First off, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the standard make up of a brass band, and am fully aware that that could be considered sufficient to answer my question. Nevertheless, I'm still curious. If I were told to assemble and ensemble from some new form of instrument that came in 6 ranges, I'd probably start off with an equal number of each, or maybe fewer as the range got lower if that meant bigger instruments that produced more volume. But in a brass band we have three tenor horns sandwiched between 7 rather loud BBs below and and army of cornets above. And a lonely sop on top. It just seems odd to me. Does anyone know the history and/or rationale behind it?