Four new papers have been recently published and are available at: https://gavinholman.academia.edu/research
Damen und Damen – Ladies’ professional travelling brass ensembles of the German Empire 1871-1918
Travelling musicians and entertainers had been a part of European life for centuries. In the German speaking countries of Europe during the German Empire there arose a large number of “Damen Kapellen”, troupes of musical and variety entertainers consisting largely of women, usually led by a man, and occasionally including males as players. This paper looks at the the brass ensembles which made up a significant proportion of these touring entertainment groups.
Keep it in the Family – the Family Brass Bands that entertained the USA and UK in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
Family bands were not uncommon in the later 1800s and early 1900s. They were most prevalent in the USA but other countries had their fair share, including the UK and Germany. Some bands were amateur in their activities, and remained resident in their local area. Others adopted the professional mantle and travelled the country giving concerts, appearing at shows, circuses and on the stage. Although the various family bands had different line-ups and instrumentation, they were quite popular as entertainment troupes, sometimes singing, dancing and performing sketches in addition to their, often, multi-instrumental abilities. This paper gives details and pictures of more than 160 such named bands.
Broadcasting Brass Bands: the early years
A look at the pioneers of broadcasting of live brass band music. Starting with the earliest telephone transmission, with a short diversion into the infant recording industry, to the birth of the wireless radio broadcasts.
The poetry of brass bands
A contribution to National Poetry Day 2017. Several brass bands have been immortalised in poetry over the years. From those lauding their heroes to the ones which are critical or even insulting. From the earliest days poets have found something in the music of the bands and the people who play in them to inspire their muse. I think it is fair to say that most of the writers would not have made a career out of their works – some are certainly more William McGonagall than William Wordsworth – but nonetheless they are priceless views of the bands and bandsmen.