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Drummer, Compagnies franches de la Marine, New France, 1755-1760

Type: Image

This drummer of the Compagnies franches wears the livery of the king of France, with its distinctive lace - crimson with an embroidered white chain pattern. Drummers were often distinctively dressed to make them easy to spot in the heat of battle. This was because the only practical way of transmitting orders to a large group of men before the perfection of portable radios was by means of distinctive drum beats. Officers had to be able to find a drummer quickly, even in a confused mass of soldiers, hence the special uniform. Reconstruction by Eugène Lelièpvre. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Drummer, Primera Compañía franca de Voluntarios de Cataluña at Nootka, 1790-1794

Type: Image

There were two drummers on the strength of the Primera Compañía franca de Voluntarios de Cataluña (or '1st independent company of Catalonian volunteers'). This unit of the Spanish colonial army supplied the original garrison at Nootka. After 1760, Spanish army drummers wore the livery of the King of Spain - a blue coat with scarlet collar and cuffs, along with a scarlet waistcoat. Both coat and waistcoat were trimmed with scarlet lace that was embroidered with a white chain pattern. This same pattern of lace had decorated French uniforms before the French Revolution in 1789. The Bourbon kings of Spain were a branch of the French royal family, and adopted a similar livery. Reconstruction by David Rickman. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Military Bands

Type: Document

The British likely introduced the military band to Canada. These regimental musicians were paid for by individual units. Instrumentation favoured flutes, clarinets and percussion. The bands played a strong role in the social life of garrison towns throughout Canada.

Site: National Defence

Hector Pellerin - Singer, Pianist, Actor (1887 - 1953) - WW1 Era Musicians

Type: DocumentSoundImage

Hector Pellerin had a large following in French-speaking parts of Canada and the United States. He recorded primarily between 1916 and 1928 and was well known for his frequent appearances in French operettas, plays, and cabarets.

Site: Library and Archives Canada

Henri (Enrique) Miro - Composer, Conducter, Critic - WW1 Era Musicians

Type: DocumentSoundImage

Spanish-born musician Henri Miro was an active participant in the musical scene in Montreal from the turn of the twentieth century. Miro enjoyed moderate local and national success as a composer and director of concert music and musical theatre, and was featured on radio broadcasts and popular recordings.

Site: Library and Archives Canada

From Colony to Country - South African War - Art, Music and Literature - Canadian Sheet Music from the Time of the Boer War

Type: Document

A short listing of popular and marching songs celebrating the Canadians who fought in the South African, or Boer War.

Site: Library and Archives Canada

To the Sound of the Drummer's Beat

Type: Document

Fortified towns like Quebec, Montreal, Trois-Rivières and Louisbourg were all governed by military staffs. The lives of French soldiers and Canadian civilians alike were regulated by the different drum beatings of the garrison, from La Diane at dawn to La Retraite at sunset.

Site: National Defence

Pierre Aurèle Asselin - Biography - WW1 Era Musicians

Type: DocumentSoundImage

Pierre-Aurèle Asselin, born in Sainte-Famille on l'Île d'Orléans near Québec City, became a predominant Canadian Opera singer in the 1920's. He specialized in recording arias from French operas, songs from operettas, and classics. Includes recordings of some of his works.

Site: Library and Archives Canada

Cold War: Psalm for Shelter

Type: Sound

Composer introduces musical piece about the horrors of nuclear fears.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

The billeted soldier's departure, circa 1790

Type: Image

In 18th century Canada, a good many soldiers were ‘billeted’ (lodged) in private houses rather than in barracks.

Site: National Defence