Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 57

Thread: Brass Band Arrangements of Pop Songs - Your Opinions!

  1. #1
    tMP Senior Friend TrumpetTom's Avatar
    Join Date
    12.07.2010
    Location
    Glagow/ Holmfirth
    Posts
    220

    Brass Band Arrangements of Pop Songs - Your Opinions!

    Something for disscussion! Although I just want to say before I carry on that this isn't directed at any particular piece, or any particular arranger or is meant to offend anyone and I have good friends who do these arrangements.

    What do people actually think of shall we say pop songs (you should know what I mean) arranged for brass band? Personally I think they sound cheesy nearly all of the time. Also, the fact that most of them don't have a good tune, with many repeated notes, makes them sound abit naff really when played by a brass band. They work as songs, because they have lyrics which you can take in and different syllables have different sounds.

    I can see why arrangers would rather arrange popular music than classical music, as (for the majority of the time) I would imagine there's more leeway in what you can do with the music and it is much simpler to do!

    Are these just my opinions? Are they shared widely? Can it be said that they are wrong or not so good musically? Can anything be wrong or not so good musically?...........

    T

  2. #2
    tMP Senior Friend
    Join Date
    13.03.2012
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    238
    I agree that transcriptions of inappropriate pop songs are generally cheesy and not nice. They are however suitable for some events / audiences / bands.

    Good arrangements of appropriate pop songs (usually ballads) work well.

  3. #3
    Previously known as "Essex Elvis" Red Elvis's Avatar
    Join Date
    26.07.2004
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,039
    As above - Philip Harper's and Sandy Smith's stuff generally works well - fun to play and the punters seem to enjoy it (even when IMHO the original source material sucks like unto a sucky thing!!).

    However , I am still suffering a degree of mental trauma having been introduced this summer (courtesy of my chums at Ipswich and Norwich Co-op) to the monstrosity that is the Baernaerts / Obrasso rendition of "It's raining men".
    "Then raise the scarlet banner high , beneath its folds we'll live and die.Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer we'll keep the Red Flag flying here"
    Phil
    TMP Political Commissar
    EEb Bass
    Aveley and Newham Band

  4. #4
    tMP Friend in Training
    Join Date
    30.06.2011
    Location
    Warwickshire
    Posts
    97
    If the songs are well choosen and arranged they can work, but the basic structure of verse, chorus, verse, maybe a middle 8, chorus repeat chorus to fade can be a big problem imho, repeative both to play and listen to unless the arranger has done something interesting rather than just a modulation for the last chorus.

  5. #5


    The problem is that - 'brass band goes pop' has become our main repotoire and somehing we are now renowned for...or notorious for in most people eyes.

    We (most front line bands) play everyone elses music 95% of the time be it pop or classical as that is what we think our limited audience wants to hear.

    Maybe we should ponder why our audience is so limited.

    There was a time and a place for this repotoire... Pre 1980.
    When Hammond Organists stopped recording cheesy pop covers,
    Brass Bands should have stopped as well


  6. #6
    tMP Posting Freak!!! MoominDave's Avatar
    Join Date
    29.03.2003
    Location
    Oxford
    Posts
    5,817
    Have Hammond Organists worked out what to do since then? Maybe their path could offer us a few pointers.
    Dave Taylor
    Bass Trombone
    Kidlington

  7. #7
    Administrator phildriscoll's Avatar
    Join Date
    01.04.2008
    Location
    Leeds
    Posts
    113
    Quote Originally Posted by MoominDave View Post
    Have Hammond Organists worked out what to do since then? Maybe their path could offer us a few pointers.
    You should get a good idea of what the Hammond players do this days by having a listen to an edition of Nigel Ogden's 'The Organist Entertains' http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wr9w

  8. #8
    tMP Senior Friend
    Join Date
    13.03.2012
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    238
    Quote Originally Posted by phildriscoll View Post
    You should get a good idea of what the Hammond players do this days by having a listen to an edition of Nigel Ogden's 'The Organist Entertains' http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wr9w
    I was just about to say the same. They do pretty much the same as always. The audiences for such performers tend to be limited to specialist 'keyboard / organ clubs'.

  9. #9
    tMP Master Friend
    Join Date
    04.07.2009
    Location
    Hayle
    Posts
    578
    Malcolm Bennett's arrangement were fantastic - it's the Obrasso / Bernaerts orgy of arranging that has devalued the whole affair. Some of Derek Broadbent's arrangements are great - I personally think his version of Music is much better than Zphilip Sparke's. I do think however, when someone suggests, for example, Baggy Trousers for brass band, common sense should prevail and it should be left well alone. Some of Philip Harper's work well too.

    Personally unless it's a suitably epic song, I cringe when hearing bands having a go at pop songs.
    ----------------------
    Simon Phillips

  10. #10
    tMP Senior Friend
    Join Date
    13.03.2012
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    238
    Quote Originally Posted by its_jon View Post
    The problem is that - 'brass band goes pop' has become our main repotoire and somehing we are now renowned for...or notorious for in most people eyes.

    We (most front line bands) play everyone elses music 95% of the time be it pop or classical as that is what we think our limited audience wants to hear.

    Maybe we should ponder why our audience is so limited.

    There was a time and a place for this repotoire... Pre 1980.
    When Hammond Organists stopped recording cheesy pop covers,
    Brass Bands should have stopped as well
    When I read / hear such views, I always think of a parallel with the music played on Classic FM versus Radio 3. Classic FM plays well-known tunes which appeal to the masses. Radio 3 plays more specialist, obscure music, intended to broaden listeners' minds and to stimulate intellect.

    I think a) each band needs to decide whether they want to be Classic FM or Radio 3 and b) players need to choose a band which suits their preference.

    Personal frustrations will arise if a player has chosen an unsuitable band. This doesn't mean that the whole brass band movement has to change to suit that person.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MoominDave View Post
    Have Hammond Organists worked out what to do since then? Maybe their path could offer us a few pointers.
    The adoption of more modern instrumentation and styles
    Instead of been renowned for performing cheesy pop covers the keyboard/organ was reinvented as the synth...and became known for its Original voices.
    Instead of poorly emulating classical stringed, woodwind and brass instruments,
    'Organists' became noted at the forefront of Original music.



    New School Enthusiast (Embracing a modern world)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt8E3...ture=endscreen

    Old School Enthusiast (Performing an Original Hammond work = Not Cheesy .... Cool ! ) Notably his mixture of vintage and modern technology
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2oz-j4UWcs

    My Point... If its Original it is of more value

    Brass bands do FAR Too much Cheese.

    Ronald Jenkees is a internet sensation for his Original works ... If he were pumping out pop covers he would not have achieved the hero status he has attained.
    Others cover HIS works. He is pure inspiration for millions.
    Something that has not yet with a brass band work.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0O2aH...feature=fvwrel

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by DRW View Post
    When I read / hear such views, I always think of a parallel with the music played on Classic FM versus Radio 3. Classic FM plays well-known tunes which appeal to the masses. Radio 3 plays more specialist, obscure music, intended to broaden listeners' minds and to stimulate intellect.

    I think a) each band needs to decide whether they want to be Classic FM or Radio 3 and b) players need to choose a band which suits their preference.

    Personal frustrations will arise if a player has chosen an unsuitable band. This doesn't mean that the whole brass band movement has to change to suit that person.
    Not my point at all .... Both Classic FM and Radio 3 air Original works 95%+ of the time

  13. #13
    tMP Friend in Training Gazabone's Avatar
    Join Date
    18.11.2011
    Posts
    79
    All sorts of things to consider here; yes, pleasing our audiences should be top of the list but also, as bandsmen and women, we are voluteers - we play because we enjoy banding. Therefore we need to play music that entertains us too. I can think of a few arrangers that (other than the tune), once you've played one of their arrangements, you've played them all.

    This is a shame and (imho) encourages careless playing (or discourages attention to playing to your highest standard) which leads to the small, but often noticable, deteoration that many bands experience over the summer - and yes, there are things you can do to stop this but a decline in musical standards seems almost inevitable.

    There are some great arrangements of some great "pop" songs - Bohemian Rhapsody, McArthur Park etc but the routine churning out of the latest "hit" where (in the mid brass parts) you get to play bar after bar of dotted crotchet quaver or similar sort of "pop" motif does quickly get boring!

  14. #14
    tMP Friend in Training KernowSop's Avatar
    Join Date
    09.11.2009
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by simonium View Post
    Malcolm Bennett's arrangement were fantastic - it's the Obrasso / Bernaerts orgy of arranging that has devalued the whole affair. Some of Derek Broadbent's arrangements are great - I personally think his version of Music is much better than Zphilip Sparke's. I do think however, when someone suggests, for example, Baggy Trousers for brass band, common sense should prevail and it should be left well alone. Some of Philip Harper's work well too.

    Personally unless it's a suitably epic song, I cringe when hearing bands having a go at pop songs.
    I'm sure there will be some kind soul who will be able to do a nice Euph solo of Baggy Trousers - Euph players need bring down a peg or 2!
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Cut me in half and a pasty will fall out (and not one of those Ginster things!!) :-)

  15. #15
    tMP Senior Friend
    Join Date
    13.03.2012
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    238
    Quote Originally Posted by its_jon View Post
    Not my point at all .... Both Classic FM and Radio 3 air Original works 95%+ of the time
    Sorry, I didn't make my point clear. 'Original' implies 'unfamilar' and my comparison was based on whether audiences want to listen to familiar or unfamiliar music.

    Brass bands that pursue original music will be pursuing a limited, specialist audience. This seems counterproductive to the argument that you seem to be making.

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •