Brass Band Culture

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by COOL CORNET CAVE, Mar 3, 2011.



    HI, I am currently studing Communication and Culture at college and am researching for my second C/W

    I have chosen the topic of Brass Bands as an area to explore in terms of culture and have a few ideas but in order to complete my research i am asking for your ideas and feedback.

    I have a few ideas of what to explore such a representations through the media and how general public perceive brass bands in terms of popular culture. And how important brass bands was during the mining era. Also linkedwith the previous how the image has changed

    I have a title in the making called Brass Bands in the 21st Century.

    Any other ideas and feedback would be well appreciated!! :)

  2. BoomRent

    BoomRent New Member

    I would just make sure you narrow your focus because otherwise there would be far too much to write about. So maybe confine your research to just a specific geographic region or to a topic like class perceptions of brass banding.

    I've recently finished my undergraduate dissertation - "there ain't much bandin' in Stoke": An Attempt to Define Brass Banding Identity in Stoke-on-Trent -
    looking in cultural geographies of brass banding in Stoke-on-Trent. Here I began looking at the Smiths concepts of soundscapes, then class identity, musical identity of brass bands in a mere introductory fashion to specific geographic region and I only just managed to keep within the 10,000 word limit.

    Luckily though there is a huge body of literature out there for you to access. It might be worth google-ing 'Stephen Etheridge', who's a PhD student at Huddersfield University looking into Pennine Brass, for some ideas.

    Remember to enjoy your research! Its not often you get to combine your hobby with academic work and I enjoyed doing so immensely.
  3. Goldie Horn

    Goldie Horn Member

    Why don't you ask at band or send a little questionnaire out to band?
  4. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Active Member

    Dear CCC

    Have you read "Floral Dancing into the 21st Century"?

    by Bob Sherunkle BA Hons (failed)
  5. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    "Brass Band Culture"; isn't that an oxymoron ... ?
  6. grausue

    grausue Member

    Not quite sure how you intend to angle your thesis, but you could do worse than having a look at Lave and Wenger's Community of Practice Ideas <~~~~ good theory to add in and excellently intellectual vocabulary too! You will probably need to establish a recognisable framework to pin your cultural assertions to and it will also give you a lens through which to understand public perception. :)

    Sue Grau

    Senior Lecturer
    Media Culture and Communications
  7. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    Dear BS

    I have and was disgusted not to find any mention of Terry Wogan, or Kate Moss (sic).

    I found that a much better point of reference was your book previous to that

    "From humble beginnings to not much more, A History of the Pearly Brass Band"

    a much better source on the social commentary of the late Edwardian period through to the modern survival of a few good men trying to keep alive a tradition that is sadly dying away in the London Borough of Walford.

    Prof LB Beam


    Im looking into the mineing era of Brass bands and as im not too familiar with the time and cant seem to find anything on the web can anyone give me some facts!!!
  9. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Hi Rhys,

    I'm sure you've already found some, but a lot of bands have some pretty detailed history info - its worth having a trawl through the 'Bands Directory' on IBEW and clicking through to some of the Colliery bands' websites.
    Try these for starters: Backworth, Betteshanger, Grimethorpe

    Its also worth getting in touch with the Brass Band Heritage Trust (Paul Hindmarsh) and the Federation to see what resources they can share.

    I've got a couple of old books on band history that may be useful too - when are you seeing your sister next?


    Hi, thanks i'll take a look! I have no idea but first draft deadline is this week so prob not before then :-?
  11. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Oh I don't know, you should see some of the things growing in one of our BBbs.....
  12. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    That's Chris Hardy :biggrin:
  13. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure it has; that's one of banding's problems!

    I'd have a look at Trevor Herbert's book; I think it's called "Bands: A Social History" and published by OUP, but it may be out of print. You'll be able to get a copy on IL Loan if you're at a UK uni.
  14. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Some of this info is available online (link via, look under History of Brass Bands):
  15. bariwizard

    bariwizard Member

    To be honest I find Lave and Wenger rather nebulous, with many of their ideas rooted in the bias of their own sociological assumptions. Not many pictures and pretty small text too if I remember correctly.

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