And now they were the foreign invader, dumb because they did not know the native language, pitying this doomed community but moving in to strike it at the vitals. He followed them to the square, still with the drums pounding and the fifes shrilling, and now the town was awake in every window. At a word the Colonel on his horse dispelled the illusion.
Our approach was announced by a discordant tumult of fifes and drums, for our band, of which later, we became justly proud, was a newly fledged and still imperfect organization. Windows were flung up and doors thrown open along our line of march; but alas, we were greeted with no welcome glances of kindly approval, no waving of handkerchiefs, no clapping of hands.
Forward March!" And then while some of the Soldiers who had fifes, drums, trumpets and horns played a lively tune, the others, led by their Captain, marched along. They went down the toy counter and paraded past the place where the Candy Rabbit sat watching them. Straight and stiff marched the Tin Soldiers, the music of the tin band becoming more and more lively.
So does almost all our music, which is all Christian in tendency. But modern music is analytical, critical, and it has discovered the power of ugliness. Like our martial music, it is of the upper plane, like our martial songs, our fifes and our brass-bands. These act direct upon the thoracic ganglion. Time was, however, when music acted upon the sensual centers direct.
One day, however, as they were returning, they saw a cloud of dust in the distance, and heard the sounds of drums and fifes playing a joyous tune. Kenton drew the old mare behind the bank of a high hedge, and the boys watched eagerly through the hawthorns.
She passed her fingers across her brow, clearing it of the clinging curls. "They played a noisy march afterward. I saw the ragged ranks wheel and manoeuvre, stepping out Briskly to the jolly drums and fifes.... I stood by the grave while the detail filled it cheerily.... Then I went back to the farm house, through the morning dew and sunshine.
Suddenly amid the din a musical note rang out; it pierced the very heavens, it was more penetrating than the boom of the big guns, the screech of shells, or the crack of rifles. From the distant heather, perhaps half a mile away, men with clear sight could see great masses of humanity in grey rise, seemingly out of the earth, and Bob heard the distant sound of fifes and drums.
It is a mass of noble faces and voluminously robed figures, emerging each above the other like flowers in a vase. Bach too has specific character, while all are robust and full of life, intent upon the service set them. Their instruments of music are all the lutes and viols, flutes, cymbals, drums, fifes, citherns, organs, and harps that Ferrari's day could show.
Other authorities, however, speak of different wind-instruments, similar to our fifes or flutes, which are elsewhere in common use. One which is frequently to be met with at the Bay of Islands consists, according to Savage, of a tube six or seven inches long, open at both extremities, and having three holes on one side, and one on the other.
At seven o'clock every evening, the detachments who are to be on guard, during the night, at the different military posts, are drawn up in front of the said building, receive the pass-word, and then, headed by the drums and fifes, march off to their respective stations. Every Sunday and Thursday evening too, at this hour, the French band plays for a short time in the Piazza.