Fanfare Bands

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by John Brooks, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    I have been listening to the 2012 European Championship CD and wonder if anyone can explain the difference in instrumentation between military or concert bands and fanfare bands? I've heard of fanfare bands before and assumed they were something similar to the marching bands popular in North America but had obviously never heard one before. The fanfare band sounds to me like a concert band in that it combines brass and woodwinds but are there differences? Thanks!
  2. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Fanfare bands feature large saxophone sections and largely use flugel horns instead of trumpets/cornets. (Jan may well give a bit more detail when he sees this as he plays in a fanfare band).

    There is a growing trend, particularly with the continental publishers, to release works in versions for brass band, concert band and fanfare band.
  3. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    Thanks Peter. No other information was forthcoming so I assume you hit the nail on the head. I'm still waiting delivery of the Euro DVD and will have a closer look when I get to view it.
  4. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Active Member

    Peter is nearly right. Fanfare bands are a mix of brass band and orchestral brass. A large section of flugels, euphs/baritones plus Eb and Bb basses and maybe a soprano cornet. Also trumpets (and maybe cornets) F horns, trombones and an important (but not large) sax section. Can sound great.
  5. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    As peter said, I play in a Belgian "fanfare band" (some prefer to call it "fanfare orchestra"). Peter and Philip already explained it quite well.
    Just some things to add. The instrumentation and number of players is not fixed, like in brass or military bands. Typically the top section bands (like the one I play in) are larger, and sometimes contain additional instruments (e.g. many lower section bands don't have a soprano cornet - that part is covered by the soprane saxophone). A typical "fanfare band" music set would look like this:
    - soprano sax (sometime 1/2)
    - alto sax 1/2
    - tenor sax (2 players)
    - baritone sax
    - soprano cornet (used to be Eb flugel long ago - but nobody uses this instrument any more)
    - flugel 1/2/3 (4 players per part)
    - horn 1/2/3/4 (most bands use F horns nowadays, but some "traditional" bands - like my own - still use Eb tenor horns)
    - trumpet 1/2/3 (2 players per part) (may also include cornets; and in many old "yellow paper" pieces there are even split parts for trumpet and cornet)
    - trombone 1/2/3 (3 is usally a bass trombone)
    - baritone 1/2
    - euphonium (2 players)
    - Eb bass (2 players)
    - Bb bass (2 players)
    (some bands use C-basses)
    - percussion

    Here is a videos from my band at the 2009 World Music Contest in Kerkrade in the Netherlands. As you can see, we are quite a bit bigger than the "standard" lineup.


    the rest of our pieces from the 2005 and 2009 contests are on Youtube as well (including fanfare band transcriptions of Harrison's Dream and Frm Ancient Times)

    Like Peter said, many brass and wind band pieces, are also published for fanfare band nowadays. Also many original pieces are written, mainly by Dutch and Flemish composers, but also by other international composers, like Derek Bourgeois and Philip Sparke (we recorded one of his original fanfare band pieces, called "Sinfonietta No. 4")

    Which fanfare band is feautured in the 2012 Euros DVD? - nevermind, I see it's the National Youth Fanfare Orchestra. I didn't know thay had played at the EBBC... Great showcase opportunity for them :)

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