Opinions on Brass Bands

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by awalker, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. awalker

    awalker Member

    I'm doing key skills coursework and need to find opinions for and against brass bands.

    I have found loads of opionions for brass bands, but can't find any against.

    Can anybody help?
    Thanks, Aden.
  2. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Can't help thinking you won't find many opinions against Brass bands on a Brass band forum
  3. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Yep try an orchestra/swing band/jazz forum - bet they've got loads to say against brass banders.
  4. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe we should try to be productive and objective, and help out eh?

    I'm sure that if you have a wee look around the forum Aden, you'll see plenty of "complaint" type posts, which are some of the issues that banders have with the movement.

    Good luck
  5. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    It may be helpful if you can give some indication as to what areas you are considering, ie the sound of the band, band politics, the music played etc., and what if any other groups you propose taking as a comparison.
  6. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    They make too much noise - Burry Port

    They take up too much room - Wigston

    They have ugly bass sections - Cawston

    They induce liver failure - Most Bands

    More seriously

    There are still bands practicing an all male policy which reflects badly throughout society.
  7. matti_raz

    matti_raz Member

    Professional Musicians don't like the fact that we contest as they see it as a lowering of Musical Artform; however banders fight back that it is a raising of the bar and that is why brass bands have some of the greatest players fighting to play in them!
  8. backrowbloke

    backrowbloke Member

    Cons for me....(note! my quick and personal thoughts. :))
    Backward (or static) rather than forward looking (music payed, uniform, contest format etc.) - this is my biggest gripe I think
    Poor image within general public and other musical circles.
    Inward looking players (many don't try other musical genres)
    Contesting (although I have to agree that it does push players in some cases)

    Having said all of the above, there are of course some bands / players that don't fit into my generalisation above
  9. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Personally, I would say that contests are one of my biggest problems about brass banding - not because I feel it "lowers the artform" but because it leads many of the people involved to believing that contests are ALL that matters.
    Contests are all fine and dandy, but surely the concerts should be the thing that matters - the contests (for me) are just something that gets in the way of making fantastic music (which brass bands are MORE than capable of).

    Backrowbloke has hit on many issues that are things that have been known to irritate me, but other things that have been featured on that list are

    Bandroom politics
    Players who don't take the music seriously (in other words - those who don't practice, yet still can't play their parts)
    The assumption that because it is a testpiece, it is a great piece of music (they aren't)
  10. Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders Active Member

    Sir Thomas Beecham once said

    "Brass bands are all very well in their place - outdoors and several miles away."
  11. Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders Active Member

    He also said, "Try everything once except folk dancing and incest."
  12. lewis

    lewis Member

    Although certain new commissions have been accepted recently I still feel that brass banders in general are afraid of new music and are not nearly open minded enough (Prague is my example in this case!).
  13. euphfanhan

    euphfanhan Member

    Waistcoats and lyres :eek:
  14. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    My gripe is that brass bands has lost it's relevance to the public, and that it will be near impossible to recover. Even the fairly successful acid brass concert music dates back to the late '80s, and has a limited (or novelty factor) following today.
  15. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    When Walton showed Beecham his first draft of Belshazzar's Feast Beecham was so appalled by the "kitchen sink" orchestration that he sarcastically suggested that Walton should "chuck a couple of brass bands in for good measure". Walton did, hence the offstage brass parts. Beecham is a good example of the orchestral musician looking down on the brass band, although this happens less now.

    Banding cons:

    [whinge] My biggest grouse about banding is the way we often seem to be lost in the past; the format of the basic band contest (closed adjudication, the draw, the set test-piece) is one devised for a different age and we shouldn't still be using it. 90% of bands still wear the quasi-military style gold braided uniforms - why? We have a tendency to plough through the same old music and a weakness for "comedy" or "cheesy" arrangements that do nothing for our credibility. Many band committees tend to dislike and oppose change and have failed to grasp that bands have to promote themselves just like any other leisure activity. Finally, WHY do we persist with this daft system of registration? It's a financial burden on the movement, an administrative nightmare for band secretaries and a pointless relic of the days when bands genuinely did try to cheat. Many of the top bands' principal players are professional musicians and are quite free to go and play for Treize Etoiles or Stavanger whenever they want despite being registered in the UK. What's the point? It actually prevents bands entering contests - especially the areas - and as far as I can see achieves nothing positive whatsoever.[/whinge]

    And just for balance - Banding pros
    Like everyone here I've got valve oil for blood and just because aspects of banding give me the hump doesn't mean that I don't enjoy it. I get as hyper as anyone else at results time. There is NO SOUND ON EARTH as hair raisingly thrilling as a really good brass band playing to the best of their ability, not even the new Aston Martin. I've never yet played in a wind band or sung in a choir that has anything like the social side of a brass band and a good weekend away at the Nationals or Pontins can get you through many months of Floral Dancing in the park. And finally there is almost no other organisation that will teach kids to play an instrument for nothing, or next to nothing.
  16. Mister 4x4

    Mister 4x4 Member

    I've recently discovered the fun of being in a Brass Band. Quite honestly, I have more fun with that group than with the Concert Band - no Clarinets to squeak at inopportune times. ;) (I mean, really...)

    We're in it for the fun - no contests. Or at least, there are none I'm familiar with going on in our area... or even the whole state of Texas for that matter. The fun of playing with (and sometimes against) the others is the most important part for me.
  17. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I think this quote is actually attributable to Arnold Bax, not Beecham.

    But in response to the request, I would say the single biggest failing of brass bands over three centuries is their failure to organise for themselves a coherent national structure, capable of fighting effectively for the cause of brass bands. Many of the other things which are wrong with the brass band scene stem from this failure.
  18. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    They take over your life and according to the person next to me the uniforms are stupid.
  19. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Well they're right! And my band definitely lives in the past. It's being going 113 years and some of the players were probably there at the start! They still keep mentioning playing in the Albert Hall in the SIXTIES!! Any new music that I buy the band, gets a quick blow through and then put away, so we can go back to tunes on faded brown paper! Makes me scream.:mad:
  20. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    lol! Our band isnt like that well its not like alot of bands... Im in it for a start :p I like our uniforms but not when Im seen by anyone from school then life ceases to be worth living...

    Neway more bad stuff is, you get really obsessed with it you think about it waaaaaaaaay to much. OK person next to me said to say that trombones rock. But she wont play in my band :( You have to play outside shops in the freezing cold playing christmas carols in NOVEMBER.