Help! Is there a database of test pieces?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Di B, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. Di B

    Di B Member

    Hi all.

    Just wondering.... inlate 80's/early 90's I played a piece called 'The Prizewinners' at Leicester Contest (in the DeMonfort Hall days) in the fourth section.

    Is this still a known test piece that can be played by a fourth section band? Is there some sort of list that says this isn't a test piece and this is? Otherwise. why don't we all play the floral dance? :lol:

    Also, is there something somewhere that shows what test pieces there are out there and what section they are aimed towards at all? If not, why not! :wink:

    Just thinking that in own choice contests there are always so many people playing the same thing... it would be nice to be able to see the amount of pieces available out there.

  2. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    In an own choice contest there are not often any guidelines laid down, leaving each band to choose something that will be testing enough to allow them to show themselves at their best.

    Some may feel they are better off playing safe with a selection that is well "under the belt", whereas others may think that they should take more risks and go for something a little more adventurous. Having read a few adjudicators' comments, however, it seems that bands are more likely to be penalised for choosing something that is too far beyond their realistic capabilities, as the result is not likely to be very musical.

    It really is an open book, with pieces often being chosen that were never intended for competition use at all, such as various Salvation Army works.
  3. Di B

    Di B Member

    Sorry to say this... but thats a bit silly isn't it?? What is the idea of own choice test pieces then?

    Surely the safest (and from my experience it is what happens) the majority of bands pick something that has been used for a contest that same year which usually provides at least two or three bands playing the same piece?

  4. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    Exactly my experience, for own choice test pieces we play a set test piece from another contest - the reason being that it saves on rehearsal time!?

    In my opinion you don't need all that much rehearsal time to get another piece up to scratch - OK so some players may not feel so secure but the same results will be got with fewer rehearsals.

    Anyway back on topic, I don't know of such a list.
  5. satchmo shaz

    satchmo shaz Active Member

    crikey di has got the bit between her teeth today!! sort em all out Di :wink:
  6. Janet Watkins

    Janet Watkins Member

    Not really a database, but if you go to

    Select the Brass Band Catalogue, then select the valve which indicates 'FIND' you will be taken to their search facility.

    Select 'Test Piece' from the options in the drop-down menu against SECTION and you will be presented with nearly 750 hits. Many of these titles have a suggested grading indicated.


  7. onedrummeruk

    onedrummeruk Member

    I seem to remember seeing a list printed in section order of test pieces, I think it was from SCABA (Southern Counties ABA) but it was some years ago, just thinking that maybe your local Brass Band Association may have a list.
  8. Di B

    Di B Member

    Thanks! It will help, but it still surprises me that there isn't a database! This explains why test pieces move up and down the sections too! (Look at old Championship pieces now used for 4th section for example!)

    Will follow your link though Janet!

    Yes Sharon, I am in one of 'them' moods at the moment! Don't know why, but hell, its fun! :twisted: :twisted:
  9. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

  10. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    Steve, I think this is a good start to a retrospective list however I think the most useful information to have would be what sections the piece currently apply to. A Champ section test piece from the 60's say could now be a 1st or even 2nd section piece.
  11. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    True (and quite interesting, are bands these days better than our bygone era counterparts?).

    Journey Into Freedom for the second section this year? (go on, I DARE ya!)

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