LETTER IN BRITISH BANDSMAN

bassinthebathroom

Active Member
In my opinion BB has slowly become a sham over the past few years, with inaccuracies becoming more and more commonplace. It is also incredibly subjective and biased. So annoyed with it was I, that I switched to BBW!!
 

deezastar

Member
the bandsman has been going down hill 4 a while now.
perhaps they've realised this and are now trying to get back readers bu causing controversy.

and some of their colomnists cant write sentences that make sense. i know i'm not great but i dont get paid 4 it
 

drummergurl

Active Member
just read the article in question, and fine if thats the way he feels send him to see bollywood brass band and let him see how much influence the percussion section has with them! without the percussion section there wouldnt be a bollywood brass band, and it wouldnt sound right at all. percussion in my opinion is one of the most complicated things to play and often people underestimate how much skill and technique is needed. i think that percussion is an essential part of brass band music, film music, orchestral music ... the list goes on.
 
drummergurl said:
just read the article in question, and fine if thats the way he feels send him to see bollywood brass band and let him see how much influence the percussion section has with them! without the percussion section there wouldnt be a bollywood brass band, and it wouldnt sound right at all. percussion in my opinion is one of the most complicated things to play and often people underestimate how much skill and technique is needed. i think that percussion is an essential part of brass band music, film music, orchestral music ... the list goes on.

Agreed :!:
 

Delboy

New Member
Yes I read the article in the BB. And no doubt he is having a dig possible at my percussion section. We've supported the contest (SWBBA) for the last 3 years and have used the percussion required for Tallis Variations, Journey into Freedom and Pagannini which were our own choices test pieces.

It would seem that brass banding has moved on and the writer obviously hasn't!! He letter is not worthy of a response in my opinion.

Derek
Percussion
JAG Mount Charles
 

George BB

Member
I love the "Shed Builders" but, when in a joint concert with a local school orchestra, the timpanist set up with the drum against my chair and made a fff entry, I went off them for a while.
Who was the young lady who took off her shoes to stand on a chair and play the tubular bells. This was at the Albert Hall and it beat the music hands down.
I stand corrected over the bells but it was a nifty bit of footwork :wink:
 

drummergurl

Active Member
George Robins said:
I love the "Shed Builders" but, when in a joint concert with a local school orchestra, the timpanist set up with the drum against my chair and made a fff entry, I went off them for a while.
Who was the young lady who took off her shoes to stand on a chair and play the temple bells. This was at the Albert Hall and it beat the music hands down.

i think you mean tubular bells
 

midwalesman

Member
Mr Meechan 100% agree

There are times when there is common sense. On this topic, although I have not read the article, I am not surprised by what Mr Meechan has said and heard. It is sad that these people are so backward in thinking and in fact probably dont have any modern CD's and still listen to their 78's of bands with just a kettle drum and cymbal in front of their coal fires. 1968 would have to be the turning point, especially Gilbert Vinter, thank God he wrote Spectrum etc.

The need to over use percussion is a particularly interesting point. If bands had or would evolve the brass instrumentation then there wouldnt be such an emphasis on adding so much colour in the percussion. Before anyone says anything, I also think that there are sounds which arent used enough in bands, certaon combinations of instruments playing together whether muted or not are still not used i.e Sop and fluge;l playing in same octave...(not the high octave either). since the only allowance banding has for instrumental evolution or extension is the percussion, it is no surprise that people/composers want to explore as much colour as possible!
 

PeterBale

Moderator
Staff member
When I was asked recently to review the cd reissues of the recordings by the Virtuosi Brass Band I was struck by how dated some of the arrangements seemed, and came to the conclusion that one of the main factors in this was the limited use of percussion. Even in the marches, they were limited to two players, whereas a third wuld have enhanced the effect so much, never mind the absence, by and large, of much in the way of tuned percussion.

Percussion, used sensibly, can greatly enhance a band, widening out the options for the composer and arranger, and introducing a whole new range of tone-colours. As others have said, in contesting, especially in the lower sections, we still seem to be in a no-man's-land when it comes to percusson: until they are treated by every adjudicator as an essential part of the band, with the absence of their contribution being treated much the same as if a euphonium or cornet solo were missing, it is going to be hard to motivate bands to recruit and keep good quality players.

The percussion are also very often treated harshly when it comes to the time spent setting up the platform, when there are often other factors causing delays. As to the other part of the letter where he suggests all bands should use the same formation then that is unreasonable - each MD should be able to position the band in the most effective way to present their concept of the piece in question. In this respect, however, I do think their could be a time limit set, and rigidly enforced, to prevent any unnecessary delay in the changeover between bands.
 

Dave Payn

Active Member
As a cornet player who has occasionally dabbled in certain aspects of percussion (I wouldn't even say I'm good enough to claim it as a 'second dtudy' but I've tried my hands!) a lot of people who don't play percussion don't realise how flippin' boring rehearsals can be for percussionists who under some conductors, get largely ignored or forgotten about because of the 'need' to rehearse the brass. Percussion is an integral part of 21st century banding and can add so much colour to what can become a monotonous medium if unregulated by mutes etc., as well as having showcases for themselves to display their talents.

I haven't read the letter, but if it's how I imagine it, the poor sod's probably quite a lonely old scrote and just wants a Mr/Ms/Miss/Mrs Angry-esque 'You idiot. You don't know what you're talking about' type reaction to make him/her/it feel important for a day or two. Let 'em.
 
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