Is the band movement its own worst enemy?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by critic, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. critic

    critic Member

    With all the bickering and backbiting that always seems to follow all the contests is it no wonder despite all the great work that goes on that many people see us as our own worst enemy.

    Generally we do keep shooting ourselves in the foot which is a shame as we have a lot to offer the general music world.Will we ever learn the lessons that have dogged us for years?
  2. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Why? It's no different to any other competition. Banding's got nowt on Dog Shows or Horse Trials to name two. Look at how much goes on in football.

    Rightly or wrongly it's part of the human condition. A little bit of bickering on specialist internet sites probably won't do much to the 'movement'. Most people associate bands with Sunday afternoon on the prom anyway. I wouldn't worry about it.
  3. critic

    critic Member

    Iagreewith your last comment but there are two many people with there own agendas and where you will always havev differences we more than anyone tend to hang out our dirtywashing in public. you make some good points others will have there own views.
  4. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Good question...I'll look forward to some interesting replies!

    In the meantime I've moved the thread to the rehearsal room (from tMP suggestions).
  5. Daniel Sheard

    Daniel Sheard Member

    Although tMP is public, it isnt really hanging dirty washing in public. Only interested people will read these threads, not large numbers of the "general public". Although with a lot of these threads, interested people may well become disinterested people after reading.
  6. Banders bicker.... but then so does everyone else. My nan bickers when West Ham don't win the football, My Dad Bickers when Chelsea Don't win (and myself) and then to my mother..... She bickers everyday about horse shows and that the judges have got it wrong (sound familiar) my girlfriend bickers.... at me hehe. I think whatever you do or wherever you go you get bickering?! I have only been in the office an hour and I've heard plenty already! TMP is just a place where you can get it all off your chest in a controlled environment.
  7. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Still, it's those who can't see past the next contest who are holding the movement back. Thanks to some very public and vocal name calling and abuse, the banding movement is perceived by the great unwashed to be a backwater - socially, musically and culturally.
  8. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    *snigger* Great minds/fools...
  9. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    In what way?
    Contesting is a very important part of banding and for a lot (most?) of players is why we play with a brass band rather than a wind bad, big band, jazz band, orchestra, etc.

    I agree with the latter part of your comment "the banding movement is perceived by the great unwashed to be a backwater - socially, musically and culturally" - but I am not so sure that the reasons you use are to blame, most members of the general public (or great unwashed) neither know nor care about what goes on around bands/contests.
  10. Maybe more events like the Brass Day at the Proms would help :D !


    Yes you are right,joe public, your neighbour and workmates arn t interested in your latest contest results or if you have joined Black Dyke or the shillingsby blowers, its a minority hobby like trainspotting but more dated, less popular and in decline.
  12. Mephi

    Mephi Member

    It may help promote the 'movement' as a whole to the general public and to some other musical factions who look down on us. Unfortunately, if it became a regular event you could guarantee the good old snipers would get their claws into the bands involved. Just look at David Armitage whining about Sellers always being overlooked for events, yes it was a good point but with a hint of extreme bitterness. The backbiting and sniping will always happen, no matter what.

    One thing that just struck me - what would this forum have been like if it was 1950 or earlier? A few decades before that there were mass brawls after the results! Perhaps we have moved on and we're simply doing the battling from the safety of our own home/office?
  13. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

  14. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    As a fully paid-up member of the Great Unwashed Association of Little Britain I take serious offence at that remark. See you in the playground in half an hour and I'll publicly call you some names!

    But surely if the outside onlookers take the time and trouble to read sites like tMP it shouldn't take them long to realise that as well as bitchy and spiteful people there are some very nice, thoughtful and concerned people involved as well.

    Whenever there is a body of disparate people linked only by a single interest it stands to reason that their views about that and, indeed, other matters aren't necessarily going to coincide.

    That some people can't express opposing views without resorting to pettiness is a fact of life and not something that is confined to banding.

    So there!!! Thumbs nose and walks away haughtily...
  15. Im sure if other musical movements did the level of contesting as we do they would brawl just as much! I might even set up when/if it happens!

  16. Careful...... his dad may be bigger than your Dad! :p
  17. brassintheed

    brassintheed Member

    I agree with the sentiment, but not in it's entirety.

    Music audiences do care about the band; A name like Black Dyke, Grimethorpe, Brighouse (long established names which are known outside brass band circles) attracts audiences and the interest of the wider public.

    But the same public don't have any interest in whoever is currently winning or losing at contests. Grimethorpe could never contest again and i doubt that fact in itself would have any impact on it's pull of audiences.

    So to me, the obsession with contest places is totally insular, it's just people 'squaring up'. Has other benefits, but doesn't count two hoots to non brass band devotees.

    In my view the contest stage is simply for encouraging development or providing people in brass bands with a good day out, and really shouldn't hold the total stranglehold on bands that it does. It definitly isn't condusive to a professional image of Brass Bands.

    It's about time we resigned contesting to being an optional side event for youth and developing bands, and got on with the proper aim of music and performance. We might just have a genre to be proud of in years to come if we do.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2008
  18. Lawrencediana

    Lawrencediana Member

    But its not just banding that is in decline, just about everything that involves a fair degree of dedication and determination is in decline. I know we can't ignore the fact that banding like a lot of non-electric music making is suffering but no amount of bickering or back biting is going to change that. Healthy discourse (or even unhealthy straight talking) is not going to make the slightest dent in what happens outside or inthe way we are perceived by the high and mighty. We are who we are, some of us have higher passions than others but that is life, the discussion we should be having is how we attract the disenchanted back, or the novice in.
  19. Yes the movement is inward looking, but its not its own worst enemy. Society at large is where the problems lie, in our "quick fix" society there is a constant undermining of anything that is traditional, and a lack of respect generally. This isn't just a brass band problem, its there to be seen for us all.

    You could argue that contesting is THE reason why the movement has survived, and will continue to do so. I dont believe that making it an optional side event would be beneficial. I do think that there are perhaps too many contests (there seems to be more than ever now), and we need a good healthy balance of events.

    The future in banding is in the youngsters, and as long as we can encourage young people to play long may it continue.

    Last edited: Mar 28, 2008
  20. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    It's when contesting becomes the end in itself and the sole reason for playing that we start to lose touch with the paying public. If all you do with your band is contest and all you think about throughout the year is which contest and what test piece, you have, for the reasons you have said, cut yourself off from the standard paying public who might, if more bands were outward looking, find that they actully like what we do.

    Most of the public, if asked what they know about brass bands will think pints, flat caps and whippets, the Hovis advert and a few other stylised examples.

    Most of the public don't come across much of the high quality modern music for bands that there is about. I think there's a place for contesting, but there's a balance to be struck. (As always! :rolleyes: )