Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Musical Prize Fight at Loftus, 1859

In September 1859 a “Grand Village Band Contest” was held in Loftus, a village on the North Yorkshire coast. John Hollingshead reported the event in “All the Year Round” later that year. A transcription of the report, together with some … Continue reading

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Comic Bands – Kazoo and Zobo

During the 1890s and early parts of the 20th century a type of band arose using kazoo-type instruments as an alternative to the more expensive (and harder to play) brass instruments. Zobo instruments, based on kazoo principles, were invented and … Continue reading

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Tissue paper commemorative programmes & napkins

I spent a fascinating few hours with Steve Hughes last week, discussing and examining the wealth of Besses o’ th’ Barn historical material he is working on. During that time I came across something I had not seen before – … Continue reading

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Brass Band Archive Recordings

Brass Band Archive Recordings – a brief guide to recordings of brass bands in libraries, museums and other archives Brass bands are, of course, musical organisations first and foremost, and the bulk of their heritage is bound up in the … Continue reading

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Morpeth Band Festival 1895 – almost the end of a great tradition

The discovery of a letter, requesting the use of a field for a band festival in 1895, led me to recall details I had read of the Morpeth Monstre Band Festivals of the 1860s and 1870s. A non-competitive event with … Continue reading

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Explain masculine & feminine rhythms

What is a “climax”? What is often the cause of sticky valves? Explain masculine and feminine rhythms? Name a common fault with trombone players? No – these aren’t elements of a Cosmopolitan agony aunt’s page, but four of the 340 … Continue reading

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Alternatives to marching & hazardous journeys

As it is the marching season – with Whit Friday, various march contests, Durham Miners’ Gala, local parades, walking days etc. I’m sure that many players (especially bass players) would like to revert to the old days when bands processed … Continue reading

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