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Band Music

The roots of the modern band or wind ensemble can be traced to Harmoniemusik groups popular in Germany and Austria in the 18th century. Community bands grew in importance through the 19th century, and conductor-composers Patrick Gilmore and John Philip Sousa established marching and concert bands in American culture. School and community bands continued to flourish in the 20th century, and their repertoire at first consisted of marches, a few classics by composers like Holst, Grainger, and Vaughan Williams, and transcriptions of orchestral music. Conductor Frederick Fennell, who established the Eastman Wind Ensemble in 1952, was responsible for standardizing the instrumentation of the modern concert band, encouraging more and more composers to contribute to what has become to a substantial and varied body of works.