Military Bands and Government Documents

Daniel E. Ray


Since before the founding of the United States, musicians have been an integral part of the military. Throughout history armies have used trumpets and drums to enhance communication and assist the movement of mass forces. Over time, the military has influenced both the makeup of musical ensembles, and styles of popular music. The modern American wind band featuring brass, woodwinds and percussion, is modeled after British military bands. And the marches of John Phillip Sousa, who served as the director of the President’s Own Marine Band for twelve years, remain popular to this day. His “Stars and Stripes Forever” is considered our national march. Today, the US Army declares itself “the oldest and largest employer of musicians in the world.”

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