- BrassBand -

Attraction of Brassband

A British-style brassband mainly consists of brass instruments with conical tube such as cornets.
A series of "Saxhorn" instruments invented by Adolf Sax of Belgium have wider tube and more conical than trumpets or trombones, so they have mellow tone uniformized from low register to high register.
Thus, the tone is blended and the whole band is integrated. Sometimes the brassband is called as a "moving pipeorgan".
Brassbands in Britain

History of Brassband

In the mid-19th century, many brassbands were founded for those who work for collieries around Manchester at northern Britain. After that, the music style spread all over Britain rapidly. The main reasons of the rapid popularization seemed to be the easy-blended tone and simple training method.

Soon brassbands began to compete with each other, and the 1st British Open Championship was held at Manchester in 1853. As contests got popular, players became more diligent to get better prize.

Brassbands were founded for those who work for the companies at first, but they became to gather external players though the band is named after the sponsor companies.
Then, the character of the brassband changed from "company's band" to "the band of our town".

Brassband takes root in British life

Currently there are as many as 2000 brassbands all over Britain. Among them, bands which belong to the Champion Section are the top of all brassbands.
For instance, Black Dyke Band is one of them, which has 150 years' tradition and come to Japan to perform sometimes.
There are 2nd Section, 3rd Section, and 4th Section other than Champion Section. Which section a band belongs to is decided by the result of the contests.
There are many kinds of band so that British people can take part in some band which is the most suitable to them in terms of their skill.

Musics to perform

Nowadays, brassband concerts and contests became national events in Britain. In September the British Open Championship is held. The National Championship in October, the Europian Championship in May, and solo contests are also very popular.

Composers continuously publish brassband-original pieces, and most of the famous classical musics are arranged for brassband.
Major composers such as Elgar, Holst, Jacobs, Vinter composed music for brassband. Recently J. Horovits, P. Sparke, and E. Howarth and so on published many original musics.

Pictures by Studio Tristan reproduced by kind permission of British Bandsman.

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