Marching Bands

An ensemble of brass musicians and percussionists that is seen as the ancestor of New Orleans Jazz. The first Marching Bands appeared in the middle of 19th century as brass bands for blacks, who tried to imitate white marching music. They performed on old military chapel instruments, which they bought from former Civil War chapels. It became a very popular form of Afro-American music during the 2nd half of the 19th century.

The band consisted of amateurs who gathered for religious celebrations of the black community, parades, funerals and processions. Their repertoire included Marches, Quadrilles, Polkas, Coon Songs and Ragtimes. With its rhythmical formation of music, Ragtime had a huge influence on the Marching Bands, who even developed a different kind of Ragtime style that included improvisation. For the first time, European marching music was combined with black musical elements such as "Blue" notes, "Dirty" tones or "Hot" intonations. Many of the early Jazz musicians, such as Louis Armstrong or King Oliver, were musically educated in Marching Bands. This popular music still is played in the south of the U.S. and had a renaissance during the 1980īs.