Who decided the Brass Band Formation?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by tubafran, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Following on from the thread about rotary valved instruments and the rules for the intruments used in brass band contests - who decided the score formation?.

    Found an interesting article about Adoph Sax, inventor of the Saxhorn and founder of brass band instruments at

    http://www.saxgourmet.com/adolph-sax.html

    and this explains how brass band instruments took over from woodwind in military bands in France in the mid 1800s.

    But how was the British Brass Band formation decided? It there a direct relationship between orchestras e.g. cornets in lieu of violins, tubas in lieu of string bass etc? It has become standardised but what came first, was the music written for existing band formations or did the bands form based on the scored requirements?
     
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  3. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    There are a few articles available "on-line" that touch on this, including Professor Trevor Herbert's study on the origin of bands in the 19th century:
    http://www.oup.co.uk/pdf/0-19-816698-2.pdf

    and there is some interesting informaton in Nigel Horne's article here:
    http://www.bandsman.co.uk/download/history.pdf

    (Links found via www.IBEW)

    According to Trevor herbert, it would appear that, whilst early publications allowed for some flexibility of instrumentation, publishers started taking the lead form the practice employed in the northern bands under such leaders as John Gladney, Edwin Swift and Alexander Owen. There were also influences imposed by the contesting authorities (at Crystal Palace in 1863 all the cornets had to be pitched in Bb, and in tune with the Crystal Palace organ, and from 1899 only slide trombones were to be allowed).

    One interesting point regarding instrumentation is that Alexander Owen, particularly in his major arrangements from the classics, liked to employ a trio of flugel horns.
     
  4. Razor

    Razor Member

    I learned from the info included in the Euro Championships programme that until 1946 the maximum number of players permitted for contesting was 24. According to this info, Eric Ball tried to have this number increased to 26 by proposing the addition of another front row cornet and another horn. Apparently after discussions with the movement's administrators and publishers this move was rejected although a compromise was agreed allowing an additional cornet taking number to 25.
     
  5. BFN

    BFN Member

    Presumably the additional cornet is now the Rep part?
     
  6. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    why is there still a disagreement between publishers over where to place the eupho part? With the baritones, inbetween horns and baritones, or above basses? I can see the reasoning behind all of them (bari/euphs combos are common/baritones are horns, and are scored as so/euphs are tenor tubas and are scored as so), but shouldn't there be a standard set by now?
     
  7. Laucrimus

    Laucrimus New Member

    The series of articles in the Brass Herald by Roy Newsome on the history of brass bands will be of interest I think. Especially as he is the leading light in brass band history.
     
  8. ted

    ted Member

    Why don't we push for a standard and score alphabetically?

    Bass Trombone
    Bb Bass
    Eb Bass
    Euphonium
    First Baritone
    First Horn
    First Trombone
    Flugel Horn
    Repiano Cornet
    Second Baritone
    Second Cornet
    Second Horn
    Second Trombone
    Solo Cornet
    Soprano Cornet
    Solo Horn
    Third Cornet

    I started this off as a joke but it turns out that it does group parts nicely.
    Most of the band are grouped according to which part of a chord they play. This also highlights that 2nd parts are the key to a good band sound.
    And third cornet are scored according to the range of their parts. (the top C in Whitsun Wakes must have claimed a few lives)

    Ted
     
  9. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    But you forgot the shedbuilders:

    Antique cymbals
    Bass drum
    Bass Trombone
    Bb Bass
    Eb Bass
    Castanets
    Chinese bells
    Clash cymbal
    Euphonium
    First Baritone
    First Horn
    First Trombone
    Flugel Horn
    Marimba
    Repiano Cornet
    Second Baritone
    Second Cornet
    Second Horn
    Second Trombone
    Side drum
    Solo Cornet
    Soprano Cornet
    Solo Horn
    Splash cymbal
    Suspended cymbal
    Tam-tam
    Tambourine
    Temple blocks
    Third Cornet
    Timpani
    Vibraphone
    Xylophone

    etc

    :shock: :!: :wink:
     
  10. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly Active Member

    Putting the best and most important instrument in the band at the top of the score makes perfect sense to me!
    :wink:
     
  11. BrassNeil

    BrassNeil New Member

    whilst uniformity can be sooooo boring, i remember reading a score for freedom where the solo cornet was on the top line instead of soprano and it all got a bit confusing after that...............
     
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  13. Despot

    Despot Member

    Would have thought the 4th Solo Cornet? 4th man down is a "relatively" modern addition, many older band parts have only 3!
     

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