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Simply stated music has three elements:

  • Melody – the bit you can (try to) sing to
  • Harmony – the chords
  • Rhythm – the beat

Music and the military have long associations, ranging from the military band accompanying soldiers as they display precise drill before admiring onlookers, to signalling (with Retreat being a popular tune with the French), to something to wriggle around and eventually throw up to at mess do’s, also before admiring onlookers.

Music takes many forms, but an important element is that it was better when you were a lad, not like the rubbish nowadays. One of the strangest pieces is by the classical composer John Cage. Called 4 minutes 33 seconds it is nothing but silence for precisely that long, and yet has been released on record and CD. I keenly await the dance version, 12 minutes 14 seconds.

See also: Corps of Army Music