Browsing by Author "Amon-Merilain, Maris"

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  • Amon-Merilain, Maris (2011)
    This study focuses on the similarities and differences between the Estonian Defence League and the Finnish Civil Guard brass bands during the period 1925-1934. By 1934 this paramilitary volunteer state defence organisation had reached stability in its development, such that social, cultural and patriotic education of the people - with the help of brass band music among other means- had acquired a significant role, in addition to prioritised military and sports activities. The study begins with introductory paragraphs I and II, which describes the founding of the organisations, their participation in the Wars of Independence and their subsequent peace time activities as well as their representation in the media at the time. The thesis also briefly introduces military music in Finland and Estonia, as well as describes the influence of military music on the Defence League brass bands. The period under review includes the global economic crisis, which undoubtedly concerned the Defence League/Civil Guard and the Lapua and War of Independence movements, which greatly affected the apolitical principles of the organisations. The main emphasis of the thesis is the Defence League/Civil Guard brass band`s musical activities in two counties - Etelä-Pohjanmaa and Pärnumaa, while also including a general overview of the Estonian Defence League brass bands´ activities. One of the most important benefits of the thesis is its introduction of the brass band repertoire in use at the time, which was played by both professional and as well as amateur orchestras the latter of which also included the brass bands of the Defence League/Civil Guard and the Fire Services. Brass band music held a secondary, yet significant position in the Defence League/Civil Guard, where the orchestra as a musical grouping was obliged to perform not only at inner-organisational and national celebrations but also at any event requiring brass band music, such as song festivals, singing days, and other local cultural events. The professional preparation of the band conductors at the beginning of the period under review was not well specialised, but the training of the Defence League/Civil Defence brass band conductors was carried out regularly in both republic according to the opportunities and dedicated training programmes available. The musicians of the Defence League/Civil Defence brass bands were at the same time members of the military organisations as well as amateur musicians, which placed upon them extra demands - they were under close public supervision in all situations. Based on the principle of chronology it appeared that both Finnish and Estonian respective organisations´ brass bands used the gradually improving economic situation for purchasing musical instruments, obtaining repertoire and training musicians/conductors. Despite the fact that brass band music in the Defence League/Civil Guard was considered an amateur activity and a hobby, the more far-reaching objective of the organisation was to resemble the Defence Forces´ orchestras as closely as possible in all aspects. The Defence League/Civil Guard brass band music definitely had a significant influence on forming, developing and enriching music life in both republics. The reviewed nine-year period introduced the musical activities of the Defence League/Civil Guard against the background of the everyday life of the organisation and the need for brass band music and its continuity in the voluntary state defence institutions of both republics.