Music, School of


Date of this Version

Fall 8-21-2012


Version of 08/21/2012
This essay is a work in progress. It was uploaded for the first time in August 2012, and the present document is the first version. The author welcomes comments, additions, and corrections (


This essay sketches the story of the bands and bandmasters of the twenty seven new black army regiments which served in the U.S. Army in World War I. They underwent rapid mobilization and demobilization over 1917-1919, and were for the most part unconnected by personnel or traditions to the long-established bands of the four black regular U.S. Army regiments that preceded them and continued to serve after them. Pressed to find sufficient numbers of willing and able black band leaders, the army turned to schools and the entertainment industry for the necessary talent. The newly formed bands entertained servicemen and civilians in Europe and America not only with traditional military marches and concert band fare, but also with minstrel shows and revues, and with the latest flavor of ragtime music, which they called jazz

Included in

Music Commons