From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A brass band is a musical group consisting mostly or entirely of brass instruments, often with a percussion section. In some traditions an ensemble including woodwind instruments would be termed a brass band, though in other traditions these would instead be termed concert bands, military band or wind bands.
While brass instruments had long been used together in various contexts, the first modern bands were developed early in the 19th century in Prussia, when all military and government bands were issued the new technology of rotary valve instruments and instructed to use standard tuning. This allowed musicians to much more easily play with other bands and for smaller bands to be combined into large bands. A separate tradition also emerged in the United Kingdom, mainly due to the importing of the new Belgian instruments, the saxhorns, invented by Adolphe Sax.
Main article: Brass band (British style)
A brass band in the English tradition with a full compliment of players generally comprises 8-10 cornets (including 1 soprano), 1 flugelhorn, 3 tenor horns, 2 baritones, 2 euphoniums, 3 trombones (2 tenors and 1 bass), 4 tubas (2 Eb and 2 BBb) and percussion. There is a long tradition of competition between brass bands, often based around local industry and communities.
This form of brass band is the most common in Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand and is also widespread throughout parts of North America and continental Europe.
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.
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 to their repertoires. Some notable exponents of this style of brass band include the Rebirth Brass Band and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, though a number of groups outside the United States have begun playing this style of music.
Founded in 1836 by King Kamahameha 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.
- Music of Tonga
- Music of Samoa
- Māori music
- Swedish Brass Community
- Brassmusic.Ru — Russian Brass Community
- David G. Hebert website (current and forthcoming publications on international wind music)
- The use of the brass band in the traditional music of the Limoux' carnival: scores and MIDI files of the ternary steps
- The Brass Band Era in Old Arizona - Territorial Brass, Arizona's Official Historical Brass Band