Brass band

Brass band

Infobox Music genre
name=Brass band
stylistic_origins=European classical music
cultural_origins=19th century
instruments=Brass instruments

A brass band is a musical group generally consisting entirely of brass instruments, most often with a percussion section. Ensembles which include brass and woodwind instruments can in certain traditions also be termed brass bands (particularly in the context of New Orleans-style Brass Bands), but are usually more correctly termed military bands, concert bands, wind bands or wind ensembles.



A brass band in the British tradition with a full complement of 25 or 26 players (plus percussion) comprises:

*1 Soprano Cornet in Emusic|flat
*8-10 Cornets in Bmusic|flat (in separate parts for 'Solo', 'Repiano', 2nd and 3rd cornets; there may be 4/5 players to the 'Solo' part, one 'Repiano', two 2nd, and two or one 3rd)
*1 Flugelhorn in Bmusic|flat (often notated on the same part as the 'Repiano')
*3 Tenor Horns in Emusic|flat (called Solo, 1st and 2nd)
*2 Baritones in Bmusic|flat (usually playing separate parts)
*2 Euphoniums in Bmusic|flat
*2 Tenor Trombones (notated in Bmusic|flat, sounding a major ninth below written) (usually playing separate parts)
*1 Bass Trombone (the only instrument in the band notated as it sounds)
*4 Tubas (2 in Emusic|flat and 2 in Bmusic|flat; often called Basses)
*2 or 3 percussion players (with 2 timpani, glockenspiel, snare drum, triangle, cymbals, a drum kit and more)

With the exception of the trombones, all of the brass are conical-bore instruments, which gives the British-style brass band its distinctive bright, mellow sound (as opposed to a dark symphonic sound).

Brass bands have a long tradition of competition between bands, often based around local industry and communities. British-style brass bands are widespread throughout Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and continental Europe and are also found in North America. Annual competitions are held in these countries to select champion bands at various levels of musical competence.

The Salvation Army, part of the Christian church, has deployed brass bands since 1878 and they continue to be an integral part of that organisation.The most well-known Salvation Army brass band is [ The International Staff Band] which is based in London.The cornet section of a Salvation Army brass band does not include a 'Repiano' and instead of 2nd & 3rd cornets there are 1st & 2nd cornets.

New Orleans

The tradition of brass bands in New Orleans, Louisiana dates to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Traditionally, New Orleans brass bands could feature various instrumentations, often including trumpets, trombones, saxophones, sousaphones and percussion. The music played by these groups was often a fusion between European-styled military band music and African folk music brought to the Americas by west African slaves and the idiom played a significant role in the development of traditional Jazz. Early brass bands include the Eureka Brass Band, the Onward Brass Band, the Excelsior Brass Band, the Tuxedo Brass Band, the Young Tuxedo Brass Band, the Camelia Brass Band, and the Olympia Brass Band.

A well-known use of these bands is for the New Orleans jazz funeral.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the New Orleans brass band tradition experienced a renaissance, with bands breaking away from traditional stylings and adding elements of funk, hip hop, and bop to their repertoires. Some notable exponents of this style of brass band include the Rebirth Brass Band, the Soul Rebels Brass Band, Youngblood Brass Band and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, though a number of groups outside the United States have begun playing this style of music. The style has moved beyond New Orleans and now brass bands can be found in such far flung places as Japan with the Black Bottom Brass Band, The Netherlands with the Happy Feet Brassband and the Hurricane Brass Band, Boston, Massachusetts with the Hot Tamale Brass Band and Madison, Wisconsin with Mama Digdown's Brass Band and Youngblood Brass Band.


Founded in 1836 by King Kamehameha III, the Royal Hawaiian Band is the second oldest and only full-time municipal band in the United States. In recent generations, unique brass band traditions have also developed in Tonga, Samoa, and other parts of Polynesia, as well as among the Māori of New Zealand. Some recordings are now available and these styles are beginning to be researched and promoted abroad through band tours.

Festivals around the world

One festival featuring brass bands is the Tarragona international dixieland festival, in Catalonia, Spain. The organisation programs not only dixieland brass bands but also ethnic or world music brass bands from over the world, including the Dirty Dozen Brass Band from the USA, Boban Marković Orkestar from Serbia, the Jaipur Kawa Brass Band from India and Taraf Goulamas from Occitania France.

In the United States the Great American Brass Band Festival has been held annually in Danville, Kentucky for the past 18 years. This event, held in early June, attracts brass band lovers from the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

The [ North American Brass Band Association] sponsors an annual convention that provides member bands with the opportunity to compete in a contest format similar to those conducted in the United Kingdom and Europe.

ee also

* Lanner and District Silver Band
* Brass quintet
* Music of Tonga
* Music of Samoa
* Music of Polynesia
* Māori music
* Buraban
* Black Dyke Mills Band
* Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band
* Grimethorpe Colliery Band
* Silver bands in Fermanagh
* [ Ascot Brass]
* Maidenhead Citadel Band of the Salvation Army
* International Staff Band of the Salvation Army
* Chalk Farm Band of the Salvation Army
* The City of Wolverhampton Brass Band
* Hampshire County Youth Band
* Otley Brass Band
* Banda Music
* Onchan Silver Band
* Hungry March Band
* Brass Instruments
* Eastern Iowa Brass Band
* Tarragona international dixieland festival in Catalonia, Spain.
* Brass Band of Columbus []
* Central Park Brass

Brass Band Composers

* Philip Sparke
* Eric Ball
* Peter Graham
* Goff Richards
* Darrol Barry
* Alan Fernie
* Edward Gregson
* Philip Wilby
* William Himes
* Eric Jessop

Brass Band Publishers

* Studio Music
* Gramercy Music
* Larch Entertainments
* Devilish Publishing Music Publishers

External links

* [ Brass Bands] - Information on the history of Brass bands
* [ IBEW] - The complete information resource for brass bands worldwide
* [ 4barsrest] - Up to date news and articles on the brass band scene
* [ Brass Bands] - Services for contacting bands and players worldwide
* [ British Bandsman magazine]
* [ "Let Me Do My Thang: Rebirth Brass Band"] - a documentary filmed and edited by Keith Reynaud, Jr.
* [ Kingpin Brass Band]
* [] - Brass Band from Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Brass-band — Un orchestre est dit brass band lorsqu il est composé uniquement d instruments de la famille des cuivres, ainsi que de percussions. Les fanfares militaires ont commencé à fleurir au milieu du XIXe siècle, profitant du développement… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Brass Band — Un orchestre est dit brass band lorsqu il est composé uniquement d instruments de la famille des cuivres, ainsi que de percussions. Les fanfares militaires ont commencé à fleurir au milieu du XIXe siècle, profitant du développement… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Brass band — Brass Brass, n.; pl. {Brasses}. [OE. bras, bres, AS. br[ae]s; akin to Icel. bras cement, solder, brasa to harden by fire, and to E. braze, brazen. Cf. 1st & 2d {Braze}.] 1. An alloy (usually yellow) of copper and zinc, in variable proportion, but …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Brass-Band — Brass|band, Brass Band [ bra:sbænd ], die [engl. brass band, aus: brass = Messing u. band, ↑ 3Band]: Blaskapelle …   Universal-Lexikon

  • brass band — brass bands N COUNT A brass band is a band that is made up of brass and percussion instruments …   English dictionary

  • brass band — n a band consisting mostly of brass musical instruments such as ↑trumpets, horns etc …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Brass Band — [ brɑ:s bænd] die; , s <aus engl. brass band »Blaskapelle«, eigtl. »Blechkapelle«> Bez. für eine Marschkapelle, die ausschließlich aus Blechblasinstrumenten u. Schlagzeug zusammengesetzt ist …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • brass band — brass′ band′ n. mad a band made up principally of brass instruments …   From formal English to slang

  • brass band — n. a band of mainly brass instruments …   English World dictionary

  • brass band — noun count a group of musicians who play brass instruments such as TRUMPETS and TROMBONES …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • brass band — ► NOUN ▪ a group of musicians playing brass instruments …   English terms dictionary

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