Hello Tim,dixiedrummer wrote: Do you mean Flutes or Fifes? I thought with military infantry musicians, not bandsmen, each company was assigned 2 drummers and 2 fifers. The first band shown in Triumph of the Will is the infantry Fife and Drum corps correct? In a band Flutes and Fifes were used, but were flutes also used in the infantry music?
Nice to find someone else into drums and flutes
Technically we are both right as the fife is a keyless flute and the German infantry used a keyless flute up to 1945 and in the NVA as long as that body existed. A very good friend of mine has a collection of these. They are all wood or plastic imitation wood such as ebonite. The Bundeswehr switched to rather cheap and nasty looking metal keyless flute with plastic finger holes (they may even have gone to a one keyed flute). The flutes were all of one type so the music was usually melody line only, although there were some very good two part pieces.. There was a rich heritage of flute and drum marching music in the German forces which has been largely lost as it was seldom if ever recorded.
The German flutes/fifes also have less finger holes than the ones used by many US flute bands.Flute Bands in the British Army use keyed wooden flutes, as did, uniquely in the US forces, the 4th Marines.
The flutes in the band in those days in Germany were keyed wood/imitation wood versions of concert flutes and, incidentally, the clarinetists used two-piece "military" clarinets (which were used also in the British Army up to at least the fifties). These helped to contribute to the special sound of bands of this period.