Military Music

Military music comes in many shapes and sizes. Everything from Jazz Quartets to Marching Bands to Corps of Drums and even Pipe Bands.
During today we will be featuring 4 key areas of Military Music.

Royal Marines Bands
RAF Music
Household Division
Corps of Drums

Military music is made up of regular serving bands as well as many association bands.

These include –

The Bands of The Royal British Legion
Royal Marines Association Bands,
Corps of Drums

Military bands take part in a wide range of ceremonial activities.

Including –

Remembrance Sunday
Trooping the Colour
State Ceremonial Events
Changing the Guard
And many more.

During the day we will be hearing from former military musicians on what it was like to perform music for their country.

If you enjoy military music then today is the day to tune in.

Head over to our Youtube channel to see The Band of The Royal British Legion, Leiston in action.

The Bands of HM Royal Marines


The Bands of HM Royal Marines is regarded as one of the world’s most versatile military musical organisations, providing the Naval Service, Defence and the State with musical and ceremonial excellence that underpins the fabric of the nation, Service ethos and national core values.

The role of the Royal Marines Band Service is a varied one. Not every event is a parade, which is why we have talented musicians who can perform in every musical combination from a small jazz group to a full symphony orchestra.

There are two different roles available within the Royal Marines Band Service: Bugler and Musician. As a Royal Marines Bugler you’ll specialise in playing the Bugle, Military Side Drum and Herald Trumpet, performing stunning world-renowned displays and leading your Band out on parade.

As a Royal Marines Musician, you’ll use your professional skills in a variety of performance environments including our annual concert series at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Members of the Royal Marines Band Service are highly-trained, skilled individuals who demonstrate their proficiency and professionalism on the world stage. The standards are high, and the opportunities are immense.

Few professional musicians have the chance to play to an audience of thousands or Royalty. The Band of the Royal Marines are proud to be front and centre at nationally broadcast events, like the Remembrance Day Parade at the London Cenotaph.

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Corps of Army Music


Corps of Army Music was formed in 1994 under the Options for Change Defence Review. All Regular Army Bands are part of the Corps of Army Music.

Today's modern military musicians are extremely capable and multi-talented and perform in various sized groups, from Marching Band to Rock & Pop Group, Mounted Band to String Orchestra.

The home of the Corps is Kneller Hall, Twickenham, a site that encompasses the Headquarters, Corps of Army Music and The Royal Military School of Music. The School was founded by His Royal Highness Field Marshal the Duke of Cambridge after his appointment as Commander in Chief in 1857, when the first class of military musicians was formed, a Class of Music.

Army music is made up of 14 regular bands, 697 regular servicing musicians over 10 locations across the UK.

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The Royal Air Force Music


When Sir Walford Davies and Sir George Dyson worked together to establish music in the newly formed Royal Air Force, they recognised the need for bands that would inspire the early airmen and give them a sense of pride in their new service.

The Central Band of the Royal Air Force was established in 1920 and since its formation has played an integral and unique role in military life and in the musical world. In 1922 they were the first military band to broadcast on the BBC.

They play a vital part in State Ceremonial events, as well as performing across the United Kingdom in support of Service charities and Military Tattoos. Central Band have led several commemoration events including the RAF Centenary parade through London in July 2018 when 100 RAF musicians led the parade of over 1000 RAF servicemen and women down the Mall to Buckingham Palace.

Royal Air Force Music, based at RAF Northolt and RAFC Cranwell, incorporates:

Headquarters Music Services
Central Band of the Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force Squadronaires
The Band of the Royal Air Force College
The Royal Air Force Swing Wing
Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment
The Royal Air Force Shades of Blue
The Royal Air Force Salon Orchestra
The Band of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force

Why not click on the link below and head over to our Youtube Channel to watch the RAF Central Band in action.

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Corps of Drums


From the early 1900’s there was a Drum and Flute band on the strength of every Infantry battalions. There is still today a Corps of Drums on the strength of all Guards and English and Welsh Line Infantry battalions, although the soldier of today has to combine his skill as a Drummer with designated duties as a Line Infantry Soldier.

The Duty of providing music became the task of the Corps of Drums, this has now been formalised into the ceremony of Beating Retreat, a pleasant event borne out of military necessity.

In due time the Military Band came into being but when the troops were on the march they were accompanied by the Drums some of the drummer boys being of a very tender age.

Some practical parts of the Drums duties have now passed into the ceremonial arena as have parts of the drum itself. The ropes seen to swing below the modern side drum were once used to carry it on one’s back when not in use.

It is also of interest to note that whatever instrument they play within the Corps all members are classified as Drummers. The Drum Major is an appointment and not a Rank.

A notable exception to this is that The Bands of HM Royal Marines Corps of Drums is staffed by Buglers, this comes from their origins as the Royal Marine Light Infantry, which amalgamated with the Royal Marine Artillery.

Next time you see the Royal Marines on parade in full dress note the difference in the Trouser stripe between the Corps of Drums and the Band!

Head over to our Youtube channel to see some Corps of Drums in action.

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Corps of Drums Society

To find out more about Corps of Drums, head over to the Corps of Drums Society website

by clicking on the image to the left.