Why is this Popular? Military Marching Bands
If you are lucky enough to live just a little bit outside of the city center, then you have no doubt experienced the seemingly non-stop practice of student military-style marching bands. (If not, imagine the death cries of a slaughterhouse with a constant bass drum beat). These bands will rehearse in such a fashion until September 15th (Independence Day in Guatemala), whereupon they will disappear until this time next year.
But why? Why, why, why are these bands popular amongst the populace? A very special XelaWho investigation has revealed the following:
1) There is no limit as to who can participate in these bands. Literally everyone can play—regardless of musical talent, knowledge of the song, and whether or not you’ve actually tuned your instrument. Can you emit a shrill moan? Great! Pick up that trumpet and get in line. Whereas more selective bands discriminate between those with talent and those without, these bands open up possibilities for everyone to have the opportunity to be an awful musician.
2) Military bands are great for teaching militarism and blind obedience. If we explain this point any further then the CIA might kill us. Instead, read Bitter Fruit and use your imagination.
3) These bands are preserving a long-held tradition of really awful trumpet playing. With increased education, a whopping four private music schools in Xela, and the internet as a source to acquire high-quality trumpet music, Xela is at risk of losing the cultural tradition of really really bad trumpet playing. These military marching bands are actually an attempt to preserve a rich custom from extinction.
4) Who cares? If people are making music it means they’re not blowing up buses (see page 16). Well, I suppose that we concede this point.
5) It’s a great opportunity for a brawl! If you were here last year you might remember that all September 14th parades were cancelled due to a riot in the stadium between students at INVO and students at La Patria. Those two schools have been looking for an excuse to brawl for generations, music was the international language that brought them together—so that they could knock each other’s teeth out.