10 piece brass band/group- instrumentation

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by dontmaketimangry, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. dontmaketimangry

    dontmaketimangry New Member

    Hey everybody,
    When I eventually get time, I would like to do some arranging for brass, so does anyone know if there is standard instrumentation for a 10 piece brass band/group? I'm guessing there are variations.
  2. dontmaketimangry

    dontmaketimangry New Member

    I hope I posted this in the correct forum? I'm fairly new to this
  3. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I think you'll get a better response in Rehearsal Room, so I've moved it for you ;)

    TIMBONE Active Member

    I have never written for 10 piece, but as far as I remember, it is 4 Bb Cornets, (2 1st, 1 2nd & 1 3rd), Tenor Horn, Euphonium, 3 Trombones, (2 Tenor & 1 Bass), and Eb Bass.
  5. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    When you do find the time there's an endless supply of free manuscript paper available through tMP. We also supply the 'standard' ten piece template - follow link below:


    Last edited: Jun 24, 2006
  6. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    It really depends on who you are writing for. A standard 10-piece group is considered to be 4 trumpets, horn, 4 trombones and tuba. This came about as a result of works commissioned by the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble in the 1960's and carried on by London Brass today. There are a few variations on this, for example using a euphonium in place of 3rd trombone, or using piccolo trumpet on top, or flugel instead of 4th trumpet etc.

    A few years back, Hallamshire produced a number of brass band pieces which could be reduced down to ten players, but I'm not sure quite what their instrumentation was and I don't think this venture was very successful.

    It's certainly worth a try, as there are a number of bands out there who are struggling for players and might be interested in shrinkable band music.

    Best of luck!
  7. Bones

    Bones Member

    Exactly right.

    Most of the just brass/london brass series is based upon 4 trumpets including piccolo trumpet, Eb trumpet, Bb trumpet and flugel., French horn, tuba, 4 troms (one a Bass) and useful to carry a euphonium as well.

    I play in a 10 piece group call harlequin brass and that is the instrumentation we use.

    Hallamshire music (Derek Ashmore) did a lot of stuff and it still floats around.

    If you are writing for 10 piece brass from a brass band perspective I would suggest the following.

    1 sop
    2Bb Cornets
    1 Flugel
    1 tenor horn
    1 baritone
    1 Euph
    1 Tenor Trom
    1 Bass Trom
    1 Tuba

    You get a good balance across the spectrum then.
  8. Steve Marcus

    Steve Marcus Member

    Chicago Brass Band Players is a dectet modeled after PJBE/London Brass and follows the instrumentation above for most of our public performances.

    However, when we enter the NABBA Small Ensemble Competition, the rules state that groups must conform to traditional British brass band instrumentation. Thus, the most common solution is that our trumpets will switch to cornets, and we say goodbye to our french horn player and have his part played (and transposed) by one of our band's Eb tenor horn players.

    This past year, when we entered with Richard Bissill's fine arrangement of Duke Ellington's Caravan, one of our baritone horn players played in lieu of the french horn. It balanced nicely, and he did a nice job on the not-too-high range of the arrangement.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2006
  9. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  10. dixie

    dixie New Member

    The line up for Howard Snell's brass band 'ten piece' arrangements is Eb soprano, 3 Bb cornets (one or more doubling on flugels), tenor horn, baritone, tenor trombone, bass trombone, euphonium & Eb bass.
  11. dontmaketimangry

    dontmaketimangry New Member

    The Howard Snell set-up takes my fancy. Thank you everyone for all your suggestions.
    Tim Sidwell
  12. brassintheed

    brassintheed Member

    That is a cracking arrangement, as are most of Richard Bissill's. Harlequin Brass have been playing Caravan for a while now, and have just started perfoming his arrangement of Spain which is as good if not better. I'm unsure about how well they would work with the Brass Band setup though as i think the style is much better suited to trumpets rather than cornets.

    Personally, I've to be persuaded of the benefits of arranging for a 10-piece with brass band instruments as these are specifically setup to provide the large harmonic sound which takes advantage of so many instruments of the same basic type. Although i suppose it does make a change for brass band players to experience playing in a more intimate setup and gives challenges not experienced within a 25 piece band.

    If it is done, I think it is more sensible to use a wider variety of instruments rather than just copying the orchestral setup and swapping trumpets for cornets and horn for horn. Then the style can be a little more unique and take advantage of the harmonic sounds available.