Brass Band ''Movement''

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by DannyCollin, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. DannyCollin

    DannyCollin Member

    Here's a question that has perplexed me for many years.

    Why is it called the Brass Band Movement?? when the word movement implies something that actually moves.
  2. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    It was quite the musical revolution... in 1840. But as happens with all revolutions, afterwards we got comfy.
  3. Pav

    Pav Member

    Maybe Brass Band Inertia would be better, as in:

    'The Brass Band Inertia took a huge step forward today when it decided to have another meeting.'
  4. How about the Brass Band "locked in the 19th century"?
  5. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    People call it a movement because they fail to understand what a movement is. The confusion is underlined by the same people's habit of simultaneously referring to it as their hobby.

    A large number of people who share a common interest do not a movement make. Whoever heard of the football movement, or the model aircraft makers movement?

    As Bram Gay once famously said of the brass band 'movement', "someone tell me the next time it moves!"
  6. subtlevib

    subtlevib Member

    Oh, it's a personal bug-bear of mine too. There's no social reform in 2011 - not on the scale that occurred in the 19th century anyway, and brass bands certainly aren't part of it. Those who consider themselves movers and shakers should take a step down from their pillars and realise that we provide entertainment, not solace for the lost. We should certainly be grateful to our forefathers but not rest of on their laurels to make our hobby seem more important!
  7. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    hob·by 1 (hb)
    n. pl. hob·bies
    An activity or interest pursued outside one's regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure.

    Yep, that about sums it up, banding is my hobby
  8. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    So true.

    So comfy to play the same cheese. "Because our audience apparently demands it"

    Turning what was a new and vibrant 'Movement" into a old fashioned 'tradition'

    'The Movement?' someone stick it up !... Ive got a match ... lets get it going again.
  9. winterman

    winterman Member


    I've been thinking about this very topic a fair bit lately since being tasked with forming a new band.. I am more and more convinced that this band isn't going to be the same old traditional band, instead I'm hoping to try and push the "boundaries" with inspiration from the likes of Mnozil (obviously not to the same standard!!), 2Cellos, Vitamin String Quartet and so on, constantly evolving.

    Acid Brass laid the foundation (and I eagerly await hearing the new album) it's up to the rest of us to continue it and evolve.

    I passionately love my "traditional" banding but think we do need to be doing far more to survive without becoming cultural antiquities.
  10. critic

    critic Member

    A Good post but there are so many obsticales to over come . if we could all sing from the same hymn sheet it would be a start
  11. nook1938

    nook1938 Supporting Member

    Of course it's the Brass Band "Movement", thats why Bands advertise for players.

  12. I would like to interject a thought here, that on a larger scale this is still a movement, as an interest in brass bands seems to be growing in the U.S. It may be as well in other parts of the world.
  13. JDH

    JDH Member

    With so much emphasis on contests, I have wondered if brass banding is really a sport? No it does not involve a lot of physical effort (unless carrying a BBb bass in the Whit Friday's!), but just like motor sports, skill handling a tool (instrument instead of car) is being used to try to win.

    Although movement is not wrong - definition on Wikapedia of "a tendency or style in art followed by a group of artists" - with us all being 'artists' of music
  14. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    I like to think of it as a sport !

    Put it this way.... if it was not for the contesting side there is no way I would turn up week after week to play the rubbish the audience of brass demand.

    Small though the audience is they seem to be very persuasive in getting bands to play utter cheesy rubbish concert after concert.
  15. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    Unless you play for a band that can guarantee contest success at the highest level, and in the contests that pay the most money, then you will have no choice but to play the cheese. How else would you pay for the conductor, rehearsal venue, entry to contests etc....

    If it is a sport, then surely the spoils of war would be shared out all the way down to last place. C Section = Premier League. West Ham got a payment of approx £9M for finishing last in the Prem. How much did the band that got relegated from the C Section in any of the 8 areas get. £0.

    In reponse to your comment about the audience. They form an integral part of our movement, as without an audience there would certainly not be a "movement" as the funds would dwindle, and bands would cease to exist.
  16. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    How we do it - by being lucky enough to own our own bandhall that we can rent out to Weigh****chers meetings, St John's Ambulance, etc. Perhaps I should say, by being lucky enough to have followed in the footsteps of people who were farsighted enough to build the place 40 years back.

    The flip side is that you then don't need to worry so much about generating income, and a tendency to laziness can be generated if you are not careful.
  17. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    If it is a sport, then think of all the punters as paying for all your kit, your lovely uniform, your sheet music etc. They are your sponsors!

    I know may people feel the same, but I look forward to playing in front of an appreciative audience, much more than a man in a box who may not like my interpretation of a single piece that I've practised hard for upwards of six weeks.

    And so they should be. If we don't play some of what they want, they won't turn up again and we won't get money to pay for the contesting. You are only as 'good' as your last performance.

  18. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    The tMP bleeper strikes again. PC gone wrong when you can no longer mention the name of a slimming club :biggrin:

    Anyway, you are correct, but we don't have that luxury, and we don't have the stream of income to become complacent. so on with the cheese, even If I don't like it someone else will.
  19. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    I think Brass Bands are scared to try new music in-case they alienate the audience they have.

    But if we don’t find a new audience we will really be down to friends and family attending these concerts.
    Which it practically what it is at the moment anyway.
    While the rest of the world view brass bands from afar as noisy things that play cheesy music.

    You cant make any progress in a discussion like this.

    Most of us would prefer not to play cheesy music.... so, its our fault for playing it.... and yet we get the same argument that that's what the punters want.
    However..... think of the thousands of people who DON'T entertain the thought of going to a brass band concert. Is that because they are not cultured enough ?.... Probably Far From it !.... You REALLY have to lack culture to sit through the stuff we 'HAVE' to play because our tiny audience demands it.

    Nevermind. ... swimming against the current again.

    Back on topic though .... Our 'Brass Band Movement'
    Maybe we should try to re-brand ourselves as we don't actually seem to be moving any more.
    Maybe 'Brass Easy' or 'Mellow Brass' may appeal more to our audience on posters and contests etc.

    Then you have Fairy's .... ha ... nutters ay !

    I THINK NOT :clap: Well Done Acid Brass. Probably the best selling Brass CD in the UK
  20. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    English is such a wonderful language! I often say that if I hadn't had the good fortune to learn it as a first language, I would never have been smart enough to learn it as a second :)

    "Movement" is one of those words that has several meanings, one of which, according to Webster's, is "the policy and activities of a group".

    There are any number of organizations and groups that are referred to as "movements". In the context being discussed I believe the word indicates a group or organization with a common reason. Although sometimes I'm not sure if the common reason is to make music or to beat ourselves up!!!

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