The Band of Music, or regimental band, was a separate and distinct part of the regiment from the Corps of Drums. The officers of in the British Napoleonic army, being primarily of the nobility, were accustomed to musical entertainments and did not wish to forego this pleasure while in service. Since the only musicians authorized in the regiments were the drummers and fifers, the officers, at their own expense, often-hired professional musicians clothed them in uniform, and had them serve as the regimental band. These men had not taken the king's shilling, the sign of enlistment, and generally refused to cede their civilian status. Existing side by side with the corps of drums, these bands were primarily used to entertain the officers, such as providing music during meals and for dances and social activities, including serenading.
The melody section of the Band was referred to as Harmoniemusik, which consisted of one of the following combinations: pairs of oboes, horns, and bassoons; pairs of clarinets, horns and bassoons; or pairs of oboes, clarinets, horns and bassoons. The percussion section consisted of “Turkish” or Janissary instruments, a reference to the use of the bass drum, cymbals, tambourine, triangle and a bell tree of Jingling Johnny.
Since the officers supported the musicians, they had a free hand determining the uniform used and "gave them the most showy dress possible so as to give the greatest elan to the regiment. The tendency was to dress them in coats of the facing colour (similar to the drummers) or white elaborately laced and tasselled." The musicians would then be wearing similar coats as the drummers and fifers, but would not have the additional drummer's lace. The percussionists at first were Turkish, but as the supply was insufficient for the demand, others were recruited. However the ethnicity of the percussionist, their uniform continued to show elements of exotic influence.