Brass bands are one of the classic musical ensembles that exist today.
Alongside the barbershop singing groups and wind bands, the brass band is one of the key musical performance group setups around today.
We want to look at what the brass band is and where it came from, so that we can have a better understanding of this musical setup.
A brass band, like the name suggests, is a musical group made up almost entirely of brass instruments.
The typical brass band setup consists of the following instruments:
- Tenor, baritone and flugel horns
- Tenor and bass trombones
This particular arrangement of instruments help create the bright, melodic sound that is the signature sound of the brass band.
Brass bands originated in Britain in the early nineteenth century.
They came about due to several factors:
- there was a sudden increase at the time in the amount of raw metal that was available, meaning that more instruments could be made and at a cheaper price
- companies and individuals wanted to take an interest in providing a hobby for workers for the community benefits that it brought
Brass bands started popping up everywhere, and they would play in local performances and competitions that were formed, meaning that the bands would play to a very high standard.
By the time the first world war came, brass band popularity took a sudden drop, due to widespread enlistment and financial uncertainty.
This meant that bands were not performing as regularly, and were not an active part of the community any more.
Thankfully, this was not the end for brass bands, and fast forward to today and they are still as popular as ever.
Brass bands are extremely popular in parts of the UK and Wales, and there are competitions up and down the country for brass bands to compete.