History of Brass Banding

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Nick Wilson, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. Nick Wilson

    Nick Wilson Member

    I would like to buy a book to learn about the history of brass banding. Any suggestions/recommendations.

    Having had a quick look on amazon it came up with 'The Modern Brass Band: From the Second World War to the New Millenium by Roy Newsome.

    Anyone read it, any good.

  2. thepirate

    thepirate New Member

    Hi Nick Have a look at "Brass Bands in the 20th Century" by Geoffrey Brand. I have found it a very enjoyable book with lots of information about early banding up till around 80's.

  3. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    For my money the best on offer is Trevor Herbert's "The Brass Band Movement in the 19th & 20th Centuries" (Open University Press, ISBN 0-335-09703-0).

    Leaving aside my strong disagreement that the collection of brass bands in the UK constitute a movement at all, the book nevertheless provides an excellent social history of the band phenomenon. It is all the better for being written by someone who is (a) an academic and (b) not intimately involved in brass bands himself, which lends the writing a far better perspective, in my opinion.

    The only drawback is that I suspect that it is no longer in print, so you will need to find a second hand copy, but I have seen plenty of them around on Ebay and Amazon.
  4. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    ditto the Geoffrey Brand book. The British Bandsman centenary book is interesting too.
    Never seen the Roy Newsome one, but he knows his stuff so its probably a pretty safe bet!
  5. Highams

    Highams Member

    If it's of any help to you, I have compiled the history of the Hanwell Band, from 1891, which gives details of contesting bands and performances throughout the years;


  6. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    I'd recommend "Labour and Love" ed. Arthur R. Taylor (Elm Tree Books 1983): a collection of interviews with players and conductors covering from 19th century to c. 1980.
  7. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Also "Brass Bands" by the same author/editor, Granada Publishing I think, "What a Performance! The Brass Band Plays" by Elgar and Patrick Howarth and "Brass Triumphant" of which I've shamefully forgotten the author. (plus I'd wholeheartedly endorse all the others, especially the Herbert which I'm afraid provided nearly a whole chapter of my uni dissertation :oops:. )

    All are out of print I think, so a bit of J.R.Hartley style detective work might be needed on Ebay/Amazon, or if you live near somewhere with a thriving 2nd hand book scene (York, Lincoln, Hay, numerous other places) that might be a place to start. Your local library might even be able to get you copies.

    [EDIT: just spotted the OP lives in Banbury so Oxford's book shops would be an excellent place to start!]
  8. Frontman

    Frontman Member

    The British Brass Band, A Musical and Social History. Edited by Trevor Herbert.

    This is an excellent book which has several prominent people writing chapters on their specific topic.
    Well worth buying.
  9. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Still remember him coming round to our house with his tape recorder to interview my Dad and being shut in the lounge :eek: :biggrin:

    All of them are quite good, they're just written in different styles.

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