The American Wind Band: A Cultural History

Timeline created by tonythetigertuba
In Music
  • First known appearance of American military band in Colonies

  • New Bands arrive every year during French and Indian War

  • First concert account by American military band

  • Most British regiments in America have a band

  • Bands welcome President Washington in most every village he visits on Grand Tour of US

  • Milita Act standardizes instrumentation of military bands

  • The United States Marine Band is founded

  • Instrumentation Expands

    Includes trumpets, horns, clarinets, bassoons.
    Up until this point, most bands were either fife and drum or bugle and drum.
  • Bands grow as result of American-British strife

  • Further instrumentation expansion

    Including chromatic trumpet, keyed woodwinds, serpents, bass horns, opheclides, double reeds.
  • Even more instruments

    Including piccolos, bass clarinets, trombones
  • The Independent Band of New York

    First professional, non-military wind band
  • First College Bands at Yale and Harvard

  • US Army infantry regiments cut band numbers forcing them to cut most woodwings and stick to brass

  • Frank Johnson's Band first American one to tour Europe, including concert for Queen Victoria

  • American Army Bands back to 16 musicians

  • ~3000 Brass Bands exist in America

  • 7th New York Regimental Band re-formed as 42 piece mixed woodwind and brass band

  • John Philip Sousa born

  • Union Army has 500 bands, 9000 musicians

  • Civil War begins

    Civil War begins
  • Bands play for tropps and local towns to raise morale

    Bands play for tropps and local towns to raise morale
  • Bands flourish following end of Civil War

  • Sousa begins conducting US Marines Band

    Sousa begins conducting US Marines Band
  • Estimated 10000 Bands in US

  • Many bands are playing ragtime arrangements

  • Following death of Patrick Gilmore, Sousa forms His Band with members of his own previous band and Gilmore's

    Following death of Patrick Gilmore, Sousa forms His Band with members of his own previous band and Gilmore's
  • Recorded music takes hold on public- bands in high demand to make records

  • Sousa composes Stars and Stripes Forever

    Sousa composes Stars and Stripes Forever
  • Sousa conducts over 800 recordings between 1897 and 1920

  • Sousaphone is developed, named after Sousa

    Sousaphone is developed, named after Sousa
    It's an important part of history, okay!
  • Famous trombonist Arthur Pryor leaves Sousa's band to form his own, and goes on to become the most recorded conductor of the era

    Famous trombonist Arthur Pryor leaves Sousa's band to form his own, and goes on to become the most recorded conductor of the era
  • Harry L. Alford arranges and composes over 34000 pieces for many bandmasters, including Sousa, Pryor, Harding and Conway

  • Albert Harding transcribes over 150 orchestral works for band

  • Sousa testifies that phonograph discourages Americans from singing and playing themselves

  • President Roosevelt allows African-American regiment bands to have African-American conductors

  • Holst composes First Suite in Eb

    Holst composes First Suite in Eb
  • After many American and European tours, Sousa takes his band on a world tour

  • World War I breaks out

    World War I breaks out
  • Percy Grainger emigrates to US

    Percy Grainger emigrates to US
  • US Regimental Bands increase membership from 20 to 48

  • US Joins WW1

    US Joins WW1
  • Sousa volunteers for service with US Navy Band

    Sousa volunteers for service with US Navy Band
  • Edwind F. Goldman starts his famous "Goldman Band"

  • Grainger becomes US citizen and composes 30 pieces for band

  • Public schools begin to teach band and orchestra classes

  • Professional and amateur bands see decrease in popularity following WW1

  • US Marine Band starts weekly radio show broadcasts

  • First National Band Concert happens in Chicago

  • Stravinsky composes Symphony of Psalms for chorus and winds

  • Sousa passes away unexpectedly

  • Percy Grainger writes and premier Lincholnshire Posy

  • World War II Begins

    World War II Begins
  • US joins WW2

    US joins WW2
  • Goldman Band presents first concert of all original wind band compositions

  • Divisional US Mil Bands reach peak number of 56

  • Vast majority of works performed by bands is still transcriptions and marches

  • Frederick Fennell founds Eastman Wind Ensemble

    Frederick Fennell founds Eastman Wind Ensemble
  • Goldman Band celebrate Golden Jubilee and 2000th Performance with Copland, Gould, Persichetti and Grainger conducting their own compositions

    Goldman Band celebrate Golden Jubilee and 2000th Performance with Copland, Gould, Persichetti and Grainger conducting their own compositions
  • National Band Association founded

  • There are more than 67000 instrumental organizations in US, and more than 50000 wind bands

  • More than 200 wind band compositions have been commissioned between 1942 and 1972.

  • Symphonic bands and wind ensembles flourish in schools, colleges and universities. There are 50000 secondary school bands and 2000 college/university bands in the US

  • Period: to

    Colonial Era

  • Period: to

    Federal Era

  • Period: to

    Romantic Era

  • Period: to

    Golden Age of Bands

  • Period: to

    US in WW1

  • Period: to

    Great Depression

  • Period: to

    US in WW2