December 3, 1818: An army with music
The first king of the Netherlands, Willem1, signed the importance of military music as part of the Armed Forces. Military music at that time had a functional task on the battlefield, but King William 1 also saw a role as a national representative. In this way, military music acquired a symbolic role within the Netherlands, its armed forces and the Royal House.
On December 2, 1818 the Koninklijk Besluit 'Nationale Militie' (Royal Decree 'National Militia') was signed and Dutch military music was a fact.
Exhibition in the National Military Museum
We can hardly imagine it now, but for centuries military music was indispensable on the battlefield. Signals sound, frightened and marches played. In the nineteenth century each regiment received its own music corps in the Netherlands. Some of these music corps still exist and continue the tradition of Dutch military music.
Plein concerts and double concerts
In The Hague, near the place where King William 1 landed, a lunchconcert is given by each part of the armed forces on the Plein. The orchestras, for example, explain that the Dutch military music was founded by Royal Decree. Together with the Belgian colleagues of military music, we present a series of double concerts. Belgium was part of our Kingdom until 1830. The Royal Decree also concerned the Southern Netherlands.