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The British Brass Band  has a rich and colorful history with its roots in England's 19th

century industrial revolution.   During this time,  business owners sought to improve the workingman's

quality of life and instill cultural values through musical instruction. It was discovered that beginning

students produced a more pleasing sound and progressed most rapidly on brass instruments.  

Additionally, the hands of laborers were better suited to operate the three piston valves of

brass horns than the more complicated movements required for woodwind and stringed 

                                                                                 instruments.   Factories,   mines   and   mills, 

                                                                                 sponsored bands that reflected their corporate

                                                                                 names, which often became a great source of pride

                                                                                 for   their   local   communities.     Groups   like   the   "Black   Dyke   Mills   Band",

                                                                                      "Grimethorpe Colliery Band",   or  "Foden's Motor Works Band"   (to name just a                                                                                  few) have developed world wide reputations and even outlasted the companies

                                                                                 that  started  them.   Rigorous band contests at local,  national  and  international

                                                                                 levels  have  established  the very highest standards of performance and helped

                                                                                 create  a  tradition  of  musical  excellence.   This  instrumental  combination  and                                                                                  learning  model  have  also  been  successfully  used  around  the world  by  The

                                                                                 Salvation Army to teach personal and spiritual development through music.


An Efficient Learning Model

The brass  band  is  a very efficient learning model that produces greater results,  more quickly and with fewer resources than

any other  large  musical ensemble.   A full band only requires 26-30 students compared to the 60-90 personnel needed for a                                                                                                                                    complete concert band or symphony orchestra, and

                                                                                                                                  effective program can be started with only four

                                                                                                                                                           students!  The instrumentation is very simple

                                                                                                                                                   - from the tiny E-flat Soprano Cornet to the

                                                                                                                                              massive B-flat Tuba, all the brass band instru-

                                                                                                                                            ments are similar in their design and operation.

                                                                                                                                           This means there is only one set of fingerings to

learn. Once a student has acquired the funda-

mentals of brass playing in Cornet Class, they

can quickly and easily switch to any of the other

horns on the team with very minor adjustments.

   The similarity of instrumentation and playing technique

lends itself to effective small group instruction -  and because

a full brass band has such a  minimal  personnel  requirement,

even a small school can fully participate  in  this exciting and

rewarding activity.                                                                                  




The brass band has a wide repertoire that covers all styles of music such as beautiful hymns and folk tunes, to arrangements of popular music and transcriptions from great classical com-posers.  ...And nothing sounds better than a brass band performing a toe tapping march! (See the BRASS BAND LINKS tab to hear a music sampling from a few famous bands.)

Dobcross Youth Band  -  Brass Quartet

Dobcross, Saddleworth - North West England


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