Brass Band Registry taking industrial action against BFBB

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by stevetrom, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Sonorous

    Sonorous New Member

    With you there Toby.. the day that my musical output is run by an all encompassing 'democratic' governing body is the day that will signal the beginning of the end of my association with brass bands. I'll go put my efforts into the forms music of where they understand what music is actually about.

    We need less red tape, not more.
  2. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    So if bands can't be bothered to send a representative, that doesn't mean the actual federation is excluding people from having their views heard. Apathy and whinging are a pathetic combination IMO.
  3. Sonorous

    Sonorous New Member

    If a body seeks to represent an entire organisation/movement/population (etc) then it is the responsibility of that body to ensure that it produces an adequate system of inclusivity and representation. If the system that it produces results in no-one 'bothering' to be represented, then the system is at fault and not the 'apathetic whingers'.

    If a government held elections and no one voted, would you blame the people or the government? The government of course.

    Isn't it actually the case that, because the vast vast majority of people who are involved with Brass Banding (We're talking pretty much everyone actually) have no inclination to be involved or represented by the 'governing body', this is actually a sharp indication of the lack of interest in having that governing body in the first place.
  4. Maybe I'm misunderstanding but surely if elections were held and no-one voted then that would be the fault of the candidates since they have not generated enough interest in their proposals...government is dissolved prior to the election. Albeit i am curious what would happen in a General Election if no-one bothered to turn out and vote (obviously a totally hypothetical situation....).
  5. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Yes it does. Individuals can join the BFBB as Associate Members. There is a drawback - as currently constituted, Associate Members cannot vote. But they can attend meetings and make their voices heard, and if there was enough of them making the same point (say, that Associate Members should be allowed to vote) it would be difficult for the Executive to ignore such a groundswell of members' opinion - democracy in action, you might say. And, of course, Associate Members can also stand for election to the Executive.

    It may take a bit of time, but that's how to get things done.
  6. Sonorous

    Sonorous New Member

    A nice dose of semantics is always a healthy thing ;-). The point is that in this circumstance, blaming the population who didn't vote is the wrong thing to do. The fault lies with those wishing to run things.

    The problem is, in the case of brass bands, we have a set of people who have assigned themselves as a governing body without any real mandate from the bands they govern. This is why I'm such an advocate for the relaxation of rules... give bands a true choice and we'll soon see if there is a mandate after all.

    I fully support passionate people working hard for the sake of our passtime and artform, but I don't believe adding layers of red-tape after red-tape, and trying to fit us into restricted body does anyone any good.

    (Edit: which is why for me attending meetings and working from the 'inside' is not-applicable. There isn't an 'inside'.. my passtime and artform have nothing to do with some central body)
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  7. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    How? What form does your support take?
  8. Sonorous

    Sonorous New Member

    By being passionate about my music. In so many ways.

    Your question assumes that central bodies have some role in improvement of our art form. In my view they have the opposite effect. So we come from the opposite ends of the spectrum, and the question and answer can't match.
  9. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Any centralised body is simply a bigger lever with which to apply force to its jurisdiction. As such, it can supply either a backwards or a forwards impulse.

    I think it's hard to argue with the premise that it's possible for a central body of a group of bands to do good things - look at the work that the Scottish association is doing right now in the promotion of youth banding and in the running of their very slick contests (for example), or at the similar work being done in Norway. The obvious question to ask is: Why has the UK as a whole been unable to obtain the same benefits of centralisation? It seems to me that the answer lies in the scaling up of the problem. Scotland and Norway are both entities of a few million people, whereas the UK is 10 times larger. Smaller countries with smaller banding scenes are that much less fragmented, that much less inclined to emphasise the regional over the national - a mandate for all is more easily generally accepted.

    I question Sonorous's idea that central bodies cannot improve brass bands. A more reasonable framing of it might be the point of view that the idea of a central body for UK (or even English) bands has not yet worked nearly as effectively as one might hope, and that it is hard to see how such a body could work much more effectively in the near future.
  10. Sonorous

    Sonorous New Member

    I completely accept that a centralised body can make things happen if structured in the right way. What I question is the concept of an all encompassing centralised body in relation to music in the first place.

    Yes it is a benificial thing to work towards youth support, funding and exposure. If the BBFB were actually simply an independent body working towards the promotion of youth brass bands and players then they'd have my whole hearted appreciation.

    But this is a very different thing than what we actually have.

    As brass banders we seem to have an inherent mindset that things should be uniform, things should be structured. We should all be on a level playing field within a confined umbrella. We accept it as the norm. It acheives nothing, it restricts us, it binds us to re-tread the same waters over and over again. Governed by the same people who look back to the 1980s for inspiration, and aim to please everyone and acheive nothing.

    We don't need it, and we shouldn't want it. This is music, not a Trade Union!

    This is why it's very difficult to discuss, because the concept in itself should be completely alien to what we do.
  11. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I don't know about "should be completely alien" - that seems like an ideological position to me. It seems to me that the problem is not so much the concept of a central body as the issues that you highlight with the thinking of many that come under that body - or rather, the way those issues interact with and fundamentally limit such a central body. A central body can be an excellent idea - but if we can't work with it, then the point of its existence becomes moot.

    Basically - same conclusion as you, slightly different logic - I think, anyway!
  12. I'm intrigued as to how Sonorous arrives at the generalisation "Governed by the same people who look back to the 1980s"?

    Personally knowing several of those who work very hard for the benefit of raising the profile of Brass Banding in all of the positive areas mentioned (development and promotion of youth banding, support to community banding, working with the UK Government bodies to push for greater support for brass bands by political bodies/arts councils/etc in terms of funding, etc) and are actively part of the BFBB I do not see them stuck in the 1980s other than possibly not having the in-house marketing skills to promote what they are doing effectively via the new and old media channels to people who should understand what they are doing.

    Yes, there are those who are stuck in the past but there are an equal number within the BFBB working hard to push it forwards.

    Unfortunately as Dave intimates it is difficult to get to the forward thinking European model within the UK due to the quantum of bands in existence, and the spectre of our history leading to the evolution of banding in the UK being sloth-like in its momentum. I sadly also have to agree with Dave that I am pessimistic that we will ever see sufficient collective will to create an effective unified movement in my lifetime.
  13. critic

    critic Member

    not at all. just make sure you know the facts first
  14. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    hello people, please keep the discussion civil and on topic.

    personal discusions can be held by personal messages, e-mail or other social media (or even in a bar)
  15. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    Yes really!..England is now the only country without an over arching national body, what do we know they don`t?

    I was merely putting forward the idea that any claim of stress should be put in context with those professions who routinely deal with proper stress, and besides I think I`ll post what I want free from any restrictions you want to put on me thank you very much.
  16. Oodle Bugler

    Oodle Bugler Member

    Maybe you should volunteer to work at the Registry next January/February in the run up to the Areas and then tell us whether they suffer "stress" or "proper stress"? (But then I do suppose they've got ten months off!)
  17. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Fair enough. But I think you're wrong to assume that a structured organisation is there to interfere in your music making. It's there to provide an administrative structure, to co-ordinate bands with one another, to act as a shop window for brass bands to the rest of the world, and to provide platforms and projects which will promote brass bands and their music. These the BFBB does to a greater or lesser extent. Brass the Baton is one small recent example of how a co-ordinate approach can have the potential to bring brass bands to a wider audience without compromising anyone's musical policy.
  18. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    One answer (apart from the others you have supplied) is a lack of leadership. The Federation has done its best, but it is run and staffed, with the greatest of respect, by people who are not household names in the brass band world. The band world has plenty of high profile 'names' (mostly players and conductors) and we can all reel off those names on demand; but, with the honourable exception of the late Peter Parkes, who was the Federation's president for many years, I cannot think of a single example of any of these high profile 'names' expressing their support for the Federation (or even to the concept of a national body), or indeed having anything at all to say on the subject. We might be further forward if some of them had done so.
  19. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Independent of whom?

    The evidence of the Scottish and Norwegian examples cited above suggests to me that we do.
  20. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    I don`t think I will volunteer, I have my own job to do.
    If I am being accused of downplaying the pressure of working in the BBBR, then you are clearly guilty of doing the opposite. Let`s not forget of course that at certain pinch points throughout the banding year, casual staff (a bit too casual of late it seems!) are employed to help out.
    Look past the politicking and understand that this is just the latest attempt by the banding establishment to sideline the BFBB.

Share This Page