In the name of modernisation.....

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Okiedokie of Oz, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    Recently the Queensland Band Association released documents written to invoke discussion about concepts wanted in a new constitution. While the idea is sound, the document begins to ask questions like

    * What instruments should be allowed to compete?
    * What is the purpose of a Music Advisory Board and what are their powers?
    * Should marching be discontinued?

    Any many more questions. As I read the "White Paper" (What is a QBA and what are it's powers?) and the "Green Paper" (What should our constitution say about us?) I see issues being discussed that, if accepted and carried, then a huge chunk of the cultural heritage that is brass banding will be lost forever?

    How far is too far? Surely we should be able to say "They stay!" about some things.

    What aspects of day-to-day and contesting brass banding should be changed? What should remain? I am attending a meeting of thre QBA this weekend and any ammunition I walk in with would definately further our cause!!
  2. fitzy

    fitzy Active Member

    As a fellow Aussie I thought I had better put my two cents in. The VBL is supposed to be fixing their constitution at the moment as well but I have no idea how that is going. Unless you have access to thier inner sanctum you don't really hear too much from them.
    Here is what I think about these questions. (They have also been posed down here). Feel free to disagree (I know someone will!)

    * What instruments should be allowed to compete?
    In all honesty, I think the traditional band formation should be kept as it is for the time being. If anything where to change, they should let junior bands use trumpets and french horn so that more players would be encouraged to get into bands. I know it will change the sound but the more kids we get into bands the better it is for the future.
    The only other thing I would think about changing is using an Eb trumpet or piccollo instead of a soprano cornet. Again it is a change of sound but some of the parts being written for sop now are really stretching what is possible on the instrument. (Well, it's stretching me anyway! ;))

    * What is the purpose of a Music Advisory Board and what are their powers?
    As far as I am concerned, the MAB's should be there to choose test pieces for competitions (Both solo and band) and to pick adjudicators for contest. They are also there to help encourage local composers by using their compositions and granting commitions. This is vital for the survival of bands here. We have so much composing talent within the banding community and it would be terrible to see it never used.

    * Should marching be discontinued?
    In short, at the Nationals, yes as a competition. Marching is a part of banding and it always will be but very few of the bands today can put in the time and commitment on top of rehearsing 2 major works, a stage march and a hymn. If they keep it at the Nationals, it should be a demonstration and a publicity exersise. (I just hate marching and playing a sop at the same time! ;)) Make it volantary but offer some incentives if bands participate.

    Hopefully this will help you a bit. They are purely my own opinions and I know that there are going to be people come on here and pull them to bits.
  3. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    I think the band instrumentation should be kept the same, however, I think the limit on the overall number of players should be relaxed, so that bands can more easily, where they want, have 2 sops, 2 flugels, 4 trombones, or whatever else they feel could add to their performance.

    I'm not really sure what a Music Advisory Body is, so I'll skip that one.

    As for marching, I'm not really a big fan of it anyway. I don't think it should really play a major part in competition as it's such a limited musical form.
  4. Spanky Rear

    Spanky Rear Member

    In the name of modernisation...

    I think they are right to ask questions.Nothing stands still,although some might want it to. If their deliberations result in even a minute improvement it will eventually be to everyone's benefit.In fact the way so much of Banding appears to be set in stone leaves me with an uneasy feeling.Are we stuck in the mud?...... ???
  5. lewis

    lewis Member


    There isn't actually a rule or what numbers can be used of each instrument. The only rule is that you can only use upto 25 brass players, so you can use 2 sops (as Dyke and Alliance did at the Nationals) or 8 trombones or even 25 BBb if you so wanted.

    I don't think changing instrumentation is a very good idea, as the current instruments give brass bands such a distinctive sound. When I was at college the horn parts were played on French Horn and it completely changed the sound of the band and it wasn't for the better, the tone of a french horn is much rounder and darker than a tenor horn. Although I do agree woth Fritzy that some of the sops parts are getting rediculous and being able to use an Eb or picc could really help.
  6. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    I agree in that asking the questions is OK and will help, but my big concern is where do we draw the line as to what things are expendable?

    We've scrapped the contest hymn in Queensland, replacing it with the "Sacred and Reflective" event. Maybe not necessarily a BAD thing, but you know there'll be some *beep* (Self-induced censoring) of a conductor who'll come up withhis own definition, or push the boundaries.

    I don't want to be stuck in stone, I do want progress. But what would happen if someone said in the name of progress, all fielders in cricket had to start using baseball-styled gloves to protect the hand and cut down on injuries? What are YOU willing to sacrifice in the name of progress???

    Losing a soprano cornet I am willing to do.
    Losing the march, I am not.
    Changing the legal numbers of a competing band I'll do (in Oz I thought it was 28 plus percussion).
    Sacrificing a formal uniform at contests I am not. Save the pretty colours for gigs!
  7. Spanky Rear

    Spanky Rear Member

    In the name of modernisation

    Okie, obviously you'll put your views forward. With luck one or two suggestions will be accepted.Perhaps the majority will have ideasaccepted that you don't like.So there will be give and take all round. Try and ensure that the ideas accepted are only trialled,say for a set period--perhaps one or two years,then you'll have your chance when the trial is over to block the unacceptable items.In what I presume is a democratic setup that's the best one can expect.
  8. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    That's true, but I know there are conductors that would like a full band, plus an extra 2nd trombone maybe, or an extra sop. I realise you can have 2 sops, 2 flugels and 8 trombones if you want, but only at the sacrifice of other positions. Why not widen the limit to 30 plus percussion? That way, most wont use it, but where appropriate they may...