This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
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A U.S. Army Horn Trio

02 October 2010

Three horn players, members of a U.S. Army field band, stand in front of what looks like the barracks or the bandroom. This photo is a very small format snapshot, perhaps taken by a fellow bandsman with a simple box camera. No writing on the back so no clues as to where or when. Judging by the instruments and uniform style, I would estimate 1917-1922. But there are probably more subtle clues to the date by identifying the types of leggings they wear.

The horns are single rotary valve horns in F. The bandsman in the center has the odd horn out, with the rotary valves placed on the underside of the horn, typical of German horns I've seen from this period.

Other than that, the identities and location will remain another mystery. On a different note, I recently performed an outdoor concert where the rehearsal was on stage in the late afternoon. The placement of the stage shell afforded no protection to some sections of the orchestra against the direct rays of the sun, and towards the end of rehearsal my horn had reached a temperature that made holding it extremely uncomfortable. The yellow brass bell was nearly too hot to handle! My colleague next to me was suffering from the heat too, but his silver nickle-plated horn was decidedly lower in temperature. It's an interesting attribute that I've never seen noted by band instrument companies.

You can see the sun's reflection on these three horns too. Are they yellow brass or silver horns?      And now I can appreciate their practical broad brimmed hats too.

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