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Online Exhibits - They're Playing Our Song, Introduction

Iola Municipal Band uniform jacket

Community Bands in Kansas

Today it's hard to imagine the tremendous popularity of bands during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

In the days before radio, movies, and television, bands had a monopoly on popular entertainment. A good, loud, uniformed band was the pride of many small towns.

They're Playing our Song tells the story of how bands gave Kansans a feeling of belonging and community identity. It was developed by the Kansas Museum of History.

The tour is divided into nine sections. Click on the first link below to embark on your exhibit tour, or visit them in any order.

  1. Military Bands
  2. Town Bands
  3. Music in the Schools
  4. Fraternal Bands
  5. Railroad Bands
  6. Cowboy Bands
  7. Ethnic Folk Bands
  8. Circus Bands
  9. Bandwagons and Bandstands