The Din of Battle

The nature of warfare is constantly changing. So are the challenges that composers face in depicting the sound and struggle of battle.

On 13 September 1515, King Francis I of France was encamped with his army at Marignano, near Piacenza. Having recently signed a peace agreement with the Swiss Confederation, he was looking forward to a day of rest. But as he was trying on a new suit of armour that morning, a scout rushed into his tent with news that the Swiss had reneged on the deal and were already on the march. Within hours, they would be upon him.

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