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The musicians

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The musicians
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The musiciansToday the seven Regiments of the Household Division all have bands of highly accomplished musicians, each directed by a commissioned Officer. The bands of the five Regiments of Foot Guards each contain some 46 musicians, while those of the Household Cavalry Regiment are about 34 strong. In addition, each battalion of Foot Guards has its own Corps of Drums compris-ing six to eight drummers and percussionists and about a dozen pipers, while the Scots and Irish Guards also have some 25 pipers. These Corps of Drums and the pipers have always been on a different footing from other regimental bandsmen. They were originally employed to convey their commander's orders by means of their instruments, besides playing routine calls or tunes, and raising the spirits of their men as they went into action. They are thus on the establishment of their battalions, rather than being part of the regimental band.

As early as the 17th century The Life Guards had a code of trumpet calls and drum signals for conveying orders. For a long time these were the only instruments used. The trumpet is traditionally a 'Royal' instrument, used to herald Royal processions and entran¬ces, and its fanfares still perform this role on State occasions and ceremonial parades. The trumpeters of the Household Cavalry have, in fact, always had a dual function. Whenever The Queen or another member of the Royal Family is present, they are State musicians wearing State Dress, as are the Drum-Majors of the Foot Guards; otherwise they are normal regimental musicians.

The musicians

The trumpeters and drummers of the Household Cavalry rehearse for the Sovereign's Birthday Parade. The stately drum horse is that of The Blues and Royals.

The musicians

The massed bands of the Guards.

The musicians

The Scots Guards are led by their pipers as they change Guard at Buckingham Palace.

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