Band Snobs?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by marksmith, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    Are we in danger of becoming banding 'Snobs'?
    Titles such as 'Principal Baritone' are becoming more common, I even notice 'Principal Eb Bass' is becoming more common. Why?
    We used to call our positions 1st and 2nd, now it seems that status is becoming everything.
    I would argue that the traditional 'cornermen/women' are called 'Solo' e.g 'Solo Euph' but do we really need 'principal 3rd Cornet'?!!!!!!! :eek:
  2. still learnin

    still learnin Member

    As bands decline and neighbouring set ups compete with each other for players it could become more prevelant. I reckon some bands would bestow the title "President in Charge of Tubas" if it got the right bum on an empty seat.
  3. mxb59307

    mxb59307 Member

    Is there not an element of snobbery in suggesting that the solo euph seat is worthy of a title, whereas the individual sat on 3rd cornet is somehow less deserving? Aren't all contributors equally important? Afterall, a band would sound decidedly bland with only the end chairs playing!
  4. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    I so agree with you. First noticed it on a West of England 1st section band. Principle Baritone! Ha ha ha!. Get over yourselves. We sound rubbish without our terrific 3rd Cornet player and she is as humble as they come.
  5. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    You should try working for orchestras!

    I think referring to a player as "principal 3rd cornet" or even "solo baritone" is a bit pretentious, frankly. I know both roles have more tunes to play than they used to in the Yellow Music Era, but still....

    I could see the argument for a "Principal Tuba" and a "Principal Percussionist", though - both sections need a leader who can make decisions about which bits each player puts in or leaves out. I'd prefer not to use the "solo" designation at all, to be honest, I think it's a bit outdated. For instance, why is it that the trombones can be Solo, 2nd and Bass, but the horns aren't Solo, 2nd and 3rd? I'd prefer everyone to be 1st/2nd/etc.

    And don't get me started on Repiano....:rolleyes:
  6. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    I helped out a band where the "principals" do not help put away stands or anything else because they are "principals". How I chuckled to myself. If I tried that on my band I`d end up having to sweep the floor and make tea for a month.
  7. mxb59307

    mxb59307 Member

    What is the story with the rep, both in term of name, position in the band and where they sit? Anyone know?
  8. Indeed.
  9. mxb59307

    mxb59307 Member

    We have a lot of principal players then, and not all sit in the end chairs. Lazy ******s!
  10. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    Ripiano / Repiano is a baroque music term. It litteraly means "stuffing", or in the musical context, accompaniment or basically non solo. It orignates from the Concerto Grosso form of baroque music where you had one or several solo instruments, and many accompanying instruments.

    2nd and 3rd cornets are actually 2nd Repiano / 3rd Repiano.

    Principal titles do have different meanings in orchestras and usually are a position of responsibility (different orchestras have different rules), they are just pretentious in the brass band context, principal 3rd cornet / baritone etc.
  11. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I don't know so much about the issue of principals, but there are certainly an awful lot more doctors and professors around these days! Sometimes I have to check the cover of my magazine to make sure it's BBW I've picked up and not some learned scientific journal!

    I don't belittle people for having achieved their doctorate or professorship - it's just that most doctors and professors I have come across over the years are not particularly bothered about other people using their title - or not, at least, in normal everyday life. I can't help feeling the overuse of professional titles reflects a certain insecurity in banding about its place in the musical world - an insecurity which, in my opinion, is not justified.
  12. mxb59307

    mxb59307 Member

    Yep, those who use titles the most, often have the least talent in their chosen field and consiquently the most to prove. An off-shoot of the 'all the gear, no idea' brigade.
  13. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Indeed. How can there be four 'solo' cornets? Why are the horns referred to as tenor instruments when it is patently obvious that they are alto instruments? And as someone once said when told that the instrument if front of him was a baritone, "baritone what?" (and one could also ask "bass what?") Welcome to the museum of banding, where everything is as it was 150 years ago!
  14. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Well, I disagree with some of the criticism. Our band has had 3 EEb basses and I am quite thrilled to have moved up from "2nd EEb bass" to "principle second EEb bass!"

  15. worzel

    worzel Member

    Why a a baritone and a bass brass instrument. Rock bands don't call their bass player the bass guitarist.
  16. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I should be clear that, contrary to the interpretation above, I was not suggesting that the holders of the titles were not fit to hold them, rather that others choose to over-emphasise the academic qualifications of the holders to counter the idea (wrong, in my view) that banding does not operate on the same level of academic achievement as other types of music - classical, mainly.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2010
  17. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    What about the majority of bands who like walking around with there walking out jackets at contests. Fine if you play for Grimethorpe. But it really dosen't make you look great everyone knowing you play for some band I haven't heard of. They are nasty, cheap ,shiny horrible polyester jackets. Invest in some better intuments instead!! I'm not interested who you play for!
  18. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Don't they? They always used to, certainly in the days when the credits were printed onto LP sleeves.

    The answers I thought were right were baritone horn (to distinguish it from its smaller saxhorn relation the tenor horn) and bass tuba (to distinguish it from its smaller relation the tenor tuba, as the euphonium is sometimes called in orchestra circles).
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2010
  19. worzel

    worzel Member

    Maybe. My point was that "bass" is used without qualification unambiguously to mean "bass guitar" in many circles. Not that the qualification was never used.

    Yeah, they'd be correct answers. But in brass band circles "baritone" and "bass" can only mean "baritone horn" and "bass tuba", so to say "baritone what?" is a both pedantry and pointless.
  20. mxb59307

    mxb59307 Member

    I should be clear that, contray to this interpretation of my interpretation, I was absolutely suggesting that holders of many titles, both musical and more particularily academic, are indeed not fit to hold them.

    I gained my 'one width swimming badge' - that doesn't make me an Olympic swimmer. Similarily, grade 8 kazoo or a PhD in beer studies don't make someone a God in that world either.

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