Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Yes. Many British migrants to Australia in the 19th century were mine workers or industrial workers, and they took with them the brass band tradition. Brass bands prospered in Australia and to an extent they were more popular than the bands in Victorian England.
|What is the name of the piece of music played by the Brighouse and Rastrick brass band that got to number two in the UK charts in Christmas 1977?||Brass Bands
The Floral Dance. Terry Wogan loved this song and sang the words to it.... "Altogether in the floral dance!"
|What makes the trombone different from all the other instruments in a brass band?||Brass Bands
It is the only instrument that has a slide rather than valves. All instruments (excluding percussion) have either 3 or 4 valves, with the exception of the trombone, where the notes are produced at different pitches by moving the slide. All brass instruments can be silver plated or gold laquered. All instruments can play a solo (but some people don't want to!) You can buy a mute to fit any instrument in the band, but they are most commonly found on the cornet and trombone sections.
|How many euphonium players would you expect to see in a brass band?||Brass Bands
2. Out of a band of 25 brass players plus percussionists, just two play euphonium. A euphonium gives the band the soloist tenor voice and looks like a small tuba.
|Do you know the name of the organisation that first introduced bands to North America?||Brass Bands
Salvation Army. The Salvation Army brass bands play works written by Salvation Army composers only as an extension of their commitment to the work of the Salvation Army. The development of community and university bands in America began around the 1880's when Perry Watson founded a brass band at the North Carolina State University.
|Have women ever been allowed to join a brass band?||Brass Bands
Yes. Realistically, it has only been in the late 1900's that women have become an acceptable part of the brass band world. There are still one or two bands that maintain the 'men only' rule that was the norm when women were not equal to men and didn't have the right to vote. A well-known band that carries the male only tradition is the Grimethorpe Colliery band, who were featured in the movie 'Brassed Off' in 1996.
1. An octave is 8 notes. When a flugel, or trumpet/cornet plays middle C (treble clef) it sounds third space C on a euph.
Pull out or push in the tuning slide accordingly. It's as easy as that!
|Which brass instrument requires the musician's hand to be in the bell (for tuning reasons)?||Brass Instruments
French horn. I'm not sure of the exact reason why the hand needs to be in the bell. Any French horn players out there, I'd love to know!
Bb. A trumpet or cornet is almost always Bb, unless it is an Eb soprano cornet.
t. For those of us with short arms who can't quite reach 7th position there is the valve trombone.
|At the World Cup of Soccer in South Africa in 2010, I became one of the most famous 'brass' instruments around. I'm actually made of plastic, and have been around for quite some time, blowing my own horn (if you'll pardon the pun) at sporting events since the 1960s. What do you call me?||The Brass Family
Vuvuzela. The vuvuzela is a simple, straight instrument that produces a monotone sound, typically a Bb below middle C, although some are made in two parts, which actually allows for pitch variation. During the World Cup in South Africa, the continuous drone of the multitude of vuvuzelas being played was annoying, to say the least. Their use was widely disliked by the players and officials, although obviously well-liked by many fans.
The name 'vuvuzela' is from the Zulu language, and literally means 'to make a vuvu sound'.
|I am the lowest-pitched member of the brass family, and in the orchestra, you'll typically only see one of me. Who am I?||The Brass Family
Tuba. The tuba is one of the most recent additions to the modern orchestra with the earliest version of the contemporary tuba having been patented (as the 'basstuba') in 1835 by Wilhelm Friedrich Wieprecht and Johann Gottfried Moritz in Prussia. While the orchestra usually only uses one, the tuba (and its marching counterpart the Sousaphone - developed in the 1890s at the request of John Philip Sousa), are often seen in multiples in brass and concert bands.
|Most scholars agree that brass instruments are defined by the way that one makes sound on them; people 'buzz' their lips into cup-shaped mouthpieces. By that definition, I also qualify as a brass instrument, even though I am typically made of wood. Can you name me?||The Brass Family
Alphorn. The technical term for brass instruments by the definition given in the question is 'labrosones', which means 'lip-vibrated instruments'.
The alphorn (also known as the alpenhorn, or alpine horn) is a long, wooden instrument with a conical bore and a wooden, cup-shaped mouthpiece. Famously known in Switzerland, the alphorn was used not only there, but through most of the mountainous regions in Europe, as a means of long-distance communication.
|Many people confuse me with my cousin the baritone. But where he has a cylindrical bore, mine is conical. My name, translated from Greek, means 'well-sounding' or 'sweet-voiced'. What is it?||The Brass Family
Euphonium. The distinction between the baritone and the euphonium can be difficult to determine, especially upon first glance. Over the years, the lines have sometimes been blurred enough that an instrument could rightly have fit into either category and carried either name. Generally, though, baritones have a cylindrical, slightly narrower, bore than euphoniums, and consequently have a somewhat brighter and lighter tone. Conversely, the euphonium's larger, conical bore (and typically larger bell), grant it a darker and more powerful sound than the baritone.
Regardless of their similarities, it should be noted that the two instruments developed from different families, as can be seen by their formal names: the baritone horn, and the tenor tuba (euphonium).
|I'm an older member of the family, dating back to the Renaissance. Except for period ensembles, I am rarely used today as my younger counterparts are much more sophisticated, using things like triggers and having tuning slides and spit valves. Do you know my name?||The Brass Family
Sackbut. The sackbut was the name given to a family of instruments with movable slides that ranged from trumpet-like in size to larger than our modern trombones. The origin of the name likely stems from the Middle French words sacquer (to push) and bouter (to pull), although some argument can be made for the Spanish terms sacar (to draw or pull), and bucha (tube or pipe).
|Back in 1971, the International Horn Society recommended that I change my name from 'French horn' to simply 'horn'. This is, of course, because I am not French by origin, but rather was developed in which country?||The Brass Family
Germany. The (French) horn began its life as a horn used for hunting, and it was generally curled into a circle with a flared bell. When these 'natural' horns began to first be used in orchestral settings, they were almost exclusively used to simulate that hunting call for which they were known. Without valves (originally), hornists had to have a selection of crooks (different lengths of tubing) to substitute into the instrument to change its basic key, allowing it to play music that often modulated to different tonal centers.
The horn that is commonly used today has a system of rotary valves; this was the valve system developed in Germany. The French variant of the horn used piston valves. For some reason, the name 'French horn' managed to take hold, despite the discrepancy in the developmental origins.
|I have seven positions and come in many varieties, the most common of which are bass and tenor. What am I called?||The Brass Family
Trombone. Within the trombone family, ordered from the lowest-pitched to the highest, are the contrabass trombone, bass trombone, tenor trombone, alto trombone, soprano trombone, and the sopranino and piccolo trombones. Valved versions of the trombone have been made for the four lowest-voice trombones (contrabass up to alto), but by far the most common valved trombone is the tenor.
|I am a member of the trumpet family, and we pride ourselves on being the highest-pitched branch of the brasses. And I am the highest-pitched of us all! Do you know my name?||The Brass Family
Piccolo trumpet. The piccolo trumpet is pitched one full octave above the normal Bb trumpet, although there are some rare ones that can be found pitched in C, a full tone higher.
The development of the diminutive instrument came out of a need to play music of the Baroque era (many years later) with more ease than could readily be accomplished on a modern trumpet or cornet. Much of the music of the period had trumpet parts written in the high 'clarino' register, and nothing apart from a musician's skill level could determine the music's playability.
|I have no valves, like many of my brass cousins, and yet I also lack a slide. You would know me best for my military calls. Who am I?||The Brass Family
Bugle. One of the simplest of brass instruments, the bugle has no valves or slides to alter the pitch; only the player's embouchure and the natural harmonic series of notes that all brass instruments work with.
The word 'bugle' originates with the Latin word 'buculus', which translates as bullock, or castrated bull. This, of course, refers back to the original animal horns from which brass instruments developed.