The earliest recorded brass Bands

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by trumpetmel, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. trumpetmel

    trumpetmel New Member

    Hi all,

    My dissertation is based around brass bands and their history and development. I am trying to find a register of brass bands that dates back to the 1830s/40s/50s. I am not sure if one exists. Can anyone help?????
  2. tsawyer

    tsawyer Member

  3. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

  4. hopeless

    hopeless New Member

    Apologies for the lateness of this post, I only recently joined TMP.

    My dissertation is based around brass bands and their history and development .

    A band which may be of interest to you is the Cyfarfthfa band which was founded in 1838 in Merthyr Tydfil. In my opinion not exactly the instrumentation we now know, being comprised of 2 x Db Bugles, 2x Bb Keyed Bugles, 1 Eb Bugle, 3x Ab Cornets, 2x Eb/Db Saxhorns, 1x Baritone, 1x Euphonium, 2x Tenor Trombones, 1x Bass Trom, 1xF Bass, 1x Bombardon, 1x Bb Bass , and 2 Ophicleids.

    The band was 'resurrected' from extinction by the John Wallace Collection, after the instruments and music were discovered in Cyfarthfa Castle by Dr Trevor Herbert. John Wallace and his group were chosen to recreate the sounds of the band , firstly at the Welsh Garden Festival, and shortly afterwards, made a CD of some of the original Music ...on the old instruments.

    The CD is available on Nimbus recording, The Origin of The Species. ( I don't have the number I'm afraid ) I have heard it , and it is certainly very, very interesting. I know it includes The Tydfyl Overture, and a solo played by John Wallace on Cornet.

    BBC TV also made a TV Open University Documentary of the Cyfarftha Project, recorded at the RAM London.

    I am sure, you will derive much pleasure ( and information ) from researching this project..Hope so, even if you don't use it for your dissertation.
  5. mattthebass

    mattthebass Member

    Start with the bible, Brass Bands by Arthur Taylor, it was wrote in 1979 and some arguments/debate as said above have move on slightly since then, but it's still the best researched book out there.

    Some other good reading is 'Village and Town Bands' by Christopher Weir, it deals with the move from Waits to Brass Bands, also 'Brass Bands in York 1833-1914' University of York, Borthwick Paper No.85

    As for a list of brass bands, unfortunately you'll be lucky to find anything before the Second World War! People argument how many bands existed in 1900 let alone the 1840 to 60's I'm afraid.

    Research I've done into the history of brass bands in Bolton shows that in 1840 what we would consider 'early' brass bands, only 4 existed, this number steadily rises to a peak in 1920 of 22 bands, (this is a bit of a cheat figure really as for every band that didn't reform after WWI, the 1920's for social reasons saw a new band formed). The figure then slowly decreases with jumps not surprisingly at WWII and the 1960's/70's, the TV and Council not booking bands for park jobs being two big reasons. At present we are back to four bands in Bolton.

    Ooops, sorry just realised the date of the original post, hope the dissertation went well.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013

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