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
...an 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
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DOES
A BRASS BAND PLAY?
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