Guest article by swlamu of Swan Lake Music
The term Brass Band is used to refer to an instrumental ensemble comprising brass instruments with percussion. Within this term, there are five different styles of groups that include British Style, Balkin, New Orleans, Low Country, Zanzibar, and Polynesian.
With its rich, mellow sound, the British Style Brass Band dates back to the Industrial Revolution of the early 1900s in England. Seeing the craze of newly invented instruments designed by Belgian musician and inventor Adolphe Sax, bosses of factories and pits saw a new leisure activity for the employees. With the mass production and technological advances of the instruments, the brass band became a favorite pastime by the 1850s and served as an expression of aspiration and solidarity of growing communities. Because of its popularity, brass bands began to spring up all over England, and by 1860, over 750 groups were representing the military, churches, villages, pits, and factories in the country alone. With its popularity, the number of brass bands extended globally, and today there are brass bands throughout the rest of the United Kingdom, Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.
Unlike other brass groups that use trumpets and French Horns, the British Style Brass Band uses specific instruments. These instruments include the following.
1 Soprano Cornet
3 Tenor Horns also known as Alto Horns in some countries
2 Baritone Horns
2 E Flat Tubas
2 B Flat Tubas