Handbook of the Royal Odentian Musical Artillery Corps

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Handbook of the Royal Odentian Musical Artillery Corps
AuthorLt. Andre Marceau
CountryOdentia
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Published1985
PublisherOdentian Ground Defense Force
Publication date
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The Handbook of the Royal Odentian Musical Artillery Corps (French: Manuel du Royal Odentian Musical Artillery Corps) is a guide to the use of the artillery piece as a musical instrument.

History[edit]

In the early 1980s, Odentian institutions, including Odentian military bands, began preparations for the 1984 centennial of Odentian federation. Planned celebrations included great free public concerts of Odentian patriotic and popular songs, including the Solemn Overture of 1812, written to commemorate the war between Acronia and Vazandia that ended in 1812. General Leigh Olivier, Odentian military musical director, directed the formation of the Royal Odentian Musical Artillery Corps to operate the artillery pieces called for in the 1812 piece, and to master the use of artillery with musical precision.

A group of twenty men and five ER-55 155mm artillery pieces was assembled under the command of senior percussionist Lt. Andre Marceau in 1983. Over the next year, Marceau not only instructed his men musically, but developed techniques for both crew and cannon ensure that a cannon fired exactly every six beats (approximately every two seconds at tempo). He found that the use of artillery as a musical instrument was a complicated and nuanced endeavour, and began compiling his notes and techniques into a book.

The techniques that Marceau developed led to the successful use of the artillery pieces in the 1984 concert series, with the Barré-Karrigan Madrigal declaring the Royal Odentian Musical Artillery Corps the "finest musical artillery corps in the world." Marceau himself later expressed satisfaction at his work, saying that he delivered his cannon blasts precisely where they needed to be. He spent the months after the concerts collecting and refining his notes and published them in 1985.

The Handbook is considered the definitive (and only) guide to the use of the artillery piece as a musical instrument.