Military music during ceremonies

For centuries, music has been closely intertwined with military life. From time immemorial, music has been used to send signals to the troops, by using drums or trumpets for example. In the present day, military music and military music bands play an important role during military ceremonies.

Ceremonies and occasions

Military music is played during ceremonies and special occasions involving the Royal House and the Defence organisation. Examples of these ceremonies and occasions are:

  • Prinsjesdag (the State Opening of Parliament);
  • state visits;
  • the presentation of credentials to dignitaries;
  • Royal weddings;
  • state funerals;
  • swearing-in ceremonies;
  • commemorations;
  • change-of-command ceremonies;
  • medal award ceremonies;
  • events such as military tattoos, Veterans Day and concerts (including Liberation Day concerts).   

Military music corps

The Netherlands armed forces are home to 8 military music corps, which perform ceremonial tasks and give concerts. Below is a list of the 8 music corps.

For all corps please contact the Military Music Agency, e-mail:

The 8 music corps

  • the Marine Band;

  • the Fifes and Drums;

  • the Johan Willem Friso Royal Military Band;

  • the Band of the Royal Netherlands Army Mounted Regiments;

  • the Brass Ensemble of the National Reserve Corps;

  • the Regimental Brass Ensemble of the Grenadiers and Rifles;

  • the Royal Netherlands Air Force Band;

  • the Band of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee.