Posted by Klaus on April 04, 2002 at 13:04:41:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Old beauty posted by dp on April 04, 2002 at 10:32:46:
Tornister (German)/Tornyster (Danish) originally referred to the square back-pack used by soldiers in the field.
When I started in a Danish school in germany in 1954, the German tradition was to give the kids "ein Tornister" in leather for their books and pencils.
However I do not reckon, that the Tornister term referres to any instrument carried on the back. Rather it is the square wrap.
Even if I have owned horses and have been riding a good deal in woods and on roads, I never have played brass while mounted. Yet I am quite sure, that these Tornister instruments are for the then common mounted bands.
With a sling diagonally across the back these instrument will hang with their bottom bows over the right leg of the players. Leaving space under the bells to manage the reins with their left arm.
Being repetitive I will tell the story, that one of my old teachers, Karlo Nielsen, told of the 9 man mounted regimental band he started in shortly after WWI.
1 Eb flugelhorn called Piccolo in Danish, known in the US as Eb bugle. Often playing the lead.
2 Bb cornets. Sometimes playing harmonic lines under the piccolo lead, sometimes lead and harmony line.
1 Bb trumpet. Signals, an occassional lead, 3rd part harmony line.
1 Eb valved alto trombone. Afterbeats, an occassional solo.
3 Bb valved tenor trombones, sometimes with so wide bell sections, that they more sounded like present day German Tenorhörner. 1st playing the equivalent of euphonium band parts. 2nd and 3rd playing afterbeats in 3 part harmony with the alto.
1 tuba in F with 5 or 6 valves distributed for both hands.
The tubist had the reins mounted to the stirrups. Allowing for full control. But for one thing. He could not stop the horse without loosing the balance. Hence he rode in the middle of the second row of the 3*3 formation. If the tubist's horse showed signs of being unruly, the other players/horsemen by default had to close the ranks tightly around it.
Today, there are not that many mounted bands.
The Brits have two of them: The Lifeguards plus the Royals and Blues. Looking very impressive, when they join forces at the annual parade, where the Queen gives new flags to the regiments. The Swedes have a dragoon band. The Brits and Swedes only play while riding in short pace (walking).
The French have the huge Garde Republicaine. I seem to remember, that they play riding in short trot.
The Peruvians have a band playing riding in very fast trot. I did not envy the four (brass) sousa players in the last row. But even less I would like to be one of the trombone players just in front of them. They played their slides. How they held the instruments and managed the reins never occurred to me.