The brass-band

The Brass band

An orchestra is said brass band when it is composed only of instruments from the brass family, and percussion.

The military bands began to bloom in the middle of the XIXth century, taking advantage of the technological development of wind instruments, and the famous Patrick St.Gilmore already undertook with the 66 musicians of his 22"d Regiment Band an european tour in 1878.

But the archetype of the brass band is undoubtedly that of John Philip Sousa, who came to Europe several times since 1900. Sousa is also the most famous composer of this style of music. In addition to excerpts from famous operas such as Parsifal, his band played and recorded cakewalks or ragtimes (At Georgia Camp Meeting, 1898).

Arthur Pryor and Henry Fillmore led two other famous military-style brass band. Blacks James Reese Europe, Will James Tim Brymn Vodery (among others) took him to France during the First World War their military bands composed of the best black musicians of the United States and were probably the first  to  do discover to Europeans music like syncopation strongly jazz nascent in the ranks of those bands played, indeed Russell Smith Willie The Lion Smith, Jasper Taylor Herb Flemming, Bill Bojangles Robinson, Noble Sissle and many other jazz musicians. We must not overlook either the importance of brass bands from the circus in which jazz musicians made their class and who used early percussion kit grouped intended to be played by one musician.

The brass bands are obviously part of the musical life of New Orleans. Heirs of military bands, brass bands playing in this city (and still play) for all kinds of opportunities all kinds of music that are not confined solely to jazz. Opportunities: picnics, sporting events, carnivals, political meetings, festivals organized by various societies and of course the famous funerals. The music: marches, ragtime, dance tunes, folk tunes, hymns, spiritual, jazz funeral march themes.

The instrumentation of the jazz bands partly reflects that of brass bands, including the configuration "sections". One of the leading brass bands of New Orleans was the Excelsior Brass Band was founded around 1880. In chronological order, follow the Onward, the Reliance, the Tuxedo, The Eureka, the Young Tuxedo, Olympia - the most famous.

Today, thanks to the invigorating Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Re-Birth Brass Band ,or Young blood Brass Band ,the ancient but still lively and renewed tradition of New Orleans marching band takes a serious facelift.

The brass band of English type

The brass band of English type (group recognized by the "Confederation musicale de France") has gradually conquered Europe. This is a group formed exclusively of brass conical bore (with the exception of the trombones), and from which the trumpet is absent, replaced by the cornet. This training has been popularized in France by the British film Brassed Off.

A brass band should ideally have a strict composition of 28 musicians (classification) :
  • 1 soprano cornet in Eflat.png
  • 4 solo cornets (including 1 main cornet) in Bflat.png
  • 1 cornet in such repiano in Bflat.png : second soloist and attack chief of the 2nd et 3rd cornets
  • 2 seconds cornets in Bflat.png
  • 2 third cornets in Bflat.png
  • 1 flugelhorn in Bb
  • 3 tenor saxhorns in Eflat.png, commonly called "altos" (a solo, a second and a third)
  • 2 baritone saxhorns, commonly called "barytons" in Bflat.png
  • 2 euphoniums in Bflat.png (including 1 solo euphonium)
  • 2 tenor trombones in C
  • 1 bass trombone in C
  • 2 contrabass saxhorns, commonly called "contrabass" in Eflat.png
  • 2 saxhorns contrebasses, commonly called "contrabass" in Bflat.png
  • 3 or 4 percussionnists
This nomenclature has been strict implementation because in United Kingdom the largest brass bands participate in competitions : it allows comparison of similar establishments in terms of instrumentation.

A brass band is arranged in two rows on U, and musicians are relatively tight against each other.

We find brass bands mainly in Great Britain, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, but also Japan, Canada, United States, Belgium, Australia and France ...

Do not confuse the brass band with the band or the marching band that comes from the United States. Both can also incorporate other brass instruments with or without pistons as trumpets and instruments of the woodwind family like flutes, saxophones and clarinets.

The brass band in the UK does not trumpet, but conets, and no horn, but altos, which gives it a soft and smooth. The only brass that are not sweet are trombones.

These sets have often a repertoire designed to show the technical virtuosity of the musicians. They are measured regularly in national and international competitions including the European championship of brass band, bringing together the best groups in the world. In 2007, he was held in Birmingham in 2008 in Stavanger, Norway.

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Creation date : 30/03/2009 14:11
Category : - Definitions
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The instrumentation

In music, instrumentation indicates generally speaking the implement, the enrollment, nature and the sharing out of instruments in a group, notably those of the orchestra. Term also indicates the discipline studying these aspects.

Instrumentation classifies instruments in eight main groups :

  1. Brasses (trumpet, cornets, paper clip, horn, saxhorn, euphonium, tuba, etc..)
  2. Saxophones (sopranino, soprano, viola, tenor, baritone, bass, etc...)
  3. Wood (flute which runs across, piccolo, clarinet, oboe, cor anglais, bassoon, contrabassoon, etc..)
  4. Strings (violin, viola, violoncello, contrabass, etc)
  5. General percussions (battery, timpani, big case, tomtom, drums, tambourine, congas, bongos, "Cuica", etc...)
  6. Keyboards (piano, harpsichord, organ, etc...), the synthesizer, percussions-keyboards (celesta, vibraphone, glockenspiel, xylophone, marimba, gongs, bells, etc...)
  7. Miscellaneous (harp, guitar, bass guitar, accordion, etc...); the ancient instruments (viols, vièles, flutes with beak, galoubet, flute of Section, cone with buck, bagpipes, biniou, etc...)
  8. Choruses (feminine voice, voice of men, voice of children).

The jazz

The jazz is a music type born in the United States at the beginning of the XXth century. Existent of the crossroads of the blues, the ragtime and European music, the jazz is considered to be the first specific musical form to have developed in the United States.

John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa (November 6, 1854-March 6, 1932) was an American composer.
He was also a conductor, composed of many famous military marches (Stars and Stripes Forever, High School Cadets, Semper Fidelis, The Washington Post March, King Cotton El Capitan ...).
He gave his name to a variety of popular tuba in the marching bands, Jazz New Orleans, the sousaphone, Large flag towards the front and dominating the orchestra.