hellooo any1 want to help a lovely girl do her dissertation?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Tash, May 13, 2004.

  1. Tash

    Tash New Member

    Hi everyone! Im a music student at the University of Sheffield, and Im doing a big project on how brass bands have changed since the 1970s. Its going well, but i really need opinions of people who've had a lot of experience of banding from around 20 or 30 years ago. I would really ereally appreciate any contributions. Thanks peeps :D tash x

    1. What brass band/s do you play in?
    2. How old are you? (please underline/delete)
    10-19
    20-29
    30-39
    40-49
    50-59
    60-69
    70+
    3. How long have you been involved with the brass band scene?
    Less than 1 year
    1-3 years
    3-5 years
    5-7 years
    7-9 years
    9 years + If so, roughly how many years?

    2. Taking when you first encountered the brass band scene as a starting point, please give as full a description as possible of any changes you have experienced up to present day:
    · Instrumentation (for example with regards to the introduction of percussion on the contesting scene, instruments, alteration in section balances, introduction of mutes, loss of ‘high pitch’ instruments and of the saxhorn family)
    · Uniform changes, including your opinion of why these changes occurred.
    · Repertoire (choice of works for concert and contest programmes, works rehearsed, popularity of certain styles with audiences etc.)
    · Concerts (number each year, outdoor/indoor, charity concerts, music festivals etc.)
    · Contesting (entertainment contests, audiences, frequency of participation etc.)
    · Financial situation of the band (fees, expenses, instrument prices, subscription/ sponsorship, whether band has been profitable etc.)
    · Support from the government/ local authorities/ Performing Rights Society etc.
    3. Is your banding year broken up into segments or is there a structure to your banding calendar?
    4. Were you aware of any effects on the band of the closure of the mines in the 1980s? (Unemployment, fall of many colliery bands, loss of players, reforms etc.)
    5. If you have seen the 1996 film ‘Brassed Off’, did you think its portrayal of brass bands was accurate? Please explain your response.
    6. Do you think ‘Brassed Off’ affected society’s view of brass bands? Do you think that the public image of brass bands is accurate?

    You can email this to me at tash_newson@hotmail.com or leave it on here. Thankyou sooooooo much!
     
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  3. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Re: hellooo any1 want to help a lovely girl do her dissertat

    1. I play for Barnsley Building Society Band

    2. 20-29

    3. 9 years + If so, roughly how many years? Exactly 9 years by my reckoning!! (As a registered player.. some involvement for a year or so before that)

    4. In the 10 or so years I've been involved with bands, I have seen some change, but not a great deal. Instruments haven't really changed and neither has the music in my opinion. However, there have been great changes in the more practical side. Being from the North East and having spent much of my banding life there, I am especialy aware that there are as many as 10 bands no longer in existence that were around when I first started. Just trawl through tmp and you will see a number of threads regarding the alarming rate at which bands are disappearing in the North East. Funding has changed also with most bands recieving some sort of support financially from various organisations (other than direct sponsors). Many bands now have a full set of Sovereign instruments via the lottery, whihc is definitely a change from when i first started and the band played on a selection of brands/aged instruments. I think contesting is becoming a larger part of banding. Perhaps that is so bands can "justify" themselves to potential sources of funding?? Training bands are in large abundance now, a direct result of lottery applications.

    4. There are several "distinct" periods in our banding calendar - Summer jobs, Xmas jobs and contesting season (March - Late October , not including CISWO in Jan)

    5. Not when I was in the North East. I know my current band lost funding from CISWO when Barrow Colliery closed, but was successful with a sponsorship bid with Barnsley Building Society (traditionally supportive of the miners..) Don't think the band was ever threatened playerwise, conversley, the 80s was possibly the bands most successful era. A number of ex-miners remain in the band.

    5. Brassed Off was, I think somewhat exaggerated. I wasn't involved with a colliery band at the time but i thought the whole thing was taken to extremes slightly.

    6. Yes. It did definitely altered the public perception of bands, but perhaps not for the better. people look on bands with some sympathy now and fail to really take the whole thing seriously. I think there is a view that bands are things that ex-miners without jobs do on a sunday evening as opposed to orchestras which are generally i feel, taken a lot more seriously. Saying that, I don't think the movement helps itself. it is very insular. Brassed Off did well to raise peoples awareness of bands, but at the same time it did it in a far too cliched fashion.


    If you want any other thoughts/opinions even an interview, I am also at Sheffield Uni (currently typing this in the law building!) and would be happy to help out a fellow stressed 3rd year student!! email me colharding83 AT hotmail.com or via uni on tra01cwh AT shef.etc.....
     
  4. Tash

    Tash New Member

    tra la laaa

    Thanks for reply...i may have few more questions for you but as you, unlike the majority of my band, are under 80, i feel i may be wasting your time. However it is fab to hear from a fellow brass band person/geek. Also I already know midwalesman aka richard hes been loadsa help bless him , when i can get through thr thick welsh accent :wink:
    So i presume your a law student?
    x
     
  5. missflugel

    missflugel Member

    Law, ha ha ha. He's doing town planning and town planners say NO. Info provided by JC.

    Jo x
     
  6. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Don't tell me... it's due in on Monday

    ;-)
     
  7. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Well Done!! Go straight to the top of the class!! I'm actually currently doing a project report where I'm going to say....... YES! Oh well... there goes my degree!!
     
  8. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    My wife has been in banding for over 20 years (and actually did her masters thesis on brass banding), but before I send this to her, do you have to be from Britain for your survey (until next year she has only been playing in the States)?

    PJH
     
  9. Well Worth It

    Well Worth It Active Member

    1. What brass band/s do you play in? Hepworth (Persimmon Homes) Band
    2. How old are you? 20-29
    3. How long have you been involved with the brass band scene? 9 years + (about 15 yrs)
    2. Taking when you first encountered the brass band scene as a starting point, please give as full a description as possible of any changes you have experienced up to present day:
    I reckon the National Lottery has helped many bands to improve.
    Providing new instruments, uniforms and even places to rehearse, encouraging youngsters by allowing better instruments to learn on.
    Repetoire as had to alter to more screen-based works so as to appease waining audiences.
    Uniforms are finally being updated too.
    I think that the YBS stage uniform looks really smart and it's less stuffy to wear than the comparitively heavy jackets.
    Whether other bands will follow (ahem) suit is yet to be seen.

    3. Is your banding year broken up into segments or is there a structure to your banding calendar? Just a few weeks off in summer to allow family holidays without engagement clashes.

    4. Were you aware of any effects on the band of the closure of the mines in the 1980s? (Unemployment, fall of many colliery bands, loss of players, reforms etc.) Not playing in those days, so not really applicable.

    5. If you have seen the 1996 film ‘Brassed Off’, did you think its portrayal of brass bands was accurate? Please explain your response.
    This sounds an awful lot like writing your dissertation for you :wink:
    I think the way that the band pull together as a driving force is indicative of real banding. There are no truer friends than your bandmates, nothing I wouldn't try and do for them and nothing I wouldn't ask of them.
    If Brassed Off was supposed to portray this ideal, then I believe it was pretty accurate. The film also hints accurately at prejudices and the value that the band has in the lives of it's members. The geezer's marriage is over, his wife has taken his kids away, the bailiffs have taken his furniture away, he's working as a children's entertainer [dressed as a clown, no less] and STILL he fulfills his commitments to the band.
    Something every player in the world could learn from. What a legend.

    6. Do you think ‘Brassed Off’ affected society’s view of brass bands? Do you think that the public image of brass bands is accurate?
    Brass Bands are denied even the slightest televisualised exposure.
    One of the countries finest, respected and patriotic traditions, ignored by those at the top.
    People need to be aware of the movement in order that youngsters and more mature folk might embark on a path after the best decision of their lives.
    Now if THAT don't git yerz a furst den I dunno wot wil.
     
  10. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Re: hellooo any1 want to help a lovely girl do her dissertat

    1. What brass band do you play in? - Hadleigh Temple Salvation Army

    2. How old are you? - 40-49

    3. How long have you been involved with the brass band scene? - 30 years

    2. Taking when you first encountered the brass band scene as a starting point, please give as full a description as possible of any changes you have experienced up to present day:
    Although starting out in a contesting band most of my experiences have been within the Salvation Army. One change which has affected my original band has been the provision of sponsorship. Although originally a subscription band they are now supported by their second comercial sponson, giving them much better facilities, a number of guaranteed engagements and fund-raising opportunities.
    Within SA bands, the most noticeable change has been the reduction in the number of bandsmen and women, coupled with a tendency for some bands to grow at the expense of smaller sections. Not being limited in size by contest rules (although I believe there is still an official limit of 50 :oops: ) some corps have maintained large numbers in the band, which has often attracted new people moving into the area to attend that particular corps as their church. Equally, there are many SA centres where the band would only number between 10 and 20. This has had an effect on the music published, with a number of quite technically difficult works being produced with smaller combinations in mind.
    Another change has come with the number of bandsmen going through music colleges, or vice versa college brass players being attracted to bands. This seems to have been a factor in raising the technical abilities throughout the band world, as well as influencing repertoire and playing styles.

    · Instrumentation (for example with regards to the introduction of percussion on the contesting scene, instruments, alteration in section balances, introduction of mutes, loss of ‘high pitch’ instruments and of the saxhorn family)
    I've not really found many changes in this respect, apart from the growing prominence of the percussion section, although again it should be borne in mind that most SA bands wouldn't have anything like the percussion resources that a contesting band has - it would depend a lot on the local personnel. One change generally has been the integration of the trombone section more into the general band sound, with the move towards larger bore instruments. Possibly due in part to the involvement with music colleges mentioned above, there are currently some first class cornet and especially soprano cornet players around, although the sound can sometimes be a bit "trumpety".

    · Uniform changes, including your opinion of why these changes occurred.
    There has definitely been a move towards more modern styles of uniform, possibly influenced as much by spiralling costs as practical and sartorial considerations - it is much easier to buy standard jackets "off the peg" than high collar or other tailored jackets, which often need to be custom-made. With the growing number of women active in bands more are wearing trousers than in the past - not officially reached the SA yet, although our ladies have worn trousers for a number of outdoor and marching engagements. Equally this may be a factor in the near-disappearance of caps - although they are still part of SA uniform for outdoor wear, with hats for the ladies.

    · Repertoire (choice of works for concert and contest programmes, works rehearsed, popularity of certain styles with audiences etc.)
    Film derived numbers seem largely to have supplanted selections from the musicals, although Andrew Lloyd Webber gets his nose in quite frequently! There seems to be a tendency not to programme so many original works for band, although that varies a lot from band to band, and according to the expected audiences. There is also a division growing up between concerts aimed at, for want of a better word, "the general public" and those aimed specifically at banders and other "serious musicians" who want to hear more advanced repertoire. Music colleges seem to be playing their part in this, which has brought banding closer to the general music world.

    · Concerts (number each year, outdoor/indoor, charity concerts, music festivals etc.)
    In the past year, the band has given 10 indoor concerts, 5 outdoor, as well as taking oart in a have a dozen shared events such as the civic carol service. We also take part in the day to day church ministry, playing most Sunday evenings in the services and with an outreach programme three Sundays a month consisting either of a visit to a retirement home or Open Air activity.

    · Contesting (entertainment contests, audiences, frequency of participation etc.)
    Although not taking part in contests I am a frequent attender, particularly at the Open and National Finals. Although audiences overall seem to be quite good at the highest level, there does seem to be less of a willingness or desire to sit and listen to all the performances, when compared to stories from the past of people turning up with a flask of tea and sandwiches for the day. Possibly the venues don't help in that respect, as most do not allow food or drink in the auditorium, but it is better to hear the bands in a comfortable and accoustically sound venue. Equally, bandsmen seem less to want to listen to other bands.

    · Financial situation of the band (fees, expenses, instrument prices, subscription/ sponsorship, whether band has been profitable etc.)
    It is a constant struggle to maintain the instruments to a reasonable standard. Although each bandsman pays an annual sum in band subs, much of this is taken up with the cost of music, travel etc. Although the band receives a proportion of the money raised through Christmas carol-playing the amount of time spent doing that has been drastically reduced in recent years, due largely to pressing demands for the band to take part in other activities, including the involvement of individual bandsmen in the annual Christmas presentation, and the rehearsals for it. There are also more groups seeking to collect over the Christmas period, meaning that the slots available are limited. Due to its current policy regarding gambling in all forms, The Salvation Army in the UK does not accept any funding from the lottery.

    · Support from the government/ local authorities/ Performing Rights Society etc.
    None, other than the occasional donation if assisting with a Civic event

    3. Is your banding year broken up into segments or is there a structure to your banding calendar?
    Fairly standard all year round, apart from a break throughout August. The band will still function on Sundays if enough are present, but it is generally accepted that people are likely to be missing and no practices are held.

    4. Were you aware of any effects on the band of the closure of the mines in the 1980s? (Unemployment, fall of many colliery bands, loss of players, reforms etc.)
    No personal knowledge, apart from a potentially awkward situation where the band at the time included both a police inspector and a mine union official!

    5. If you have seen the 1996 film ‘Brassed Off’, did you think its portrayal of brass bands was accurate? Please explain your response.
    Generally very inaccurate, although the general spirit and cameraderie did come across. Such silly things as instruments being treated without due care - no cases, wearing uniform at inappropriate times and the choice of "test" pieces were very annoying to many within the banding fraternity. They could perfectly well have chosen to play a section from a well-liked, accessible test-piece, such as "Paganin Variations", which would have been acceptable to the general public and given a more accurate picture of what it is all about.

    6. Do you think ‘Brassed Off’ affected society’s view of brass bands? Do you think that the public image of brass bands is accurate?
    I think it perpetuated some of the myths about bands andthe sort of music played. Although audiences have increased, often bands are expected to churn out the same repertoire over and over again.
     
  11. v_star

    v_star Member

    Posted: Thu May 13, 2004 1:52 pm Post subject: hellooo any1 want to help a lovely girl do her dissertation?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hi everyone! Im a music student at the University of Sheffield, and Im doing a big project on how brass bands have changed since the 1970s. Its going well, but i really need opinions of people who've had a lot of experience of banding from around 20 or 30 years ago. I would really ereally appreciate any contributions. Thanks peeps tash x

    1. What brass band/s do you play in? 1 at the moment
    2. How old are you? (please underline/delete)
    20-29

    3. How long have you been involved with the brass band scene?
    14 years


    2. Taking when you first encountered the brass band scene as a starting point, please give as full a description as possible of any changes you have experienced up to present day:

    · Instrumentation - We always seemed to have an influx of cornets, more recently, I have noticed that Trombones and horns seem to be the most attractive instruments, if you put asside percussion.

    · Uniform changes. The bands that I have played for nearly all have changed Uniform from the traditional concert jackets in all thier glory to waistcoats. I think that this is for comfort, also uniforms are expensive and people change and grow so rapidly that people are begining to think that blazers etc. are a waste of money.

    · Repertoire. I have noticed that most non-band audiences prefer music that they can identify with. Out with the concertos and test pieces and in with the novelty. Band audiences are different, although the carnival feeling testpieces such as Windows of the world etc. always prove to be popular.

    · Concerts These are in decline. The public don't really flock to see brass bands anymore. It's different in Yorkshire, but on the whole, a band has to work an awful lot harder to keep an audience. Not surprising when you have to compete with cinema, TV and playstation.

    · Contesting. Bands are starting to forget contesting as it is expensive. Small local contests are becoming extinct in favour of the big, high profile events. Entertainment contests, especially for youth continue to prosper.

    · Financial situation of the band. This is usually bad. Sponsorship is becoming much more difficult, and bands are finding it hard to get any help.

    · Support from the government/ local authorities/ Performing Rights Society etc. Depends on the organisation. If you help youth, you are likely to get help. If you don't you get nothing. With the Performing rights Society enforcing copyright laws, this could seriously jepodise the futre of banding.

    3. Is your banding year broken up into segments or is there a structure to your banding calendar? Summer is for fetes and concerts, the rest of the year is contests

    4. Were you aware of any effects on the band of the closure of the mines in the 1980s? Too young im afraid.

    5. If you have seen the 1996 film ‘Brassed Off’, did you think its portrayal of brass bands was accurate? It tried to be accurate, but it had a lot of things wrong with it. Who carries thousands of pounds worth of instruments around without cases? How come the all male band had a uniform to fit Gloria?
    6. Do you think ‘Brassed Off’ affected society’s view of brass bands? Do you think that the public image of brass bands is accurate? I don't think that the public view of bands is accurate, but Brassed Off did help to put bands in the public eye.

    You can email this to me at tash_newson@hotmail.com or leave it on here. Thankyou sooooooo much
     
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  13. markhall

    markhall New Member

    1) KM Medway band

    2) 32

    3) 25 years

    4) a) Huge increase in the influence of percussion from just being cumbal, snare & bass drum
    b) Huge increase in the ability of players - 30 years ago very few end chair players had to be able to triple tongue - now it is a requirement of everyone in the top 2 sections and corner men in the other sections
    c) Increase in solo parts - solo baritone, bass trombone, back row are all now required to play challenging parts marked "Solo" whereas 20 years ago this was not the case
    d) Brass bands are no longer limited in terms of tonality - only Elgar Howarth experimented with this in the old days. Vinter was considered very modern
    e) The end of the Chinese wall between Salvation Army and secular bands has allowed greater fredom of players and a huge increas ein repertoire between both codes.
    f) Uniforms are less formal (partly driven by cost) where lots of bands now wear DJs rather than band jackets and you get bands like YBS & First City who are very casual
    g) An increase in orchestral/military trained conductors has raised the bar for performance standards starting with Parkes & Snell.
    h) Contests are no longer the be all and end all because they are an expensive way to run a band as finances are now tight with many bands just keeping heads above water

    3) 4 informal segments - build up to area contest, summer jobs, build up to local Autumn contest, Winter concerts

    4) Not in South East. Colliery bands are as strong as they were before closure despite huge unemployment in the area.

    5 & 6) Absolutely not. A band winning the national championships with an overture conducted by an Elvis impersonator, winning the regionals with a circus march, players travelling to concerts with instruments not in cases. While an excellent, politically charged film, they may as well have had whippets & pigeons.
     
  14. . What brass band/s do you play in?
    Penclawdd Brass Band
    2. How old are you? (please underline/delete)
    10-19
    20-29
    30-39
    40-49
    50-59
    60-69
    70+
    3. How long have you been involved with the brass band scene?
    Less than 1 year
    1-3 years
    3-5 years
    5-7 years
    7-9 years
    9 years + If so, roughly how many years?
    Been playing tenor horn for 13 years........

    2. Taking when you first encountered the brass band scene as a starting point, please give as full a description as possible of any changes you have experienced up to present day:
    Banding used to be fun.
    3. Is your banding year broken up into segments or is there a structure to your banding calendar?
    No idea.
    4. Were you aware of any effects on the band of the closure of the mines in the 1980s? (Unemployment, fall of many colliery bands, loss of players, reforms etc.)
    I was born in 1984.......
    5. If you have seen the 1996 film ‘Brassed Off’, did you think its portrayal of brass bands was accurate? Please explain your response.
    Some of it is, some of it isn't. Accuracy - sexism, elitism, politics, determination
    6. Do you think ‘Brassed Off’ affected society’s view of brass bands? Do you think that the public image of brass bands is accurate?
    To be honest, do you really think that the majority of the public have seen brassed off?
     
  15. :shock:

    *Note to self; don't ever do a dissertation*

    :shock:
     
  16. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    Re: hellooo any1 want to help a lovely girl do her dissertat

    1. What brass band/s do you play in?
    Yorkshire Building Society Band

    2. How old are you? (please underline/delete)
    20

    3. How long have you been involved with the brass band scene?
    7 years

    2. Taking when you first encountered the brass band scene as a starting point, please give as full a description as possible of any changes you have experienced up to present day:
    · Instrumentation (for example with regards to the introduction of percussion on the contesting scene, instruments, alteration in section balances, introduction of mutes, loss of ?high pitch? instruments and of the saxhorn family)
    all the same, only a few new models of instruments realeased with no real differences, ie. besson prestige, yamaha maestros.

    · Uniform changes, including your opinion of why these changes occurred.
    My first band had the popular traditional bandsmen's uniform which most bands still have today, next band have only just switched to the traditional uniforms from black and white chequed jackets (voted into 4barsrest's top 10 worst ever uniforms) and my current band wear open neck shirts and waistcoats, designed by fashion students. i definately prefer open neck and waistcoats, allows more room for breathing and arm movement.

    · Repertoire (choice of works for concert and contest programmes, works rehearsed, popularity of certain styles with audiences etc.)
    not really changed at all.. a mixture of old cheese and new cheese. just getting harder as i moved to better bands

    · Concerts (number each year, outdoor/indoor, charity concerts, music festivals etc.)
    with my 1st band, we did lots of open air marches, and town fetes etc.. and not too many indoor concerts. Next band we didnt do as many concerts in total but more indoor jobs/concert halls etc.. with my current band, we don't do many jobs at all, more foccusing on cd's and contests. but the one's we do are normally large concert halls.

    · Contesting (entertainment contests, audiences, frequency of participation etc.)
    1st band, only few contests. ie. pontins, nw areas, maybe buxton + pilks.
    2nd band, more prestigeous contests such as the masters, grand shield and british open, a national finals. no local contests though.
    3rd band. no local contests, more prestigeous contests, ie. europeans

    · Financial situation of the band (fees, expenses, instrument prices, subscription/ sponsorship, whether band has been profitable etc.)
    1st band sponsored for a little (around £2k), no fees/expenses. 2nd band, non-sponsored, no fees/expenses. 3rd band, large sponsorship + expenses

    · Support from the government/ local authorities/ Performing Rights Society etc.
    1st+2nd bands both had lottery grants. 3rd unsure.

    3. Is your banding year broken up into segments or is there a structure to your banding calendar?
    yes. contest season starts feb/march for the areas, continues up to the summer, break, another 1 or 2 contests,then a relaxation, then into the christmas period.

    4. Were you aware of any effects on the band of the closure of the mines in the 1980s? (Unemployment, fall of many colliery bands, loss of players, reforms etc.) dunno i'm only a nipper

    5. If you have seen the 1996 film ?Brassed Off?, did you think its portrayal of brass bands was accurate? Please explain your response.
    in some ways. But it was exaggerated heavily for the public entertainment point of view. Ie not portraying actual testpieces on the soundtrack. (clog dance wouldn't get an outing at the british open)

    6. Do you think ?Brassed Off? affected society?s view of brass bands? Do you think that the public image of brass bands is accurate?
    ish and no. I don't think it affected as such, just brought it more into the public light, which i suppose is good. But banders are portrayed as grufty (excluding ms Stitz) old, alcoholic blokes who spend all day down the pub/mines.

    The bands were 1: Hoover (Bolton) Band, 2: Besses O'th Barn Band. 3: YBS Band, by the way.
    hope some of this drivvel will help.
     
  17. kate_the_horn

    kate_the_horn New Member

    1. What brass band/s do you play in? Barnton Silver/ Mereside Brass
    2. How old are you? (please underline/delete)
    10-19

    3. How long have you been involved with the brass band scene?
    1-3 years

    2. Taking when you first encountered the brass band scene as a starting point, please give as full a description as possible of any changes you have experienced up to present day:
    · Uniform changes, we got rid of the tassels (we have no money)
    · Repertoire pieces are getting more and more difficult)·
    Concerts every fete under the sun, and more normal concerts!· Contesting seems more
    · Financial situation of the band instrumemnts seem to have improved, due to lottery grants, and all sorts
    · Support from the government,, What support? our main source of income WAS pub playing at xmas. never mind.
    3. Is your banding year broken up into segments or is there a structure to your banding calendar? no! its random! (well after xmas untill the regionals its CONTEST)
    4. Were you aware of any effects on the band of the closure of the mines in the 1980s? only due to Brassed off!
    5. If you have seen the 1996 film ‘Brassed Off’, did you think its portrayal of brass bands was accurate? 6. Do you think ‘Brassed Off’ affected society’s view of brass bands? Do you think that the public image of brass bands is accurate?
    it was just like our band, to be honest!! it over exaggerates things thou, but thats what makes movies!


    kelly xx
    (pm me if u need more)
     

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