The Slow march


1. Music has long been a tradition of Armies down through the centuries. Regimental and Corps songs, marches, dining music and barrack room ballads have strong links with battles fought and won. Ritually, the victorious Regiment ‘adopted’ the music or folk songs (and frequently the spoils of the battle field and other paraphernalia) of the defeated as a reminder of The Deeds of That Battlefield Won. This music was frequently ‘reorganised’ to better recall the event and to fit the language and customs of the conquering force.

2. It was fashionable for the distinguished Regiments and Corps to commission great composers to write special Chamber Music, Songs and Marches for their exclusive use. On many occasions, Regiments and Corps have adapted contemporary compositions which espouse their traditions and ideals. The RAEME Slow March is one such early eighteenth century composition, adapted for use by RAEME as the Corps Slow March.


3. The RAEME Slow March was authorised by Army Office in 1992.


4. The aim of this instruction is to describe the RAEME Slow March, its origin and use.


5. The RAEME Slow March is a special musical arrangement for military band of the contemporary composition ‘The Harmonious Blacksmith’ by LT Russell King, an officer of the Australian Army Band Corps. The melody is at Annex A. The origin of the ‘Harmonious Blacksmith’ is described in Annex B.

6. The RAEME Slow March may be played on RAEME parades, particularly during the March Past in Slow Time, and with the approval of the Parade Commander on other occasions where a formed body of RAEME troops are parading as part of a composite parade. Units proposing to use the RAEME Slow March should liaise with the Music Director of the supporting Band to have it included in the programme of music. All Army Bands hold copies of the music.

7. The RAEME Slow March was officially played for the first time, by the Band of the Royal Military College Duntroon, during the Corps sponsored Commemorative United Drumhead Service, conducted at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra on 24th February 1992.

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