Arranging for Concert Band


New Member
I have done a few original compositions of brass band (good quality concert items) and I wondered if anyone had any tips for arranging them for concert band. I have a vague idea of how to do it but any advice/info from anyone experienced in this would be appreciated.

Thanks :)

Andrew Norman

Active Member
Blimey where do you start...?
Happy to try and help though.
Perhaps the easiest thing to do would be to arrange one/part of one and email me the Sibelius file - I'll take a look/listen and comment.

Colin Hogg

A) First of all know the ranges of the instruments you will be working with. Here is a link for a book we used
when doing our Bandmasters course at Kneller Hall:
It was written in the early 1930's but has all the info you need ref the new voices you will be working with. It also has a section about arranging. a bit out dated but still a good guide. If you are using Sib, It will show you if you go out of range. (But sometimes their ranges are not correct! ) However, you need to know the tonal registers so you get the best sound, ie, with the Clarinet you have; The Chalumeau, the Break, the Clarion, the High and the Extreme ! Once you have done the Arr ask a good player to look at their part.
B) Listen to an expert. Philip Sparke has done Comps for Concert Band and Brass Band, Hymn of the Highlands, Year of the Dragon, etc. notice how he changes the voices in the 2 groups. ie the Trom solo in YOTD. is Cor anglais in the Wind version. ( I believe he did the Wind ver 1st? )
C) I would not just arrange instrument for instrument, ie Sop for Flute, Flugel for Oboe, Cornet for Clarinet. Start from scratch do a completely new arr. You have so many more textures to work with, use them!
Good luck
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Staff member
One thing to be aware of is that concert band instrumentation varies much more than brass band, so you need to consider cueing key parts, in case there is not an oboe/bassoon etc.