When is it too hot to listen or play music

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by brassbandmaestro, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    I was just talking to a freind of mine recently about this and I thought it be quite interesting, with the current weather we are having at this time, to see what other tmpers think about this?
  2. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    April 2005 - British high comission, Singapore. Yorkshire co-op band in concert, on the steps of the main building. 97 fahrenheit, 92% humidity. Had to keep tipping water down the leadpipe because the valve casings were so hot it was evaporating from the pistons.... but the band played on.

    Quite simply, if properly prepared, all players properly hydrated beforehand and throughout, and everyone protected with suncream etc - I don't think there is a problem. Ok, there weren't any elderly or infirm members in the example I cite, but I'm speaking in genral terms of an average person between 15 and 50.

    The problem comes when people don't look after themselves, don't take on water, won't wear sunscreen etc. Then things can go wrong.

    At the opposite extreme, I was once playing outside a garden centre on a night so cold that the valve-casings on my tuba shrank and cold-siezed the pistons - so the limts of the instrument are found much more readily in the cold than the heat! But again, if the player is sufficiently well insulated by clothes, boots etc - and has a plastic mouthpiece to avoid the potential frostbite - then it takes pretty extreme cold before a band simply has to pack up.

    To my mind, high wind and heavy rain are much more of an obstacle.
  3. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    Its never too hot to Listen.
  4. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    ... or brandy!

    Egham Band once did a Carnival parade in Germany, near Cologne, in February. Started at around mid-day, in bright sunshine, no wind, but at a temperature of -14C. Ended around 4pm-ish, by which time the sun had gone down, still no wind, but temperature dropped to -18C. All instruments other than cornets had frozen solid, and cornets could only be kept operational by continually blowing air through when not playing. But the band kept on playing; must have sounded awful - playing mainly German Karneval-Lieder, with cornets belting out the tune, and other instruments playing whatever notes were available, some on open, some with other valve combinations where they happened to have seized up ... all heavily camouflaged with heavy marching percussion!

    As I recall, we didn 't really feel the cold; absence of wind mainly, I suppose, and we were very well insulated ... ;)
  5. Baritonedeaf

    Baritonedeaf Member

    The National Methodist Youth Brass Band went on tour to Jamaica in 1997 - most of our concerts were too hot to play in - even the ones at night - didn't stop us though. Stupidly high temperatures, birght bright sun and very humid.

    I felt worst for the shedbuilders/conductor who had to actually move around in that sort of heat.
  6. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    ANZAC Day (or Australia Day, can't remember!) 2007 on the Mornington Peninsula, Australia - mid forties celcius, belting sun, long march in all the gear... a few older fellas in the band but no fatalities.

    That's why Aussies like their beer cold enough to skate on!
  7. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    And also why one of them I know over hear moans that he's still cold when the temperature hits 85 Fahrenheit.....

    We agreed that the temperature range we can both endure is very similar. Just in different places. I was pretty used to visiting relatives in Newcastle over new year, so 20 - 25 Fahrenheit was routine to me.... but would probably have frozen him half to death. Likewise 100+ in the shade in an aussie summer would pretty much kill me, but would most likely just be a "Nice warm day" to him.

    Either way, the player tends to fail in the heat before the instrument does.
  8. defnotsimon

    defnotsimon Member

    Its never to hot or cold! Played in an un-airconditioned room while it was 35 outside and with no idea what it was like inside with the band all giving their all and raising the temp.

    On the flip side I played carols outside a pub this year and was told by one of the older members of the audience that "it isnt as cold this year as it was a couple of years back. Then it was around -10 but tonight it is only about -6". I still felt that was more than cold enough for me!
  9. Super Ph

    Super Ph Member

    brass bands tend to sound awful in extremes of temperature. have pity on your listeners and go for a pint, is my advice.
  10. sopsarah

    sopsarah New Member

    I really don't like playing in the heat, i much prefer the cold. PLaying in a stuffy room makes me all flustered and gadzy haha
  11. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    It's winter here in Queensland. not what you would call cold in the UK. I am still in shirt sleeves during the day. One of our band members turned up to do a gig one Sunday morning with Long Johns under his uniform and a wooley hat for traveling there. You can pick the native Queenslanders and the imports that's for sure. lol
  12. Val

    Val Member

    Just played in a Jazz Band concert yesterday in Chateaudouble in the South of France - took nearly 2 hours to get there in an old un-airconditioned camper van with temps nearly 40C. On arrival, the village is so small we had to park at the bottom of the hill and haul all our stuff and ourselves up to the top. As we have to wear all black we were very sticky and sweaty by the time we had set up. However, it's amazing what a very cold beer can do to revive you and we actually played really well and had a great time!
  13. RussQ

    RussQ Member

    Its too hot or cold when you fall over!!
  14. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member


    I stood and watched a ten-piece from the central band of the RAF in london, who had been stood waiting in freezing cold temperatures for the better part of half an hour. Just as they were about to start, it started raining, and the wind picked up. Huddled under their greatcoats, they struck up. And they sounded....


    Instruments are, of course, affected by extremes of temperature, humidity etc. But if the band sounds "awful" then that's the players' fault for not playing with the conditions in mind.

    So why don't you have pity on your listeners and talk some sense.....
  15. Being a reenactment band, we frequently play in hot weather wearing wool uniforms. We have never backed out because of the heat, but we always have water available.

    On the other end, I was playing in a university marching band on sousaphone, and had a mouthpiece freeze to my lip.

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