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Music of the Scottish Regiments Hardcover – April 30, 2002
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The study of military music in the British army is central here, but the author goes abroad to Germany and France to discuss how developments there influenced British military music and bands. Many old wonderful tunes such as GARB OF OLD GUAL, LILLIEBOURARIO, BRITISH GRENADIERS, BONNIE DUNDEE and others are discussed in their origins, with words and music included. For many there will be a treasure trove of information on old English and Scottish tunes not to be found elsewhere. The author has a thorough background in his subject.
The music of the British army in India brings up many interesting stories of music played on the march from one garrison to another. Technical details about how bands, pipes and drums play abound here. The use of old rope tension drums versus the newer jazzy types found now shows how percussion in the regimental pipe bands has changed over the years.
The phonomenon of AMAZING GRACE provides a means to discuss the more recent development of combined music between bands and pipes, a development not looked upon with favor by this author. While somewhat conservetive in his ideas about how bands and music should be employed, there is no denying the many fascinating bits of information from someone who was an obvious insider to the field. How Scottish regimental pipe bands have changed over the years from the maditory service days to more recent developments of competing in civilian piping events shows how such famous names as the Black Watch, Argylls, etc. are now judged in competition along with all the others in the piping field.
The author touches upon the drastic changes which were taking place in British military music in the early 1990s with the demise of so many regimental bands and amalgamation of famous regiments. This was taking place while the book was being written and has continued since that time. Some of the famous military tattoos and concert events such as the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Royal Tournament, etc. are discussed in terms of their influence on British military music.
While perhaps of more interest to UK readers on the surface, there is enough here to fascinate all who enjoy military music. While the author ultimately discusses how music has developed in the Scottish regiments, in itself a fascinating topic, the early chapters on the history and development of military music are alone worth the price of the book. This title is available from the UK for much less. Look for it on Amazon UK where even the poor US exchange rate will be much less than what is quoted here. For the true military music buff! Grab it if you can!