Author Archives: Gavin Holman

Brass instruments and Victorian trade cards

Prior to the advent of cigarette cards, and subsequent food product collectors’ cards (e.g. tea, bubble gum), Victorian companies often included trade cards advertising their wares with various pictorial images. The introduction of colour lithography in the 1870s led to … Continue reading

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High and low pitch

As instruments became standardised, they had to be manufactured and/or tuned to similar frequencies so that they would play in tune. It appears that in the 19th century most brass instruments played at a pitch not far from the current … Continue reading

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Books, books, books and more

The latest version of the Brass Band Bibliography is now available, with 7,200 books, articles, journals, and theses – some 460 added since the previous edition. Covering the world of brass bands, musicians, brass instruments, methods and the music itself. … Continue reading

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The works brass band

One of the reasons for the enduring success of the brass band movement in the British Isles is the support provided to bands by various industrial and corporate sponsors. From the 1850’s onward business owners have recognised the benefits of … Continue reading

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Brass on postage stamps

How is your knowledge of brassy philately? Mogens Andresen, a Danish conductor, composer and author, has produced a website which contains an extensive history of brass instruments from ancient times to the 20th century. An additional feature is a collection … Continue reading

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Rabbits and antimacassars: raising money for band funds

Concert fees, contest prizes (where lucky), carol playing and busking, and sponsorship (either through corporate patronage or individuals’ subscriptions) have always been the traditional main sources of income for brass bands. Many other mechanisms have been used over the years … Continue reading

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Brass and tobacco

While there is a clear link between brass bands and alcohol – either in the various bands that supported the temperance movement, or the enjoyment of beer, in particular, that slaked the thirst of players – a similar association with … Continue reading

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