|The massed band or Tête de Colonne were the massed sappers, standards, drummers and musicians which led the regiment during parades and other important occasions. The band itself consisted of Tambour Major, two Tambour Maîtres, 46 musicians and 32 drummers. Also included were two lieutenant porte-aigles and two sappers.
During campaigns, musicians very rarely took part in the actual combat, but sometimes served as stretcher-bearers or ammunition carriers. French drummers of the time, unlike their British counterparts, were seasoned campaigners and often closely followed the assaults of their comrades and suffered quite considerable losses.
Napoléon himself appreciated the importance of military music as a morale booster and sponsored composers to produce anthems and songs suitable for various occasions. Coignet thought that music of the band of the Imperial guard at Austerlitz was "Enough to make a paralysed man advance".