Medieval Night Watchmen and the Modern Wind Band




What do a night watchman and a professional musician have in common? The first professional wind musicians were night watchmen. Many modern wind instruments can find their ancestors being played from towers to keep the city safe at night and entertain citizens by day. Protective walls surrounded every European town of any significance until the 18th century. Many cities had hundreds of towers. … Continue reading

Nighttime dangers and the beginning of a musical tradition




                                      The Towers of 11th-century Bologna Brass players know the term Stadtpfeifer mostly in reference to a group of municipal trombonists and cornettists in Leipzig, whose members included composers  Johann Pezel and Gottfried Reiche in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Other German towns sponsored similar bands. The first such bands (known in the literature as alta Bands) formed in the Middle Ages, and the last ones persisted into the nineteenth century. Bands started in other countries at about the same time (in England they were called waits), but the tradition did not last as long. These bands, and similar ones … Continue reading