Bands and Music
The Bands of the Guards Division are among the finest military musicians in the world. Typically, each Band has 49 members, commanded by a Director of Music. They frequently conduct live performances and concerts. Many have also recorded CDs of their music. While each Bandâ€™s main function is to provide music for ceremonial events, many musicians have also served on operations.
The Bands may be accompanied by the Corps of Drums of each Regiment. The Scots and Irish Guards have pipers who play distinctive tunes on their bagpipes.
Music played during the guard changing ceremony has always been a mixture of traditional and popular music of the day. It is said that on one occasion in 1920, the Band was playing a piece from a popular Operetta when a footman arrived with a message from King George V, addressed to the Director of Music. He excitedly read the note only to find that it said: â€śHis Majesty does not know what the Band has just played but it is never to be played again.â€ť
For Changing the Guard, a full Military Band is provided, usually from one of the Guards Regiments, accompanied by their Director of Music. It performs a variety of music during the handover, ranging from traditional military marches to songs from shows and even familiar pop songs.