Stansell’s Bandsmen #8: The Fife

The 8th in a series on some of the roles of British army bandsmen as illustrated by Frederick Stansell c.1900 in the book “Bands of the British Army” by W.J. Gordon. #MakeMusicNotWar

No.8: The Fife – The Irish Guards

The Fife came to us from Switzerland by way of France, where it seems to have been introduced by Francis the First… The fife has a compass of about two octaves and, unlike the bugle, all its notes are used. Drums, fifes, bugles and trumpets, having originally been instruments of command, have all along been supplied to the army at the public expense… (fifer and drummer bandsmen) have still to play either instrument as required so that every fifer is a drummer and every drummer is a fifer.”

W.J. Gordon

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