Military Band Service of the Armed Forces of Russia

The Military Band Service of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation serves as the official service of military bands in active service within the Russian Armed Forces and formerly the Soviet Armed Forces. It is part of the Military Band Service Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

Military Band Service of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
Военно-оркестровая служба Вооружённых Сил Российской Федерации
The massed bands of the Moscow Garrison during the 2018 Moscow Victory Day Parade.
Active1711 (1711)
Country Russia
Branch Ministry of Defense
TypeAdministrative service
RoleThe organization of military bands belonging to the Russian Armed Forces
Size1000+ musicians in 200-300 bands
Part ofMilitary Band Service Directorate
AnniversariesFebruary 19 (Day of the Band Service[1][2][3])
Senior Director of Music of the Armed ForcesMajor General Timofey Mayakin[4]
Chief InsepctorLieutenant Colonel Igor Shevernev[5][6]
Emblem (1991-Present)

Senior Directors


For a country that has not just one of the largest armed forces in the world but also has produced some of the greatest composers and musicians, the MBS-AFR is one of the oldest institutions of military music in Europe and the world, founded by Peter the Great as per Ukaz № 2319 enacted on Feb. 19, 1711,[8][10] which mandated the formation of military bands and field music formations within both the Imperial Russian Army and the nascent Imperial Russian Navy following the Western practices. As both the Army's two foundation regiments (the Preobrazhensky Regiment and the Semyonovsky Regiment) had their own bands and corps of drums, which would also inspire the formation of the bands and fanfare band units within the artillery and the cavalry, the age of Peter the Great, aside from laying the foundation of the armed forces, also began centuries of the Russian military band tradition, which continues until today. In the 1870s, a post called the Inspector of Naval Bands, held by composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov until its abolishment, became the starting point for the official organized arrangement of military bands.[11] In 1922, the Inspectorate of the Military Bands of the Red Army and Navy was formed, renamed in 1955 as the current Military Band Service. In October 1924, the post of Inspector of Military Bands of the Red Army. As of 1947, Inspectorate of Military Bands reported directly to the head of the 3rd Division of the Combat Training Department of the Soviet Army Headquarters, where it was transferred to on 1 December 1931.[12][13] Its modern functions and duties were established in an order signed by the Chief of the General Staff Viktor Samsonov on 22 November 1996.[14][15][16] In November 2007, by the approval of President Dmitry Medvedev, the band service created a charter for the conductors of garrison bands to have more authority over their events and activities.[17] In 2011, the service celebrated 300 years of Russian military music.[18][19]


Annual concert activity of the military band service began inside the hall of the Philharmonic Society of St. Petersburg in November 1813.

Senior Director of Music and regional directors

The office of Senior Director of Music of the Military Band Service is the operational and administrative leader of the service. Local military bands of military garrisons and units are managed by the chiefs of the military bands services of the military districts, with their appointment being as the Senior Director of Music. As such, local conductors report to the director and are accountable to him/her only.[20] For several years until 2010, the senior director of music held the post of director of music of the Central Military Band of the Ministry of Defense of Russia.

Mass service-wide events

Over 1,000 musicians of the service participates in the annual Victory Day parades and before 1991 the October Revolution and May 1 parades as well.[21] The service is an active sponsor of the annual Spasskaya Tower Military Music Festival and Tattoo in Moscow. Joint military concerts are commonly held between the bands of the service and foreign military bands on Russian and foreign soil. Mass events were held on the service's tricentennial in 2011. Every couple of years, officials from the service conduct contests to identify the best bands in the service as well as inspections to identify those that retain the standard for bands.[22] In 1928, the first national competition of military bands being held.[23] Bandmasters also meet regularly to facilitate such events, with the first Red Army meeting of bandmasters occurring in 1933. Other mertings would occur in later years, such as in 1959 for the directors of military district bands and in 1947 as a conference on the repertoire of military bands.

Individual bands

The military band service provides military bands for the Kremlin Regiment and the 154th Preobrazhensky Independent Commandant's Regiment during special occasions and state visit.[21] The individual regional bands support their branch of service and their regional military area through their music.


The composition of the Military Band Service of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation include:[24]

Not under the armed forces but affiliated to the Band Service:

Current Formation of Massed Bands

Formation in Moscow

  • Chromatic Fanfare Trumpets, Field Drums, 1st Glockenspiels
  • Trumpets, Cornets, Flugelhorns
  • 1st Trombones
  • 1st and 2nd Marching Percussion
    • Snare drums
    • Bass drums and Cymbals
    • Turkish crescents
    • 2nd Glockenspiels
  • 2nd Trombones
  • Horns, Mellophones
  • Clarinets, Oboes, Saxophones, Bassoons, Flutes and Piccolos
  • Baritone horns, Tenor horns, Saxhorns
  • Euphoniums, Wagner Tubas, Tubas, Sousaphones

Formation in St Petersburg

  • Chromatic Fanfare Trumpets (optional)
  • Field Drums (optional)
  • Trumpets
  • 1st Trombones, Horns and Woodwinds
    • Clarinets, Saxophones
  • Marching Percussion
    • Snare Drums
    • Bass drums
    • Cymbals
    • Turkish crescent (since 2011)
    • Glockenspiels
  • 2nd Trombones and Horns
  • 2nd Woodwinds
    • Clarinets, Oboes, Bassoons, Flutes, Piccolos
    • Saxophones
  • Saxhorns, Baritone and tenor horns, Euphoniums, Wagner tubas
  • Tubas, Sousaphones (optional)

Formation in Yekaterinburg

  • Chromatic Fanfare Trumpets
  • Field Drums (optional)
  • Trumpets, Cornets
  • Trombones and Horns
  • Saxophones
  • Clarinets, Oboes, Bassoons, Flutes, Piccolos
  • Marching Percussion
    • Snare Drums
    • Bass drums
    • Cymbals
    • Turkish crescent
    • Glockenspiels
  • Saxhorns, Baritone and tenor horns, Euphoniums, Wagner tubas
  • Tubas, Sousaphones (optional)


The emblems and patchs of the band service were adopted by order of Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov on 7 February 2005.[28]

Common elements of military band symbols include:[29]

  • Lyre (traditional emblem of military musicians worldwide)
  • Red color (traditional color of the instrument cloth of military personnel in military bands)
  • Emblem of the Russian Armed Forces
  • Oak wreath


  8. "Военно-оркестровая служба Вооруженных Сил Российской Федерации : Министерство обороны Российской Федерации". Retrieved 2017-04-29.
  11. Zetlin, 195–96.
  21. RedSamurai84 (2016-05-24), Central Military Band of Russia Documentary Фильм о Военном Оркестре России, retrieved 2017-01-22
  25. "Центральный военный оркестр Министерства обороны Российской Федерации". Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  26. "Participants — [EN] Spasskaya bashnya". (in Russian). Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  27. "Московское военно-музыкальное училище имени генерал-лейтенанта В.М.Халилова : Министерство обороны Российской Федерации". Retrieved 2017-12-19.

See also

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.