HOLLYWOOD films show fanfares being played in Ancient Rome – but it thought they only date back to the Middle Ages. Historically they announced the arrival of Royalty but have evolved to serve as a tribute or introduction to any person, place or event.
Usually played by trumpets and other brass instruments, often with drums, the fanfares played at the Royal Opera House will be performed by a full symphony orchestra.
Modern fanfares were written in the UK for important state events. Hubert Parry wrote a fanfare, I Was Glad, for the coronation of Edward VII. Other famous fanfares include Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland and Fanfare for St Edmundsbury by Benjamin Britten.