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Marches Madness: Hurray For Taxes!

It's Marches Madness! Throughout this month, we're posting some of our favorite marches — from the concert hall, opera stage and parade ground. Got one we should hear? Played any yourself? Let us know in the comments section.

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Given the continuing controversy over government spending, it's nice to remember a simpler time — when a state legislature acted to help citizens share music.

In 1921, Iowa passed the Municipal Band Law, which enabled towns under 40,000 to implement a modest tax to support community bands. Karl King, best known for the rousing circus marches Barnum & Bailey's Favorite and Invictus, wrote his Iowa Band Law March to celebrate its passage.

While the movement started in Iowa, it spread like wildfire to 33 states and a few other countries. The video above — which includes text telling the story of the march — features Wisconsin's plucky Rhinelander Area Community Band from its concert on Veterans Day 2009. The sound is from the 21st century but could easily be many decades older.


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