Book: British Brass Bands – historical directory


Of the bbbhdmany brass bands that have flourished in Britain over the last 200 years very few have documented records covering their history. This directory is an attempt to collect together information about such bands and make it
available to all. Over 12,100 bands are recorded here, with some 6,300 additional cross references for alternative or previous names.

This work is available as a PDF download from

Documentation about bands in the early years is very sketchy, reliant largely on reports in the newspapers and magazines of the day. Often bands would have been referred to in ambiguous terms, and it is not entirely clear which specific band it is. More detailed information about a few hundred specific bands does exist elsewhere, in books and journals and in online resources, particularly current bands’ own websites and the IBEW ( which contains much of the information in this directory, together with further information on individual bands.

The next edition of this directory will include the following

  • location details of further information about specific bands, whether online or published material
  • an appendix of non-British brass bands
  • an update of brass bands including those identified since this edition
  • details of brass band historians and researchers

Based on my research so far I would estimate that perhaps 10% of the entries in the directory are actually the same as other bands. In addition, I expect to be able to add up to 3,000 more British brass bands to the directory in future editions.

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