The Unfortunate Band of the Iron Brigade
During the Civil War, a group of infantry units from Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana came to be known as the “Iron Brigade” for their toughness and bravery. That respect, however, did not extend to the brigade’s band, who earned a different reputation… as the worst musical unit in the entire Union army. Their sad performance and discipline problems eventually forced the government to completely restructure the way musical units were organized. This whimsical march tells the story of "that contemptible band." Young musicians will learn history, become more familiar with tunes of the era, and have a lot of fun!
The march begins with the only tune that old band could play, "The Village Quickstep." They played it so badly, and so slowly, that soldiers marching in review had to hold one foot in the air waiting for the next beat of the music. After a build-up of wrong notes and rude noises, the brass section starts a new tune - representing the soldiers' singing to drown out the terrible band. The wrong notes gradually fall away as the war continues and the band is finally disbanded.
View Score Sample Grade 3