Which Brass Magazine ?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by BariPower, Feb 19, 2010.


Which Brass Magazine(s) do you read ?

  1. The British Bandsman

    27 vote(s)
  2. Brass Band World

    18 vote(s)
  3. The Brass Herald

    9 vote(s)
  4. 4barsrest (online)

    61 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. BariPower

    BariPower Member

    Thinking of subscribing to a brass magazine but not sure which one or if with the availability of 4bars rest is there any point ?

    What do you guys read and why ?

    Are there more I don't know about ?

    Cheers in advance.
  2. jim

    jim Member

    Brass band world now that Phil Harper has taken over editor is starting to become a very good read again, it became a load of ensemble tripe for about 12 months but now its back to a banders magasine!
  3. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    None, not the least bit interested.

    Methley messenger, now thats a good read.
  4. John_D

    John_D Member

    4bars rest. Updated daily, on-line and free!!
  5. simonium

    simonium Member

    The Brass Herald is a great read if you want something beyond the usual contest results and player movements, but is a little light on what David / Robert / Nicholas may be / are doing. :D

    It's pricey but is a significantly bigger publication than either BBW or BB, both of which i read very regularly as well.
  6. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I'd also recommend the Brass Herald if your interest runs beyond the brass band world. Excellent features on orchestral, wind band and dance band players, and items of general interest to brass afficionados.

    I feel the Brass Band World is still finding its way at the moment: it has problems in being a monthly publication (approx) so much of the news has already been aired elsewhere by the time it comes out. Good for features, though, and the Review section is usually worth flicking through, often picking up on things that are a little off the beaten track.

    I keep wondering whether to keep up my BB subscription, and sometimes seem to have flicked through it very quickly; I also find the occasional specialist editions, such as music in education, often of little interest, but then there will be an in-depth article which makes it more worthwhile. It is also possible to pay monthly, rather than having to fork out a large amount in one go, which may be a factor.
  7. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    But not a lot of "meat" on most of the articles. It's a great way to keep up with bandroom news, personnel changes, short announcements, etc., but there is not much in the way of in-depth reporting most of the time. I follow the 4br Twitter feed, and many times I get just as much information in 140 characters as I do opening the actual posting. The print magazines tend to have more detail in their articles, even if it isn't quite as timely.

    I'd also like to see 4br publish transcripts of interviews instead of just posting the audio files. I can read the transcript of an interview much, much faster than I can listen to it.
  8. John_D

    John_D Member

    I agree, sometimes it's just not practicle to listen. My old laptop doesn't have a (working) soundcard, so a written transcript (even just an edited one) would be great.
  9. Kjata

    Kjata Member

    I did start borrowing a friends Bandsman after he had finished it, but saw not point in subscribing, as 4br is just as good!
    Although Phil Harper has always been good with his arrangements, so he as an editor may be also be quite a good read.
  10. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    I stopped buying the bandsmen when It got the point of more adverts than features, and 4barsrest articles appearing almost word for word, which is fine, but I dont' need to pay to read the same thing twice, 4barsrest does enough for me, and if there's anything meaty in the bandsman someone at band will bring one in for me to see!
  11. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    Razzle only the best for 4 hour bus trips..
  12. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    4BR via RSS feed. That way you only have to look at the headlines to decide if you want to read it or not.

    Make up your own mind:eek:
  13. BariPower

    BariPower Member

    Thanks for your help guys - might try the bandsman for a year - would be interested to see the Brass Herald if it does look beyond the scope of the brass band world.
  14. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Yes, although the balance of the the Herald has changed significantly over the past couple of years or so. The number of articles featuring players, groups and educational institutions from the USA has increased greatly, making me feel that the subscription price must be subsidising some fairly hefty transatlantic travel for the writers. Many of the artistes featured I have never heard of before. Like you, I am interested in brass and wind music beyond brass bands and beyond UK shores, but I would like to see a majority of articles in a UK brass magazine about UK artistes.

    As for wind bands - the coverage is in fact almost exclusively of military bands. Symphonic wind bands hardly get a look in, which seems to me to be a major omission. I presume it is to do with the make-up of the writing team, or more specifically, who the editor chooses to ask.

    Apart from that, it's a good read, except possibly for Roy Newsome's History of the Brass Band Repertoire, which has deteriorated into what is little more than a list of titles and names, and the advertisements for commercial suppliers masquerading as feature articles. And while Peter Parkes recounts tales from his days in the military, there is one specific episode in his life (which made the national press at the time) which I would very much like to hear about - but only older people reading this will remember it!

    And hasn't been helped by having five (I think) different editors in the past two or three years.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  15. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Publications have to make money somehow if they want to survive, and if people choose to read someone else's copy instead of buying their own, the magazine has to make good the shortfall by other means - and that usually means advertising. Unfortunately, there will come a point when the advertisers stop advertising because the readership has sunk too low to make it worthwhile, and the magazine will go under. This is what is happening in the provincial newspaper industry right now, largely due to the influence of the internet.

    Don't expect 4BR to remain free for ever either - some newspapers already charge for viewing their paper online, and you can bet your bottom dollar that in a few years from now it will be the norm. People once refused to believe that TV channels would be able to charge people to view their content and be profitable. How wrong they were!
  16. HornPlayerMK

    HornPlayerMK Member

    The previous editor of Brass Band World was brought in to introduce more general brass into the publication. She did a fantastic job considering she was always fighting a losing battle as the title of the magazine will only ever attract banders. Now the magazine is under new ownership with a new editor and is focussed back on brass banding it's definitely back on track.

    I think there is a place for all three publications:
    British Bandsman is the banding Newspaper - weekly so the news is very up-to-date
    Brass Band World is the banding magazine
    Brass Herald (the glossier of the three publications) encompasses all brass and is a bit more global so is of interest to those who maybe play trumpet as well as cornet (in my case French Horn as well as Tenor Horn).
  17. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Active Member

  18. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Absolutely. And what a remarkable coincidence that it should be you, of all people, to bring the subject up!

    I rather liked the article about the brass band summit conference in the last issue. It reported that some people had remarked on the total absence of women on the steering committee. Shortly afterwards, it described Valerie Holland, the female facilitator, as 'rather glamorous'. None of the gentlemen at the conference merited equivalent remarks. I think I might be getting a feel for what the problem might be....
  19. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Active Member

    Dear Jim

    Please fix it for me to understand what your coincidence might be. You've lost my old grey matter on that one, and I don't mean my Y fronts.

    I did, however, see the article you mention and am sure you will agree that steering is generally best left to us gents, especially if there's any reversing involved.

    I presume that the problem to which you allude is that there are not enough glamorous looking chaps with their feet under banding's top table. I wouldn't disagree with you on that my friend. I bet it looked like the Royston Vasey working men's club in that room.

    Anyway, let's hope they get someone who waffles on a bit less than that Welsh lad for the column this month.

    Toodle pip

  20. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Talking about memories, does anyone remember the alternative to the Bandsman a while back called the British Mouthpiece? When was it incorporated into the Bandsman?

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