The Norwegian Armed Forces have several military bands. The bands play a prominent role during ceremonies and parades.
Military bands have roots all the way back to the Classical Antiquity, when military commanders saw the importance to use sound and music to give orders and motivate the soldiers. Secondly, music could also be used to intimidate and demoralise the enemy.
In Norway, drummers (tambur) were employed at all the country's fortresses in 1627. A provision from 1767 states that all infantry regiments must employ six horn blowers in addition to their drummers.
Five brigade marching bands were established during the restructuring of the Norwegian Armed Forces in 1817–18. The Armed Forces' music division grew in importance and became one of the most significant cultural institutions in Norway in the 19th century.
After World War II military bands gained more popularity. In 1953, the Norwegian Parliament gave the green light for establishing the Armed Forces Staff Band and a continuation of the six districts Band and the Navy Band.
Since the 2000s the music division has undergone an organisational change in the transition and restructuring of the Norwegian Armed Forces. Today there are five main regional, professional bands in the Armed Forces. In addition to these, there are two bands composed of conscripts: His Majesty the King's Band and Drill Team and Oslo Home GuardBand.
The Military Bands of the Norwegian Armed Forces celebrated their 200th anniversary in 2020, and are amongst the oldest still active cultural institutions in Norway. The bands are internationally renowned for their exquisite musical quality, and frequently represents the Norwegian Armed Forces and the nation internationally on concert tours and tattooshows world wide.