Philharmonic Bands of R.A.M.
The Philharmonic Bands.
The concept of the Philharmonic Band was introduced to Madeirans during the occupation of the English troops in Madeira between 1801 and 1814. After having developed in mainland Portugal, from 1828 with the presence of the Band of the Regiment and the Band of Battalion, Madeira begins to adopt this musical format in the regional culture. Conducted by the military, these musical formations began to gain more and more presence in the parades and concerts in the open air, in the second half of the century XIX. The philharmonic bands began to appear officially in Madeira from 1850, with the establishment of the Banda Municipal do Funchal, on February 18, then called the Filarmónica dos Artistas Funchalenses.
Constituted by military and elements of the popular class, in their majority workers and farmers, these bands were led by masters who took the music to the rural world. Although not considered professional musicians, they were recognized for the taste and vocation for this art, confirming the secular nature of the Madeiran people.
The Philharmonic Bands evolved much in their image from its origin. If in the past the bands had a predominantly military expression and the philharmonic were recognized as musical societies, over the years there has been an evolution that has made the Philharmonic Bands one of the most indispensable cultural milestones in the history of the last century until the present time.
There are currently 18 philharmonic bands in Madeira, mostly centenarians, with a wealth of knowledge and experience that make them unique and indispensable in the culture of the Autonomous Region of Madeira.