letter Books, R.A. Record Office. 

2 Muster Rolls, R.A. Record Office. 

3 History of the R.A.— Duncan, 1872. 


state in 1773, and was received on the parade by 
Lord Townshend, the Master-General of Ordnance, 
and after the salute had been fired, " the drums and 
music beat the march." 1 Again, on the 9th July, 
1788, George III. reviewed the R.A., and was on 
the Barrack Field at the early hour of 6.20 a.m. 
On this occasion the regiment was formed up in 
two ranks, quite an innovation, and the king having 
ridden down them, the regiment formed in open 
column, and marched past in slow and quick time. 
The band was specially augmented for this great 
occasion by two private instrumentalists : — " Adam 
Lessler and Raie Jones, engaged by order of the 
Master-General to play with the band of musick 
the seventh and ninth of July at one guinea each 
day, and half-a-crown for lodging, etc., the nights 
preceding." 2 

Although at this time there were several bands 
in the service, yet the instrumentation was of the 
most meagre description. The three regiments of 
foot guards had bands ; and these most probably 
rank next to the Royal Artillery as the oldest bands 
in the service. Parke, in his Musical Memoirs, tells 
us that the bands of the three regiments of foot 
guards consisted in 1783 of only eight performers, 
viz. : — two hautboys, two clarionets, two horns, 
and two bassoons. They were civilians, excellent 
performers, who were hired by the month ; their 
only military duty being to play the King's Guard 

1 Records of Woolwich. — Vincent. 

2 Muster Rolls, R.A. Record Office. 


from the parade at Horse Guards to St. James's 
Palace and back. On one occasion the colonel of 
the Coldstream Guards desired his band to play 
during an aquatic excursion to Greenwich, and 
ordered them to attend. This the musicians 
declined to do, as such work was beyond the scope 
of their engagement. The officers, who alone 
supported the band, being desirous of having a 
band which they could command on all occasions, 
wrote to the Duke of York, the colonel of the 
regiment, who was at that time in Hanover, stating 
their wishes, to which His Royal Highness assented. 
In 1785, according to the regimental records, a 
band of regularly attested soldiers were enlisted in 
Hanover by the Duke and sent to England. It 
consisted of twelve performers, four clarionets, two 
bassoons, two hautboys, two French horns, one 
trumpet, and one serpent. 

The band of the Honourable Artillery Company 
in 1783 was comprised of four clarionets, two 
horns, two bassoons and one trumpet. 1 Eight to 
twelve musicians were still the recognised number 
for military bands. 2 However, in the process of 
time new instruments were introduced, which 
necessitated an increase in numbers. The first 
instruments to be added to the time-honoured 
" Harmonie Musik " combination were instruments 
of percussion. This new departure also emanated 

1 History of the Honourable Artillery Company. — Raikes. 

2 As late as 1820, the Minister of War in France con- 
sidered eight musicians sufficient for a military band. 


from Germany, and from Frederick the Great. 1 We 
find them later in Austria, 2 but it is not until about 
1785-7 that percussion instruments are found in 
our military bands, and their introduction is 
credited to the Duke of York, 3 who brought or sent 
percussion instrumentalists over from Germany for 
the band of the Coldstream Guards. 4 From this 
date military music " grew burning bright with 
fife-shriek, cymbal crash, and trumpet blast " 

It then became " good style " to employ black 
men to play these instruments. 5 These men were 
dressed in the most extravagant Eastern style, with 
gorgeous slashed tunics, loose jackets, and high 
feathered turbans, and in addition to playing the 
bass drum, side drum, cymbals, and triangle, an 

1 In the early years of the eighteenth century, when 
the fame of the Janissary bands was at its height, 
Frederick the Great obtained one from the Sultan. They 
usually consisted of a few, about six zarzas (hautboys) and 
fifes, and about a dozen drums, cymbals and triangles. 
So pleased was he with the imposing appearance of these 
oriental musicians, that he introduced percussion instru- 
ments into all his military bands (Military Music — Kappey). 

2 Frederick Nicolai, who visited Vienna in 1781, speaks 
in high praise of a military band which was comprised of 
two shawns (? hautboys), two clarionets, two horns, one 
trumpet, two bassoons, and a side and bass drum. 

3 Court and Private Life in the time of Queen Charlotte. 
— Papendiek, 1887. 

4 Musical Memoirs. — Parke. 

5 They had been, however, employed as trumpeters and 
drummers quite forty years before this. The Royal Horse 
Guards had black trumpeters in 1742, and the 29th Foot 
had black drummers in 1759. 


instrument, known as the " Jingling Johnnie," 1 
and tambourines were employed. In a letter of 
W. J. Mattham, innkeeper at Lavenham, 2 we are 
given the composition of the band of the West 
Middlesex Militia at this date, which he says " had 
the best band I ever heard, 'tis worth mentioning 
to those who are lovers of superior music. It 
consisted of five clarionets, two French horns, one 
bugle-horn, one trumpet, two bassoons, one bass 
drum, two triangles (the latter played by boys about 
nine years old), two tambourines (the performers 
mullatoes), and the clash pans by a real blackamoor, 
a very active man 8 who walked between the two 
mullatoes, which had a very grand appearance 
indeed." The black men were employed in the 
Foot Guards until as late as the Crimean War, but 
they were dispensed with in most bands before 1837. 
Percussion instruments were in use by the R.A. 
Band in 1787, for cymbals, tambourines, and a bass 

1 This was a pole surmounted by a crescent, from which 
depended bells. In the Janissary days it was the standard 
of the band, and had a number of dyed horse tails hanging 
to it, but no bells. It was called by them " Mahomet's 
Standard," and by the European nations, with whom it lost 
its ancient dignity by the addition of bells, it was called 
" Chapeau Chinois," and in England " Jingling Johnnie." 
The instrument is depicted in an old sketch, by Cruikshank, 
of a foot regiment marchiug to church. It has been super- 
seded some years now by an instrument called the glocken- 

a History of the British Army.— Scott, 1868. 

s This " very active man " that played the " clash-pans " 
(cymbals) was evidently one of those men who could, as the 
Irish expressively term it, " cut a caper." An old Woolwich 
resident once assured the writer that his grandfather well 
remembered the " blacks " of the R.A. Band, marching in 
front, performing all sorts of contortions and evolutions 
whilst playing their tambourines. 


drum are mentioned in the music bill previously 
quoted. 1 Three black men were employed to play 
these instruments, who are shown on the estab- 
lishment in 1812. 

But matters were overdone in this particular, and 
some bands actually had one-third of its members 
performing upon percussion instruments. They had 
the good sense, however, to introduce more wind 
instruments to reduce this preponderance of noise. 
Perhaps the first to be taken up was the serpent, 
a large wooden instrument covered with leather, 
curved in shape (hence the name), and played with 
a metal- or bone-cupped mouthpiece. 2 The flute and 
trombone followed soon afterwards. 

These additions seem to have taken root very 
early in the R.A. Band, for we find that in 1789 
the musicians are increased from eight to nine. 
In 1792, when it is ordered on duty to Bagshot, 
we find that there are ten musicians, and in a few 
months eleven musicians are granted. 8 

However, in 1794 the band numbers ten musicians 
and a master musician, besides supernumeraries 
who were admitted into its ranks during the year. 4 
Again, in 1802, the band is further augmented to 
twenty-one. 6 This was due to the incorporation of 

1 According to J. A. Kappey (Grove's Dictionary of 
Music, — Art. : Wind Band), these instruments were not 
introduced into military bands until 1805-8 (?). 

2 It was superseded quite fifty years ago by the bom- 

3 Letter Books, R.A. Record Office. 

4 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 

5 History of the R.A.— Duncan, 1872. 


the Royal Irish Artillery with the Royal Artillery 
in 1801. The band of the former, numbering about 
thirty-five, were sent to Woolwich, and the best 
musicians were absorbed into the R.A. Band, those 
least proficient, including three or four of the old 
band, being discharged. 

The band now consisted of : — 

i Master 

1 Sergeant 

2 Corporals 
18 Musicians 1 


At this period, bands were dressed and equipped 
according to the tastes and financial resources of 
the officers, but it is difficult to realise in these 
days the eccentric fashion, sometimes bordering on 
the grotesque, in which some bands were presented 
to the public gaze. The most general practice was 
to dress the band in the colour of the regiment's 
facings, 2 and as these were at that time very varied 
in hue, bands were to be seen in coats of red, blue, 
black, buff, white, orange, yellow, and green ; the 

1 This rank — Musician — still continues, and is peculiar 
only to the Royal Artillery. In all other corps the members 
of the band are privates, etc, and for distinction sake called 
" bandsmen." 

2 It has been the custom for centuries to dress military 
musicians differently, and in a more superior way to the 
rank and file. In the accounts of the Norwich contingent, 
1587-8, there is a charge for coats, which were of " bayes 
and carseys " (kersey), " and whight yncle to laye upon the 
same." The drummer's coat was of " grene carsey," 
embellished with eleven yards of lace and six yards of 
pointing. In the contract for the clothing of an infantry 
regiment in 1693, the men wore grey coats and breeches, 
and the drummer a purple coat and grey breeehes. 


latter in seven different shades. A recent writer 
in the Woolwich Herald says that the R.A. Band at 
this period "were clothed in scarlet coatees with 
blue facings, just the opposite to the dress of the 
men, cocked hats, white knee breeches and black 
gaiters." 1 

This must have been their " dress suit," for we 
are informed that they wore " plain coats," 2 which 
were probably the same as those of the regiment. 
At this period both officers and men wore their hair 
" clubbed," i.e., plaited and turned up, being tied 
with black ribbon or tape. Those whose hair, 
being so short, could not be plaited, were provided 
with false plaits. Among the " necessaries " of an 
artillery soldier at this time was a powder bag and 
puff, four white shirts, six false collars, and a white 
stock. 8 The custom of wearing the hair in plaits 
or queues was not abolished until 1805, when the 
hair was ordered to be worn short. 

In 1789 the Brigade-Major asks the Secretary of 
the Board of Ordnance to supply the band with 
"ten shoulder belts such as are delivered to the 
Regiment of Artillery. I venture to make this 
demand," he says, " for the musicians having no 
sword belts, and having never yet been supplied, 
require something of the kind to appear uniform." 4 

On the 1st October, 1798, the Commandant 

1 This was no doubt in accordance with the clothing 
regulations of July 1st, 1751. 

a Letter Books, R.A. Record Office. 

3 History of the Dress of the R.A. — Macdonald. 

* Letter Books, R.A, Record Office. 


requests the Honourable Board for some improve- 
ment in their uniform : — 

"The band have been hitherto clothed in 
common without any ornaments whatever, but 
they have a dress suit which costs a considerable 
sum, and which has not been asked for these 
twelve or fourteen years, because the change of 
the men and the men's natural growth, the 
cloaths would not fit them after the second 

" Instead of this I would request the Honour- 
able Board would permit me annually to lay out 
in ornaments upon the clothing about thirty 
shillings for each of the twelve men doing duty 
as musicians, and upon each of their hats a sum 
not exceeding five shillings. 

" I have the honour, etc., 

"V. Lloyd, M. -General." 1 

Herr Wielle, who for twenty-five years had been 
Master of the Band, took his discharge, with a 
pension of three shillings and sixpence per diem 
(1802). He became bandmaster of a dragoon 
regiment, and later the Sussex Militia. He resided 
for many years in Mill Lane, Woolwich, subse- 
quently retiring to Hanover, his native place. 

Another German was appointed to the position — 
Herr G. Schnuphass, " a gentleman not distinguished 
for his musical abilities." 2 



1 Letter Books, R.A. Record Office. 

2 England's Artillerymen.— Browne, 1865. 



He died in 1805, when Herr M. Eishenherdt 
received the appointment. About this time the 
band was placed under the sole command of 
Colonel Charles A. Quist, the Commanding Officer 
of the Riding Establishment, whose portrait hangs 
in the R.A. Institution ; " and to him was due in a 
great measure the excellence to which the band 
attained in the early years of the past century." 1 

When we look at the mechanism of the wood- 
wind instruments of this time in our museums, and 
consider the imperfect scale of the brass family, 
we can quite understand the acclamation with 
which the introduction of a complete family of 
keyed brass instruments was received. The first 
really successful instrument of this type was the 
key-bugle, called the " Kent-bugle," out of compli- 
ment to the Duke of Kent, 2 who as Commander-in- 
Chief, encouraged its introduction, and soon became 
the mainstay of our bands. Although it was 
patented by Halliday, the bandmaster of the Cavan 
Militia, as his own invention, yet it was simply an 
improvement of an idea known half a century 
before. 8 It was made in several sizes, the bass 
form having the name of ophicleide. 

Ancient military music was written, especially for 
the brass, in the key of C, and even in the first 
part of the nineteenth century there was still a 
feeling in favour of the employment of clarionets, 
bugles, trumpets and horns in C. The score of 

1 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 

2 Dictionary of Music, &c. — Grove. 
8 Military Music. — Kappey. 


Mendelssohn's 1 overture in C (op. 24), written about 
1824 for a wind band, has parts for F and C 
clarionets, basset horns in F, trumpets and horns 
in C. A good illustration of an arrangement for a 
military band a century ago is in the " March of 
the Scottish Archers," which is written for two 
hautboys, two clarionets in D, two trumpets in D, 
two horns in D, and a bassoon a ; and also in 
a musical supplement presented with the British 
Military Journal of 1799, which is a march, very 
simple, written for two horns in B, two clarionets, 
and fagotti. 

Of the exact composition of the R.A. Band at 
this period we have no knowledge, 8 but there is a 
notice of its performance on the occasion of the 
Jubilee festivities at Woolwich in 1811, when we 
are told that " Handel's ' Coronation Anthem ' was 
played by the band of the Royal Artillery with fine 
effect." 4 This was, however, under a new band- 
master, an Englishman, named George McKenzie, 
who had risen to the position from the ranks of the 
band. He succeeded Herr Eishenherdt in 1810, 
who having married a lady with a fortune, retired 
from the service to Greenwich, where he died. 5 

1 Cherubini, Spontini, Berlioz, Kiihner, and Meyerbeer 
have also written for the military (wind) band. 

2 Musical Educator. — Greig. 

3 Grose (Military Antiquities, 1801) gives us an idea of a 
band at this period. He says : — " Of late years each 
regiment of infantry has its band of music. The instru- 
ments are chiefly hautbois, clarinets, French horns, 
bassoons, trumpets, cymbals, and in some the tabor [side 
drum] and pipe [? fife or flute]." 

4 Records of Woolwich. — Vincent, 1890. 

6 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 

From a photo. 




" He fills with his power all their hearts to the brim, 
Was aught ever heard like his fiddle and him ? " 


©EORGE McKENZIE was born at Fort 
Brooklyn, Long Island, America, in 1780, 
and was the son of a non-commissioned 
officer in the Royal Artillery, who served in the 
war of the American Revolution, and wounded at 
the battle of Guilford. 

The recital of an incident which occurred shortly 
after his birth may prove interesting. 1 

One very cold night in the winter of 1780-1, 
about ten o'clock, Mrs. McKenzie was sitting with 
her infant on her knee, when she was startled by 
a tremendous rap on the door, and three young 
fellows, apparently sailors, entered the hut and 
shut the door quickly after them. They laughed 
immoderately, and, laying a handkerchief on the 
table containing something evidently very heavy, 
asked for some brandy. It was supplied, and 
paying handsomely for it, proceeded to enjoy it, 
making frequent allusions, one to the other, to the 
contents of the handkerchief, and laughed heartily 

1 England's Artillery.— -Browne, 1865. 


On leaving they very warmly thanked Mrs. 
McKenzie for the shelter she had afforded them, 
saying she had rendered them a very great service. 
One of them, stepping back to her, said : — " If you 
should ever want anything done for this child, ask 
for the officer who is now the senior midshipman 
of the ' Prince George.' " 

Next morning New York was in alarm, and a 
large reward was offered for the person or persons 
who had knocked the head off the statue of 
William Pitt and carried it away. 

Prince William, Duke of Clarence, was at this 
time serving as midshipman on board Admiral 
Digby's ship, the " Prince George," though no 
enquiries were ever made as to whether His Royal 
Highness was one who had taken shelter in the 
artilleryman's hut at Fort Brooklyn. 

Fifty-five years afterwards, when the King, 
William IV., was speaking to Mr. McKenzie, he 
asked him of his birth and parentage, and doubtless 
His Majesty thought of the Pitt's head adventure 
when he received the bandmaster's answer. 

George McKenzie joined " the regiment " as a 
fifer when only twelve years old (1792), and the 
following year was sent to Brecknock, Wales, on 
recruiting service. Here he was taken notice of by 
the organist of the parish church, St. David's, who 
being greatly interested in the boy, gave him 
gratuitous lessons in music. 

In 1795 he joined the Royal Artillery Band as a 
supernumerary, and worked his way first to musician 
(1798), then to corporal (1806), and on the 5th May, 


1810, at the recommendation of Colonel Quist, he 
was appointed " Master of the Band." He devoted 
a deal of attention to the string band, which he 
brought to a high state of efficiency, and he may 
fairly be claimed as the father of the string band, 
since it was under his tutelage that it began to 
assume that position which it has proudly held for 
so many years. 

At the suggestion of the Band Commandant, 
Colonel Quist, a series of vocal and orchestral 
concerts, known as the " Royal Artillery Concerts," 
were instituted about 1810-15. These were held 
weekly during the winter months at the R.A. 
Officers' Mess. 1 The services of some of the most 
distinguished musicians in London were obtained to 
lead the band, 2 who, with the assistance of some of 
the officers who were able to play, were enabled to 
get up concerts of the highest order. The chamber 
music, &c, of Boccherini, Corelli, Felton and 
other of the old masters 3 whose compositions were 

1 These concerts, which have continued until the present 
day, are not to be confounded with those held in the Officers' 
Mess at present (usually on Thursdays — "Guest Night"). 
The former are perhaps the oldest concerts in the kingdom, 
having been inaugurated contemporary with those of the 
Philharmonic Society. 

2 Conductors as we know them at present were prac- 
tically unknown at this period. Orchestras were directed 
by the leader ; and it is not until 1820 that the conductor 
wields his b&ton in front of the orchestra, which change is 
due to Spohr, who, it is said, insisted on conducting in this 
manner at the Philharmonic Concerts. 

3 The identical parts of the chamber music played at 
these early concerts are in the writer's possession. They 
bear the autographs of George McKenzie, the bandmaster, 
and Captain Percy Drummond, an officer who frequently 
played the 'cello with the band, and afterwards became the 
band commandant. 


fashionable at that time, and occasionally a sym- 
phony of Haydn's, Pleyel's, or Mozart's, in addition 
to the light music which had hitherto been the 
principal feature of the orchestral performances, 
was the music performed at these concerts. 

In later years, when the symphonies of Beethoven 
and the overtures of Rossini became known, they were 
purchased for the band by a Mr. Elliot, an amateur 
who took a great interest in its performances. 

Among the professionals engaged to lead the 
band at these concerts may be mentioned — Nicolas 
Mori and Spagnoletti, the eminent violinists, who 
where leaders and directors of the Philharmonic 
Concerts. Robert Lindley, the celebrated English 
'cellist, and Louis Drouet, the divine flute player, 
were also engaged on these occasions. Another dis- 
tinguished musician was Sir Benjamin Bloomfield, 
afterwards Lord Bloomfield, who frequently played 
'cello solos, and occasionally took part in a duet 
with Lindley, his performance being only second to 
that eminent instrumentalist. This officer owed 
his introduction to court to his musical talents. 

His Lordship was greatly interested in the per- 
formances of the band, and used every effort to 
improve it. On one occasion, when it was playing 
in the Arsenal, Lord Bloomfield was so displeased 
at the inattention paid to the " piano " passages that 
he came out of his quarters in a rage, and assuming 
the office of conductor, made the performers repeat 
the piece they were playing with such attention 
to the marks that the effect was electrical. 1 

1 England's Artillerymen — Browne, 1865. 


The professionals who played at these early 
concerts occasionally recommended members of 
the band to play amongst the nobility. On one 
occasion Mr. McKenzie and three of the band, 
with the celebrated 'cellist, James Cervetto, gave a 
concert of chamber music before Queen Caroline 
and her friends. 1 

Mr. McKenzie conducted several local harmonic 
societies and glee clubs ; and the thought occurred 
to him that a vocal association might be formed in 
connection with the band. He accordingly con- 
ferred with two of the band, who came from the 
Duke of Richmond's Band, and possessed excellent 
voices, Morris (tenor) and Downham (bass). 

The first performance of a glee at the concerts 
so delighted the officers that it was determined to 
promote the cultivation of a full choir, and an order 
was instantly given for the enlistment of four boys 
to sing the treble parts. 

Shortly after the singing class was formed, a 
concert was given in honour of the visit of the 
Prince Regent, by Sir William Congreve, at his 
house in Charlton. The Prince having been in- 
formed by Colonel Bloomfield that some of the 
band were good singers, requested them to sing 
" The Ram of Derby," and added that he would 
assist. Corporal Morris sang first tenor, and 
Mr. McKenzie second tenor, His Royal Highness 
taking the bass part. The band were not only 
delighted with the honour of singing with the 
Prince, but charmed beyond measure with his 

1 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 


voice, and the artistic manner in which he executed 
his part. 1 

There is an anecdote related of His Majesty. 
It was while he was Prince Regent, and during a 
grand review at Woolwich he espied the " big 
drummer " of the band, a very aged man, who 
" hailed " from Wiltshire. The Prince rode up to 
him, speaking to him kindly, saying that he had 
remarked to the Commandant that he (the drum- 
mer) being such "a very old man," he would be 
pleased to do something for him. Just before he 
rode off he told the drummer that he would speak 
to his father, the King, concerning him, who would 
probably allow him to be admitted into Chelsea 
Hospital. This was too much for the aged 
rhythmic musician, who had, ever since the Prince 
first addressed him, been building " castles in the 
air," and no sooner had His Royal Highness men- 
tioned Chelsea Hospital than the old man suddenly 
retorted : " Well, you tell him I 'on't go !" 

The establishment of the R.A. Band in 1812 

i Master 

1 Sergeant 

2 Corporals 
18 Musicians 

13 Bandsmen (drummers and boys) 

3 Blacks* 


1 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 

a From a document in the possession of J. A. Browne, 

8 These played the bass drum, cymbals, and " Jingling 


In December, 1820, permission was granted for 
the R.A. Band to play at the Officers' Mess once a 
week, generally on a Thursday (guest night), but 
was not to be detained after 10 p.m. 1 A small sum 
of money was allowed to the band for this duty, 
which in the early days was distributed among the 
principal instrumentalists. 

Colonel Quist, the Band Commandant, died on 
the 26th November, 1821, having reached the great 
age of ninety-one, and was buried at Plumstead 
Churchyard. His death was sorely felt by the 
band. He loved music, and was like a father to 
all those under his command. He covered their 
faults, extolled their virtues, and did all in his 
power to make them comfortable, frequently paying 
them from his own purse when they were engaged 
any extra time at a mess concert, etc. 2 

The command of the band was now given to 
Colonel Percy Drummond, a tolerable musician 
who had been taught the 'cello by Ashley. He was 
also very kind to the band, and took every oppor- 
tunity of promoting its interest. 3 

The band was in frequent attendance at Ken- 
sington Palace at this time, the Duchess of Kent 
(Queen Victoria's mother) and the Duke of Sussex 
taking a great interest in its performances. The 
former brought a quantity of music from Germany 
purposely for the band. We also find them playing 
at aristocratic parties at Fulham and Thames 

1 R.A. Mess at Woolwich. — Robertson. 

2 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 

8 Some music still in use by the band bears his auto- 
graph, notably the " Clock Symphony." 


Ditton ; also at the shows of the Horticultural 
Society at Chiswick. 

At this time all the regiments of guards and 
many 1 regiments of cavalry and infantry had raised 
bands, but it is said that the best military bands at 
the beginning of the nineteenth century were those 
attached to the militia. 2 This is easily accounted 
for. First, the musicians were engaged, not 
enlisted as soldiers, and probably refused to go 
abroad. Secondly, the colonels and officers of 
the militia were generally wealthy noblemen and 
gentlemen resident in the counties, and well able 
to maintain these bands. Moreover, the regiments 
of the line had been too seriously engaged in war 
to pay much attention to bands. 

Most regiments in the Peninsular had their 
bands with them, and we read of their gallantry at 
Busaco, Talavera, etc. An interesting account of 
the band of the 48th Foot during this campaign 
is to be found in Mary Ann Wellington 3 by the 
Rev. R. Cobbold. It is feared, however, that these 
bands earned an experience somewhat similar to 
that afterwards obtained at the Crimea. An old 
Peninsular officer said 4 that he never felt so 

1 It is evident that not all regiments had them, from the 
fact that the 4th Light Dragoons did not commence to form 
a military band until 1832 (Music and Musicians — Marr, 1887). 

2 Mr. Charles Godfrey, founder of the famous Godfrey 
family, and for forty years bandmaster of the Coldstream 
Guards, was originally a bassoon player in the Surrey 
Militia. John Distin, the famous trumpeter and founder of 
the Distin family, came from the South Devon Militia. 

8 She was the daughter of a gunner in the R.A. who 
was,killed at Cadiz. 

4 British Bandsman, April, 1888. 


ashamed of our meanness and neglect of military 
prestige, as when he marched into Paris in 1814, 
and heard the fine bands of other nationalities, 
comparing them to the meagre and scanty musical 
display of the British troops present. 1 

During the forty years' peace which followed the 
treaty of Paris, the British Army had ample leisure 
in which to develop its taste for military bands, 
and a great many changes took place in military 
music, which entirely altered its character, and 
removed the limitations of wind bands generally. 
The first was the invention of the valve, and its 
application to nearly all brass instruments. It was 
was first brought out successfully by John Shaw, 
who designed the upright " clear bore " valve, 
which he applied to the trumpet in 1824. 2 Some 
years later it was placed on the market by Embach, 
of Amsterdam, in instruments called cornopeans 
(now known as cornets), which were introduced 
into our bands by John Kohler. This instrument 
entirely superseded the key-bugle, but for many 

1 At the grand ball, given by the Duke of Wellington at 
Paris, on the occasion of the Order of the Bath being 
bestowed on Blucher and others, a traveller notes that a 
military band played in the court of the hotel, but he does 
not say anything about its playing, or even mentions its 
name, while in a subsequent chapter he states with what 
pleasure he listened to the celebrated band of the Emperor 
of Austria, whose performance " surpassed that of any 
military orchestra I ever heard." (Journal of a Tour to 
Waterloo and Paris in company with Sir Walter Scott in 1815, 
by John Scott.) 

2 The idea of the valve, although not as we understand 
it at present, has really to be credited to Claggett, of Dublin, 
who applied it to the horn about 1775. Bluhmel first con- 
ceived the proper idea of the valve about 1813, which was 
brought out by Stolzel as his own invention. 

years, indeed, until Koenig made known its true 
character and capabilities, it was chiefly employed 
as an accompanying instrument, in fact, as an 
assistant to the trumpet. 

Bands of music were considered by the War 
Office, so purely a matter of luxury that it only 
allowed one private in each troop or company to 
be trained as a musician, and a sergeant to act as 
master of the band. So strict were the authorities 
in this particular, that General Officers of districts 
were required to report half-yearly that bands under 
their command were kept within the regulation 
limit, and that they could " play in correct time," 1 

All the extra expense for a professional teacher 
or bandmaster, and the cost of instruments and 
music, was borne by the officers, 2 who subscribed 
towards a band fund. 

As a matter of course, a certain rivalry soon 
arose between the different regiments as to the 
superiority of their bands. Wealthy corps would 
engage highly trained professional men, mostly from 
the continent, at high salaries, and obtain the best 
instruments procurable. 

Each band was formed on its own model, using 
instruments of whatever kind or pitch the colonel 
or bandmaster liked. We therefore meet with 
some very curious combinations. The Elthorne 
Middlesex Militia had a band of " pandean reeds," 
for which the bandmaster, H. Eberhardt, published 

1 General Regulations for the Army, 1811. 

2 Military Music. — Kappey. 


a tutor. The preface states that : — " The Pandean 
Reeds are instruments now used in regimental 
bands, and much approved in the King's Guards." 
In another part he says : — " The B fifes or flutes 
serve as an excellent support to the reeds." And 
further on the reader is told to observe that : — 
" Where an accidental note occurs, as G sharp or 
C natural, it must be taken by the flutes or fifes." 

The United Service Journal for June, 1831, gives 
us an idea of the mounted band of the 2nd Life 
Guards at this date, for we are told that : — " After 
saluting and marching past the King . . . . ' God 
save the King ' was played by the famous Russian 
chromatic trumpet band of the regiment (the only 
one in England)." 

Although these bands were allowed, yet there 
was only one band in the service that was officially 
recognised and provided for in the Army Estimates. 1 
This was the Royal Artillery Band, and payments 
were granted for one master, 2 one sergeant, two 
corporals, and eighteen musicians; and, in addition, 
£100 was allowed annually for the supply of music 
and instruments. 

It was the custom at this period to dress military 
bandsmen in white, and it is almost certan that the 
white uniform worn by the R.A. Band at this date 
(1830) was introduced by Colonel Quist about 1806. 3 

1 Army Estimates (Office of Ordnance), 1832. The 
only other grant for music was for a "Sergeant acting as 
Master of the Band " of the Royal Military College, Sand- 
hurst, at three shillings per diem. (Army Estimates, 

2 The Bandmaster of the R.A. is shown on the Army 
Estimates as early as 1823. 

3 R.A . Institution Proceedings, Vol. xiv. 


This white dress became so popular that after 
William IV. came to the throne it was adopted by 
all infantry bands. Much licence was allowed in 
matters of detail, and hence we find many of the 
band coatees lavishly braided, while brass scales, 
wings and epaulettes adorned the shoulders. Many 
line bands wore a bearskin busby, but the majority 
had the shako. The uniform of the R.A. Band 
was perhaps the most gorgeous in the service. 

The coatee was of fine white cloth with blue 
facings, edged with silk braid of red, yellow and 
blue. The front was trimmed with two rows of silk 
bows of red, yellow and blue, from the centre of 
which depended silk tassels of the same colours. 
The epaulettes were of fine wire, covered with 
yellow twill silk. The trousers were of light blue, 
tight fitting, with three-quarter-inch stripes of red, 
yellow and blue silk. 1 The head-dress was a tall 
shako of black felt, with patent leather peak ; the 
brass plate in front (bearing the Ordnance arms) 
was surmounted by a scarlet hackle feather plume, 
thirteen inches high ; brass scales at the sides, and 
hat lines of black mohair. 2 

The bandmaster wore a similar uniform, except 
that the lacing on the coatee was of gold, in the 
place of yellow silk, and his epaulettes were of gold. 
His trousers had, in addition, two huge Austrian 
knots of gold in front. The bandmaster and band 
sergeant wore a scarlet waist sash. 

1 White trousers were worn during the summer months. 

2 A winter head-dress was also worn. It was a " frame 
hat" of whalebone, covered with oilskin, without any orna- 
ment except the hat lines. 





The leathern stock, common throughout the army, 
was not worn by the band ; a stock of black cloth 
was worn instead. White shirt collars were also 
worn, and a dozen of the same had to be produced 
at a kit inspection. 

The last issue of this uniform 1 was made in 1838, 
but was worn until 1839, when a blue uniform was 
adopted. 2 The head-dress, with a slight alteration, 
continued in use until 1846. 

King George IV. left many of his musical instru- 
ments to Lord Bloomfleld, and they were placed by 
him in the care of the R.A. Band, 8 1831. There 
were two violoncellos, one (with a floral design 
underneath the finger-board) being a magnificent 
instrument, two violas (one nick-named " Brownie," 
and another purfled with ivory), both being very 
fine instruments. There was also a violin, of 
peculiar shape, the ribs being shaped similar to 
a guitar, light in colour, and purfled with ivory. 
With the exception of the latter, which disappeared 
about twenty years ago, these instruments are still 
in the catalogue of the band instruments. 

On one occasion the band was engaged to play 
at a ball in the Victoria Gardens, and there being 
no ferry in those days, they had to cross the river 
in small boats. When some distance from the 
shore, something was discerned following in the 

1 There is a painting in the possession of the widow of 
the late James Lawson (Bandmaster of the Mounted Band, 
R.A.) of Corporal C. M. Smith, of the R.A. Band, in this 
white uniform. There is also a reproduction of it in the 
R.A. Institution. 

2 R.A. Institution Proceedings, Vol. xiv. 

8 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 



wake of the boat, and at the same time the 'cello 
player missed his instrument. Hurriedly they 
pulled back to the object. It was the old " Bloom- 
field " 'cello, which had fallen overboard whilst 
they were entering the boat at the landing stage. 

In 1831, His Majesty King William IV. visited 
Woolwich to launch H.M.S. " Thunderer." The 
R.A. Band, which was in attendance, so greatly 
attracted his attention, that in less than a week 
it was commanded to attend the Royal palace, 
where His Majesty personally complimented Mr. 
McKenzie, declaring that the Queen was especially 
delighted with the performances of the band. It 
was afterwards in frequent attendance at his 
palace. 1 

His Majesty offered to present the band with 
a pair of sterling silver kettledrums, but the drums 
when finished were only of copper, and handsomely 
painted. The King was so disappointed that he 
presented the officers with a superb candelabra. 
The drums, measuring thirty-two inches and thirty- 
five inches, were beautifully enamelled, bearing 
the Royal arms in gold, and superscribed : — 



There is no record of any public ceremony at the 
presentation of these drums, as in the case of both 
regiments of Life Guards, who received theirs in 
1831. But it is believed that they first made their 
appearance during one of the visits to the Royal 

1 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 


palace. The officers were presented with their 
piece of plate on the 8th August, 1833. 

These drums were in continual use as orchestral 
drums 1 for over thirty years, and now rest in the 
Royal Artillery Institution, Woolwich ; although in 
a deplorable condition, battered and bruised, most 
of the once magnificent enamel having disappeared, 
yet they are still preserved as a memento of the 
patronage and goodwill of William IV. 

On the 23rd December, 1834, a grand performance 
of Handel's " Messiah " was given at the Royal 
Artillery Chapel 2 by the R.A. Band, assisted by 
several officers and local talent, in all nearly one 
hundred and thirty performers. The chorus num- 
bered seventy-two, the solos being sustained by 
Miss Bruce, Mr. E. Seguin, the celebrated basso 
from Covent Garden, and Mr. Handel Gear. The 
orchestra, under the direction of Mr. McKenzie, 
the bandmaster, consisted of :— 

First Violins 



Second Violins 



Tenors ... 






Double Bass 



Flutes ... 





Double Drums 

Several eminent performers played in the or- 
chestra on this occasion, notably Mr. C. Ashley, 
the celebrated 'cellist ; Mr. Howell, the well-known 

1 The performer on these drums was Musician Job 
Carter, a very clever player, who taught Chipp, the cele- 
brated timpani of the Italian Opera, the father of Dr. 
Edmund Chipp, of Ely, who, with his brother, played at 
the early R.A. Concerts. 

2 This old building was originally the Officers' Mess 
from about 1784 to 1802, when the present mess-rooms 
were taken into use ; the old rooms being converted into a 
chapel, and in 1863 into a theatre. 


double bass; Mr. Pattie and Mr. Hoff, Royal 
Academicians. Among the officers who assisted 
may be mentioned Dr. Kenning, m.d., Major Faddy, 
Captain Wright, Dr. Colchester, m.d., and Lieut. 
Thorndike. 1 

Sir George Smart and Sir John Stevenson were 
present, and paid a very handsome compliment to 
the performance. Sir John Stevenson invited 
Mr. McKenzie and Bombardier Reeves, of the 
R.A. Band, to join him at a musical party, where 
they sang glees, etc., with him.' 2 

Bombardier John Sims Reeves was the principal 
bass vocalist of the band. He was the son of a 
coachbuilder, and born at West Bromwich in 1791. 
When eighteen years of age he joined the Marines, 
but not liking that branch of the service, his friends 
purchased his discharge. In 1815 he again enlisted, 
this time in the Royal Horse Artillery. Here he 
was noticed by Dr. Kenning, m.d., of that branch 
(an excellent violinist), who had heard him sing, 
and recommended him to Mr. McKenzie as a 
valuable acquisition to the singing class. He was 
accordingly transferred to the band, where his 
superior attainments soon brought him to notice, 
and he became the solo bass vocalist, playing the 
bassoon and violin as well. Later he was appointed 
to church clerk, 8 and, by virtue of this office, 

1 The late General Daniel Thorndike, R.A., grandfather 
of Mr. Herbert Thorndike, the well-known singer. 

2 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 

3 It was his duty as church clerk to announce the 
anthem from the clerk's desk, and would frequently have to 
rush away to the music gallery, where the band (for there 
was no organ) and choir sat, to sing the bass solos. 


occupied quarters in rear of the Artillery Chapel. 1 
Here, on the 26th September, 1818, his wife Rosina 
gave birth to a son, called after his father, John, 
but known to the wide world as Sims 2 Reeves, " the 
finest tenor in Europe." 

Unfortunately, this does not agree with the 
various biographies of our great singer, in which he 
is said to have been born at Shooters' Hill, Kent, 
on October 21st, 1822. 3 This is but a poetic flight 
from the R.A. Barracks, for we have the certificate 
of his baptism in the register at Woolwich Church, 
which avers that he was born in 1818 at New Road, 
which is true, for New Road reaches to the corner 
of the barracks where he was born. Reference to 
the register of 1822 brings no refutation, but con- 
firmation strong, for we find that on October 20th, 
1822, the tenor's sister, Harriet, was born at the 
R.A. Barracks the day before that which her 
brother John, otherwise Sims, thought he was born 
on Shooters' Hill. 

In 1888 Sims Reeves published his autobiography, 4 
and compromises matters somewhat by saying he 
was born in 1821, a year earlier than other accounts. 
But it was not until 1898, when a testimonial benefit 

1 Afterwards the R.A. Theatre. The house still remains, 
and the rooms occupied by Musician Reeves were on the 
upper floor. 

2 This was his father's second name, and he adopted it, 
we believe, after his return from Italy. At his first appear- 
ance in Aberdeen, in September, 1843, he was announced 
as Mr. John Reeves. 

8 Dictionary of Music and Musicians, by Sir George 
Grove (1883); The Life of Sims Reeves, by Sutherland 
Edwards, etc., etc. 

4 The Life of Sims Reeves, written by himself, 1888. 


was contemplated for the veteran tenor, who was 
eighty years old in the September of that year, 
that he consented to the announcement 1 that he 
was born in 1818. 

When only nine or ten years old Sims Reeves 
sang in the R.A. Band choir, 2 and in the performance 
of the " Messiah " in 1834, before mentioned, both 
his and his father's name appear in the list of the 
chorus. 3 Being rather promising, application was 
made for his enlistment, with another boy, the son 
of the band sergeant, but owing to some others 
having a prior claim (being orphans) their enlist- 
ment was delayed. When permission was granted, 
Bombardier Reeves informed the bandmaster that 
a clergyman at Footscray, having taken notice of 
his son, he thought he would be able to do better 
for him. Regarding his career, little requires to be 
said ; his fame is known to every intelligent lover of 
song in, we may say, all English-speaking lands. 

He only once visited his native place, and sang at 
the Town Hall, William Street, where he had an 
enthusiastic reception. During this visit he had an 
interview with his old master, Mr. McKenzie. He 
died at Worthing, 25th October, 1900. 

His father, Corporal John Reeves, will be long 
remembered both as a splendid singer and a good 
instrumentalist, whilst some manuscript music, still 

1 British Musician, July, 1898. 

2 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 

8 This programme is in the possession of W. T. Vincent, 
Esq., the author of the Records of Woolwich, to whom I am 
greatly indebted for information. 


preserved, bears testimony to his superiority as a 
penman. He took his discharge in 1838, with a 
very small pension, and took over the clerkship at 
a church at North Cray, his other son, Harry, 
singing in the choir. He died in November, 1860, 
at Footscray. 

We must mention here the name of another 
distinguished R.A. Bandsman, who won honour in 
the more serious side of a soldier's life — on the field 
of battle. This was Andrew Henry, v.c, who 
served in the R.A. Band for some little time as a 
trumpet player, but early in the " forties " he 
transferred to the ranks. He served with great 
distinction in the Crimean War, being present at 
the battles of Alma and Inkerman. At the latter, 
whilst a sergeant in G Battery, Second Division, he 
defended his guns, almost single-handed, against 
overwhelming numbers, with the greatest tenacity ; 
receiving no fewer than twelve bayonet wounds. 
In April, 1857, he received a commission in the 
Land Transport Corps, and on the 26th June, Her 
late Majesty Queen Victoria decorated him with 
the Victoria Cross, being the second one in the 
Royal Artillery to receive the coveted distinction. 
In November, 1859, he was promoted to captain in 
the Coast Brigade, R.A. He died suddenly at 
Devonport on the 14th October, 1870, and was 
buried at St. Mary's, Woolwich. His portrait 
appears in Heroes of the Victoria Cross (London, 
1895), and a full description of his gallantry is 
recorded in England's Artillerymen and Kinglake's 
Crimean War. 

At the Coronation Procession of Queen Victoria, 


June, 1838, the R.A. Band was stationed in front of 
the Ordnance Office in Pall Mall. 

The establishment of the band in 1839 was : — 

i Master 

i Sergeant 

2 Corporals 

4 Bombardiers (paid as Musicians) 

14 Musicians 

19 Bandsmen 

(paid as Gunners) 

7 Boys (paid 

as Drummers) 


instrumentation consisted of: — 

Piccolo ... l 


Flutes ... 2 


Oboes ... 2 

Bass HornsS 

E flat Clarionets ... 3 


B flat Clarionets!.. . 14 

Tenor Drum 

Bassoons ... 4 

Side Drum 

Trumpets ... 4 

Bass Drum 

Cornets ... 3 


French Horns2 ... 2 

This included seven boys who, only being learners, 
did not play with the band, which would reduce the 
number to forty, exclusive of the bandmaster. 
This had been the strength of the band for many 
years ; in fact, they earned an unpleasant soubriquet 
in consequence of this number. It happened during 
the reign of William IV., when the band was in 
great demand at the Royal palace. Its performances 
being usually at night time, it became necessary to 
provide the musicians with candles for their music 
desks, which were supplied by the Royal household. 
These were very superior wax candles, and the 
musicians came to look upon them as their per- 

1 Including the bandmaster, who invariably played with 
the band, and kept time by nodding his head and stamping. 
In the orchestra he conducted with his bow, a la Strauss. 

2 Natural or hand horns. 

8 These were really bass ophicleides. 


quisites, and after each performance the partly- 
used candles were appropriated for the sole purpose 
of illuminating their rooms in barracks, which at 
this time were lit up with candles. Then came the 
order from the Royal household requesting the 
musicians to leave the " very superior " wax 
candles in their places. When this little episode 
became known in Woolwich, the bandsmen were 
immediately dubbed " The Forty Thieves." 

The names of some of the solo performers in the 
R.A. Band at this period occur in a poem entitled 
" The Barrack Field," which appeared in the 
Kentish Independent, August, 1887 : — 

"Again on the parade we stand 

To hear the Sunday evening band." 

* * * * 

" Do I remember ? Yes, I do, 
Mackenzie, 1 Smith, 2 and Collins 3 too, 
And Harry Lawson, 4 Bill Devine, 5 
While lesser stars around them shine. 
Tall Chew, 6 Ben Suffrien,' Billy Aitken, 8 
Soul moving, stirring, spirit waking, 
With many others if I'd time 
I'd celebrate in rugged rhyme. 
Some grand descendants now adorn 
The laurels won and ably worn, 
And spread the fame throughout the land 
The ancient worthies of the band." 

1 The bandmaster. 

2 Band corporal and solo horn. 

8 Band sergeant and solo E flat clarionet. 
* Solo cornet ; afterwards bandmaster of the Royal 
Horse Artillery (see Chap VII.). 

5 A very fine flute player ; afterwards bandmaster, 4th 
Light Dragoons, 1842-67. The bandmaster of the 4th King's 
Own from 1831-9 was George Coleman, also from the R.A. 

6 Bass trombone. 

7 Solo flute ; afterwards bandmaster, 17th Lancers. 

8 Piccolo. 


Among these ancient worthies were musicians 
of considerable ability, but their talents were but 
little known and appreciated by the general public, 
for indeed the band rarely performed out of 
Woolwich, except on duty. Owing mainly to there 
being no railway to London, engagements were few 
and far between, except perhaps for the leading 
players, who alone could supplement their meagre 
pay by local " business' 1 ; even these were fulfilled 
in a surreptitious manner as at this period the 
band had not the privilege of wearing plain clothes. 

No one of importance, however, visited Woolwich 
without hearing the band at the R.A. concerts held 
in the Officers' Mess, the programmes of which 
invariably included an instrumental solo. Among 
the most notable performers may be mentioned 
John Wilkinson 1 and James Prendergrast, the solo 
violin and solo 'cello. The " lions " of the band 
were, however, among the brass — Henry Lawson 2 
and William Keir, 3 the solo cornet and solo (slide) 
trumpet, both very fine performers, who frequently 
played brilliant duets by Labitzky and others. 

The other soloists were : oboe, S. Devine ; 
clarionet, W. Collins, jun. 4 ; bassoon, James Collins 5 ; 
trombone, R. Warren. 6 

1 Became bandmaster of the Royal Naval School, 

2 See Chap. VI. 

8 Afterwards regimental trumpet-major, R.A. 
* See Chap. IV. 

5 Ibid. 

6 Afterwards fife-major, R.A., and bandmaster, Forfar 
and Kincardine Artillery. 


About this time a bassoon player named Riddle, 
who had been in the band since childhood, applied 
for his discharge and was refused. He thereupon 
appealed to the Master-General, stating that he 
had never been " sworn in." After some enquiry, 
it was found that no less than seventeen of the 
band had not taken the customary oath, and when 
required to do so many refused and were discharged. 
Among them was Mr. McCombie, afterwards band- 
master to the Viceroy of India. 1 

In September, 1843, Colonel Drummond died. 
He was very kind to the band, and, with Lord 
Bloomfield, did much to improve it. Colonel 
Samuel Rudyerd now took command of the band, 
but he died soon afterwards, when Colonel J. E. 
Jones, the Assistant-Adjutant-General, succeeded 
him, and the command of the band then became 
the duty attached to that appointment, until it was 
transferred to the Depot Brigade, 1859. 

Mr. McKenzie now having passed the age of 
sixty-five, he retired (January, 1845) with a pension 
of three shillings and a halfpenny per diem. The 
members of the band entertained him at a farewell 
dinner, held at the " Bull Tavern," when he was 
presented with a handsome silver snuff-box, suitably 
inscribed, which is now in the possession of the 
Lawson family. Mr. McKenzie was a great favourite 
with His Majesty William IV., and it was not at all 
an uncommon sight to see His Majesty offer his 
snuff-box to Mr. McKenzie. 

Besides being an excellent singer, he was a capable 

3 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 


instrumentalist, and an indefatigable teacher. By 
his indomitable perseverance, he brought the band 
to such a pitch as to be unsurpassed in the country. 1 

He resided for many years with his son, a music- 
seller, at 17, Thomas Street, Woolwich, where he 
had a fine collection of stringed instruments, and 
occupied a little of his time in teaching. When he 
had turned eighty years of age he was still quite an 
active old man. Early in 1862 he was afflicted with 
paralysis, and he died on the 9th September, 1865. 

William George Collins, a bombardier in the band, 
succeeded him as bandmaster. 

1 " It is satisfactory to note that the two best bands in 
England at this period, the Royal Artillery and the Cold- 
stream Guards, were controlled by Messrs. Mackenzie 
and Godfrey, whose names bespeak their nationality." — 
Orchestral Times, 1901. 

From a painting in the R.A. Mounted Band Rooms. 




" I don't know what there was he couldn't do with yonder fiddle." 


"And he could strike a note that was sublime 
With all the witchery of a tuneful lyre." 


I I eldest son of William Collins, the band 

\^ sergeant, R.A., the founder of the Collins 
family, which became as popular in the 
Royal Artillery as the Godfreys did in the Guards, 
or the Winterbottoms in the Marines. 

Robert Collins and his brother William, (sen.), 
began their career in the Royal Irish Artillery 
Band; the former in 1791, and the latter in 1799, 
and both transferred to the R.A. Band, 1802. 
Robert 1 became the fife-major, R.A., and was 
discharged in 1834. His son Samuel served in the 
band 1817-60, and was discharged as band sergeant. 
William became the band sergeant in 1837, and 
was discharged in 1843. He was for many years 

1 His great-grandson. Stuart (Dick) Collins, was the last 
of the family to serve in the band, He took his discharge 
after seven years' service in 1891. 


conductor of the Woolwich Harmonic Society, 1 
and died in 1854, leaving seven sons and three 
daughters, all of whom were educated in the 
musical profession. Four of the sons served in 
the Royal Artillery— William, James and Frederick 
joining the band ; the other, George, afterwards 
became trumpet-major and bandmaster of the 
Royal Horse Artillery. 2 

James joined the band in 1834, and became the 
solo 'cello, and was later appointed fife-major, R.A., 
and afterwards drum-major, R.A. About 1859, he 
became bandmaster of the Antrim Rifles, and died 
in 1865. His eldest son, William, was for many 
years band sergeant, Royal Engineers, and another 
son served in the R.A., as did also a daughter — 
a regimental schoolmistress. 

Frederick joined the band in 1839, and became 
the solo viola ; he was discharged as corporal in 
1859, and became bandmaster of the Northumber- 
land Militia Artillery. 

William George Collins, the subject of this 
chapter, was born at Woolwich in 1815, and in 
November, 1825, enlisted in the band. Under the 
care and tuition of his father and Mr. McKenzie, 
he made great progress and was promoted to 

1 At the first public concert of this Society at the 
Harmonic Hall, Povvis Street, on the 22nd February, 1841, 
out of the orchestra of twenty-one, twelve belonged to the 
R.A. Band, besides three in the chorus (Records of Woolwich 
— Vincent). The present Woolwich Orchestral Society is 
conducted by Sidney Horton, Esq., late of the R.A. Band, 
in which he served from 1871 to 1881. He is a violinist and 
pianist of considerable ability, and played violin and piano 
concertos at the R.A. Concerts. 

2 Jackson's Journal, Feb., 1854. 


bombardier, being solo clarionet in the military 
band, and one of the leading first violins in the 

He then turned his attention to composition, and 
studied under James Harris, Esq., Mus. Bac.Oxon., 1 
with whom he was a great favourite. On the 
retirement of Mr. McKenzie in 1845, he became 
" Master of the Band." Before he was appointed, 
however, he was subjected to a severe examination 
held at Blackheath, before Sir Henry Bishop, 
Cipriani Potter — the President of the Royal 
Academy of Music, and other eminent musicians, 
and passed with great credit, much to the chagrin 
of his numerous opposers, amongst whom were 
Lord Bloomfield and other influential officers, who, 
however, sensibly and honourably bowed to the 
decision of the appointed examiners. 2 

Collins was very popular, and Mr. Lawson states 
that on the day of his examination the members of 
the band threw old boots after him for good luck 
as he left the band rooms. 8 The appointment of so 
young a man of Mr. Collins' talent was very oppor- 
tune. He at once set to work to infuse a vigorous 
style of playing into the band, more in accordance 
with the spirit of the age than the quiet, easy 
performances of bygone days. Mr. Collins was 
greatly assisted in this measure, as many of the 
older members took their discharge ; younger men 
filling their places. 

1 History of the Sappers and Miners. — Connolly. 

2 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 

3 Music and Musicians. — Mars, 1887. 


Mr. Collins organised concerts in the town, which 
were a great success. The following is a programme 1 
of one given at the Theatre Royal, Beresford Street, 
on the 15th December, 1846, at which Miss Dolby, 
afterwards known as Madame Sainton- Dolby, the 
celebrated contralto, was engaged as vocalist : — 



Sinfonia ... "Alia Turca" (first movement) ... Romberg 

Chorus "The Tempest i 'Around, around we pace'" Purcell 

Recit. ed Aria ... "Ateriedo" ... Mercadante 

Miss Dolby 

Waltr "Emilie" Collins 2 

Cavatina " This heart by woe o'ertaken " (Maritana) Wallace 
Mr. Wilkinson, R.A. Band 

Quartett ... " What phrase sad and soft " Sir H. Bishop 

Song ... " Oh, Arabyl" (Oberon) ... Weber 

Miss Dolby 

Solo Violin "Sixth Air" De Beriot 

Mr. Wilkinson, R.A. Band 


Collins s 

PART 11. 

Overture "William Tell" Rossini 

Scena ... " All is lost" (Sonnambula) ... Bellini 

Mr. Wilkinson, R.A. Band 

Solo Cornet a Piston " The Banks of Allan Water " B. Lee 
Mr. James Lawson, R.A. Band 

Ballad " Primroses deck the bank's green side " Linley 

Miss Dolby 

Solo Flute " Original Air " ... Richardson 

Mr. Bellingham, R.A. Band 

Trio "Turn an old Time" (Maritana) ... Wallace 

Miss Dolby, Messrs. Wilkinson and Browning, R.A. Band 

Quadrille " British Navy " Jullien 

Polka " Comic American " Jullien 

1 In the writer's possession. 

2 The bandmaster. R.A. 
s Ibid. 


At this time the band was recruited from young 
boys, as a rule only nine or ten years old, mostly 
" sons of the regiment," who were considered 
elegible before all others, although a few came from 
the Duke of York's School, 1 Chelsea, and the Royal 
Naval School, Greenwich, but always after a very 
careful selection. The singing-master taught them 
to sing, and prepared them for the soprano depart- 
ment of the band choir. Their general education 
was well looked after, and in the summer they 
attended school before breakfast, 6.0 to 7.30 a.m., 
and again in the afternoon for an hour ; they 
attended all the practices, both military and 

The daily routine of the band was a short practice 
(military) before " guard-mounting," which they 
attended with the Royal Marine Band. It was a 
very imposing affair. The guard was drawn up on 
the Barrack Field about 10.30 a.m. and inspected 
by the field officer of the day. The band then 
marched down the line playing a slow march, and 
returned playing in quick time. 

The Guards then marched off, one party to the 
Arsenal, and the other to the Dockyard. The R.A. 
Band played the Arsenal guards to their post, and 
a selection of music was performed in the Dial 
Square whilst the old guards were being relieved. 

1 This institution played no small part in the progress of 
military bands in the early years of the last century. It 
turned out some of the finest clarionet players of the day. 
The bandmaster of the school was a Mr. Blizzard, a 
Waterloo veteran, noted for his purity of tone and style, 
which he imparted to his pupils, among them Lazarus, the 
finest clarionettist England has produced. 



They were then played back to barracks, which 
they reached before twelve noon. 

In the afternoon there was an hour's practice for 
the young members, which completed the musical 
duties of the day, except for the Thursday mess- 
nights, when the band performed from 9.0 to 10.0 
p.m. In the winter there were the weekly orchestral 
and vocal concerts, known as the R.A. Concerts, also 
held in the Officers' Mess, on Tuesdays at 2.0 p.m., 1 
and in the summer there was the usual " playing- 
out " on the Barrack Field, generally two days in 
the week, morning and afternoon. 

On Sundays, after the church parade, the band 
(orchestral) 2 played in the Artillery Chapel (after- 
wards the R.A. Theatre), for there was no organ. 

" The chapel where we're bound." 

* * * 

" Now, bandsmen play the soldiers in." 

* * * 

" They sing the * Tate and Brady ' psalms, 
And praise with trumpets and with shawms." 

* * * 

" Anon the pealing anthem's swelling 
With grand effect ' The Heavens are Telling ' 
With drum and oboe, brass and string, 
The sacred place is echoing." 

— The Barrack Field. 

The choir was also furnished by the band, who 
occupied the centre of the upper gallery, flanked on 

1 There is evidence that in 1835 these were held on 
Fridays at 1 p.m. 

2 Generally string and wood-wind instruments ; brass 
only occasionally. 


either side by the children from the regimental 
schools. A portion of the band also attended the 
afternoon service, under the direction of the band 
sergeant. Elaborate musical services were fre- 
quently given, and the performance of Kent's, 
Handel's and Mendelssohn's anthems by the band 
have been the admiration of the inhabitants of 
Woolwich for many years. Before a choir was 
established in this church, the only music per- 
formed there, was a voluntary, which was played 
upon wind instruments. 1 

In these days there was little or no printed music 
for the military band, except that occasionally 
an officer would bring some over from France or 
Germany, which was generally for instrumentation 
peculiar to continental bands, and useless until re- 
arranged. Those regiments that had bandmasters 
capable of composing and arranging were the best 
off, but their manuscripts were jealously guarded, 
and all sorts of expedients were resorted to for 
the purpose of replenishing the regimental music 
library. 2 If two regiments met, and their band- 
masters were friendly, they looked over each other's 
repertoire, and made exchanges, the bandsmen 
being set to work copying as fast as they could. 3 

1 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 

2 A story is told of a bandsman of the 4th (King's Own) 
Regiment, named Walthier, who, like Mozart in the Papal 
Chapel, could write music as he heard it, being set to work 
to secure a piece belonging to another band that was 
jealously guarded. He attended several performances, and 
succeeded so well that some men of the other band were 
charged with supplying the copies. 

3 In the R.A. Band two copyists were kept constantly 


These little amenities rarely extended beyond 
marches and light compositions. But the R.A. 
Band was better off than these ; for, having a fine 
orchestra, playing the best music of the day, the 
bandmaster was able to arrange such music for 
the military band. 

The first printed music for military bands pub- 
lished in England was issued by Messrs. Wessel 
between 1830 and 1840, but the circulation was 
limited, and the arrangement theoretical rather than 
practical. The first really effective arrangement 
for a military band published in London was by 
Herr C. Boose, bandmaster of the Scots Fusilier 
Guards, who issued a selection from Verdi's opera, 
" Ernani," in 1845. It was soon taken up by 
Messrs. Boosey and Co., who undertook the pro- 
duction of a military band journal, appointing 
Herr Boose sole editor. 

The uniform worn by the R.A. Band at this 
period (1847) 1 was introduced in 1839, with the 
exception of the head-dress — the bearskin, which 
was adopted in 1846. 

The bandmaster wore a double-breasted blue 
coatee with scarlet facings ; the collar, cuffs and 
skirts being heavily laced with gold lace, and gold 
bullion epaulettes; dark blue trousers with two- 

1 From a portrait of W. Collins, bandmaster, R.A., in the 
possession of the R.A. Mounted Band, and also from a 
coloured photograph of Musician George Browning, kindly 
lent to the writer by his son, R. W. Browning, late band- 
master, Devon Artillery Militia and 2nd Devon Volunteers. 
A representation of a musician at this period is given in the 
Records of Woolwich, and also in an engraving, by Ranwell, 
of a review at the R.M. Academy, Woolwich (1840). 






inch gold lace stripes. The bearskin busby was of 
great size, with a plume of scarlet feathers on the 
left side, which encircled the top. 

The non-commissioned officers, musicians, etc., 
wore a similar coatee, except that it was laced 
with half-inch gold lace, and smaller epaulettes. 
Trousers of dark blue 1 with a two-inch gold lace 
stripe for the sergeant, and scarlet cloth stripes 
for the remainder. They also wore the bearskin, 
with a short horse-hair plume of scarlet on the left 

The boys wore the same as above, except that 
the lacing and epaulettes were of yellow worsted. 

In undress 2 the bandmaster wore a dark blue 
frock coat, the front of which was laced with six 
rows of black braid, collar and cuffs laced with the 
same. The non-commissioned officers, musicians, 
etc., wore a dark blue shell jacket with fourteen 
small buttons down the front, scarlet collar, the 
back seams being piped with scarlet. The band 
sergeant's jacket was similar, except that it was 
laced with gold. 

The forage cap was of dark blue, with a wide 
crown, and patent leather peak, scarlet cloth band 
and scarlet piping round the seams. 8 The band- 
master and band sergeant wore gold lace bands. 

At this period the band carried no card cases; 

1 Light blue trousers were abolished in 1847, and dark 
blue substituted. 

2 The band had to pay for their undress uniform. 

8 In 1852 the forage cap was changed to one with a soft 
crown and gold lace band. About 1861 a cap similar to that 
worn at present was introduced, 


the music for marching, etc., had to be committed 
to memory. 

Fixed regimental marches were unknown at this 
time. Some corps certainly had traditional marches, 
which they held most sacred 1 ; but others played 
certain tunes because the colonel's wife liked the 
air, or perhaps because the colonel fancied the men 
marched better to it than any other. It was con- 
sidered the duty of a new bandmaster to compose 
or select the regimental marches. In the early 
years of the last century the R.A. Band played a 
march composed by Mr. McKenzie, the bandmaster, 
which was replaced by one composed by the suc- 
ceeding bandmaster, Mr. Collins. The autograph 
score of the latter is in the writer's possession, 
which is dated 22nd July, 1848. But these were 
slow marches. There were no fixed regimental 
marches until the War Office order of 1882, 
prior to which the R.A. Band used several marches 
for this purpose of marching past, viz. : the 
" British Grenadiers," " I'm Ninety-five," " High- 
land Laddie," and " Garry Owen." 

On one occasion, about forty years ago, the 
Royal Artillery were being marched past on 
Woolwich Common to the latter tune, when the 
Duke of Cambridge kept beating time with his 

1 Among these may be mentioned, the march of the 
" Green Howards " (19th Foot), which was presented to the 
regiment whilst on a tour of service in Austria, 1742. The 
29th Foot, now known as the Worcestershire Regiment, 
have a march called the " Windsor," composed for them by 
Princess Augusta, a daughter of George III. The 15th 
Hussars march, " Elliott Light Horse," dates as far back 
as 1780; and the 14th Foot have for over a century played 
the well-known French revolutionary air, " Ca Ira." 


cane and shouting " Faster, that band ! " The 
bandmaster, Mr. Smyth, coolly took out his watch 
and, timing the march by the minute hand, made 
no alteration. The order at that date was one 
hundred and eight paces to the minute, but very 
soon afterwards it was increased to one hundred 
and sixteen, and recently to one hundred and 
twenty. 1 

It would seem that the " British Grenadiers " 
was considered the regimental march in the R.A. 
quite fifty years ago, for it is introduced into 
a galop entitled " The Royal Artillery," com- 
• posed by the bandmaster, Mr. Smyth, about 
1855. It was fixed as the regimental march for 
the regiment in 1882. This fine old melody is 
very old, and it is impossible to ascertain its date. 3 

1 The slow time of the English marches was for several 
centuries a subject of remark among foreigners. " It was 
formerly in high estimation, as well abroad as with us," 
says Hawkins (History of Music). " Its characteristic is 
dignity and gravity, in which respect it differs greatly from 

the French which is brisk and alert." Sir Roger 

Williams, a gallant soldier of Elizabeth's time, had a con- 
versation with the French marshal, Biron, on the subject 
of English marches. The marshal observed that the 
English march was slow, heavy and sluggish. " That may 
be true," answered Sir Roger, "but, slow as it is, it has 
traversed your master's country from one end to the 

2 It is to be found in different forms at different periods. 
It certainly cannot (as far as its title is concerned) be older 
than 1678, when the grenadier companies were first formed. 
In Queen Elizabeth's virginal book the melody appears as 
" Nancie " ; and in another MS. of the same time, as "All 
you that love good fellows, or the London 'Prentice." In 
a Dutch publication of 1643 it is known as "Sir Edward 
Noel's delight," and during the Civil War it appears as 
" Prince Rupert's March." The modern version as played 
by the band (published by authority, Boosey & Co.) is 
in the key of B flat, and is slightly different to the old 
melody given by Mr. Chappell (Popular Music in the Olden 
Time), which notation is over a hundred years old. 


Mr. Chappell, in his Popular Music of the Olden 
Time, says : " Next to the national anthems, there 
is not any tune of a more spirit-stirring character 
than the • British Grenadiers,' nor is any one more 
truly characteristic of English national music." 

Prior to 1859 there was a drum-major, fife-major, 
and a trumpet-major in the Royal Artillery, besides 
a trumpet-major in the Royal Horse Artillery. 
These appointments were invariably given to mem- 
bers of the R.A. Band ; who, however, in later 
years, did not sever their connection altogether, 
but played with the band whenever their duties 
would permit. The drum-major and fife-major 
taught the corps of drummers and fifers, 1 which 
relieved the R.A. Band of much duty. 

" See trumpeters assemble near, 
And from their lips the blast blows clear ; 

See drummers with the fifers come, 
And Carter with the massive drum ; 
The grand drum-major first doth stalk, 
With gold-knobb'd stick and pompous walk, 
And, as he marches o'er the ground, 
He thinks he turns the world around." 

— The Barrack Field. 

All these wore scarlet with blue facings, except 
in the Royal Horse Artillery, where they wore the 
same as the ranks. The drum-major was a gor- 

1 The "drums and fifes" was a very efficient band. 
They practised daily, Saturdays excepted, from 10.30 to 12 
noon, in the Gymnasium (" Garrison Orders," 11-10-1856). 


geous individual, and he marched at the head of 
the R.A. Band. 

His uniform was a scarlet coatee with blue 
facings, the breast, skirts, collar and cuffs being 
heavily laced with gold ; trousers of light blue, 
with gold lace stripes, and gold Austrian knots in 
front. Over his left shoulder he wore his " sash of 
office " of blue and gold, and a crimson sash round 
his waist. His head-dress was an enormous bear- 
skin busby with a waving plume of scarlet feathers, 
on the right side, which encircled the top. 1 

The fife-major and the trumpet-major, R.A., wore 
a similar uniform, with the exception of the head- 
dress, which was the shako, as worn by the rank 
and file, and without the Austrian knots on the 
trousers, and smaller epaulettes. 2 The drummers, 
fifers, and trumpeters, R.A., wore double-breasted 
scarlet coatees with blue facings, with shoulder 
wings and trimmings of yellow worsted. The 
scarlet uniform was abolished in 1851, when blue 
was substituted, the trimmings and lacing re- 
maining the same. 8 

The drum was discarded as a signal or duty 
instrument in 1848, 4 the trumpet and bugle being 
retained. But at Woolwich an efficient band of 

1 From a coloured print of the drum-major, R.A. (circa 
1840), which hangs in the R.A. Band Reading Room. 

a From a photograph of the Fife-Major, R.A., in the 
possession of Mrs. Lawson. 

8 History of the Dress of the R.A.— Macdonald. 

i Artillery Regimental History. — Miller, 


drums and fifes was maintained until 1856, 1 when 
it was converted into a bugle band (see Chap. VIII.). 
The ranks of drum-major and fife-major continued 
until the introduction of the brigade system in 1859. 
From 1859, the leader of the bugle band — James 
Lawson — was borne on the establishment of the 
regiment as the drum-major, although he did not 
march at the head of the R.A. Band. The title, 
drum-major, was dropped in April, 1865, when he 
was styled " master of the bugle band," although 
he continued to draw his pay as drum-major of the 
regiment until 1882. In December, 1859, an 
attempt was made to revive the glories of a 
marching drum-major, and the appointment was 
given to Bombardier James Lowrie, 2 but he gave up 
the position early in 1860. He was the last drum- 
major in the Royal Artillery. His uniform was a 
dark blue tunic with scarlet collar, the breast was 
laced with five rows of gold lace, the collar, cuffs, 
and back seams being also laced with gold. Trousers 
of dark blue with two inch gold lace stripes. His 
sash was scarlet, trimmed with gold. His head- 
dress was a bearskin, similar to that worn by the 
ancient worthies of that office. His entire uniform, 
and the staff, 3 which was used by many of his pre- 

1 The last reference to the drums and fifes occurs in the 
band accounts for 1856-7, where the drum-major is allowed 
five pounds for " providing music for the flutists " (sic). 

2 The present Lieut. -Colonel J. Lowrie, J. P., late com- 
manding the 2nd Middlesex Artillery Volunteers. 

8 It may be of interest to note that perhaps the oldest 
drum-major's staff in existence is preserved at the Armoury 
House, Finsbury. It belongs to the Honourable Artillery 
Company, and was presented to them by its treasurer, 
Sir Mathew Andrews, in 1679. 


decessors, are still preserved in the R.A. Institution. 
The establishment of the R.A. Band 1 in 1849 
was : — 

i Master 

1 Sergeant 

2 Corporals 

8 Acting Bombardiers (paid as Musicians) 
12 Musicians 
19 Bandsmen (paid as Gunners) 

6 Boys (paid as Drummers) 


The following is a programme of a Royal Artillery 
concert, held in the Officers' Mess-room, on Tuesday, 
27th February, 1849:— 




... Herold 

Solo and Chorus 

" Come if you dare " 

... Purcell 



... D'Albert 

Solo Clarionet 

... " nth Air Varie" 


Galop di Bravura 






Madrigal ..." 

Soldiers brave and gallant be " 

... Gastoldi 



... Schabert 


" In questo semplice " 



... " Chinese Junk " 

... D'Albert 

The principal instrumental performers at this 
period were : flute, Musician J. Bellingham ; oboe, 
Bandsman V. Maine ; E flat clarionet, Musician 
J. Farlie ; B flat clarionet, Sergeant W. Newstead, 
sen. ; bassoon, Musician R. Anderson ; cornet, 

1 Quite half of the band resided out of barracks, and 
the remainder occupied quarters adjoining the Artillery 
Chapel (now the R.A. Theatre), on the top floor, the two 
small rooms serving as sleeping rooms, and the large room 
as a practice-room and mess-room. For many years the 
bandmaster's quarters were those on the top floor in the 
building (now a sergeants' mess) opposite the R.A. canteen. 


Bombardier J. Lawson 1 ; horn, Musician C. Gordon, 
sen. 2 ; trombone, Bombardier T. Gilbertson 8 ; ophi- 
cleide, Musician W. Lake 4 ; violin, Bombardier S. 
Collins ; viola, Musician P. Collins 5 ; 'cello, Bombar- 
dier J. Collins. 6 

The first grand military concert ever given in this 
country took place in June, 1851, at Chelsea 
Hospital, in which the bands of the Royal Artillery, 
1st and 2nd Life Guards, Royal Horse Guards, 
Grenadier, Coldstream, and Scots Guards, in all 
some three hundred and fifty performers, took part. 
The programme, which was performed on a raised 
platform in front of the portico in the great square, 
was divided into two parts, with seven pieces in 
each, and included : — march, he Prophete ; overture, 
Fest, by Lulner ; overture, Maritana ; Camp of 
Silesia ; overture, Euryanthe ; Boisselots' Ne touchez 
pas a la reine ; L'Huguenots ; Lucia de Lammermoor ; 
Nino ; march from Norma ; quick step by Boose 1 ; 
waltzes by Karl Buller and D'Albert ; and Labitzky's 
famous Quadrille of all Nations. These were con- 
ducted by the respective bandmasters in turn. 

The Times, commenting on the concert, said : — 
" The execution of these pieces was so admirable, 
the ensemble so good, and the energy and decision 

1 Became bandmaster, Royal Artillery Mounted Band 
(see Chap. VIII.). 

2 For many years in the Carl Rosa Opera Orchestra. 

8 He was also the principal tenor vocalist, the principal 
bass vocalist being Bombardier G. Browning. 

4 Became bandmaster of several Metropolitan Police 

6 Became bandmaster, Northumberland Artillery (see 
Chap. IV.) 

a Became bandmaster, Antrim Rifles (see Chap. IV.). 


of the conductors so remarkable that the unequi- 
vocal satisfaction of the auditors was not to be 
wondered at. We only regretted that with such 
splendid means so little of real musical importance 
was effected. The overture to Euryanthe alone 
among the 14 pieces presented to the public was 
worthy of consideration as an artistic performance. 
Our military bands have reached a very high degree 
of perfection in regard to the mere talent of 
execution ; but in other respects they have done 
little or nothing to assist the progress of the art. 
If the bandmasters who train them so zealously 
and well would endeavour to instil into them some 
notion of true music, instead of confining them 
almost wholly to the most ephemeral productions, 
their influence would be highly beneficial." 

The R.A. Band was engaged at the ceremony of 
the planting of the first pillar at the Crystal Palace 
on the 5th August, 1852 ; they also fulfilled engage- 
ments at Cheltenham, Hatfield, Colchester, Ashford, 
Aylesbury, etc. In November, 1852, it was ordered 
to take part in the funeral procession of the Duke 
of Wellington, and played the funeral march from 
Mendelssohn's Antigone, and a movement from 
Spohr's symphony, Die weihe der tone. 

It was taken to Brighton in December, 1853, by 
Captain (afterwards Lieutenant-General Sir David) 
Wood, R.H A., "where its performances as a string 
band first elicited that commendation which has 
since been re-echoed throughout the length and 
breadth of the land." 1 

1 England's Artillerymen. — Browne, 1865. 


The following is an extract from the Brighton 
Gazette of that month : — 

" This band, which we believe, never performed 
in Brighton before, is acknowledged to be the best 
in the service ; and for versatility of talent it is 
unrivalled: it contains in itself a brass (military) 
band, a stringed, and a vocal band. There is none 
to equal it ; and we can only imagine that it was 
brought to its present pitch of perfection by the 
indomitable perseverance of its talented conductor, 
Mr. Collins. If we had heard no other performance 
than the selection from " Lucrezia Borgia," it 
would have been sufficient to stamp our admiration 
of their playing. All the points were worked out 
with a master-hand and with much spirit, and at 
the same time evenness of tone : no single instru- 
ment was so far predominant as to pain even the 
critical ear by the circumstance of its being over- 
powering. The crescendos that we never heard 
excelled, if equalled, were beautifully worked up, 
and the subdued passages given with all that 
exquisite modulation that nothing but a thorough 
drilling under a first-rate master like Mr. Collins 
could effect. It was remarked by many in the room 
that this performance approached perfection as near 
as it possibly could be reached ; and we doubt not, 
if Donizetti could have heard this music handled 
by our artillery band, he would not say with many 
that the English were far behind the foreigners in 
their appreciation and performance of good music. 
We cannot let this opportunity pass without 
offering our meed of praise to the cornet player, 
Mr. Lawson, who is a second Koenig on that 


instrument. His solos were given with the utmost 
purity of tone and taste ; and we heard frequent 
exclamations of — ' Beautiful ! ' We shall probably 
by some be thought too lavish in praise of this band ; 
but we could not discover a single point with which 
to find fault. Three vocal pieces were performed : 
Sir Henry Bishop's glee, ' Blow, gentle gales,' the 
serenade « Sleep, gentle lady,' and the echo chorus 
from Weber's ' Preciosa' ; the solo parts being sus- 
tained by Master W. Maine, Master J. A. Browne, 1 
Messrs. Gilbertson, Wells, and Smith. In the 
serenade the treble of Master Maine was very 
sweet, well in tune throughout, although we 
understand his voice is breaking. The bass of 
Mr. Joseph Smith was flowing and telling, 
without any degree of harshness; the tenor of 
Mr. Gilbertson was admirable, and the counter- 
tenor, with a trifling exception, accorded well with 
the other voices. At the close of the performances, 
Mr. Collins was much complimented by several of 
the company on the efficiency to which he had 
raised his band, and by none more so than by the 
Hon. Archibald Macdonald, ' father of the London 
Catch Club.' The performers are for the most part 
young men, and many of them mere boys, a cir- 
cumstance which shows that greater credit is due 
to the conductor." 

The success of the band was such, that the best 
engagements in Brighton for that and the following 
seasons were sent to the R.A. Band. Local 
musicians were naturally very indignant, and sar- 

1 Became bandmaster, Royal Horse Artillery. 


castic remarks were made in some of the papers 
about the " soldier fiddlers." However, the band 
went annually to Brighton, and in 1866, in con- 
junction with Madame Liebhart, gave morning and 
evening concerts for an entire week. 1 

Between 1830 and 1860 a great many changes 
took place in military music. It was stated in the 
last chapter that bands were formed on their own 
model, using what instruments they liked ; conse- 
quently there was no common pitch, and it was 
almost impossible to combine several bands for 
united performances. It was William Wieprecht, 
a German, who was the first to clearly perceive the 
want of a complete reconstruction, and also to 
devise a plan of an instrumentation fixed according 
to artistic needs. His first attempt was to construct 
the modern brass band about 1828, when he intro- 
duced a complete family of valved instruments, 
comprised of E flat cornets, B flat cornets, B flat 
tenor horns, and euphoniums. Seven years later 
he designed the bombardon. In 1838 he was 
appointed director of the bands of the Prussian 
Guards, and from this time dates the gradual 
revolution in the organisation of the military bands 
in almost all European States, and formed the 
basis of our present military music. 

1 "The fullness of tone, without the slightest harshness, 
produced by this band is at once a proof that every 
instrument is under the fullest control of the performers. 
Added to this is the tenderness and artistic feeling displayed 
by the soloists, to say nothing of the exquisite colouring by 
the strictest attention to the piano crescendos and fortes of 
the composers, forming altogether an ensemble not hitherto 
realised here." — Brighton Gazette, 3-1-1867. 


Then came Adolph Sax, who, like Wieprecht in 
Germany, created a revolution in French military 
music. He adapted the valve to all classes of brass 
instruments, which he called saxhorns, saxtrombas, 
saxtubas, etc., ignoring the fact that these instru- 
ments were known, although not in general use, 
long before his " inventions " were patented. These 
were almost immediately adopted in England under 
the names of saxhorns, althorns, euphoniums, and 
bombardons. The two latter seem to have been 
adopted first, and entirely superseded the tenor and 
bass ophicleides, bass horns and serpents. 1 Another 
invention of M. Sax, was the saxophone, which 
remains his most important discovery. 

Nor had the brass family alone been improved 
upon. Boehm, Triebert, Klose, and others, had 
greatly increased the executive capacity of the 
" wood wind " by their improvements and inven- 

British " crack" regiments, now at the zenith of 
their extravagance in military musical matters, 
spent enormous sums in purchasing instruments 
of the new type, for even at this date the rivalry 
between regimental bands was as keen as ever. 
But whatever may be said of such a system, it is 
undeniable that the musical results were in many 
cases notable, and the service could boast fifty years 
ago of many superior bands, 2 besides those of the 
Guards and Artillery. 

1 The last serpent player in the band was Bombardier 
G. Browning, and the identical instrument is still preserved 
in his family. It appears in the illustration facing page 90. 

2 Military Music. — Kappey. 



In April, 1854, Mr. Collins, the bandmaster, R.A., 
took his discharge on a pension. He then became 
bandmaster of the Royal Bucks Militia, " which, 
from his peculiar fitness and attainments, became 
one of the best bands among the regular troops 
or militia in the kingdom." 1 On the disembodi- 
ment of the regiment, his engagement with Lord 
Carrington having ceased, his well-known repu- 
tation led to his instant appointment as Master 
of the newly-formed band of the Royal Engineers 
at Chatham (August, 1856), the first appointed in 
that corps. 2 

In this position he also achieved success, and 
it was he who established the string band in that 
corps. 8 

He retired in 1865 to Woolwich, and later re- 
moved to Torquay, where he died, 10th March, 
1886, aged 71. 4 

Mr. Collins was a clever musician. Besides 
being an excellent clarionet player and a good 
violinist, he was an advanced theorist, and also an 
effective arranger for both military band and 
orchestra, but he was a very reserved man, who 
had been brought up in a narrow groove, bounded 
on every side by Woolwich, and was sadly wanting 
in tact and experience. That the officers of the 

1 History of the Sappers and Miners. — Connolly. 

2 Prior to this, there had been a brass band in the corps, 
under the direction of Bugle-Major Youle. 

8 Robert Marr, in his Music for the People (1889) gives 
Mr. J. Sawerthal the credit of this, which is an error. 
(See also History of the Sappers and Miners. — Connolly. 

4 His decease is recorded on the back of the tombstone 
of Ralph Bennett, 178 -, in Plumstead Churchyard. 


Royal Engineers were well satisfied with him, 
however, may be gathered from the fact of their 
going to the same school for his successor, 
Mr. William Newstead, jun., a sergeant in the 
Royal Artillery Band. He was the eldest son of 
the band sergeant, R.A., and was born at Woolwich 
in 1826. In 1837 he joined the R.A. Band, and 
was for many years the solo clarionet in the military 
band, and one of the leading violins of the orchestra. 
He became bandmaster, Royal Engineers, in 1865, 
and remained with them until 1871. He died in 
1875 as bandmaster of the Northampton Volun- 
teers. 1 " Coming from a good school of music, 
the first conductors were enabled to raise the band 
[the Royal Engineers] to a high state of efficiency," 2 
and they laid the foundations for the present famous 
band of that corps. 

James Smyth, the bandmaster of the 19th Regi- 
ment, succeeded Collins as bandmaster of the 
Royal Artillery. 

1 His brother Henry also served in the R.A. Band, and 
became bandmaster of the 106th Regiment. To this 
gentleman I am greatly indebted for information. 

2 Music and Musicians. — Marr, 1887. 

Photo by Cobb, Woolwich. 



" Up from beneath his masterly hand in circling flight 
The gathering music rose." 

—HOMER (translated by SHELLEY). 

" I am what I am because I was industrious ; whoever 
is equally sedulous will be equally successful." — BACH. 

}AMES SMYTH was the son of a guardsman, 
and was born in London, 18th March, 1818, 
and baptised at St. James' Church, Piccadilly. 
When he was quite young, his father was 
promoted to the 19th Regiment, and his son was 
taken into the regimental band. Under the care of 
Mr. Brown, the bandmaster, an excellent musician, 
he made rapid progress in every department. The 
19th was one of the few line bands which had a 
string band, and soon we find Corporal Smyth 
first violin and solo clarionet. His abilities were 
so marked that when Mr. Brown retired in 1841, 
he was appointed bandmaster. 

He saw much foreign service, being stationed at 
Malta, Cephalonia, Corfu, West Indies and Canada. 
At Montreal, where his string band was engaged 
to furnish the orchestra for the Seguin Opera 
Company, he made the acquaintance of one of the 
prima donne of the company, an eminent contralto, 
of the Royal Opera, Stuttgardt, whom he married. 1 
Arriving in England, the reputation of Mr. Smyth 

1 British Musician, Sept., 1398. 


and his band increased, particularly at Plymouth, 
where the local Philharmonic Society was con- 
ducted by him. When the regiment left Plymouth, 
he was presented with a handsome silver salver by 
the society as a " mark of their appreciation of his 
talent, and of the zeal, energy and devotion " with 
which he had carried them through two important 
seasons — 1851-2. 

In 1853 the regiment went to Chobham Camp, 
and here the superiority of the band of the 19th 
became unpleasantly apparent. Lord Seaton in- 
variably sent for it when the Queen or any 
distinguished visitors lunched with him, and on 
one occasion Mr. Smyth was highly complimented 
by Her Majesty, who sent an aide-de-camp to 
inform him that his conducting had been the means 
of producing a spirited and good performance 2 ; 
also when the combined bands played (then quite 
a novel feature in the service) Mr. Smyth was 
usually selected to conduct them, until he (seeing 
the ill-feeling arising) suggested to the authorities 
that the different bandmasters should take this 
duty in turn. 

When the Crimean War broke out the 19th was 
ordered to the seat of war, and the officers not 
wishing to part with their bandmaster, whom they 
could not take with them, promised him a com- 
mission as quartermaster; but the Commander-in- 
Chief would not sanction such an unprecedented 
appointment, as it was at that time. 

In April, 1854, the mastership of the Royal 

2 The Herald, 20-8-1853. 


Artillery Band became vacant, and Mr. Smyth 
applied for the position and was appointed. 1 He 
was surprised to find, however, that his pay would 
be less than one-half he had received in the 19th ; 
for at this time there were only four bandmasters 
recognised in the Army Estimates, viz. : the 
" master " of the R.A. Band at five shillings and 
sixpence per diem, the " bandmaster" of the Royal 
Military Asylum, Chelsea, at six shillings per diem, 
"a sergeant acting as master of the band " at the 
Royal Military College, Sandhurst, at three shillings 
per diem, and "a sergeant of instruction in music," 
at fifty pounds per annum, for the Royal Hibernian 
School, Dublin ; but the band of the Royal Artillery 
was the only band recognised in the Estimates, 
and payments were still granted for one band 
sergeant, two corporals and twenty musicians, 
besides the bandmaster, and one hundred pounds 
for instruments and music. 

All other regimental bands were supported by a 
band fund, to which each officer had to subscribe, 
and could afford to pay their bandmasters from 
twelve and sixpence to one pound per diem. No 
such fund existed in the Royal Artillery, as their 
band was supported by the Government ; so 
Mr. Smyth had to content himself with his bare 
pay. Yet he saw possibilities in such a position, 
and in less than two years he made it worth three 
hundred and sixty pounds per annum, exclusive of 
engagements. 2 

1 His brother Thomas became bandmaster of the Royal 
Marines, Woolwich, soon afterwards. 
3 R.A. Band Fund Accounts, 1856-7. 


During the summers of 1854-5-6 the R.A. Band 
was in frequent attendance at the Crystal Palace, 
including the " Grand Military Fete " on October 
28th, 1854, and the Peace Festival on the 9th May, 
1856, which was attended by Queen Victoria and 
the Prince Consort. 

On the 26th December, 1854, the band gave its 
first orchestral concert in London at the Royal 
Panoptican (now the Alhambra), Leicester Square. 1 

In the autumn of 1855 a series of concerts were 
given in the north of England, at Durham, Sunder- 
land and Newcastle. Seldom hearing any music of 
a higher class than that performed by the local 
bands, the people of the north were almost frantic 
with excitement at the performance of the band on 
this occasion, and frequent applications have since 
been made for them to visit that part of the 
country. These concerts were followed by others 
at Bath, Bristol, etc. This is probably the earliest 
notice of a military band going on a concert tour 
at any distance from headquarters. 2 

Mr. Smyth, however, had taken over the band 
under the most unfavourable circumstances. The 
officers to whom he was unknown, and the whole 
of the bandsmen, were to some little extent preju- 
diced against him ; for he was an infantry band- 
master, and the Royal Artillery for nearly half a 
century had boasted of bandmasters born and 
educated in the regiment. 

However, by the following year he had quite 

1 England's Artillerymen — Browne, 1865. 

2 British Musician, Sept., 1898. 


established himself with his officers, and they 
expressed their appreciation to the band comman- 
dant, who communicated the same to Mr. Smyth 
in the following : — 

" D.A.G. Office, Woolwich, 

"11th August, 1855. 
" Mr. Smyth, 

" It will no doubt be gratifying to you to know 
that the talent you brought with you, on suc- 
ceeding to the appointment of Master of the 
Royal Artillery Band, has so developed itself in 
the improvement of the band that the officers of 
the corps are much pleased, and many of them 
have expressed themselves in terms highly com- 
mendatory to your merits. 

" H. Palliser, Adj.-Gen., R.A." 

Thus encouraged, Mr. Smyth induced the officers 
to increase the establishment of the band ; and on 
the 1st January, 1856, it was ordered that the band 
should be increased to eighty 1 : — 

l Master 

l Band Sergeant 

3 Sergeants 

1 First Band Corporal 

i Second Band Corporal 

2 Corporals 

4 Bombardiers 

4 Acting Bombardiers 
16 Musicians 
• 33 Bandsmen 

14 Boys 


Now we find a reversion of the feelings of the 
bandsmen towards Mr. Smyth. On the 11th 
January, 1856, they gave him a supper at the 

1 England's Artillerymen.-— Browke, 1865. 


" King's Arms Hotel," to publicly express their 
gratitude to him. Mr. McKenzie, the late band- 
master, R.A., was among the guests. The toast of 
the evening was: — "The health of Mr. Smyth, 
with heartful thanks to him for his successful 
exertions in bettering the position and prospects 
of the band." 

Mr. Smyth's efforts for the good of the band 
never relaxed. The allowance from the Government, 
was found to be inadequate to meet the require- 
ments of the band since the augmentation, so 
Mr. Smyth induced the officers to raise a band fund. 
This was established on the 25th January, 1856, to 
which each officer in the regiment had to subscribe 
two days' pay annually. This amounted in the first 
year to over one thousand pounds. The band now 
came under the care of a band committee, consisting 
of Colonel J. Bloomfield, president; Lieutenant- 
Colonel Charles Bingham, secretary and treasurer ; 
Captain R. K. Freeth and Captain J. F. D'Arley 
Street, committee. 1 

It was now found that a considerable number of 
the instruments in use by the band were the 
property of the bandsmen, and out of the forty 
stringed instruments in use, only six belonged to 
the regiment ; the remainder, with the exception of 
five lent by Lord Bloomfield, were the bandsmen's 
own property. 2 Many of the wind instruments 

1 R. A. Band Fund Accounts, 1856-7. 

2 The musicians were allowed a small sum for the 
expenses of strings, &c., called "string money," which was 
abolished in this year, strings being supplied by the Band 


had from long use become utterly unserviceable, 
and there were still a few of the increased number 
of musicians without instruments. Arrangements 
were immediately made to procure new instruments 
from good makers in London, and during 1856-7 
sixty-three wind and four stringed instruments 
were purchased. The committee next took into 
consideration the proposal of Mr. Smyth's, of 
granting an addition to the regimental pay of the 
band by an allowance from the band fund, intended 
to reward merit and talent, and as an inducement 
to young musicians, so as to apply themselves to 
their profession as to become efficient. 1 They 
resolved to grant an allowance to : — 

(a.) " Soloists according to the importance of 
their respective instruments, and their efficiency in 
performing on them." 

(b.) " Musicians, who, although not soloists, have 
by zeal and application to their profession, made 
themselves useful members of the band.'" 2 

The first band fund allowance was granted to : — 

Master of the Band 6/6 

Trumpet-Major (Solo Cornet) 3/- 

Senior Sergeant (Leader of the Orchestra) 7jd. 

Fife-Major (Solo Trombone) 8d. 

Three Sergeants i/» 

Corporals 1/1 

Four Bombardiers 1/- 

,1 „ (Musicians) ... .'.. 1/1 

Ten Gunners and Drivers 2/1 

This band fund pay amounted for the first year 
to over three hundred pounds, and by the following 

1 R.A. Band Regulations, 1st April, 1856. 

2 R.A. Band Fund Accounts, 1856-7. 


year Mr. Smyth induced the Band Committee to in- 
crease it to four hundred and fifty pounds per annum, 
but without taking any addition to his own salary. 

In 1856 a new uniform was introduced for the 
band, and was taken into wear, May 29th. 

The uniform of the non-commissioned officers 
and men was:— A dark blue tunic 1 with scarlet 
collar, the front being adorned with five rows of 
gold lace. The cuffs, back seams and the collar were 
laced with the same, the whole of this lace being 
traced on both edges. An embroidered lyre was 
worn on the forearm of each sleeve, a distinction 
never before or since conferred on a military band. 
An embroidered grenade was worn on each shoulder 
strap. The trousers were of dark blue, with two 
inch scarlet cloth stripes. 

The head-dress was a black sable busby, with 
scarlet bag on the right ; and on the left side a gilt 
brass grenade, surmounted by a scarlet hackle 
feather plume, reaching to the top of the busby, 
and a patent leather chin strap. 

The band sergeant wore the same as above, with 
the exception of the tunic, which had some addi- 
tional lacing. 2 The boys wore a tunic similar to 
that worn by the regiment, only perfectly plain, 
with an embroidered lyre on each sleeve. 

The bandmaster's tunic was totally different to 
the band. The front edges were laced with two- 

1 This tunic was the suggestion of Musician W. Lake, 
R.A. Band, who embodied his idea in a water-colour sketch, 
and suggested it to Mr. Smyth, who brought it to the notice 
of the officers. 

2 This was not adopted until 1864. 





inch gold lace, the outer edge being handsomely 
traced. The cuffs and back seams were laced with 
one-inch gold lace, and the collar with half-inch 
gold lace. On the forearm of each sleeve was an 
embroidered device, consisting of a lyre, grenade, 
trumpets, drums, etc., and above this a gun and 
crown. He also wore a gold lace cross belt. 

The bandmaster, band sergeant and sergeants 
wore gold lace stripes on the trousers, and the two 
former wore gold lace slung belts, with steel 
swords. The remainder of the band wore a strap 
underneath the tunic, with a frog of black patent 
leather, which protruded through an opening at the 
side of the tunic ; the sword was similar to that 
worn in 1847, only longer. 

This uniform remained practically unaltered until 
1879, when the head-dress was changed to a blue 
cloth helmet, with gilt brass mountings, similar to 
that worn by the officers, with the addition of a 
wreath of laurels, which encircled the front ; from 
the ball at the top issued a waving plume of scarlet 
horsehair, which fell over the helmet, reaching to 
the bottom. 

About 1882 the grenades on the shoulder straps 
of the tunic were abolished ; and with the band- 
master, gold twisted cords were substituted in the 
place of the cloth shoulder straps. The lyre and 
the chevrons were in future to be worn on the right 
arm only. 1 

The helmet was abolished in 1895, and a busby 

1 The embroidered ornaments on the bandmaster's 
sleeves were abolished about the same time. 


similar to that worn in 1856 was adopted, except 
that the plume was higher, and a curb chain for the 
chin. This was again altered in 1899, the plume at 
the side being taken away, and one of the scarlet 
horsehair placed in front. 

The instrumentation of the band in 1857 was 1 : — 


Flutes and Piccolo 

... 2 

Sopranos, E flat 

. 2 


... 4 

Filgel Horns, 

B flat . 


Clarionets, E flat 

... 4 

» » 

E „ 

. 2 

„ B „ (ist) 

... 10 

French Horns ... 

• 4 

„ B „ (2nd & 3rd) 12 

Althorns ... 


Saxophones, E flat 

... 2 


• 4 

„ B 

... 2 




... 4 


E flat . 

.. 4 


... 4 

Drum, etc. 

• 3 


... 2 



First Violins 

... 12 

Bassoons ... 

.. 2 

Second Violins 

... 12 

Cornets ... 

.. 2 


... 5 


. 2 


... 4 


■ 4 

Contra Basses 

... 4 

Althorn 2 ... 

.. 1 

Flutes and Piccolo 

... 3 


■■ 3 


... 2 




... 2 


E flats . 



... 2 

Drums, &c. 

• • 3 

The vocal department consisted of : 

Soprano — Boys .. 


Alto— Men 


Tenor „ 


Bass „ 



1 R.A. Band Fund Accounts, 1856-7. 

3 This instrument seems somewhat out of place in an 
orchestra, but it was utilised by Mr. Smyth for the per- 
formance of vocal solos in some of his admirable operatic 
selections, etc. 

3 The bombardon did the duties of the tuba. 


With such a wealth of instrumentation, the per- 
formance of all works was possible. But it was far 
different with the line regiments, whose bands had 
suffered severely during the Crimean campaign ; for 
when this war broke out many regiments turned 
their bandsmen into the ranks. 1 

Those bands that were present in the Crimea, 
under the direction of their band sergeants (the 
bandmasters, being civilians in most cases, did not 
accompany them), were in a very poor plight. 
Attention was first called to the deplorable state of 
our military bands at the Queen's Birthday parade 
at Varna in 1854, where, before the staff of the 
allied armies, our bands struck up " God save the 
Queen," not only from independent arrangements, 
but in different keys. 2 It was much commented 
upon at the time, and the Duke of Cambridge was 
evidently much impressed, for one of his first 
orders when he became commander-in-chief was 
that the national anthem was to be played in 
B flat. 8 

The war at an end, attention was directed to our 

1 At the outbreak of the war the band of the 17th 
Lancers consisted of about twenty men, many of them 
foreigners, who claimed their discharge, whilst about three 
were turned into the ranks. {Story of the 17th Lancers — 

2 A similar incident occurred a year later, when Her 
Majesty Queen Victoria paid a visit to Shorncliffe Camp. 
(Folkestone Chronicle, 12-8-1885.) 

3 Even this was found to be insufficient, many band- 
masters having inserted peculiar harmonies of their own, 
others having running bass parts, etc. It then became 
necessary to issue a regulation edition, that for the infantry 
being arranged by Mr. Dan Godfrey, bandmaster, Grenadier 
Guards, and that for cavalry bands by Mr. Waterson, 1st 
Life Guards. 


bands. Mr. James Smyth, the bandmaster, R.A., 
with M. De Lara-Bright, an enthusiastic amateur 
at Sheffield, Herr Schallehn, 1 and others, urged 
upon the Duke of Cambridge and the Secretary 
of State for War the necessity of improving the 
position of bandmasters and bandsmen if we were 
to reach the standard of continental bands. 2 

They impressed upon the authorities that a 
musician was something more than a private 
soldier ; that his pay should be increased, that he 
was worthy of promotion, that greater facilities 
should be given to further his musical education, 
and that he was capable of being trained as a 

The immediate result was an official recognition 
of army bands by the establishment of a Royal 
Military School of Music at Kneller Hall, near 
Hounslow, on the 3rd March, 1857, under the 
fostering care of the Duke of Cambridge, the 
Commander-in-Chief. It began under the modest 
title of the " Military Music Class," and I believe 
employed a staff of four professors only, including 
the director of music, who was then called the 
" resident instructor." At first it was but a 
half-hearted affair, being supported entirely by 
regimental subscriptions. 

The subscription from the Royal Artillery for 
the first year amounted to thirty-nine pounds. 

1 For some time bandmaster of the 17th Lancers, and 
Musical Director at the Crystal Palace. He became the 
Director of Music at the opening of the Royal Military 
School of Music. 

2 British Musician, Sept., 1898. 


When the school opened, two boys were sent 
from the R.A., 1 and they remained there for about 
two years. The report on their progress was not 
so satisfactory as was expected, and it was 
decided that, as the young members of the band 
had far better opportunities for instruction in the 
band than they could possibly receive at Kneller 
Hall (the Military School of Music), no more 
would be sent there for instruction. 2 

The Royal Artillery still continued, however, to 
subscribe most liberally towards the military music 
fund, 3 which supported the school, until 1865, when 
the band committee decided to withdraw their 
subscription, which was only just, considering the 
little benefit which the band derived from the 
school ; but after taking into consideration the 
great boon which this institution was to other 
bands, the regiment agreed to allow thirty pounds 
per annum towards its maintenance. 4 Kneller Hall 
was taken over by the Government in 1875. 

This institution has been a remarkable success, 
and the excellent condition of our military bands 
to-day is ample proof of the good work done at 

1 The first pupil sent to the school was George C. Smith, 
who was also the first pupil or student in the army to arrive 
there. He became quartermaster-sergeant of the band, 
and at present is the bandmaster of the 1st Lancashire 
Artillery Volunteers, etc. 

2 The total number of musicians of the R.A. Band 
trained as pupils at Kneller Hall is, I believe, only ten — 
1857, two; 1881, one ; 1883, three; 1901, three ; 1902, one. 

s Up to 1865 the R.A. had contributed £375 towards this 

4 Letter Books, R.A. Band Committee. 



Kneller Hall. It has been the means of having an 
educated body of British bandmasters with a defined 
position, and providing promotion for a number of 
deserving military musicians, who hitherto had been 
kept out of the position by civilians, for the most 
part men from the continent. The Royal Military 
School of Music has, however, had nothing to do 
with the training or the present high state of 
efficiency of the Royal Artillery Band. None of its 
bandmasters have had any connection with the 
school, and the training of the band has always 
been, with the exception of the few already men- 
tioned, entirely under the care and tuition of 
the bandmaster and his various subordinates. In 
fact, we may say that the reverse is the case, for 
both military music and Kneller Hall owe a great 
deal to the Royal Artillery Band. Apart from the 
exertions of Mr. Smyth for the advancement of 
military music, this band was one of the pioneers 
in the introduction of classical music in the military 
band. Moreover, the Directors of both the military 
and naval schools of music received their earliest 
tuition in the Royal Artillery Band. 

The Director of Music at the Royal Military 
School of Music is Lieutenant Arthur J. Stretton. 
He was born on the 5th April, 1865, and joined the 
R.A. Band at Sheerness in 1875, being instructed 
by the bandmaster, Mr. Charles M. Glaysher. In 
October, 1882, he transferred to the R.A. Band 
at Woolwich, and in addition to the training he 
received in the band, he took lessons on the violin 
from the late J. T. Carrodus, and studied harmony 
and the piano under Dr. Warwick Jordan. He 


entered Kneller Hall as a student in 1891, and in 
September, 1893, was appointed bandmaster of the 
Cheshire Regiment. In March, 1896, he was the 
successful candidate for the position of Director of 
Music at the Royal Military School of Music, at 
which institution he had studied only three years 

The present commandant of Kneller Hall is also 
from the " Royal Regiment." This is Colonel F. O. 
Barrington-Foote, for many years president and 
commandant of the R.A. Band at Woolwich. The 
late euphonium professor, Mr. Charles Cousins, was 
at one time in the R.A. Band, as was also 
Mr. Walter Hayward, the present oboe professor. 

Mr. Edward E. Stretton, brother to the director 
at Kneller Hall, is the Director of Music at the 
Royal Naval School of Music. He served in the 
R.A. Band from 1886, and became bandmaster of 
the 1st York and Lancaster Regiment. In 1903 
he was selected to direct the new school for naval 

Some of the most prominent bandmasters in the 
service to-day have also served in the R.A. Band. 

Mr. Albert J. Cunningham, who served in the 
R.A. Band, 1883-94, became bandmaster of the 
Royal Irish Rifles in 1896, and was appointed to 
the newly-formed Royal Garrison Artillery Band at 
Dover in 1903. 

Mr. Robert G. Evans served in the band 1885-9, 
when he transferred to the Coldstream Guards. 
He became bandmaster of the Highland Light 
Infantry in 1898, and in 1903 was appointed to 


the Royal Garrison Artillery Band newly formed 
at Plymouth. 

Mr. George McLaughlin, the bandmaster of the 
2nd York and Lancaster Regiment, served in the 
R.A. Band, 1869-89. 

Mr. Leonard Barker, late bandmaster of the 
Scots Greys (1882), and the 2nd Life Guards 
(1889), served in the R.A. Band, 1870-81. 1 

The following programmes are inserted as an 
illustration of the music performed by the R.A. 
Band at this period: — 


Wednesday, loth March, 1858. 


Symphony ... " Consecration of Sound " Spohr 

Largo, Allegro, Tempo di Marcia, Andante Maestoso, 
Larghetto, Allegretto. 



" Siege of Rochelle " 

... Balfe 

Selection No. 

2 ... "Don Juan" 

... Mozart 


" Song of the Miners " 




Cornet, Trumpet-Major Lawson 
Euphonium, Bombardier Lake 

... Nino 

Waltz ... 



1 At the present time there are two members of the 
R.A. Band at Kneller Hall training for bandmasters. 
These are Student F. W. Sylvester and Student R. E, Collier. 





Exeter, Thursday, July 22nd, 1858. 


Grand March 




" Das Nachtlager in Granada " 



" 11 Trovatore " ... 



" Napoleon et Eugenie " 



" Indian Dahk " ... 



" Lucia di Lammermoor '' 









... " The Princess Royal " 



"I Martiri" 



... "Star of the West" 



..." The Rose of Castile" 




Quadrille ... 

..."The Bonnie Dundee " 

D' Albert 

Among other rules drawn up by the band com- 
mittee in 1858 was one that "not less than thirty 
musicians to be permitted to go as the R.A. Band 
to any public entertainment," but this stringent 
rule could not have been rigorously enforced, 
for in the following year " eight musicians are 
allowed to go to a private party." Being known 
in every part of the country, Mr. Smyth soon 
obtained engagements for the band at Salisbury, 
Colchester, Bristol, High Elms, Birmingham, 
Exeter (which it visited in 1858-9-60-1-2-3-6 and 
1868), York, Clifton, Oxford, Brighton, Liverpool, 
Hull, Gloucester, Coventry, Bishop's Auckland, 
Trowbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Ipswich, Devizes, 
Faversham, etc. 


The success of the band on these occasions 
was such that the band committee desired to 
"congratulate the regiment on the high state 
of efficiency of the band " ; and the orchestra 
especially had advanced to such a degree of excel- 
lence, that Mr. Smyth was constantly receiving 
most flattering letters from gentlemen of the 
highest musical standing. Sir Michael Costa was 
among the foremost of its patrons, and greatly 
interested himself in the band. He frequently 
engaged the principal performers in several of his 
orchestras. 1 So enthusiastic were the officers over 
the merits of the band, that in order that the 
musicians should get a thorough knowledge of the 
best music of the day, their expenses were paid to 
attend the opera, and also the concerts at Exeter 
Hall, and Ella's concerts. In 1861, fifty pounds 
was set apart for this purpose. 

In 1859 the organisation of the regiment was 
changed from battalions, with stationery head- 
quarters, to movable brigades, and it was thought 
that the R.A. Band would be broken up to furnish 
a band for each brigade, but nothing was done in 
this direction. Nearly all the brigades, however, 
formed bands on their own account, being trained 
by the brigade trumpet-majors, 2 who were nearly 
all appointed from the R.A. Band. The most 
important of these bands were those raised at the 
depots — Warley and Sheerness. 

The former was raised about 1861 from the band 

1 On these occasions Mr. Smyth would occupy the same 
desk as M. Sainton, the leader. 

2 Designated " Sergeant Trumpeters." — R.W., 1881. 


of the Honourable East India Company, under the 
direction of Mr. John Henrietta, and later Mr. 
Duncan Moody, but was broken up in 1868. 

The Sheerness band was formed about the same 
time as the Warley Band, under the direction of 
the trumpet-major. Mr. Charles McLaren 1 held 
this position until the band was broken up in 
1868, when he entered Kneller Hall as a student, 
and became bandmaster of the 108th Regiment, 
1870-90. He died at Secunderabad, 1898. About 
1871 the Royal Artillery at Sheerness again raised 
a band, under Sergeant Drecy, and afterwards 
under Trumpet-Major Smith. In 1875, Mr. Charles 
M. Glaysher, late of the R.A. Band, was ap- 
pointed bandmaster, which position he held until 
1883, and the band was disembodied soon after- 

Mr. Glaysher was born at Brentford in 1844, 
and served in the R.A. Band, 1856-73. When only 
twenty-one he was appointed organist at the 
garrison church, St. George's, and had the honour 
of being complimented by Charles Gounod. He 
was also organist at St. Margaret's, Plumstead, 
and at the Dockyard Church, Sheerness, 1879-1901. 
He died in 1902. 2 

In 1862 the band of the Imperial Guards of 
France and the Zouave Band, who were on a visit 
to England, were entertained at Woolwich by the 

1 His brother John, who distinguished himself in the 
Crimea, served in the R.A. Band. 

2 The late Mr. Charles Glaysher gave me the information 
for this subject. His two sons are serving in the R.A. Band 
at present. 


R.A. Band, and on the eve of their departure, a 
farewell supper was given them in the regimental 
schools. Monsieur Reidel, chef de musique, of the 
Guards, presented the R.A. Band with an inscribed 
photograph of the Guards' band. 1 

On the 20th August, 1863, through the efforts of 
Mr. Smyth, the rank of honorary sergeant-major was 
granted to the band sergeant, and honorary quarter- 
master-sergeant to the next senior sergeant. Several 
deserving non-commissioned officers and men, the 
solo performers on each instrument, were given the 
rank of the honorary sergeant. The Christmas 
furlough was granted about the same time. 

At the opening of St. George's (Garrison) Church, 
2nd November, 1863, the R.A. Band, assisted by 
some ladies, and the band of the Royal Horse 
Artillery and the R.A. Bugle Band, in all about 
250, sang " Lift up your heads " (Messiah) and 
Townshend Smith's anthem, " Oh, how amiable." 
The consecration ceremony was performed by the 
Bishop of London. Among those present were 
H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge, Earl de Grey, 
Lord and Lady Sidney, the Quartermaster-General, 
Chaplain-General, and the elite of the neighbour- 
hood, who all expressed their gratification to 
Mr. Smyth. 2 

The first organists at this church were Madame 
Ernestine Smyth, the wife of the bandmaster, and 
Mr. Charles M. Glaysher, R.A.B., and for many 

1 Now in the R.A. Band Reading Room, 
a Musical World, 7-11-1863. 


years the choir was also furnished by the R.A. 

The old Artillery Chapel was now converted into 
a theatre (or, as it was called for a time, the 
Lecture Hall), and was formally opened with a 
grand concert, given by the band, on the 23rd 
December, 1863 : — 


(Accommodation for One Thousand persons.) 

By permission of Major-General Sir R. Dacres, K.C.B., 
Commandant of the Garrison. 



Consisting of upwards of 150 Voices t and the 


Of Seventy Performers, 


Solo Vocalists 1 


Messrs. MANSFIELD, MAYLOR and SMITH, R.A. Band. 



Overture " Domino Noir" Auber 

Solo&Chorus " List to the gay castanet "(Rose of Castile) Balfe 

Solo, Mr. Smith, R.A. Band 
Air Stirien ... " Quick arise, Maiden Mine " ... Dessaur 

Miss Creelman 
Part Song "Hunting Song" ... Mendelssohn 

Ballad ..."When other lips" (Bohemian Girl)... Balfe 

Mr. J. Maylor, R.A. Band 

Duet "May Bells" ... Mendelssohn 

Misses Creelman and Hunter 

Grand Selection ... Opera "Faust" Gounod 

Introducing the celebrated chorus of soldiers, " Glory 

and love to the men of old," for voices and orchestra, 

Instrumental Solos by Messrs. Carpenter, Jullien 

and Buckland, R.A. Band 


Overture tii ... " Guillaume Tell " Rossini 

Ballad " The last good-bye " Wallace 

Miss Magrath 

Trio & Chorus " The Chough and Crow " ... Bishop 

Solos, Misses Creelman, Hunter, and Mr. Smith, R.A. Band 

Song " Yes t Let me like a soldier fall 1 " (Maritana) Wallace 
Mr. A. Mansfield, R.A. Band 

Solo for Cornet " Air and Variations " Levy 

Mr. Carpenter, R.A. Band 
Chorus "Here in cool grot" Lord Mornington 

Quadrille on National Melodies, "The Lakes of Killarney " 


Solos for Cornet, Clarionet, Bassoon, and Piccolo, &o, 

Messrs. Carpenter, Julian, Montara and Browne, 

R.A. Band 

" God save the Queen." 


Prices of Admission for the General Public i Reserved 
Numbered Stalls, 1/6 ; Gallery, Reserved Stalls, 1/- ; Side 
Boxes, i/-j Pit, 6d. Admission for Military 1 Reserved 
Numbered Stalls, 1/- ; Gallery, Reserved Stalls, 6d. ; Side 
Boxes, 4d. ; Pit, 3d. Children in arms not admitted. 

The first theatrical performance in this theatre 
was given on the 22nd February, 1864, by the 
officers of the regiment and the Canterbury Old 
Stagers. Among the latter were the present Sir 
Spencer Ponsonby Fane, Sir Henry de Bathe, the 
late Samuel Brandram, Earl Bessborough, and 
other distinguished amateurs. Since then the 
building has never been idle, for in addition to the 
many performances given by both the officers and 
men, an annual pantomime has been given since 
1872. A portion of the R.A. Band has always 
fulfilled the duties of the orchestra at this theatre, 


under the direction of the sergeant-major, who 
invariably composed and arranged the music that 
was necessary. 

On two occasions the late Frederick Clay pro- 
duced operettas here, and Sir Francis Burnand 
also produced one of his inimitable burlesques, 
himself playing the principal character. 

Many prominent actors and actresses have gained 
their earliest fame on these boards ; among these 
may be mentioned Mr. H. B. Irving, Mr. Horace 
Mills, Miss Dorothea Baird, and the late Fred 
Leslie. The latter was the son of a sergeant in 
the Royal Artillery, and born at Artillery Place, 
Woolwich, in 1855. His immense success as a 
singer and actor is too well known to be repeated 
here. He used to relate that when he first applied 
for a professional engagement to Miss Kate Santley 
he told her, in reply to her enquiry, that he had 
had experience in the provinces, but if she had 
pressed him to produce notices, all he had were 
connected with the R.A. Theatre, Woolwich. He 
died in London in 1892, and was buried at Charlton 

The Royal Artillery Concerts, 1 which were held 
in the Officers' Mess, were in 1864 transferred to 
the R.A. Theatre, and opened to the public. These 
concerts have always been held in the highest 
estimation by the inhabitants of Woolwich, for 
they at least maintain that " the R.A. Band is 
unsurpassed, not only in England, but probably 

1 A collection of R.A. concert programmes and others 
from 1846 to the present time is in the writer's possession. 


throughout the world." 1 Royalty have frequently 
honoured these concerts by their presence, and 
notably the late Emperor Frederick of Germany, 
Empress Eugenie, Princess Frederica of Hanover 
(who attended twice), Prince George Galitzan, 2 
Count Miinster, and other distinguished persons. 

" On the 25th November, 1868, the Prince and 
Princess Mary of Teck and the Princess Louise 
accompanied their Royal relative, Prince Arthur, 
to Woolwich, to attend the fourth of the series of 
afternoon concerts given ... by the Royal Artillery 
Band, at which entertainments His Royal Highness 

has been a regular attendant Though the 

intended visit was not announced until the morning 
of the day, there was an unusual demand for seats. 
The band was in full uniform. 8 The programme for 
the concert could not have been better chosen if 
the entertainment had been designed for the special 
occasion, though, except a waltz bespoken by 
Prince Arthur, there had been no idea of dis- 
tinguishing this from any other of the series. 

1 Warlike Woolwich. — Vincent. 

2 Here is a letter on the subject, addressed to Mr. 
Smyth :— 

17, Hanover Square, 

15th February. 1861. 
Sir, — I have been so much surprised by the efficiency of 
the band under your direction, that I cannot refrain from 
expressing my satisfaction. I shall have great pleasure in 
letting you have some of the Russian music you desire, and 
would even not object to lead the band myself, if you thought 
my so doing would be agreeable to the society of Woolwich. 
Yours truly, 

Prince George Galitzan. 

8 Full dress was only worn on special occasions. Un- 
dress uniform was worn at the R. A. concerts until December, 


The symphony was Beethoven's No. 2 in D, a 
most beautiful work, to which it is needless to say 
that the utmost effect was given by this splendid 
corps of musicians .... This was followed by a 
selection from Auber's opera, Le Premier your de 
Bonheur, .... the first time of its performance, 
a production in which the Royal visitors manifested 
great pleasure .... of the oboe solo from Don 
Pasquale, played by Sergeant Jones, of the band, 
we cannot speak too highly ; it was marvellously 
excellent, and was rewarded by the most sincere 
commendation, . . . the visitors were so delighted 
that they promised, if possible, to attend again at 
one or other of the two concerts which remain to 
complete the series." 1 

The programmes at these concerts, which were 
in many ways superior to those of Mr. Collins' 
regime, usually consisted of a symphony, an operatic 
selection (generally of Mr. Smyth's own admirable 
arrangement), two vocal pieces, an instrument solo 
(for both string and wind), which was a special 
feature in the band's performance, an overture, and 
one of Strauss' or Gung'l's waltzes. 

The following is an extract from the United 
Service Gazette, January 8th, 1869 : — 

" The series of winter concerts given by the band 
of the Royal Artillery were resumed at Woolwich 
on Wednesday, the 6th inst. We are not surprised 
at the esteem in which these concerts are held by 
the officers of the regiment and the gentry of the 

1 Kentish Independent, 28-11-68. 


district. The music is of the best; it is rendered 
by a powerful band in a most artistic manner. 

" The programme performed on Wednesday was 
the following: — Part I. — Symphony No. 4, Mozart. 
Part II. — Part songs (1) April Showers, Hatton, 
(2) Bring the Bowl, F. Boot; overture, Athalie, 
Mendelssohn; flute solo, Original Air with Varia- 
tions, Richardson (soloist, Sergeant J. A. Browne); 
operatic selection, II Trovatore, Verdi ; waltz, 
Die Grafenberger, Gung'l. The symphony was 
played with wonderful power and precision, and the 
efforts of the performers were warmly acknow- 
ledged ; and as the other pieces were not less 
admirably played, the concert was in every respect 
most enjoyable. An interval was very agreeably 
occupied by the singing of Hatton's part song, 
April Showers, and a solo (Sergeant A. Mansfield) 
and chorus, Bring the Bowl, the whole strength 
of the band, upwards of sixty, taking part. The 
voices are admirably trained, and the effect was so 
marked as to make one astonished at the versatility 
of the performers, who play wind instruments and 
string, and sing equally well The arrange- 
ment and execution of these concerts reflect the 
highest praise on Mr. Smyth, on whose exertions 
their success mainly depends." 

In addition to those known as the R.A. Concerts, 
there were several series of high-class vocal and 
instrumental concerts given by the band, which 
were a great success. Madame Smyth, the wife of 
the bandmaster, a famous vocalist, organised a 
singing class, composed of young ladies in the 
town and garrison, many of them being daughters 


of members of the band. These for a time sup- 
planted the boys as sopranos in the band choir, or, 
as it was now called, the R.A. Choral Union, which 
sometimes numbered two hundred voices. They 
performed choral works of every description — 
operatic, oratorio, and even Mozart's Twelfth Mass 
is found among their performances. 

Several of these ladies afterwards became dis- 
tinguished in the profession. We may name among 
others, Miss Phillipine Siedle, Miss Julia Siedle 
(now Madame Julia Lennox), and Miss Annie 
Tremaine, known to a later generation as Madame 
Amadi, of the Carl Rosa Opera. This lady was 
known in Woolwich during the " sixties " as Miss 
Creelman, then a pupil teacher at the regimental 
schools (see programme on page 127). She was the 
daughter of a sergeant in the Royal Artillery. 

Signor Alberto Randegger conducted several 
concerts in this theatre, assisted by several eminent 
artistes, among whom were : — Madame Patey, 
Madame Drasdil, Madame Rudersdorff, Madame 
Emmeline Cole, Signor Pezze, Mr. W. H. Cum- 
mings, and many others. Among the distinguished 
amateurs who assisted may be mentioned the 
present Lieut. -Col. Sir Arthur Bigge and the late 
Colonel O. H. Goodenough, for whom Odoardi 
Barri wrote his famous song, " The Old Brigade." 

The officers and ladies of the garrison also gave 
several series of concerts. They formed themselves 
into an "Amateur Musical Society," and gave 
frequent soirees musicales. Their programmes were 
of considerable merit. On the following page is 
one of them. 




Overture "Masaniello" Auber 

Full Orchestra— Royal Artillery Band 
Part Song "Ave Maria" Smart 

Trio " Ti paego O Madre pia " Curschmann 

Mrs. Franklin, Mrs. Leslie, and Lieut. Hicks, R.A. 

Aria " Consider the lilies " Topliff 

Mrs. Chataway 

Duetto ..." Quis est homo" (Stabat Mater) ... Rossini 

Mrs. LeMesurier and Miss Larios 

Coro di Donne ... " Robert le Diable " Meyerbeer 

Song "L'Espagnole" 

Miss Larios 

Concerted Instrumental Pot-pourri, arranged for > „ . 
the occasion from " Robert le Diable " ... j Meyerbeer 
Pianoforte, Mrs. Freeth and Miss Gore ; flute, Major 
Gore ; cornet, Major Simpson, R.A. ; clarionet, 
Captain Clerk, R.A. ; Stringed Quintett, Mr. Smyth 
and members of the R.A. Band 


Overture "Martha" Flotow 

Royal Artillery Band 

Part Song " The Departure " ... Mendelssohn 

Duet " O lovely peace " Haydn 

Mrs. Freeth and Mrs. Chataway 

Cavatina " Regnava nel Silenzio " (Lucia di. L.) Donizetti 
Mrs. LeMesurier 

Trio " L'usato Ardir " (Semiramide) ... Rossini 

Mrs. Farmer, Mrs. Leslie and Mr. Hillier 

Solo, Pianoforte ... " Cracovienne " Wallace 

Mrs. Dames 

Trio " L'Espagnole " Pinsuti 

Mrs. Freeth, Mrs. LeMesurier and Miss Larios 

Chorus " Bohemian Girl " Balfe 

" God save the Queen " as Solo, Quartett and Chorus 

Mrs. Franklin, Miss Mitchell, Captain Carpenter, R.A., 

and Major Simpson, R.A., with Chorus 

The last concerts we shall mention in connection 
with the R.A. Theatre are the musical "At Homes," 
given by the present Lieut. -Colonel H. W. L. Hime, 
R.A., from 1881 to 1885. This officer, a highly 
cultured musician and a pianist of considerable 
ability, will be remembered in musical circles as 
the author of " Wagnerism," a protest against 
Wagnerian music. The programmes at his "At 


Homes " were of the highest order, containing 
some of the rarely-heard chamber music of the 
great masters, several of which were presented for 
the first time in England ; and one, Spohr's Trio in 
D flat, had never before been heard in public. 
It was through his efforts that Haydn's Passione 
was performed by the R.A. Band at St. George's 
Church, for the first time probably since the com- 
poser's death. 

A programme of one of these "At Homes," is 

26th JANUARY, 
Largo, Op. I., No. 2 

1882.— PART I. 


'Cello . 

Notturno ... 
Movements 1 






Bombardier E. Beech, R.A. Band 

,, G. Shearer, „ 

Major Hime, R.A. 

Marcia, Polacca, Adagio, Allegro 

Sergeant F. Harris 
Bombardier E. Beech 
Musician W. Cooke 
Bombardier G. Shearer 
Musician W. Guest 


Benedictus" | 

3. Mass in F ... \" Agnus Dei" I- ... Schubert 

"Dona Nobis Pacem "J 

Treble ... Master F. Jones 

Alto ... „ C Barton 

1st Tenor Mr. Theodore Barth 

2nd Tenor Musician T. Burt, R.A. Band 

Bass ... „ H. Smith, „ 


4. Adagio, Op. 30, No - 2 



Bombardier E. Beech, R.A. Band 
Major Hime, R.A. 

5. Quartett 


Movements 1 Allegro, Adagio, Presto 


6. The Requiem 

Miss Lovey 

Bombardier E. Beech \ 
Musician W. Cooke I R.A. Band 
Bombardier G. Shearer; 




There are several ladies and gentlemen connected 
with the Royal Artillery who have risen to the highest 
honours in the musical world. Miss Beatrice 
Langley, 1 one of the best living English violinists, 
is the daughter of Colonel W. S. Langley, R.A. 
Willett Adye, an amateur violinist of considerable 
reputation, and author of Musical Notes (London, 
1869), was the son of Major J. Pattison Adye, R.A. 

Charles Manners, the celebrated bass singer, 
who is making such a noble effort to establish a 
national English opera, is Southcote Mansergh, 
fourth son of Paymaster-Colonel J. C. Mansergh, 
late R.H.A. Herbert Thorndike, a well-known 
baritone vocalist, is the son of the Rev. C. F. 
Thorndike, late R.A., and grandson of the late 
General Daniel Thorndike, R.A. Gilberto Ghilberti, 
a bass vocalist who sings in opera, oratorio and 
concerts, is in reality Gilbert J. Campbell, son 
of Major-General T. Hay Campbell, Royal (Madras) 

One of the few ladies who have achieved success 
as a composer of classical music is Miss Ethel 
Smyth, the daughter of General J. H. Smyth, 
R.A. 2 

A famous opera singer, known to the wide world 
as Margaret Macintyre, is the daughter of General 
J. Mackenzie Macintyre, Royal (Madras) Artillery. 

1 This lady has played at the R.A. Concerts, as also 
another well-known violinist, Louis Pecskai, his first ap- 
pearance in this country. 

2 It is said her talents were first seriously noticed by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Ewing, the composer of " Jerusalem 
the Golden," who persuaded her parents to send her to 
Leipsic to complete her musical education. 


The last we shall mention is a composer known as 
" Dolores," whose songs acquired a considerable 
amount of popularity in their day. " Dolores " was 
the nom-de-plume of Ellen Dickson, daughter of 
Sir Alexander Dickson, R.A. 

The principal instrumental performers in the R.A. 
Band in 1864 were : — 

Flute, Sergeant J. A. Browne 1 ; oboe, Corporal G. 
Jones; E flat clarionet, Sergeant-Major J. Farlie 2 ; 
B flat clarionet, Sergeant F. Julian 3 ; bassoon, 
Sergeant J. Montara* ; cornet, Corporal J. Car- 
penter 5 ; horn, Corporal C. Buckland 6 ; althorn, 
Sergeant G. C. Smith ; trombone, Musician J. 
Hunt 7 ; euphonium, Sergeant G. Buckland; violin 
(leader), Sergeant-Major J. Farlie; viola, Sergeant 
J. Smith 8 ; violoncello, Sergeant J. Clementi. 9 

The names of some of these performers occur in 

1 Became bandmaster, Royal Horse Artillery (see 
Chap. VII.). 

2 Became bandmaster of militia. 

8 One of the finest players of his day. Another member 
of the band, B. C. Bent, became one of the finest cornet 
players in America, and was for some time with Gilmore. 

4 A very fine performer. For many years in the 
Alhambra orchestra, died 1890. He was educated at the 
Brussels Conservatoire. His son became sergeant-major 
of the band. 

6 An excellent performer. Pupil of the late J. Lawson. 
Died 1867. 

6 Afterwards solo cornet. Became bandmaster of the 
Norfolk Artillery. 

7 Became bandmaster of volunteers at Maidstone. 

8 He was quartermaster-sergeant of the band and 
principal bass vocalist for many years ; now residing at 
Amersham. I am indebted to him for much information. 

9 Grand nephew of the famous pianist, Muzio Clementi. 


a poem that appeared in the Kentish Independent in 
1864 1 :— 

" Hark ! borne on the wings of the soft summer breeze, 
That like sweet fairy kisses, stir softly the trees, 
Comes a full wave of melody, thrilling and glad, 
Such as never the wild harp of Orpheus had ; 
And you can't help but stay on your journey to hear 
The sweet sound as it rises so lovingly near, 
Till your soul feels a witchery, solemn and grand, 
Woke to life by the noble Artillery Band." 

" See under the trees where, like beautiful blooms, 
Fair woman with brightness the shadow illumes, 
There Woolwich pours out in its beauty and pride 
When the sun lights the hills from the western side ; 
There Smyth waves his baton, as magi of old 
Would, when charming base metal to silver and gold, 
Till so gently, well up, 'neath his masterly hand, 
Floods of melody from the Artillery Band." 

" Hear Carpenter's cornet burst out with a sound, 
Making silvery all the full echoes around, 
Or Gritton or Chapman repeat the full strain 
Till the very hills tremble with gladness again ; 
Or Buckland's loud horn, like the thunder of war, 
Bid the heroes around think of past fields afar, 
With him Naylor the singer, and young Gordon stand 
In thy ranks, O soul-winning Artillery Band." 

" Hear Pattison's bass like the thunder of Jove, 
With him bright Barney Keard, rather given to rove, 
Or Montara's bassoon that trembles the air, 
Or Browne's soft, sweet flute pours its melody rare ; 
There's Julian's clarionette, the oboe of Jones, 
Swell out with famed Farlie the overture's tones, 
Oh, say, thou goddess of music, what land 
Hath such minstrels as thine own Artillery Band." 

1 Written by " C. J.," Rectory Grove, Woolwich. 


" And many there are, too, full worthy of fame 
That to me are unknown, but the grand deathless 

That has wreathed them for years, shall for ever 

E'en though Godfrey's Guards try their laurels to gain, 
E'en though France sends her Guides, and proud 

Austria boast 
Of the bandsmen that lead on her white-crested host, 
Their fame is but footprints along the ocean's sand, 
But the proud rocks are thine, O Artillery Band." 

" When in peace through the town, o'er the heath, 
through the lanes, 
Come the echoing sounds of thy silvery strains ; 
Sturdy labour and age, maid and matron and child, 
Throng, out of their cares for a moment beguiled. 
But when war calls the soldier to battle and death, 
Then like fire to his heart comes thy soul-stirring 

And he cheers as the ship leaves his dear native land 
To thy grand thrilling music, Artillery Band." 

During the visit of the French fleet to Portsmouth 
in April, 18G6, the R.A. Band was in attendance 
with Jullien's celebrated band. 

On the occasion of the state entry of the Duke 
and Duchess of Edinburgh into London, the R.A. 
Band, with the R.H.A. Band and the R,A. Brass 
Band, took part in the ceremony, March, 1874. 

The band attended the funeral of H.R.H. the 
Prince Imperial of Prance, 1879. 

Towards the close of 1879, 1 the Duke of Cam- 

1 About this time a library and reading-room was opened 
for the band, and several of the officers made presents of 
books and assisted in furnishing the room, notably Colonel 
Goodenough and Major Hime. The library contains some 
eighty volumes of text-books, tutors, vocal scores and 
libretti of operas, oratorios, and other works. 


bridge, approved of a new undress uniform for the 
band, a patrol being introduced instead of the shell 
jacket. It was taken into wear in 1880, and is 
worn at the present time. It consists of a dark 
blue patrol with scarlet collar, the front edges, 
collar and cuffs being laced with gold tracing lace ; 
gold cord shoulder straps, and gilt grenades for 
the collar. The sergeant-major and quartermaster- 
sergeant wear a similar patrol, with some additional 

In the summer of 1880 Mr. Smyth was granted 
leave of absence, pending retirement, and during 
the spring of 1881 he retired to Forest Hill, and for 
a few years regularly attended the musical festivals 
at the Crystal Palace, where Mr. (now Sir August) 
Manns frequently played his selections. 

He could not be called a great musician, but he 
was pre-eminently fitted for his position. He had 
a thorough knowledge of every instrument in the 
band, even in his advanced years studying the harp. 
His judgment was at all times sound ; he was known 
and respected by Balfe, Costa, Jullien, Manns, and 
other leading conductors. 1 In 1860 he was one of 
the judges at the Crystal Palace Brass Band Con- 
test, the first contest held in the south of England. 2 
He was also one of a jury, with Sir Arthur Sullivan, 
Sir Jules Benedict, Signor Arditi, and others 
engaged by the Alhambra Company to adjudicate 
at a musical composition contest in 1871. 

1 British Musician, Sept., 1898. 

2 Music for the People.— Marr, 1889. 




Although his own compositions were in no way re- 
markable (being mostly marches, dance music, etc.), 
yet his arrangements for orchestra and military 
band were highly commended by some of the 
leading men of his time. On the 3rd August, 1865, 
Sir Michael Costa dined with the R.A. officers at 
Woolwich, when the band played — overture, William 
Tell, Rossini ; selection, L' Africaine, Meyerbeer ; 
march, Eli, Costa ; selection, Dinorah, Meyerbeer ; 
and the scherzo from Beethoven's symphony No. 8. 
He expressed himself very much delighted with the 
performance, but was puzzled over the selection 
L' Africaine, and he asked Mr. Smyth where he 
obtained it, as it was instrumented exactly as 
Meyerbeer did himself, and he knew there were only 
two full scores in existence, and it had only been 
produced in London a few days before. 1 So im- 
pressed was Sir Michael that he presented him with 
his oratorio, Naaman, and asked him to make a 
selection from it, The following is a letter on the 

subject : — 

" 59, Eccleston Square, 

" September 25th, 1865. 
" Dear Sir, — I have had the pleasure to send 
you by rail the full score of my oratorio 
' Naaman,' as I promised, and hope that you 
will arrange some of the pieces for your splendid 
military band, which gave me much gratification 
for all that they played under your able direction, 
also as an ' Orchestre Band,' and I was agree- 
ably surprised at their singing glees so well. 

1 The fact was Smyth had heard the opera in Paris, and 
having the vocal and piano score with him, he made notes 
of the most striking or peculiar instrumentation as he 
heard it. 


" I have no doubt that the officers of the 
regiment must feel very much satisfaction in 
having a gentleman of your talent to preside 
over such a distinguished body of Musicians. 
Trusting that you may long be spared for the 
good of Art, 

" Believe me, yours very truly, 

" M. Costa." 

Sir Michael attended one of the R.A. Concerts 
in February, 1869, when the selection from Naaman 
was performed, and expressed his appreciation. He 
also came to Woolwich the following year specially 
to hear the band (military) play in the Repository. 

Sir Jules Benedict also wished Mr. Smyth to 
arrange the " Wedding March," to be sent to 
Russia, on the occasion of the marriage of the 
Duke of Edinburgh. 

Under Mr. Smyth the band performed in all parts 
of the country. 1 The French Government applied 
for the band to visit Paris, and Lord Granville told 
Mr. Smyth that application was made for it to 
visit Boston, U.S.A., to take part in the peace cele- 
brations in 1872, but the Grenadier Guards Band 
was sent instead, as it was thought that the British 
Army would be better represented by red coats. 
Applications have since been made for the band to 
visit Hamburg, Berlin, Cape Colony and Canada. 

Early in 1885 Mr. Smyth took ill, and died on 
7th September following ; he was buried at Charlton 
Cemetery, not many yards from Woolwich Com- 

1 In 1864, Mr. Smyth was presented with a handsome 
baton from the officers of the R.A. and R.E. at Portsmouth, 
and the following year they presented him with a valuable 
silver cup, much prized by him. 


mon, where his reputation had been chiefly made. 

The principal instrumental performers during the 
later years of Mr. Smyth's regime were : — 

Flute, Sergeant F. Harris ; oboe, Sergeant G. 
Browne 1 ; E flat clarionet, Sergeant W. Williams ; 
B flat clarionet, Sergeant E. Burt ; bassoon, 
Sergeant J. C. Montara 2 ; cornet, Quartermaster- 
Sergeant C. Buckland 3 ; horn, Bombardier J. 
Wilkinson; trombone, Sergeant W. J. Watts; 
euphonium, Sergeant J. Findlay ; violin (leader), 
Sergeant W. Wells ; viola, Corporal T. Cuthbertson ; 
'cello, Sergeant J. Findlay. 

Mr. Albert Mansfield, the sergeant-major, was, 
on Mr. Smyth's retirement, appointed acting band- 
master, a position he held with great credit to 
himself and honour to his corps for fifteen months. 
He was born at Fareham, Hampshire, about 1842, 
and at a local concert his singing was noticed by 
Sir Fenwick Williams, the Commandant of Wool- 
wich, who was on a visit to that town, and finding 
the boy willing, he enlisted him to join the R.A. 
Band. When his voice broke, it developed into a 
powerful tenor, and for many years, as the principal 
tenor vocalist, he sang at concerts in all parts of 
the country. He also became one of the leading 
violinists in the orchestra, and first clarionet in the 
military band. 

In 1870 he was appointed sergeant-major, and he 
also became bandmaster of the Royal Caledonian 

1 Now in the Palace Theatre orchestra. 

2 Became bandmaster of Militia Artillery at Scarborough. 

3 Became bandmaster of the Norfolk Artillery. 


Asylum. When Mr. Smyth went on leave pending 
discharge, 1 Mr. Mansfield took his position until a 
bandmaster was appointed, although it was almost 
settled that he should succeed to the position. He 
had given every satisfaction, and was favoured by 
the officers. In 1881 he successfully organised 
and conducted two concerts given at St. James' 
Hall, in aid of the service charities, etc., which 
were highly commented upon by those in a position 
to sanction his appointment as bandmaster ; and on 
the 15th July of the same year the band was com- 
manded to play at Windsor Castle, where it 
performed (military) in the quadrangle, and the 
late Queen Victoria personally complimented Mr. 
Mansfield, expressing her approbation of the per- 
formance of the band. 

The programme performed on this occasion was: — 

t. March " Rienzi " Wagner 

2. Overture "Oberon" Weber 

3. Reminiscences of Verdi Smyth 

4. Ungarische Tanze Brahms 

5. Waltz "Chantilly" ... ... Waldteufd 

6. Reminiscences of Mozart Mansfield 

7. Dance Bohemian ... " Les Fauvettes " Bosquet 

8. Selection ... " Pirates of Penzance" ... Sullivan 

9. Russian Dance Glinka 

10. Caprice Militaire Herzeele 

11. Ave Maria Schubert 

12. Galop "Victoria" ... De Lara Bright 

13. Part Song " O, who will o'er the Downs" ... Pearsall 

14. Part Song ... " Night, Lovely Night " ... Berger 

There was, however, a division among the officers 
concerning the appointment of a new bandmaster ; 

1 When Mr. Smyth retired he was presented with a 
large photograph of the whole of the band, inscribed : — 
" A souvenir of affection and esteem from the members of 
the R.A. Band to Mr. Smyth, R.A. Bandmaster, 1881." 
It is now in the possession of W. F. Howe, Esq., Brighton. 


one party advocated a selection by the band 
committee, and the other insisted on an open 
competitive examination under a committee of 
professional musicians totally unconnected with 
the regiment. The latter scheme was adopted, 
and a special sub-committee of officers was formed, 
consisting of Lieutenant-Colonel (afterwards Sir 
Charles) Nairne, Major H. W. L. Hime, Captain 
E. C. Trollope, Mus. Bac., 1 and two others, who 
were to receive the applications for the appoint- 
ment. There were forty-four applicants, including 
several gentlemen of high musical standing. Four 
of these 2 were selected for the examination, which 
was held at Kneller Hall, under the present Sir 
August Manns. 8 

The successful candidate for bandmaster, R.A., 
was Cavaliere Ladislao Zavertal, an eminent con- 
ductor, resident at Glasgow. 

1 Another officer of the regiment who has taken a 
musical degree is Colonel Chamier, R.H.A., Mus. Bac. 

2 Mr. Mansfield was one of them, but his health had for 
some time been uncertain, and he failed to satisfy the 
appointed examiners at Kneller Hall. He continued to act 
as sergeant-major of the band, during which time the 
officers tried to secure for him a commission as quarter- 
master, but the authorities were afraid to set a precedent, 
and another disappointment followed. He took his dis- 
charge in 1882, and in March, 1885, he became bandmaster 
of the Queen's Westminster Volunteers, a position he held 
until 1899, when he retired under the age clause. So highly 
esteemed was Mr. Mansfield that a farewell benefit concert 
was given him at Queen's Hall, Buckingham Gate, under 
the patronage of the Duke and Duchess of Westminster, 
Colonel Sir Howard Vincent, and the officers of the corps. 
He died in October, 1900. 

3 The officers of the regiment presented Mr. Manns 
with a valuable baton in recognition of his services, which 
was handed to him by the late Sir Charles Nairne. This 
officer took a great interest in the band, and was among 
the foremost of its patrons. 

Photo by Elliott & Fry, Baker Street. 

<> ^SA^ ^tSy&ZfiL* A* f.} 




"By'r lady, he is a good musician." 


'And gazing on his fervent hands that made 
The might of music, all their souls obeyed 
With trembling strong subservience of delight." 


born at Milan, on the 29th September, 
1849, in one of the houses now forming part of 
the Hotel Manin, which at that time belonged to 
his mother's family. It was in this house that 
Mozart's son, Carlo, breathed his last, tended 
until the end by Venceslao H. Zavertal and 
Carlotta Maironi, nobile da Ponte, the father and 
mother of Cavaliere Zavertal, 1 both of whom were 
musicians of considerable repute. 

Cavaliere Zavertal was the second son, and after 
having been taught the violin and pianoforte at 

1 From Carlo Mozart the late Mr. V. H. Zavertal 
received several precious autographs of his (Mozart's) 
illustrious father, including a letter written after the first 
performance of // Flauto Magico, also an oil painting of the 
great Mozart's wife, Constanze Weber. These interesting 
treasures are now in Cavaliere Zavertal's possession. 


home, for his parents were his first teachers, 1 he 
was sent to pursue his studies at the Conservatoire 
at Naples, where he took a scholarship for violin 
playing. Here Tosti was his maestrino, or pupil 
teacher, for the violin. But as his metier was 
composition, he did not remain there for any length 
of time. 

He made his first appearance as a composer in 
his fifteenth year at Milan, and the following year 
published some pianoforte music. When only 
nineteen, he wrote in collaboration with his father, 
then the Director of the Municipal School of Music 
at Treviso, an opera in three acts, entitled Tita, 
which had a marked success, but it could not hold 
its place in the repertoires on account of the libretto, 
which was weak and written in dialect. It is in- 
teresting to note that Gayarre, the celebrated 
tenor, who learnt the score in three days to the 
amazement of the composers, virtually began his 
career with this opera. 

Mr. Zavertal next returned to Milan, and at the 
age of twenty entered the orchestra of a Milanese 
theatre, and two months later he was appointed 
conductor and composer to the same theatre. In 
this capacity he wrote several successful operettas, 
and made a name for himself as an orchestral 

1 His father was a conductor and composer of great 
ability, on whom the Italian Government conferred the 
Cittadinanza Italiana. He saw much service in the wars of 
1859-60, being present at the siege of Ancona, and received 
honourable mention of his bravery from King Victor 
Emanuel II. For many years he was Director of the 
Conservatoires of Treviso and Modena. He came to Eng- 
land in 1874, and resided at Helensburgh, near Glasgow, 
where he was highly esteemed as a conductor and teacher. 


conductor, receiving favourable notice from many 
eminent critics, including the well-known " Fillippo 
Fillippi " of the Perseveranza. At one of these 
operettas, Sura Palmira Sposa, Princess Margherite 
of Savoy, now Dowager Queen of Italy, was present. 

In 1871, just after the Franco-German War, 
he came to Glasgow, where the conductorship of 
two musical societies had been offered him. Here 
he came in contact with Dr. Hans Von Biilow, 
whose orchestra he conducted for a time, accom- 
panying him on a concert tour to Edinburgh, 
Dundee, and other towns in Scotland. He relates 
how he was visited at a late hour one night by an 
emissary of the Choral Union, and asked if he would 
undertake the duties of conductor, someone being 
wanted immediately to fill the position. It was short 
notice, for he had both rehearsal and concert on 
the following day, and the work was unknown to 
him, but all went well, and Von Biilow expressed 
on this as on many other occasions his appreciation 
of the abilities of Cavaliere Zavertal. 1 

He also conducted the Glasgow Orchestral 
Society, Hillhead Musical Association (which he 
held for ten years), and the Pollokshields Musical 
Association, 2 which he took over from his father, 
then in failing health. 

Towards the close of 1881, the bandmastership 
of the Royal Artillery fell vacant, owing to the 
retirement of Mr. Smyth, and Cavaliere Zavertal 
was the successful candidate for the position. He 

1 Strand Musical Magazine, Aug., 1897. 

2 Music and Musicians, — Marr, 1887. 


was appointed on the 10th December, 1881, but did 
not take his duties over until the New Year. He 
was the first bandmaster of the Royal Artillery to 
receive the warrant rank ; his predecessors were 
generally staff- sergeants. Under Cavaliere Zavertal's 
fostering care the R.A. Band has attained a degree of 
excellence never before reached by an army band, 
and has consequently fulfilled many important 
engagements, both as an orchestra and a military 

The band was engaged at the International 
Health Exhibition, 1884 — at the opening ceremony, 
8th May, and during August and October. In 1885 
it was present at the opening of the Alexandra 
Palace Exhibition, and at the opening of the Inter- 
national Inventions Exhibition, 4th May, 1885, and 
played there during August, October, November, 
and at the closing ceremony. 

In July, 1886, H.M. King Edward VII. (then 
Prince of Wales) selected the R.A. Band to play at 
Marlborough House State Ball. It was also en- 
gaged the same year at the International Exhibition, 
Edinburgh, and at the National Art Exhibition, 

Her (late) Majesty Queen Victoria graciously com- 
manded the band (orchestral) to play at Windsor 
Castle during the State Dinner, on the occasion of 
the visit of the Emperor and Empress of Germany, 
25th June, 1887, when the Queen twice expressed 
her very great pleasure to Cavaliere Zavertal, and 
Her Majesty remained in the room until the end of 
the programme, which was very unusual for her to 
do. The band also took part in the Jubilee 


celebration, being stationed at Buckingham Palace. 
In this year it was engaged at the Royal Jubilee 
Exhibition, Manchester. 

On the 26th August, 1887, the R.A. Mounted 
Band at Woolwich was finally disembodied, twelve 
of its members being drafted into the R.A. Band, 
which was now ordered to provide a mounted 
portion from its own ranks, to consist of: — 

1 Sergeant (in charge) 

2 Acting Bombardiers 
17 Bandsmen 

It was headed by a pair of silver kettledrums, 
without bannerols, carried by a grey horse. 

On the 9th August, 1897, the dissolution of the 
mounted portion was ordered, the members taking 
their usual places in the R.A. Band. 

During 1888 the band performed from May to 
November, including the closing ceremony, at the 
Colonial and Indian Exhibition. It was also 
engaged at the International Exhibition, Glasgow, 
from the opening ceremony, 8th May, to 21st May, 
and from 29th October to the closing ceremony. 
Cavaliere Zavertal, at the composer's request, 
scored for the military band Dr. Mackenzie's 
Inaugural Ode, written for and performed at the 
opening of the exhibition. He also acted as the 
adjudicator at the military band contests held in 
connection with the exhibition. The band was also 
engaged at the Anglo-Danish Exhibition, and the 
Fisheries Exhibition, 1888, and at the Spanish 
Exhibition the following year. 



In May, 1889, a series of orchestral concerts 
were inaugurated, at Cavaliere Zavertal's sugges- 
tion, at St. James' Hall, Piccadilly, four to be given 
annually. 1 These invitation concerts have proved 
immensely popular, and receive high praise from 
the London Press. Commenting on the first 
concert (8th May), the British Bandsman says : — 
" The concert was quite a startling feature, as no 
outsider suspected any British Army corps capable 
of bringing to the front an excellent orchestra 
which can with ease compete with the best existing. 
Excepting the Philharmonic, the Richter, and Mr. 
Manns' orchestras, which are generally formed of 
the pick of the profession, we do not know in 
London an orchestra which can equal the Royal 
Artillery Band. Conductors wishing to learn how 
lights and shades are to be thrown into an or- 
chestral performance might study Mr. Zavertal's 
conductorship — their time will not be wasted. The 
performance of the overture Mignon, and of Liszt's 
Hungarian rhapsody No. 7, were great features of 
bravura, and took the audience by surprise. The 
reading, particularly of the rhapsody, challenges 
comparison with Richter's performance of the same 
piece, although in that case Mr. Zavertal's merit 
is far greater, as in his band he has certainly 
not such qualified musicians as the Viennese con- 

The following is an extract from a pamphlet 
published by the officers, R.A., concerning these 
concerts : — " Nothing, however, has tended to 

1 Only two concerts were given in the first year. 


increase the reputation of the band as these public 
exhibitions of its capabilities before crowded 
London audiences. Letters of congratulation and 
appreciation are constantly received by the Sec- 
retary from those who are evidently lovers of 
music and critics of the art in its highest sense ; 
and it was recently represented to the Committee 
that the band should no longer hide its light under 
a private bushel, but should court public criticism 
and invite professional attention to its performances, 
with a view to ascertaining whether, as was sup- 
posed, it could compete with other and better- 
known string bands, and justly claim a place 
amongst the orchestras of the kingdom." 1 

The Daily Telegraph, 2 21st November, 1892, 
says : — " From an executive point of view their 
character is high, while it is the care of Cavaliere 
Zavertal, the conductor, to make the programmes 
worthy of an audience. 3 In a very distinct sense, 
therefore, the band of the Royal Regiment is one 
of the musical institutions of the metropolis. If 
anyone present went to St. James' Hall 4 with an 

1 " Herr Strauss is a great conductor of dance music, 
and his orchestra thoroughly understands him, but in other 
respects our colours need not be lowered, for have we not 
our unequalled Royal Artillery String Band ? " — Musical 

2 The Daily Telegraph ranked the R.A. Band with the 
King of Wiirtemberg's Band, which took first prize at the 
Paris Exhibition. 

8 Sir Arthur Sullivan, speaking to Cavaliere Zavertal on 
one occasion at Ascot (an engagement the band has fulfilled 
for twenty years), said : " You are playing music, it is a 
pleasure to listen to you." 

4 These concerts were transferred to Queen's Hall, 
Langham Place, in 1894, where they are still held. 


idea that allowance would have to be made for 
military musicians, he must have been pleasantly 
surprised. The Royal Artillery orchestra has a 
right to be heard anywhere and to play anything on 
precisely the same conditions as any other band. 
It is qualified to take rank among the best, and 
entitled to be judged by the highest standard." 

The Musical Times, 1st December, 1892, says: — 
" The performances on this occasion reached a 
higher level than before, a fact which seems to 
indicate that further advance towards the ever- 
receding goal of perfection may be confidently 
expected. To descend to particulars — the playing 
showed an attention to detail and an amount of 
care and finish that might very well be regarded as 
a model for other musical organisations." 

The Sunday Times, 20th November, 1892, says : — 
" The Royal Artillery has reason to be proud of its 
band. We wonder how many regiments in the 
world can muster such a capable and well-trained 
body of orchestral players. ... In many respects 
the performance of these things could not have 
been improved upon." 

At these concerts H.R.H. Princess Christian, the 
late Duke of Cambridge, Earl Roberts, and most of 
the artillery officers, past and present, have been 
regular attendants. The following letter from 
H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge, then Commander- 
in-Chief, addressed to the General Officer Com- 
manding at Woolwich, was published. This official 
congratulation to the officers and band alike was 
an honour never before bestowed on a military 
band in our service. 


" Horse Guards, 

" 29th April, 1895. 

Sir, — I have the command of His Royal High- 
ness the Commander-in-Chief to inform you 
that His Royal Highness was present at the 
concert given by the Royal Regiment of Artillery 
on the 26th April, at the Queen's Hall, and was 
much pleased with the excellent taste displayed 
in the selection of the programme, and still more 
with the magnificent execution of the various 

" His Royal Highness is satisfied that the high 
merit attained by the band of the Royal Artillery 
is due alike to the interest taken in it by the 
regiment at large and the talents and energy 
possessed by Cavaliere Zavertal and the mem- 
bers of the band. 

" His Royal Highness commands me to express 
his great pleasure in having been present on 
this occasion, and desires that you will be good 
enough to convey this expression of approval to 
the President of the Band Committee and to 
Cavaliere Zavertal. 

" I am, etc., 
" (Signed) F. T. Lloyd, d.a.o." 

The programme played on the occasion referred 
to was 1 : — 


1. Symphony ... "Lenore" (No. 5) Raff 

Allegro, Andante Quasi Lar ghetto, Tempo di Marcia, 
Agitato, Allegro 

1 The Times, commenting on the concert, said : — 
" . . . . The concert given .... in the Queen's Hall 
by the splendid band of the Royal Artillery was in every 
way as enjoyable as its predecessors. A remarkably fine 
performance of Raff's gruesome, but extraordinary clever 
Lenore symphony occupied the first part of the concert, the 
horn passages in the vigorous march being played with rare 
beauty of tone and precision. . . Abendruhe, by Loeschhorn, 
for strings only, one of Liszt's Hungarian rhapsodies, and 
Grieg's Solvejg Lied, were all beautifully played with the 
delicacy or force as occasion required, which have raised 
the band to its high estate." 



2. From the incidental music to " Cleopatra "... Mancinelli 

(a.) " Triumphal March " 
(b.) " Andante " (Barcarolle) 
(c.) "Overture" 

3 " Abendruhe " (for strings)... Loeschhorn 

4. ... " Ungarische Rhapsodie," No. 2 in D ... Lisrt 

5 " Solvejg's Lied " Grieg 

(From Peer Gynt Suite, No. 2) 

6. Overture "Tannhauser" Wagner 

The principal instrumental performers in 1890 
were : — 

Flute, Bombardier D. Green ; oboe, Bombardier 
W. Hayward 1 ; E flat clarionet, Musician W. John- 
stone ; B flat clarionet, Sergeant W. Foster ; 
bassoon, Quartermaster-Sergeant W. Houston 2 ; 
cornet, Sergeant S. Jenner 3 ; horn, Corporal W. 
Sugg 4 ; althorn, Corporal W. Robinson 5 ; trombone, 
Bombardier E. Parnum 6 ; euphonium, Bombardier 
H. Gepp ; harp, Bombardier D. Green 7 ; violin 
(leader), Bombardier A. Cunningham 8 ; viola, Musi- 
cian L. Myers 9 ; 'cello, Sergeant-Major E. Walker. 10 

Her late Majesty Queen Victoria graciously com- 
manded the band (orchestral) to play during dinner 
at Windsor Castle, 21st November, 1890, and again 

1 Now in the Alhambra orchestra and oboe professor at 
Kneller Hall. 

2 Now in the orchestra at the Borough Theatre, Stratford. 

3 Became bandmaster, 3rd Lanark Rifle Volunteers, now 
in the orchestra at the London Hippodrome. 

4 Now musical director, Grand Theatre, Woolwich. 

5 At present in Dan Godfrey's orchestra at Bournemouth. 

6 Now in the orchestra at the Borough Theatre, Stratford. 

7 Now in the orchestra at the Empire Theatre. 

8 Now bandmaster, R.A, Band, Dover. 

9 Now musical director, Empire, Leeds. 

10 Now bandmaster, Honourable Artillery Company. 


on the 7th July, 1891, and also at a similar function 
at Buckingham Palace, 5th July, 1893. 

In May, 1895, the band was engaged (orchestral) 
at the Sunday Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, 
South Kensington, an engagement it still fulfils, 
drawing immense audiences. On the occasion of a 
Special Memorial Concert, after the death of the 
late Queen, some hundreds were turned away from 
the doors unable to gain admittance, and the 
concert had to be repeated on the following Sunday. 
Another record audience was at the Coronation 
Sunday Concert, when some twelve thousand 
people were present. 

The Metronome, a New York paper, says : — 
" The customary interregnum has been observed 
at the Sunday afternoon concerts at the Royal 
Albert Hall, Cavaliere Zavertal and his splendid 
Royal Artillery Orchestra 1 of eighty, having taken 
their usual holiday after playing one of the best 
season's round concerts in this magnificent hall 
they have ever played. The idle twaddle which 
was talked a year or two ago about the coming 
disbandment of this fine body of players has long 
since passed out of notice, and the band, either as 
military band or an orchestra, is to-day as fine as 
ever ; while in the matter of repertoire it is positively 
unique. To hear them thunder out the Kaisermarsch 
of Wagner, and then murmur the La Colombe 
entr'acte of Gounod, is something to go home and 
think about for days. Dynamic force or dove-like 
tenderness is all the same to these splendidly 

1 It now attends every fourth Sunday as a military 



trained musicians and their keenly intelligent chief, 
who is au fait with every class of music." 

The Daily Telegraph says : — 

" It is agreeable to learn that very soon Cavaliere 
Zavertal, a musician to the tips of his fingers, will 
once again be at hand with the string band of the 
Royal Artillery to make pleasant music for the 

habitues of these concerts Their playing 

gains in finish and feu sacre year by year, and it is a 
joy to listen to them." 

On the 12th June, 1895, a grand military concert 
was given at the Queen's Hall, Langham Place, in 
aid of the Royal Cambridge Asylum, the bands of 
the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers, with the 
Grenadier, Coldstream and Scots Guards Bands 
giving their services. 

The Musical Times, commenting on the concert, 
says : — 

"The Guards Bands in combination did justice 
to Massenet's Scenes Pittoresques. The special 
successes of the occasion were gained by the string 
band of the Royal Artillery in the first portion of 
Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, and in the majestic 
In Memoriam overture of Sullivan, the latter a 
superb performance." 

The British Musician says : — 

" Nothing told better throughout than Sullivan's 
noble overture In Memoriam as rendered by the 
Royal Artillery Band. Expression and spirit were 
as near perfection as possible, and the imposing 
finale made even more than the customary im- 
pression upon the hearers." 

The R.A. Band, with the bands of the 1st and 


2nd Life Guards, Royal Horse Guards, Royal En- 
gineers, Grenadier, Coldstream and Scots Guards, 
took part in the Grand Military Tattoo at Windsor 
Castle on the 19th June, 1897. Three days later 
the band (military) took part in the Diamond 
Jubilee celebration, and, with the band of the 
Royal Military School of Music, accompanied Sir 
George Martin's Te Deum at St. Paul's Cathedral. 
In the evening it played at the family dinner at 
Buckingham Palace ; and also at a garden party 
there in the following month. 

On the 22nd November, 1899, the band, by the 
gracious command of the late Queen Victoria, gave 
a State Orchestral Concert in St. George's Hall, 
Windsor Castle, when the Queen signified her 
appreciation by presenting Cavaliere Zavertal with 
a gold-mounted baton, having on it the Imperial 
Crown, and embellished with precious stones. His 
Majesty King Edward VII. and Queen Alexandra 
(at that time Prince and Princess of Wales), with 
the Emperor and Empress of Germany, Prince 
Christian, and many of the nobility, warmly con- 
gratulated Cavaliere Zavertal on the performances 
of the band. 

The programme performed on this occasion was : — 

I.March ... From the suite " Sylvia " Delibes 

2. Vorspiel ... " Das Heimchen am Herd " ... Goldmark 

3. Three Dances from the music to " Henry VIII." ... German 
( (a) Adagietto from the suite " L'Arl&sienne " ... Bizet 

'^(b) " La Chaise a Porteurs " ... Chaminade 

5. Ballet Music ... " Der Damon " Rubinstein 

6 "Abendruhe" Loeschhorn 

7- Angelus from the suite " Scenes Pittoresques " ...Massenet 

8. Overture "Cleopatra" Mancinelli 

"York Marsch" 
" God save the Queen " 


In 1900 the band attended Her late Majesty's 
garden party at Buckingham Palace ; and again 
when the Prince and Princess of Wales received 
Earl Roberts on his return from the Boer War 

On the 22nd February, 1901, it was ordered to 
take part in the funeral procession of Her late 
Majesty Queen Victoria, and had the honour (by 
His Majesty's command) of being placed in front 
of the Royal remains, playing Chopin's Marche 
Funebre, which started the procession. 

The band was engaged (both orchestral and 
military) at the International Exhibition, Glasgow, 
1901, from July 29th to August 10th, and had a fine 
reception, " for nowhere are the Royal Artillery 
more admired than in the Second City " — (Glasgow 
Evening News). Its performances were highly 
commented upon, and as " an orchestra it was 
declared to be the finest combination that had been 
before the Glasgow public " — (Orchestral Times). 

In January, 1902, some doubts were expressed in 
the Orchestral Times as to the abilities of the R.A. 
Band as a military band. The article referred to 
was : — " It has become the fashion lately in certain 
circles to acknowledge the high attainments of the 
Royal Artillery Band as an orchestra, but to assert 
that as a military band there has been a great 
falling off during the last decade." 

This resulted in some correspondence, and it was 
then decided, with the approval of the Commander- 
in-chief, to give a military band performance at one 
of the London concerts. The first Queen's Hall 
concert of the year (21st March) was the one 


selected. The programme was divided into two 
portions, the one orchestral, and the other military. 
The programme was : — 

March ... " Pomp and Circumstance " ... Elgar 

Symphony... " From the New World " ... Dvor&k 


Fest Marsch from " Tannhauser " Wagner 

Overture in C (op. 24) Mendelssohn 

Scenes from the opera "Una Notte a Firenze " ... L. Zavertal 
Overture "Guillaume Tell" Rossini 

The concert was highly successful, and " reflected 
great credit upon Cavaliere Zavertal, 1 and his 
accomplished subordinates." 

The Orchestral Times says : — 

" We feel proud in being the acknowledged cause 
of this interesting departure, since it was con- 
clusively proved that the Royal Artillery Military 
Band is in every way worthy of its long reputation, 
of its distinguished conductor, and of the noble 
regiment to which it belongs." 

The Daily Graphic says : — 

" The idea was a capital one, and gave incon- 
testible proof of the versatility of the Royal 
Artillery musicians, who appear to be just as 
much at home with clarionets and cornets as with 
violins and 'cellos." 

The Standard says : — 

" The subsequent performances yesterday showed 

1 "The bandmaster who, above all others that have 
played a part at our Exhibition, showed a thorough under- 
standing of what music is suitable for a military band, is 
Cavaliere Zavertal." — GlasgowEvening News. 


that the string players were equally at home with 
the wood wind family, and most effective renderings 
were secured of the reception music from the second 
act of Tannhauser, etc." 

The Daily Telegraph says : — 

" The musicians .... then came forward as a 
military band, in which capacity success was again 

The Daily News says : — 

" A capital military programme was gone 

The Daily Chronicle says : — " The result was 
highly satisfactory." 

The instrumentation of the band on this occasion 
was : — 



... 2 

3rd and 4th Horns 

• 4 


... 2 


• 3 


... 4 


■ 5 

E flat Clarionets (1st & 2nd) 4 



1st B flat Clarionets 

... 13 


. 7 

2nd H 11 

... 9 

Contra Basses f String,) .. 

. 2 

3rd „ 

... 6 



Bassoons (1st and 2nd) 

... 4 

Side Drum 


1st Cornets 

... 7 

Bass Drum and Cymbals 


2nd 11 

... 6 


1st and 2nd Horns ... 

... 5 



1st Violins 

... 15 



2nd » 

... 14 




... 10 



... 9 


Contra Basses 

... 10 



... 1 

Side Drum 

Flutes and Piccolo ... 

... 3 

Bass Drum 

Oboes and Cor Anglais 

... 3 



... 3 



... 3 



The R.A. Band, with the bands of the 1st and 
2nd Life Guards, 10th Hussars, R.A. Mounted 
Band, Royal Engineers, Grenadier, Coldstream, 
Scots and Irish Guards, Royal Marine Artillery, 
Royal Marines (Plymouth and Deal), and the Royal 
Military School of Music, gave a grand military 
concert at the Crystal Palace on the 9th July, 1901, 
in aid of the service charities. The R.A. Band also 
supplied the orchestral accompaniments to many 
eminent singers, among whom were Miss Macintyre, 
Miss Marie Brema, Mr. Santley, Mr. Ben Davies, 
and Signor Ancona. 

On the occasion of the Coronation Procession of 
H.M. King Edward VII., 9th August, 1902, the 
band (military) was stationed on a specially erected 
platform opposite the Guards' Memorial in Waterloo 
Place. It was engaged also during the City of 
London Coronation Celebration, 25th October, 
1902, when the King and Queen were entertained 
to luncheon at the Guildhall, on which occasion a 
portion of the band (orchestral) performed during 
the reception in the Guildhall Library, whilst 
another portion (military) was stationed on the 
line of route. 

On the following day the band (orchestral) was 
in attendance at St. Paul's Cathedral when Their 
Majesties attended the Thanksgiving Service. Here 
they performed: overture, Loyal Hearts, L. Zavertal; 
Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise; Ave Maria, Schu- 
bert ; and Wagner's Kaisermarsch. Sir George 
Martin's Te Deum was also accompanied by the 
band, and the composer expressed on this, as also 
on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee Celebration, 


his sincere commendation on the artistic rendering 
of the pieces. 

The reputation of the Royal Artillery Band is 
second to none in the metropolis. It has been 
engaged at the most important city functions 
at the Guildhall for many years, notably the 
receptions given to Prince Albert Victor of Wales, 
1885; Shah of Persia, 1889; Emperor of Germany, 
1891 ; King of Denmark, 1893; Khedive of Egypt, 
1900 ; Lord Milner, 1901 ; Earl Roberts and 
Viscount Kitchener, 1902 ; President of the French, 
1903 ; King of Italy, 1903 ; etc., etc. ; and the 
Lord Mayors' Banquets. It has been in frequent 
attendance at the receptions, conversaziones, 
dinners, balls, etc., held at the Mansion House, 
Foreign Office, 1 Colonial Office, India Office, Royal 
Academy, etc., and most of the city companies, 
institutes, societies, etc., and among its patrons may 
be mentioned the Duke of Sutherland, the Duke of 
Westminster, the Duchess of St. Albans, the late 
Marquis of Salisbury, Earl of Londesborough, 
Lord Wolverton, Lord Brassey, Baron Rothschild, 
etc. ; engaged by the latter during the visit of 
His Majesty the King (then Prince of Wales) in 
1885, and also during the visit of the late Queen 
Victoria in 1890. 

The following programmes are inserted as 
specimens of the music performed by the Royal 
Artillery Band at the present time. The first pro- 
gramme is of interest, since it was not performed ; 

1 Lord Granville was extremely interested in the R.A. 
Band, and whilst he was Colonial and Foreign Secretary 
the band was always engaged at the official functions. 


for the Royal Artillery Theatre, where the R.A. 
Concerts were held, was totally destroyed by fire 
in the early morning of the 18th November, 1903, 
the day on which the concert was to have been 
given : — 



Wednesday, 18th November, 1903. 

1. Marche du Synode de " Henry VIII." ... 

2. Symphony, No. 9 in D dur 

Allegro assai, Andante, Allegro 


3. " Scenes Alsaciennes " (Souvenirs) 

i. Dimanche matin 
ii. Au Cabaret 
iii. Sous les Tilleuls 
iv. Dimanche soir 

4. Sevillana (Scena Espagnole) , 

5. Quintette (Strings) "Schlummerlied" 

6. Overture ... " Die Moldaunixe " 

... Mozart 

... Elgar 
L. Zavertal 



Queen's Hall, Langham Place, 

December 17th, 1903. 

1. March "Cleopatra" ... 

2. " Symphonie " 2e en la mineur 

. f A llegro marcato 
' I Allegro appasionato 
ii. Adagio 
iii. Scherzo Presto 
iv. Prestissimo 






3. " Les Erinnyes " (Trag^die Antique) Massenet 

i. Prelude 
ii. Entr'acte 
iii. Final. 

4. " Berceuse de Jocelyn " Godard 

5. Sevillana 'Sc&ne Espagnole) Elgar 

6. Intermezzo "Cleopatra" MancinelH 

7. " Capriccio Italien " Tschaikowsky 



28th February, 1904. 


Marche Indienne ... " L'Af ricaine '•' Meyerbeer 

From the suite " L'ArWsienne " Bizet 

i. Prelude. ii. Minuetto 

" Ungarische Tanze," No. 5 Brahms 

Overture ... "William Tell" Rossini 

Cavaliere Zavertal, the conductor of the R.A. 
Band, is a prolific composer, and in addition to the 
opera Tita, he has written two others, Una Notte a 
Firenze and Mirra. 

Una Notte a Firenze (Lorenzaccio), his tragic 
opera, was composed in 1870, and produced at 
Prague ten years later, where it excited a perfect 
furore of enthusiasm, 1 and a special performance 

1 Musical Biography. — Baptie, 1883. 


of the opera was given for the Crown Prince 
Rudulf of Austria, at his personal request. 
Through its interesting action and charming music, 
it gained the favour of the critics and public. 
Fired by the success of this work and the approval 
of the public, he wrote a second opera for the 
National Theatre at Prague, called Mirra, which was 
successfully produced there on the 7th November, 
1886, and at the conclusion of the performance 
the composer was presented with a wreath of 

Whilst at Prague. Cavaliere Zavertal made the 
acquaintance of Dvorak, and owing to the anta- 
gonism of a Wagnerian section the latter said that 
he would conduct the opera Mirra if no one else 
did. When the eminent Bohemian composer visited 
England, he was the guest of Cavaliere Zavertal 
at Woolwich ; and when he heard the R.A. Band 
(military) playing the Church Call (" Christchurch 
Bells "J 1 at the Sunday morning church parade, 
he remarked, *■ It sounds like a beautiful organ." 
He also attended one of the R.A. Concerts in the 
theatre, when the band (orchestral) performed his 
new overture Mein Heim. 

Among innumerable smaller works for orchestra 
and military band, including selections, overtures, 

1 The " church call " was first played in Woolwich by 
the R.A. Bugle Band in the early " sixties," and was also 
played by the R.H A. Band during the " seventies." When 
this band was broken up in 1878, it was taken up by the 
R.A. Band, and has since been played regularly at the 
Sunday morning church parade. The notation (as played 
by the band) is to be found in Spare Moments with the Royal 
Artillery Band— Boosey & Co., 1889. 



marches, dance music, etc., and many beautiful 
songs, which Cavaliere Zavertal has written, we 
may mention a quartette for piano, violin, viola, 
and 'cello, and an Album for the pianoforte, dedi- 
cated to Queen Margherite of Italy, who graciously 
sent him in return a handsome pin of considerable 
value, with her initials cut in diamonds and rubies. 

He has also written two symphonies, in which he 
" has shown himself to be a master of orchestration 
and to possess in a pronounced degree the gift of 
musical expression." 

His first symphony, in C minor, dedicated to his 
father, received high praise from the London and 
Dresden Press, and was highly commended by 
Dr. Richter, who promised to introduce it to Vienna. 

The second, in D minor, was first produced at an 
R.A. Concert, April, 1888, and was highly spoken of 
in our leading journals. The Times, Daily Telegraph, 
Standard, Athenceum and others agreed in declaring 
this symphony a masterpiece. From a commen- 
datory notice in the Athenceum we quote the 
following : — " The themes throughout this sym- 
phony are remarkably piquant and spirited, and the 
treatment clear and concise, though strictly sym- 
phonic. The scoring is very full and rich, the writing 
for the wind showing .... a full knowledge of the 
art of producing true colour and contrast." 

" The power of writing melodiously," says the 
Musical Times, " is shown in all its movements, in 
the andante especially, while everywhere the in- 
strumentation is managed with consummate skill." 

The Musical World says : — " The experienced hand 
could be detected in the skilful orchestration." 


Cavaliere Zavertal is now a naturalised British 
subject, and the senior bandmaster in the service. 
He received his commission as honorary second 
lieutenant on the 28th December, 1898, which was 
followed on the 15th November, 1899, by the full 

For his services during the Diamond Jubilee 
Celebration, Queen Victoria bestowed on him the 
Jubilee Medal, and in March, 1901, His Majesty 
King Edward VII. decorated him at Marlborough 
House with the Royal Victorian Order, appointing 
him a member of the fifth class. He has also 
received official recognition from several European 
monarchs. For doing credit to the Italian art in a 
foreign country, King Humbert nominated him 
Cavaliere of the Crown of Italy. His Majesty the 
King of Greece conferred on him the high honour 
of the Order of the Redeemer. The late King of 
Servia appointed him a Knight Companion of the 
Royal Order of Takova, and the Sultan of Turkey 
bestowed on him the Commander's Star of the 
Osmanieh. Some years ago a further distinction, 
valuable because of its extreme rarity, was con- 
ferred on him when the Society of St. Cecilia of 
Rome elected him one of its members. 

On the 26th June, 1896, the Duke of Cambridge, 
Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Artillery, visited 
Woolwich, and decorated Cavaliere Zavertal with 
the Saxe-Coburg- Ernestine Order of Art and 
Science, conferred on him by His Royal Highness 
the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. There was 
a full parade of the Royal Artillery in garrison in 
honour of the event, when the Duke of Cambridge 


read the letter which had been received from the 
Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha 1 : — 

"Clarence House, St. James's, S.W., 
" 30th March, 1896. 

" Sir, —I am directed by the Duke of Saxe- 
Coburg and Gotha to forward to you the Cross 
of His Royal Highness's Order of Art and Science 
for presentation to the conductor of the Royal 
Artillery Band, Cavaliere L. Zavertal. His 
Royal Highness has had frequent opportunities 
of hearing the band both at the Albert Hall and 
the Royal Academy, and he is desirous of 
showing his great appreciation of the very high 
state of proficiency the band has been brought 
to under Cavaliere Zavertal's management by 
sending him the Order I have named. 

" I am desired to request that you will be kind 
enough to have His Royal Highness's wishes 
carried out at an early date. 

" I have the honour to be, etc., 

" (Signed) D. J. Monson, 

'* Comptroller." 

The Duke of Cambridge said he was very 
pleased to have the opportunity of carrying out His 
Royal Highness's wishes, and, addressing Cavaliere 
Zavertal, said:— "I can only tell you that the 
admirable manner in which your band is conducted 
bears testimony to the great care and talent be- 
stowed upon it. In addition to being yourself 
gifted, you have the power of instilling into the 
minds of the various bandsmen the delicacy of 

1 This letter was first made known at the annual ball of 
the Royal Artillery Band in the R.A. Theatre, when the 
present Sir Frederick Maurice, k.c.b., then Commandant 
of Woolwich (who always honoured this function, together 
with Lady Maurice, by their presence), read the letter to 
the whole assembly. 


3 S 

U <J 

w ^ 

u g 

Q -5 

- i* 


touch which is required by the players of the 
various instruments " After a few further compli- 
mentary remarks, he concluded by saying that he 
did not hesitate to declare that the superior of the 
Royal Artillery Band did not exist in this or in any 
other country. 

To be successful in art, one must be always 
beating his own record. And in that respect 
Cavaliere Zavertal stands pre-eminent. He took 
over the Royal Artillery Band with one hundred 
and twenty years' reputation as a wind and string 
band, which has steadily increased as military and 
orchestral music advanced ; yet since he became 
conductor its reputation has advanced yearly, until 
it is now acknowledged one of the finest military 
(wind) bands in British service, 1 and "the finest 
permanent orchestra in the kingdom" 2 ; "whilst 
the band as a whole will bear comparison with any 
in the world," 8 thus worthily sustaining the proud 
motto of the distinguished regiment to which it 
belongs — Ubique. 

1 Although bearing well in mind Mr. Malaprop's legend 
that " comparisons is oderous," we may be permitted to 
mention the competition opened by the proprietors of The 
Regiment newspaper in February, 1897, for their readers to 
decide by voce which were " the six best military (army) 
bands in the United Kingdom " The result was : — 

1st— Royal Artillery Band 
2nd — Grenadier Guards 
3rd — Royal Engineers 
4th -Coldstream Guards 
5th — Scots Guards 
6th — Royal Marines 

2 Orchestral Times, Feb., 1902. 
s Referee, Oct., 1903. 


Establishment of the Royal Artillery Band, 
June, 1904. 

1 Bandmaster (2nd lieutenant) 

1 Band Sergeant (hon. sergeant-major) 

4 Sergeants (1 hon. quartermaster-sergeant) 

2 Band Corporals (1 hon. sergeant) 
2 Corporals (1 hon. sergeant) 

2 Bombardiers (1 hon. sergeant, 1 hon. corporal) 
4 Acting Bombardiers (2 hon. sergeants, 1 1 hon. 

10 Unpaid Acting Bombardiers (3 hon. sergeants) 

16 Musicians 

51 Bandsmen (gunners) 


Boys' Detachment, R.A. Band. 2 

4 Gunners 
10 Boys 


1 Two honorary sergeants at Kneller Hall, undergoing 
a course of training for bandmasters. 

2 This detachment comprises men and boys in various 
stages of proficiency, from which vacancies in the band are 


Royal Artillery Band. 

1772— Antony Rocca 

1774 — Georg Kohler 

1777_p r iedrich Wielle 

1802— G. Schnuphass 

1805— M. Eisenherdt 

1810 — George McKenzie 

1845— William G. Collins 

1854 — James Smyth 

1881 — Cavaliere Ladislao Zavertal 


Band Sergeants 

(Honorary Sergeant-Majors since 1863 J, 

Royal Artillery Band. 

1810— John Wilkinson 
1837— William Collins (sen.) 
1843— Robert Scott 
1847 — William Newstead (sen.) 
1852 — Thomas Gilbertson 
1853— Samuel Collins 
1861— John Parlie 
1867— Thomas Butter 
1870— Albert Mansfield 
1882— John Montara 
1889 — George Browne 
1889— Edward Walker 1 
1896— Walter Sugg 2 
1901— Albert C. Mansfield 8 

1 Bandmaster of the Honourable Artillery Company. 

2 Musical director, Grand Theatre, Woolwich. 

3 The nephew of Albert Mansfield, the acting band- 
master, R.A., 1880-81. 


The Royal Horse Artillery Band, 

S*' H E first two troops of Royal Horse Artillery 
(C7l were raised in January, 1793, and two 
drummers, furnished with bugle-horns, were 
allowed to each troop. 1 About 1797, trumpets were 
given to them, and they were designated trumpeters. 

In the early years of the last century we find 
that the Royal Horse Artillery possessed a band, 
and this, although not officially recognised, was the 
first mounted band in the regiment. It was sup- 
ported solely by the officers of that branch, and 
was composed of the trumpeters of the various 
troops, under the direction of the trumpet-major. 

It was not of much importance until the appoint- 
ment of Bombardier Henry Lawson, of the R.A. 
Band, as trumpet-major, R.H.A., in succession to 
Hall. Henry Lawson was one of the finest cornet 
players of the age, having been compared with 
Kcenig, the famous cornet player of Jullien's Band. 2 
Lawson joined the R.A. Band in 1823, and was the 
first solo cornet in its ranks. In 1845 he was 

1 History of the R.A.— Duncan, 1872. 

2 Music and Musicians. — Marr, 1887. 

From a photo. 


appointed trumpet-major, R.H.A., and under his 
tuition the band made considerable progress. He 
was discharged in 1852, and became bandmaster of 
the Forfar and Kincardine Militia Artillery, which 
position he held until his death in 1856. 

George Collins, a brother of the Bandmaster 
Collins, R.A., was appointed trumpet-major when 
Lawson was discharged. He was a fine field 
trumpeter and a fair cornet player, and under him 
the band was brought to a high state of proficiency. 
When the organisation of the regiment was changed 
to brigades in 1859, Collins was appointed alter- 
nately to A and B brigades, whichever happened to 
be stationed at Woolwich. In addition to the 
trumpeters, two drivers were allowed from each 
troop or battery for the band. Collins was dis- 
charged in January, 1870. 

He was succeeded by Sergeant James Alexander 
Browne, of the R.A. Band, but as bandmaster — the 
first and only one in the Royal Horse Artillery, the 
vacancy of trumpet-major being filled by someone 

James Alexander Browne was born at Artillery 
Place, Woolwich, 9th May, 1838, and belongs to an 
essentially military family. His grandfather was a 
sergeant-major in the 6th Carabineers, and was 
wounded in the Irish Rebellion (1798) and again at 
Buenos Ayres (1806). His father was a staff- 
sergeant in the Royal Horse Artillery ; his uncle 
was bandmaster of the 49th Regiment, and his 
half-brother was colour-sergeant of the same 
regiment, and was killed at Inkerman. 


In December, 1848, James Browne 1 joined the 
R A. Band, being instructed on the flute and violin. 
But his great ambition was to use his pen ; and 
from mere observation and personal study, without 
lessons from anyone, he began to compose and 
arrange, and in November, 1851, when only thirteen 
years old, a selection from Norma, which he had 
arranged for orchestra, was performed at the R.A. 

This brought him to notice, and a few years later 
we find him the solo flautist of the band and 
playing first violin, at the same time fulfilling 
engagements in the principal London orchestras. 

In 1866 he was sent to Maidstone for six weeks 
to organise a band for the Royal Horse Artillery 
Depot, and in December, 1869, he was offered the 
bandmastership of the Royal Horse Artillery at 
Woolwich, and was appointed the following month 

Under his baton the band attained a degree of 
skill equal to the best cavalry bands in the service, 
and about six months after his appointment he was 
publicly complimented by the late Duke of Cam- 
bridge on the improvement of the band. 

The reputation of the band increased so rapidly 
that it fulfilled engagements in all parts of the 
country. The late Mr. Fred Godfrey thought so 
well of it that for many years, when the Coldstream 
Guards Band was unexpectedly ordered for duty, 
he sent his engagements to the R.H.A. Band. 

1 His two younger brothers [George and William] also 
served in the band, and one of his sons (who was for a 
time in the band) is at present a battery sergeant-major 
in the regiment. 


As there had been a great increase in the number 
of batteries, the trumpeters who had not a settled 
position in the R.H.A, Band were dispensed with 
altogether, and bandsmen were mustered as non- 
commissioned officers and drivers. 

The band mounted thirty-six men, with kettle- 
drums and scarlet bannerols. The uniform was 
similar to that of the rank and file, with the 
exception of the busby plume, which was scarlet. 

After the Franco- Prussian War there was a 
great increase in our Field Artillery ; and in con- 
sequence there were two large bands — the R A. 
Band and the R A. Brass Band, both dismounted 
and without duty; while the R.H.A. Band had to 
attend all the parades of the Royal Horse Artillery 
and the Field Artillery. The officers of the former 
naturally resented this, as they supported the band, 
and frequently when they required its services 
found it ordered for duty with the Field Artillery. 

This brought matters to a climax, and towards 
the end of 1877, just as Mr. Browne was getting 
the band in first-rate order, with apparently a 
splendid future before them, a committee decided, 
with the approval of the Duke of Cambridge, 
on the formation of a Royal Artillery Mounted 
Band, to be composed of the best members of 
the R.H.A. Band and the R.A. Brass Band, under 
Bandmaster James Lawson, of the latter. 

Mr. Browne retired as bandmaster on the disso- 
lution of his band, when he accepted the position 
as bandmaster to the South Metropolitan Schools 
at Sutton. He has been very successful in this 
position, having sent some hundreds of boys into 


army bands, and in 1880 he took first prize at the 
School Bands Competition at the Crystal Palace. 
He retired from this position at the dissolution of 
the Schools (1902). 

He was musical director at the Royal Court 
Theatre, 1880-1, under Mr. Wilson Barrett, and 
has been conductor of several orchestras. He has 
written much music, and though very little of it 
has been published, his selections " From East to 
West," " Nautical Gems," " Reminiscences of Sir 
Henry Bishop," etc., issued by Messrs. Lafleur, 
have been popular for over twenty-five years, and 
still command a sale. 

During the past twenty years he has been 
engaged in several literary ventures. While serving 
in the R.A. Band he made a name for himself in 
the literary world by his North-West Passage (1860), 
and also his England's Artillerymen (1865), a his- 
torical record of the regiment. He was also 
engaged by the committee of the Royal Artillery 
Institution on literary work, and during 1884-5 
contributed many articles to the Service Advertiser. 

He was editor and proprietor of the Surrey 
Musical Journal, 1885-6, sub-editor of the British 
Bandsman from 1891, and sole editor from 1895-98 
inclusive ; and since 1900 he has been editor of the 
Orchestral Times. 


The Royal Artillery Mounted Band 

u ~>^ H E Corps of Drummers and Fifers," as 
(Gj they delighted in being designated, had 
existed since 1747, when Colonel Belford 
introduced " the first fifers in the British Army " 
into the Royal Artillery {see Chap. I.). 1 Exactly 
a century afterwards the drum was discarded as a 
signal instrument in the R.A., 2 but was retained as 
a marching instrument in conjunction with the fife. 

The drums and fifes at Woolwich, under the care 
of the drum-major and fife-major, was a very 
efficient band, and relieved the R.A. Band from 
much regimental duty. 

In 1856, with the Crimean War at an end, great 
changes were made in the organisation of the army. 

Sir Fenwick Williams, the Commandant of 
Woolwich, decided to abolish the drums and fifes 
in the Artillery, and to introduce in their place a 
bugle band, using the same service-pattern bugle. 
The organising and training of this band was 
entrusted to Trumpet-Major James Lawson, the 
well-known solo cornet player of the R.A. Band, 
who, by his indomitable perseverance, raised it 

1 Memoirs of the R.A. — Macbean. 

2 Artillery Regimental History.— Miller, 


from " the humble position of a small bugle band 
to one of the finest military bands in the service." 1 

James Lawson 2 was born at Mill Lane, Woolwich, 
11th October, 1826, and came from an old artillery 
family, his grandfather, father — who was master- 
gunner at Tilbury Fort, and five brothers all served 
in the regiment. 8 He joined the R.A Band in 1839, 
and was instructed on the E flat clarionet, singing 
the solo soprano in the band choir, until his 
seventeenth year. Having some liking for the 
cornet, the bandmaster placed him under the 
tuition of his elder brother, Henry, the solo cornet, 
and such progress did he make that within eighteen 
months he made his debut as a soloist at a morning 
concert in the Officers' Mess, where he was com- 
plimented by Lord Bloomfield, who came from 
among the audience to congratulate him. 4 

Mr. Lawson took Koenig as his model ; his tone 
was pure, and his execution more like that of a 
vocalist than a performer on a brass instrument. 
Firework exhibitions were not to his taste, though 
he could play florid-tongueing polkas with any 
of his contemporaries. 5 In 1845 he succeeded his 
brother as solo cornet, and he now devoted himself 
to musical study, taking lessons in harmony and 
composition from John James Haite, of London, 
a well-known musician and writer of the time. 
He was appointed fife-major, R.A., and later 

1 Music and Mtisicians. — Marr, 1887. 

2 His grandson is at present serving in the band. 

3 Two of these, Henry and Edward, served in the band. 

4 Kentish Independent, 12-1-01. 

5 Orchestral Times, Feb., 1903. 

Photo by Long & Faulkner, Woolwich. 



trumpet-major, R.A., and in 1856 he was selected 
to form the R.A. Bugle Band. He pointed out 
to the officers that his men, being restricted to 
harmonics of the service instrument, the tunes 
would soon become monotonous ; so they consented 
to let him introduce a chromatic attachment which 
fitted to the bugle and gave it practically the same 
compass as the cornet. 

The band at first numbered only twenty-four 
performers, and made its first appearance less than 
twelve weeks from its formation at the guard 
mounting parade. During the summer evenings of 
1857-8 hundreds of people assembled every night at 
nine o'clock to hear this band perform the tattoo on 
the front parade. In the course of time the band 
proved so serviceable that E flat horns, B flat 
tenors, euphoniums and basses were introduced; 
but all in copper. 

The duties in connection with his band were 
found to be such that it necessitated Mr. Lawson 
severing his connection with the R.A. Band, which 
took place in October, 1858. Up to 1859 he held 
the position of trumpet-major, R.A., but in this 
year the ranks of regimental trumpet-major, drum- 
major and fife-major were abolished. It was 
decided, however, that Mr. Lawson should be borne 
on the establishment of the regiment as drum- 
major, and he drew his pay as such, although he 
never wielded the drum-major's staff, but was 
known as the leader of the bugle band. He was 
appointed master on the 1st April, 1865, but 
continued to be borne on the pay lists of the 
regiment as drum-major until 1882. 



Mr. Lawson was now looking ahead to more 
ambitious performances, and we find that so marked 
a progress did his band make that he had it entirely 
re-instrumented as a brass band; and in May, 1869, 
it was ordered that in future it should be known as 
" The R.A. Brass Band," numbering forty-seven 
performers. With this formation it entered the 
lists at the Crystal Palace Band Contest in 1871 
and carried off the first prize of £50. 

In November, 1877, it was decided to form a 
mounted band for the regiment, composed of the 
best members of the R.A. Brass Band and the 
Royal Horse Artillery Band, under the direction of 
Mr. Lawson, of the former, which came into effect 
19th January, 1878. It numbered sixty performers, 
although only forty-two were mounted, being the 
largest mounted band in the service, and as such 
has always headed the Lord Mayor's Procession. 

The uniform was a dark blue uniform with gilt 
buttons, scarlet collar and cuffs, which were laced 
with gold, as also the back of the skirt. Trousers 
of dark blue, with scarlet stripe, and a head-dress 
similar to the R.A. Band — the helmet. They wore 
a white slung belt and cross belt. 

In January, 1882, Mr. Lawson was ordered to 
proceed to Kneller Hall, where he received his 
certificate as trained bandmaster in compliance 
with the Horse Guards' order, and was later 
appointed to the warrant rank. 

The mounted band fulfilled engagements in all 
parts of the country, and gave concerts at the R.A. 
Theatre in turns with the R.A. Band, and it is 
believed to have been the only band that played at 


this period the entire symphonies of Beethoven, 
Haydn, etc., with wind instruments alone. In 1886 
it was engaged at the International Exhibition at 
Edinburgh, both at the opening and the closing 
ceremonies, and created a great impression, being 
considered the finest military band present. Sir 
James Gowans, the chairman, spoke highly of its 
performances, and Mr. Lawson was publicly pre- 
sented with a gold medal " as a souvenir of his 
visit, and the great satisfaction his band had given." 
This was the only medal awarded for musical 
performances at the exhibition. 1 

No sooner had it returned to Woolwich than its 
dissolution was ordered. The Duke of Cambridge 
decided to have a Royal Artillery Mounted Band at 
Aldershot, and in November, 1886, twenty-eight 
members were transferred to Aldershot to form 
the nucleus of the new band, under the direction of 
Mr. Sims, from the Cavalry Depot, Canterbury. 

Mr. Lawson retired on the 16th November, and 
on the 22nd, at a general meeting of the officers of 
the Royal Artillery in their Mess-room, an elaborate 
testimonial was presented to him. It consisted of 
a tea and coffee service in sterling silver, including 
a large tray suitably inscribed : " In recognition of 
his services as bandmaster, Royal Artillery Mounted 
Band, and his long and honourable career of over 
forty- seven years in the Royal Regiment of 

The remaining twenty musicians of the mounted 
band at Woolwich struggled on under Sergeant- 

1 Kentish Independent, 30-10-86. 


Major Anderson until 26th August, 1887, when they 
were finally assured of their fate. Twelve were 
drafted into the R.A. Band, which was ordered to 
provide a mounted portion from its own ranks ; 
others were transferred to the ranks. Sergeant- 
Major Anderson is now bandmaster of the 3rd 
Kent R.G. Artillery. 

During the band's short existence, over two 
hundred passed through its ranks, and it furnished 
solo cornet players to the bands of the three 
regiments of Foot Guards, 1 notably the well-known 
soloist of the Grenadiers, Mr. John Williams, now 
bandmaster of the 2nd Kent R.G. Artillery. Several 
of the old mounted band entered Kneller Hall and 
became successful bandmasters. Among them were 
Mr. J. Manuel Bilton, the present bandmaster of 
the Royal Horse Guards, Mr. J. S. Dunlop, late 
Scots Greys, and the late Mr. Shields, 5th Lancers. 

On his retirement, Mr. Lawson found scope for 
his industry and love of music as an instructor of 
bands in Kent, Surrey and Essex. For forty years 
he was bandmaster of the North Surrey Schools at 
Anerley, and during this long tenure of service he 
furnished some hundreds of musicians for army 
bands. For some twelve years he was on the 
Plumstead Vestry, and was three years on the 
District Board at Charlton. The Woolwich Board 
of Guardians had him for about seven years, and 
was their vice-chairman. 

He died on the 19th January, 1903, and was 
buried at Charlton Cemetery. 

1 Music and Musicians. — Marr, 1887. 


Regulations for the Guidance of the Master, 

the Non-commissioned Officers, Musicians, 

and Boys of the 

Royal Artillery Band, Woolwich, 

1st April, 1856. 

1. The master of the band is not required when engaged 
at practice, etc., to attend to other calls for his presence 
than those conveyed to him from the offices of the Adjutant- 
General or Commandant. 

2. Battalion matters requiring the presence of men of 
the band are to be so arranged as not to call upon them 
during the hours of practice. 

3. The hours of assembly for practice, whether for the 
band at large, adult-learners, or boys, will be intimated by 
the bandmaster to the orderly non-commissioned officer, 
who will be held responsible that due warning is given to 
those whose presence at such practice is required. 

4. Clean undress uniform is to be worn by the whole of 
the band when assembled for practice, whether in the fore- 
noon or afternoon. 

5. When at practice, the members of the band are 
expected to pursue the same line of conduct as required 
from soldiers when on parade, as far as regards attention 
and respectful behaviour towards the senior present on the 
occasion, and under no pretence whatever is any individual 
to leave the practice-room without first obtaining the per- 
mission of the master or non-commissioned officer in charge. 

6. The additional pay from the band fund is intended to 
reward merit and talent, and, as an inducement to young 


musicians, so to apply themselves to their profession as to 
become efficient performers. Inattention or misconduct on 
the part of any member of the band reported by the master 
and duly investigated, will subject the individual complained 
of to permanent forfeiture of such additional pay, or to 
deprivation thereof for a given time, according to the nature 
of complaint against him. 

7. That the bandmaster may be made aware of all orders 
concerning the band issued from the office of the Adjutant- 
General or Commandant, the orderly non-commissioned 
officer will attend daily at the Garrison Orderly Room to 
copy such orders, and he will be held responsible that they 
are, as soon after receipt by him as possible, shown to the 
master that he may give directions for their being carried 

8. Each member of the band will be held responsible 
for the preservation of the instrument or instruments, and 
music or books, in his possession. 

9. Attendance at practice with an instrument in such a 
state as to prevent or retard practice will subject the 
individual to punishment for neglect of duty and the charges 
for repairs, unless he shall have previously reported to the 
bandmaster that the instrument was out of order. 

10. The sergeants of the band will attend the afternoon 
practice of adult-learners and boys, and it is to be clearly 
understood that all other non-commissioned officers of the 
band, and all men in receipt of extra pay from the band 
fund, are liable to be called upon by the master to assist in 
such instruction. 

11. No music or music book, the property of the regi- 
ment, is to be taken from the practice-room without the 
sanction of the bandmaster and the cognizance of the 
librarian. The librarian will be held responsible that a 
record is kept of all music, or books of music, taken (with 
proper permission) from the practice-room, and that the 
return thereof is duly noted. In case of books or music 
being brought back in a defaced or damaged state, the 
librarian will not fail to acquaint the bandmaster thereof, 


that he may determine what course to pursue to have such 
books or music replaced or repaired at the expense of the 
person to whom they were entrusted. 

12. Leave of absence, whether from practice, parade, or 
roll call, is only to be obtained on application, through the 
master of the band, or, in his absence, through the senior 

13. On the admission into hospital, or absence of any 
member of the band, the non-commissioned officer in 
charge of his room will cause the instrument and music in 
his possession, as well as his regimental appointments and 
necessaries, to be carefully collected and delivered to the 
orderly non-commissioned officer, who will make out two 
inventories, one of what the man had in charge belonging 
to the band and the property of the regiment, and another 
of the man's regimental appointments and necessaries. 
The articles included in the first inventory should be handed 
over to the sergeant appointed for that duty for safe keeping 
during the man's absence or sickness, and those in the 
second inventory should be lodged in the quartermaster's 

In the case of absence or sickness of those permitted to 
live out of barracks, the orderly non-commissioned officer 
will be held responsible for collecting, making inventories, 
and disposing of their instruments, music, appointments, 
and necessaries, as above directed. 

14. The cleanliness and order of the practice-room will 
rest with the orderly non-commissioned officer, the senior 
sergeant detailing weekly, by name, the men and boys who 
are to be employed under the orderly for those duties. 

By order of the Band Committee, 

Charles Bingham, Lieut. -Colonel, 


By order of the Commandant, 

R. K. Freeth, Captain, 

For the Brigade-Major. 



Academy of Arts, Royal 164 

Adye, W 136 

Agreement, Articles of 36-38 

Aitken, W 79 

Albert Hall 157-158, 166 

Alexandra, Queen . . 159 
Alhambra, Concert at the 110 
Allowances, Band 68, 69, 109 
Amadi, Madame (see Creel- 
Amateur Musical Society 



Anderson, Sergt 
Arsenal, Royal 
Art and Science, 

• • • £7/ 

-Major 186 

62, 87 

Order of 169 

Arthur, Prince 

.. 130 

Ashe, A. . . 

.. 39 

.. 99 

Ashley, C. 

" At Homes," 

65, 73 

Hime's . . 



.. 99 

Bagpipes . . 
Baird, Dorothea 

.. 129 


.. 140 

Band Fund 68, 109. 112-114 
Band Sergeants, List of 175 
Band, word first used ( x ) 25 
Bands in Crimean War 117 
Bands, Instrumentation of 

(see Instrumentation) 
Bands introduced . . 32 

Bands, Militia . . . . 66 

Bands in Peninsular War 

Bands, Strength of (see 

Bandmaster, Advertise- 
ment for . . ..41 
Bandmaster, Examina- 
tion for.. .. 85,145 


Bandmasters, List of 174 
Bandmaster, Pay of (see 

Bandmaster, Selection of 145 
Barker, L. . . . . 122 

Barret, C. . . . . 28 

Bath 110 

Beech, E. . . . . 135 

Belford, Colonel W. 29, 31 
Bellingham, J. . . 86, 97 

Benedict, Sir J. . . 140, 142 
Bennett . . . . (!) 43 

Bent, B. C. .. ( 8 ) 137 

Berlin 142 

Bessborough, Earl . . 128 

Bigge, Sir A 133 

Bingham, Lieut.-Col. C. 112 

Bingle, J 40 

Birmingham . . . . 123 
Bishop Auckland . . 123 

Black Men in Bands 50-52,64 
Bloomfield, Col. J. .. 112 
Bloomfield, Lord 62, 63, 64, 
71,85, 112, 182 
Blizzard . . . . (!) 87 

Boehm, T., The Inven- 
tions of . . . . 103 

Bolitho, S 40 

Boos6, C. .. ..90 

" British Grenadiers " 92-94 

Brandram, S 128 

Brass Band, R.A. 179, 184 
Brassey, Lord . . . . 164 
Brigade Bands . . . . 124 
Bright, De L. 118,123,144 
Brighton .. ..99-102, 123 

Bristol .. .. 110, 123 

Brome, Lieut. -Gen. J. . . 27 
Browne, G. 143, (i) 175, 178 
Browne, J. A. 101, 128, 132, 
137, 138, 177, 178, 179, 180 
Browne, W. . . (i) 178 

Bruce, Miss .. ..73 

I N D EX — con tinned. 


Buckingham Palace 157, 160 
Buckland, C. 137, 138, 143 

Buckland, G. . . 

. 137 

Bugle Band .. 181-183 

Bugle, Key 
Bull Tavern 

56, 67 
. 81 

Biilow, Hans V. . . 

. 149 

Burnand, Sir F.. . 

. 129 

Burnett, J. 

. 22 

Burt, E 

. 143 

Burt, T 

. 135 

Butter, T. 

. 175 

Cambridge, Duke of 9 

2, 117 

118,126, 154, 155, 16 



8, 185 

Campbell, G. . . 

. 136 
. 142 

Cape Colony 
Canterbury Old Stagei 
Caroline, Queen. . 

. 142 
s 128 
. 63 

Carpenter, Captain 
Carpenter, J. 127, 12! 

. 134 

5, 137, 


Carrodus, J. T. 

. 120 

Carson, J. 

. 46 

Carter, J. 


Cathedral, St. Paul's 




Cervetto, J. 

. 63 

Chamier, Lieut. -Col. 

(i) 145 

Chapel, Artillery 73, ) 
127 (see Th 
Chapman, W. 

58, 89, 
. 138 
. 42 

Chatham, Earl of 

. 44 


. 99 

Chelsea, Concert at 

. 98 

Chipp, E 

Chipp, T 

Chew, R 

(i) 73 
(i) 73 
. 79 

Choral Union, R.A. 1 


Christian, Prince 

. 159 

Christian, Princess 

. 154 

" Church Call" .. 

. 167 

Church Parade . . 

.. 88 

Clarionet introduced 

.. 33 

Clay, F. . . 
Clementi, J. 

. 159 
. 137 

Clerk, Captain H. 

. 134 

Colchester . . J 

)9, 123 

Colchester, Dr. .. 

. 74 


Coldstream Guards Band, 

49, 98, 158, 159, 163, 178 
Cole, Madame E. . . 133 

Coleman, G. . . ( s ) 79 

Collins, F. .. 84,98 

Collins, G. . . 84. 177 

Collins, J. .. 80,84,98 

Collins, R 83 

Collins, S. ..83,98,175 

Collins, Sgt. W. 79, 83-84, 175 
Collins, Stuart (Dick) (*) 83 
Collins, W. G. 80, 83-86, 92, 
100-101, 104-105, 131, 174 
Colonial Office . . . . 164 

Commandants, R.A. Band, 
38, 39, 41, 56,61,65,81,111 

Albert Hall 157-158, 166 
Alhambra .. ..110 
Chelsea .. ..98 

Crystal Palace . . 163 

In the North .. ..110 

Massed Bands 158, 163 

Military Band 160-162, 166 
Queen's Hall, 

152-156, 158, 165 
R.A. 61, 80, 88, 97, 122, 

129-132, (i) 136, 165, 167 
R.A. Theatre 127, 132-135 
St, James' Hall 

{see Queen's Hall) 
Congreve, Sir W. . . 63 

Cooke, W 135 

Cornets introduced 67-68 

Coronation Celebration 163 
Coronation Procession, 

77-78, 163 
Contest, Brass Band . . 140 
Contest, School Bands 180 
Costa, Sir M., 124,140,141-142 
Cousins, A. .. . . 121 

Coventry . . . . . . 123 

Coxheath Camp. . .. 44 

Creelman, Miss . . 127, 133 
Crown of Italy, Order of 

the 169 

Crystal Palace . . 99, 110, 

140, 163, 180, 184 
Cumberland, Duke of, 

28, 29, 30 
Cummings, Dr. W. H. . . 133 
Cunningham, A. . . 121, 156 

I N D EX — continued. 

Curtail . . 
Cuthbertson, T. 


25, 32 
.. 143 

Daumichen (or Dimechin), 

C 45-46 

De Bathe, Sir H. . . 128 

Drecy, Sergt 125 

De Grey, Earl . . . . 126 
Denmark, King of . . 164 
Devine, S. . . . . 80 

Devine, W 79 

Devizes 123 

Dickson, Ellen . . . . 137 

Distin, J (2) 66 

Dolby, Madame Sainton- 86 
" Dolores" .. ..137 

Downham, Mus. . . 63 

Drasdil, Madame . . 133 

Drouet, L 62 

Drum Calls . . . . 20 
Drum-major 31, 32, 94-97, 

181, 183-184 
Drum-Major-General . . 21 
Drummers 19, 21. 24, 26, 

95, 176, 181 
Drummond, Col. P. ( 3 ) 61, 81 
Drum presented by the 

Earl of Chatham . . 44 
Drummers, Rules for . . 20 

Dunlop, I. S 186 

Durham 110 

Duties of Drum-major. . 32 
Duties of R.A. Band, 

37, 87-89, 187 
Dvorak, A 167 

Eberhardt, H 68 

Edinburgh .. ..150 

Edinburgh, Duke of 139, 142 
Edward VII., H.M. King 

150, 159, 163, 164, 169 
Egypt, Khedive of . . 164 
Eisenherdt, M. .. 56-57,174 

Elliott, Mr 62 

Elliott, William . . . . 40 

Emerson, J. . . . . 46 

Engagements, Fulfilment 

of 80 

Engineers, Band of Royal 

104-105, 158, 163 
Establishment, Bugle 

Band . . . . 96, 183 


Establishment of Bands, 

33-34, 35-38, 40, 48-51, 68 
Establishmeut, R.A. Band 
36-37, 40, 45, 46, 51-53, 64, 
69, 78, 97, 111, 173 
Establishment, R.A.B., 

Mounted Portion . . 151 
Establishment, R.A. 

Mounted Band .. 184 

Establishment, R.H.A. 

Band 179 

Eugenie, Empress . . 130 
Evans, R. . . 121-122 

Exeter 123 

Exhibitions — 

Health; Alexandra 
Palace; Inventions; 
Edinburgh; National 
Art, Folkestone . . 150 
Jubilee ; Colonial and 
Indian ; Glasgow ; 
Fisheries ; Spanish 151 
Glasgow .. ..160 

Faddy, Major . . . . 74 

Fane, Sir S. P 128 

Farlie, J... 97, 137, 138, 175 
Faversham . . . . 123 

Fifers 19, 23, 24, 29, 32, 181 
Fifers re-introduced . . 29 
Fifers, Rules for . . 20 

Fife-major 31, 32, 94, 181, 183 

Findlay, J 143 

Flute introduced . . 52 

Foot Guards Bands 48-51 
Foote, Colonel, F.O.B... 121 
Foreign Office . . . . 164 
" Forty Thieves," The 78-79 
Foot, 48th, Band of . . 66 

Foster, W 156 

Franky, C. . . . . 45 

Frederick, Emperor of 

Germany . . . . 130 

Frederica, Princess . . 130 
Freeth, Captain R. K. . . 112 
French Fleet, visit to 

Portsmouth . . . . 139 

French, President of the 164 

Fulham 65 

Funeral Procession of 

Queen Victoria . . 160 

I N D EX — continued. 


Galitzan, Prince G. . . 130 
Gear, Handel .. ..73 

Geary, P 40 

Germany, Emperor and 

Empress of 130, 150, 159, 
George III. at Woolwich, 

47, 48 
George IV. . . 63, 64, 71 

Gepp, H 156 

Ghilberti, G. (see Campbell) 
Gilbertson, T. 98, 101, 175 
Glaysher, C. M. 120, 125, 126 
Glee Class 63, 73-74, 76, 86, 
89, 97, 101, 116, 122, 127, 
Gloucester .. ..123 

Godfrey, Charles (sen.) ( 2 ) 66 
Godfrey, Dan . . (3) 117, 139 
Godfrey, Fred . . . . 178 

" God save the Queen " 117 
Goodenough, Col. O. H. 133 
Gordon, C. .. 98,138 

Gore, Major .. .. 134 
Granville, Lord .. 142, 164 
Green, D. . . . . 156 

Grenadier Guards Band 

98, 142, 158, 159, 163 
Gritton, J. . . . . 138 

Greece, King of . . . . 169 

Guard Mounting . . 87 

Guards, French Imperial, 

Visit of .. .. 125-126 

Guest, W 135 

Guildhall, London . . 164 

Haite, J. J. 
Hall, Trumpet-maj 
Halliday, Mr. 
Hampton, J. 
Harris, F. 
Hatfield .. 
Hautboy (see oboe) 
Hayward, W. 
Henry, ?&.(&., Capt 
Henry, J. . . 
Henrietta, J. 
Hicks, Lieut. A. 
Hibernian School, 
High Elms 

.. 182 
or .. 176 
.. 56 
.. 142 
135, 143 
.. 99 

121, 156 

.A... 77 

.. 46 

.. 125 

.. 134 

Royal 109 

.. 73 


Hime, Lt.-Col. H. W. L. 

134-135, 145 

Hoff, Mr 74 

Hollingshead, J. .. 31 

Hon. Artillery Co. 25, 49 

Hon. East India Co.'s 

Band 125 

Horse Artillery Band, 

Royal 126, 139, 176-180, 184 
Horse Grenadier Guards 25 
Horse Guards, Royal 

Band of .. ..98 

Horticultural Society . . 66 

Houston, W 156 

Howe, W. F. . . (i) 144 

Howell, J. .. ..73 

Hull 123 

Humbert, King .. ..169 
Hunter, Miss .. 127-128 

Imperial Guards of France, 

Visit of.. .. 125-126 
Imperial, Prince . . 139 

India Office . . . . 164 

Instrumentation of Bands, 

33-34, 4S-52, 56-57, 102-103 
Instrumentation of R.A. 

Band 36, 37, 73, 78, 116, 162 
Instrumentation of R.A. 

Bugle Band . . . . 183 

Instruments, Purchase of 112 

Ipswich 123 

Irish Artillery Band . . 53 

Irving, H. B 129 

Italy, King and Queen of 

164, 168, 169 

Janissary Bands ( J ) 50 

Jenner, S. . . . . 156 

" Jingling Johnnie " .. 51 
John, A. .. .. . . 45 

Jones, Col. J. E. .. 81 

Jones, G. . . 131, 137, 138 

Johnstone, W. .. .. 156 

Jordan, Dr 120 

Jubilee Celebrations, 

1811—57, 1S87-150, 

1897—159, 169 

Julian, F... 127,128, 137, 138 

Jullien (sen.) . . 140, 176 

Jullien, L. (jun.) .. 139 

I N D EX— con tinned. 


Keard, B 138 

Kcenig . . 68, 176, 182 

Keir, W 80 

Kenning, Dr. . . . . 74 
Kent Bridge (see Key Bugle) 
Kent, Duke of . . . . 56 
Kent, Duchess of .. 65 

Kettledrums, 22, 26, 27-29, 36 
Kettledrums, William IV.'s 

Key Bugle . . 56, 67 

Kitchener. Viscount . . 164 

Klose 103 

Kneller Hall 118-122, 184 
Kohler or Kiihler, G , 

42, 43, 44, 174 

Lambert, J. . . . . 46 
Langley, Beatrice . . 136 

Lake, W... 98, (*) 114, 122 

Lawson, E ( 2 ) 182 

Lawson, H., 

79, 80, 176-177, 182 
Lawson, J., 85, 86, 96, 98, 

100, 122, 179, 181-186 
Lennox, Madame Julia 133 
Leslie, Fred . . . . 129 
Liebhart, Madame . . 102 
Life Guards Band 69, 98, 
158-159, 163 

Lindley, R 62 

Liverpool . . . . 123 

Londesborough, Earl of 164 
Louise, Princess . . 130 

Lowrie, Lieut. -Col. J. . . 96 

Macintyre, Margaret .. 136 
Magrath, Miss .. .. 127 

Maine, V 97 

Maine, W. . . . . 101 

Manners, Charles . . 136 
Manns, Sir A. . . 140, 145 
Mansergh, S. (see Manners) 
Mansfield, A. 127, 128, 132, 
143-145, 175 

Mansfield, A. C 175 

Marches, Regimental . . 92 
Mansion House . . . . 164 
Marguerite, Queen . . 168 
Maurice, Sir F. . . ( J ) 170 

Maylor . . . . 127, 137 
Mayor, Lord . . 164, 184 


McCombie, Mr 81 

McKenzie, G. 59, 61, 63, 72, 

74, 76, 79, 81, 82, 85, 92, 

112, 174 

McLaren, C 125 

McLaren, J. .. 0)125 

McLaughlin, G 122 

" Messiah," Performance 

of 73 

Mess Nights . . 65, 88 

Middlesex Militia .. 68 

Militia Bands .. ..66 
Mills, Horace .. ..129 
Milner, Lord . . . . 164 
Montara, J. 128, 137, 138 

Montara, J. C. . . 143, 175 
Morgan, Captain . . 44 

Mori, N 62 

Morris, Corporal . . 63 

Mounted Portion, R.A. 

Band 151 

Mozart, Carlo . . . . 147 
Music Bill .. ..43 

Music Fund .. ..47 
Musician, Rank of ( x ) 53 

Music for Military Bands 90 
Music, Scarcity of 89-90 

Miinster, Count . . . . 130 
Myers, L. . . . . 156 

Nairne, Sir C 145 

Newcastle . . . . 110 

Newstead, H. . . (*) 105 
Newstead, W. (sen.) 97, 175 
Newstead, W. (jun.) . . 105 
19th Foot, Band of 107-108 

Oboe . . . . 24, 25, 32 
Officers' Mess 61, 88, 129, 
141, 185 
Ophicleide . . . . 56 
Osmani6h, Order of . . 169 
Oxford 123 

Palliser, Colonel .. Ill 

Pandean Reeds, Band of 

Panoptican (see Alhambra) 

Parnum, E 156 

Patey, Madame . . . . 133 

Pattie, Mr 74 

Pattison, G 138 

INDEX — continued. 

Pay of — 
Bandmaster . . ( 2 ) 69, 109 
Drummers . . 19, 21, 26 

Fifers 19 

Kettledrummer 22, 28 

R.A. Band .. 37,40 

Trumpeters . . . . 21 

Pecskai, Louis . . (*) 136 

Peddie, A. . . 40, (i) 45 

Peninsular War, Bands in 66 
Percussion Instruments, 

Introduction of . . 49 

Persia, Shah of .. ..164 
Pezze, Signor . . . . 133 
Phillips, Major-General 

35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 41 
Plain Clothes, Wearing 

of 80 

Plymouth .. ..108 

Portsmouth .. ..139 

Potter, Cipriani . . 85 

Practice .. .. 87-88 

Prendergrast. J. .. 80 

President, R.A. Band . . 112 

Principal Instrumentalists, 

79-80, 97-98, 137-138 

143, 156 

Programmes 61-62, 86, 97, 

98, 122, 123, 127, 131, 132, 

133, 134, 135, 141, 144, 155- 

156, 159, 161, 165, 166 

Queen's Hall Concerts 

(sec Concerts) 
Quist, Col. C. A. 56, 61, 65, 69 

R.A. Concerts (see Concerts) 

Randegger, A 133 

Redeemer, Order of the 169 
Reeves, Harry . . . . 77 

Reeves, Harriet . . 75 

Reeves, John S. 74, 76, 77 
Reeves, Sims (John) 75-76 

Reichenbach, A 
Reidel, Mons. 
Reviews . . 
Richardson, J. 
Riddle . . 
Roberts, Earl 
Robinson, W. 

45, 46 
.. 126 
32, 47-48 
.. 40 
.. 81 
154, 160, 164 


Rocca, A 40,41,174 

Rothschild, Baron . . 164 
Rudersdorff, Madame . . 133 
Rudyerd, Colonel S. . . 81 
Rules and Regulations, 
R.A. Band . . 36-38, 187 

Salisbury .. ..123 

Salisbury, Marquis of . . 164 
Sandhurst, R.M. College 

at 109 

Sax, A., and his Inven- 
tions 103 

Saxe-Coburg, Duke of 169-170 

Schallehn, H 118 

Schnuphass, G. . . 55, 56, 174 
School, Duke of York's 

87, 109 
School of Music, Kneller 

Hall .. .. 118-122 
School, Royal Hibernian 109 
School, Royal Naval . . 87 
Schroeder, J. . . 45, 46 

Scott, R 175 

Seaton, Lord . . . . 108 

Secretary, R.A. Band, 

44, 112, 153 
Seguin, E. . . . . 73 

Sergeant, Rank of Hon. 126 
Sergeant-majors, List of 175 
Serpent, Introduction of 52 
Servia, King of . . . . 169 

Shaw, J. . . . . 67 

Shearer, G 135 

Sheerness Band 124-125 

Shields, Mr 186 

Simpson, Major . . 134 

Sims, Mr. . . . . 185 

Singing Class (see Glee Class) 

Smart, Sir G 74 

Smith, Chas. M. ( J ) 71, 79 

Smith, G OH9. 137 

Smith, H. .. ..135 

Smith.Joseph 101,127,128,137 

Smith, Trumpet-major. . 125 

Smyth, J... 107-114, 118, 120, 

123-124, 126, 131-132, 134, 

138, 140-145, 174 

Smyth, Madame 126, 132 

Spagnoletti .. ..62 

" Spare Moments with 

the R.A. Band" (*) 167 

INDEX — continued. 



Spindler, G. 

. 45 

Uniform of — 

St. Albans, Duchess of 

. 164 

Drummers . . 27, 94 

Street, Captain . . 

. 112 

Fife-major, trumpet- 

St. Cecilia, Society of 

.. 169 

major & trumpeters 95 

Stephens, J. 

. 40 

Kettledrummer .. 22 

Sternberg, F. 

. 45 

R. A. Band 54, 55, 69-71, 90, 

St. George's Church, 

91, 114-116, 140 

125, 126. 135 

R.A. Mounted Band . . 184 

Stevenson, Sir J. 

. 74 

R.H.A. Band .. ..179 

Strauss Orchestra 

I 1 ) 153 

United States . . . . 142 

Stretton, A. J. .. 120-121 

Stretton, E. 

. 121 

Valve, Introduction of the 67 

Sugg, W 156,175 

Victoria Gardens . . 71 

Sullivan, Sir A. .. 140, 

( 3 ) 153 

Victorian Order, Royal. . 169 

Sunderland ; 

. 110 

Victoria, Queen . . 77, 144, 

Supper given to Mr 

150, 159, 160, 164 


. Ill 

Sussex, Duke of . . 

. 65 

Wales, Prince Albert 

Sutherland, Duke of 

. 164 

Victor of . . . . 164 

17th Lancers, Band of (*) 117 

Takova, Order of . . 169 

Teck, Princess Mary of 130 
Thames Ditton . . . . 65 

Theatre, R.A. 127-129, 133- 
135, 165, t 1 ) 170, 185 

Walker, E 175 

Warren, R 80 

Warley Band . . 124-125 
Waterson, J. .. ( 8 ) 117 

Trollope, Capt. E. C. 
Thorndike, General D. 
Thorndike, H. .. 

Townshend, Lord 
Tremaine, Miss (see Creel 


Trombone introduced . . 
Trumpet Calls 

Watts, W. 
Wellington, Duke of 
Wells, M. 
Wells, W. 
Westminster, Duke of 

Wiele, F. 

43-46, 55, 174 






21, 22, 176 


94, 124, 176, 183 
Trumpet, Valved . . 67 

Tunbridge Wells . . 123 

Turkey, Sultan of . . 169 

Ulrich.J 29 

Uniform of — 

Bands .. .. 53, 69 

Black Bandsmen . . 50 
Drum-major . . 94-96 

Wieprecht, W 102 

Wilkinson, James . . 143 

Wilkinson, J. (sen.) . . 175 
Wilkinson, John (jun.) 80, 86 
William IV. 60, 70, 72, 78, 81 

Williams, J 186 

Williams, Sir F... 143,181 

Williams, W 143 

Windsor Castle, 

144, 150, 156, 159 
Winslow, J. . . 40 

Wolverton, Lord • . 164 

Wood, Sir D 99 

Wright, Captain . . 74 



Zavertal, Carlotta . . 147 

Zavertal, L. 147-153, 155, 157- 

159, 161, 165, 166-171, 174 

Zavertal, V. H. .. 147, 148 

Choice volume, thick cr. 810 bound in red cloth, 5s. set. 

The Music and 

Musical Instruments 

of the Arab 


introduction oa How to Appreciate Arab Music 



Director of the Paris Conservatoire of Music under the Commune of 1S7I 

Edited with Notes, Memoir, Bibliography and 30 Musical Examples 
and Illustrations 



Author of "Tht Rise and Development of Military Muiic," "Memoirs of the 
Koyal Artillery Bar.d," etc. 


Office of "The Musical Standard." 

Contents of The Music and Musical Instruments 
of the Arab. 

Memoir of Francesco Salvador-Daniel. By 
Henry George Farmer. 

The Music and Musical Instruments op the Arab-. By 
Francesco Salvador-Daniel. 

introduction.— how to appreciate arab music. 

Author's residence among the Arabs— Could at first discern no melody nor rhythm 
—No musical theory— Arab music to-day the game as European music of the lliddl'- 
Ages — Vestiges of Arab civilisation in Spain — Why the author claims to speak at 
an authority on the subject of Arab music. 


Arab musical history — Musical system borrowed from the Greeks— Their defini- 
tion of music — Theovetic or speculative music — The science of numbers— Dispute 
hetween the Pythagoreans and Aristoxenians — The Jews in progress of musical art 
—Practical mnsic. 


Why Europeans do not appreciate this music— The " gloss " or embellishments — 
Band of the Bey of Tunis — A certain habituation or " education of the ear " neces- 
sary to understand Arab music — Arabs unacquainted with harmony — An Arab eon- 
cert — The Noubtt — Berheraf — Character of Arab melody — No third or quarter tones 
in their music — The drawled scale — The terminations. 


Arab and Greek modes — Tones of plain-song — Historical resume — Four principal 
modes — Irak — Mezmoum — Ed,.eil—Ujorla — Four secondary modes — L'saui— Saika — 


Tetraohord and hcxachord— Instruments nsed by the ancients— Those of the Arabs 
—Gosba—l'aar—Dof—Kannirii—Djaoiiak—Raita or Gaita—Atabal—Atambor—Der- 
bouka — Bendair—Kemendjah — Rebab — Koii.ilra — Value of octaves unknown to the 
ancients— Chords of the third and sixth— Boetius— St. Gregory— Guido of Arezio 
lays the foundation of a single scaler — harmony. 

Arab rhythm is regular and periodic— Rhythm with the Greeks— Poetic rhythm 
applied to music and the dance— Tempus Perfectum and Tempos Imperfectum— 
Rome varieties of Arab rhythm— Independence of percussion instruments— 
" Rhythmic harmony." 


Wonderful effects attributed by Arabs to their music— Dance of the 7) jinn— Song 
ot Salah Bey—The Alfarabbi legend— The chromatic modes— Rummel-H etOr—L SOXn- 
Sebah^-Zei&an—Asbein—Biabolus in Mnsicn—Thc habit of hearing and ' education 
of the ear "—Poetic exaggeration— Examples of the law of habit acquired by 
education of the car. 

CONTENTS (continued)— 


iiesnme of previone deductions — The sj Acta of Pythagoras passed on to Arabs— 
Influence of the Arabs upon Europe up to the fifteenth century — Provoneal literature 
und the troubadours in relation to the Arabs— The Arab minstrel and his Garayous, 
the forerunner of the European minstrel and jongleur — Arab music to-day what 
European music was prior to fourteenth century — Whilst European musio has pro- 
gressed, that of the Arab hag remained stationary — A source of new wealth of har- 
mony hidden in Arab music. 

Notes on Arab Music. By Henry George Farmer. 

I. No science of music with Arabs to-day. 2. Similarity of Arab music with 
modern Catholio church music. 3. The music and poetry of the Arabs passed ou to 
the troubadours. 4. Survivals of Arab musio in Spain. 5. Musical history, in theory 
and practice, of the Arabs. 6. Arab music unappreciated by Europeans. 7. The 
rhythm of the Arabs. 8. The " gloss " or embellishments a reason for the difficulty 
in understanding Arab music. '.). The " "loss." 10. The Xonba or Arab symphony. 
11. Bechrraf, or prelude. 12. The use of " circles" in Arab music. 13. Preludes. 
11. The tonic in the third or fourth decrees of the scale. 15. The nasal method in 
sinking and the 'portamento in playing an essential among the Arabs. 16. The Irak 
mode. 17. The Mezitiomn mode. 18. The Edzeil mode. 19. The Ojorka mode. 20. 
The minor soale among the Arabs. 21. The L'tttfin mode. 22. The Saika mode. 23. 
The ile'ia. mode. 24. The R&sd-b'dzeil mode. 25. The Taar or tambourine. 2G. The 
dosha and Djaonak • flutes). 27. The liof or square drum. 38. The Kanoun or 
harp. 29. The lowest note on the Kanoun. 30. The Gaita or oboe in Spain. 31. The 
Atabal and Nacgvaires ^ kettledrums). 32. An Arab military hand. 33. The Atain- 
bor or side-drum. 34. The Drrbouka. 35. The Benda'ir. 36. The Rebab and 
Kemendjah. 37. Kouifra. 38. The names of the notes in Arabic. 39. The Gunibry. 
40. An Arab orchestra. 41. Avicenna on Arab musio. 42. Influence of Arab music 
on the natives. 43. The Rinnmrt-ilcia mode. 41. The L'm'iu-Sebal, mode. 45. The 
Zeidan mode. 46. The Asbein mode. 47. Arab modes not mentioned by Salvador. 
47a. Invention of notes. 48. Harmony unknown to Arabs. 49. Felicien David and 
Arab music. 50. The origin of the Moors. 


Eastern Rebab Plater. 

Eastern Kemendjah Player. 

Music Example, " L'Ange du Desert." 

Music Example, " Kadria Zendani." 

Music Example, " Mah-Buby Labas." 

M usic Example, Nouba-L'sa'in. 

The Irak Scale. 

Music Example in Irak Mode. 

The Mezmoum Scale. 

Mcstc Example in Mezmoum Mods 

The Edzeil Scale. 

Music Example in Edzeil Mode 

The Djorka Scale. 

Mcstc Example in Djorka Mode. 

The I, 'sain Scale. 

Music Example in L'sai'n Mode 

The Saika Scale. 

Music Example in Saika Mode. 

The Mi ia Scale. 

Music Example in Me'ia Mode. 

The Rasd-Edzeil Scale. 

The Taar. 

The Djaoluk and Gosba. 
The Dop. 
The Kanoun. 
The Atabal. 
The Atambor. 
The Derbouka. 
The BendaIr. 
The Eastern Rebab. 
The Moorish Rebab. 
The Moorish Kemendjah i ix Tran- 
The Moorish Kemendjah. 
The Kouttra. 
The Ounibrt. 
The Uummel-Meia Scale. 
The L'saIn-Sebah Scale. 
The Zeidan Scale. 
Music Example in Zeidin Modi. 
The Asbein Scale. 
Music Exampii in Asbein Mod*. 

Price 3/6 net. 




(With an Introduction by Lieut. A. Williams, M.V.O., 
Mus.Doc, Bandmaster Grenadier Guards) 

13 Illustrations. 

WILLIAM REEVES, 83 Charing Cross Road, W.C. 

Price 5/- 





14 Illustrations 

WILLIAM REEVES, 83 Charing Cross Road, W.C. 



42 11 for Kiihler read Kohler. 

50 4 (of footnotes) for Zarzas read Zarnas. 

79 4 (of footnotes) for Chapter VII. read Appendix D. 

80 3 (of footnotes) for Chapter VI. read Appendix D. 
86 3 (of footnotes) for Ibid read the bandmaster, R.A. 
95 5 for light blue read dark blue. 

98 2 (of footnotes) for Chapter VIII. read Appendix E. 

107 1 (of footnotes) for Sept., 1398, read Sept., 1898. 

116 8 for Fugel horns read Fliigel horns. 

120 22 after the word music insert at the present time. 

123 33 for Bishop's Auckland read Bishop Auckland. [Pia. 

134 7 for Ti Paego O Madre Pia read Ti Prego O Madre 

137 2 (of footnotes) for Chapter VII. read Appendix D. 

153 11 (of footnotes) for twenty years read ten years. 

163 28 for they performed read it performed. 





r c*_