In 1420, a wind band consisting of three musicians was founded in the city of Dresden. These "stadtpfeifer" (also called “waits” in English) were municipal employees. They existed until the end of the 19th century, when they were transformed into a symphony orchestra.
Now, nearly 600 years after their foundation, the Dresdner Stadtpfeifer play again in authentic performance. Their repertoire spans the Renaissance, beginning with the invention of the sackbut in the second half of the 15th century, and extends to the early Baroque period that ended around 1700.
The Dresdner Stadtpfeifer play on replicas of historical instruments. The band employs instruments such as the zink (also called cornetto), sackbuts, rauschpfeifes and crumhorns, recorders, gemshorns, viols, violone, a small organ, and vocal soloists.
As their predecessors in the 16th century did, the Dresdner Stadtpfeifer play for the citizens and in churches, but rarely at court.