VOL 9. No 1. SPRING 2007

Lines and Spaces Volume VIII, Number 4

VOL 9, NO 1, SPRING, 2007

© 2007 Copyright of David E. Smith Publications
All Rights Reserved. Made in U.S.A.

Table of Contents
The Publishers' Space
The Lone Arranger's Space
The Brass Space
The String Space
The Guest Writer Space
The Percussion Space
Wet Pants
Brass Bands In Britain

Preach Christ Always
And As A Last Resort
Use Words.
St. Francis of Assisi

by David E. Smith

David E. Smith Publications, LLC is pleased to announce the newest release of its catalogs on CD-version 7.1. This catalog shows the latest of dozens of new works along with the thousands of items already in the listings. A separate catalog of Easter selections has been included. Of note, is the overhaul of the www.despub.com web site (still a work in progress!)which now has a search tool for music they handle. This includes hundreds more titles than the old site and this site, coupled with its sister site www.churchmusic.biz offers many possibilities for the seeker of sacred instrumental arrangements. Catalogs are available on the web sites, or may be obtained by calling 800-O'SACRED or e-mailing despub@greatlakes.net.

A new Catalog search tool exists that will give you the ability to search for specific items, much like what we have on the www.churchmusic.biz site. The Newsletter, "Lines and Spaces" is being updated and you will now be able to search through all the issues for specific words or phrases as well as topics. That carries through the entire web site.

David E. Smith Publications, LLC serves as the exclusive distributor for the music of Rich Hefler and is pleased to announce a whole new line of solo ALTO RECORDER works with piano accompaniment. (Note: these can be used with Sopranino Recorders as well.) Price of each arrangement is $5.95.

W29801AR-O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus
W29802AR-At The Cross
W29806AR-In The Garden
W29807AR-God Leads Us Along
W29809AR-I Know Whom I Have Believed
W29810AR-He Leadeth Me
W29811AR-Jesus Paid It All
W29812AR-It Is Well With My Soul
W29813AR-Open My Eyes
W29819AR-He's The Saviour Of My Soul
W29217AR-He Hideth My Soul
W29803AR-Faith Is The Victory
W29804AR-I Will Sing Of My Redeemer
W29808AR-Higher Groundbr> W29814AR-There Is A Fountainbr> W29216AR-The Church's One Foundation
W29218AR-We Three Kings
W29805AR-Leaning On The Everlasting Arms

With time there will more arrangement to complete this series as well as the addition of Soprano Recorder versions
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The Buzzard, The Bat and The Bumblebee

If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and is entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner.

The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet. Without space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.

The ordinary bat, a remark-ably nimble, night creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then it takes off like a flash.

A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.

In many ways, we are like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumble bee.

We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up. Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, but faith looks up. Live Simply, Love Generously, Care Deeply, Speak Kindly and Trust in our Creator Who loves us.

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by Dana F. Everson

Ready for a Cheerful Woodwind Quartet?

SINCE I HAVE BEEN REDEEMED, arranged by Dana F. Everson is a delightful, medium difficulty woodwind quartet that will add some freshness to your service or concert. The instrumentation is versatile: Flute 1, Oboe (or Flute 2), Clarinet 1, Clarinet 2 (Alto Saxophone sub for Clarinet 2), and piano accompaniment.

The simple introduction with the piano on a repeated pedal Bb crescendos into a flute-oboe (or two flutes) duet presentation of the melody with a simple piano background. The clarinets (or clarinet-saxophone) take over with a duet presentation of the chorus. The end of the first verse is extended with all four woodwinds. A four measure transition leads from Eb major to Bb major, giving the first clarinet the melody with flute-oboe obbligato and second clarinet playing a bass for pulse. The piano drops out so the woodwind colors come through clearly in a good range for all.

At the chorus, the piano rejoins, but acts as an octave support for the second clarinet which takes the melody briefly. The melody is passed on to the flutes in a high range, then all four parts end the section in a legato fashion. The tempos slows, and the key moves to F major. (By the way, the key changes are retrogressive compared to the usual movement of down by fifths: these move up by fifths, adding a little variety in modulation.)

The third verse is slow, gentle, and legato, but the chorus once again picks up the tempo to the original cheerful level with a light duet texture between flute 1 and clarinet 2. The piano assists in driving the ending to a quick crescendo and final peak.

The arranger has attempted to capture the spirit of the song. The opening words, I have a song I love to sing since I have been redeemed
seem to command a joyful spirit which is maintained throughout, even in the brief slower section. Having enough variety in texture and color are always concerns with a small ensemble, but the use of the piano to assist in punctuation, thickening and thinning melodic lines, and extending the range of the group as it were, means the piano becomes more than a mere accompaniment, but almost creates a quintet. Sometimes the keyboard is used as a bass clarinet or bassoon might function, other times as a 3rd clarinet or 3rd flute to create a brief trio effect.

The arrangement has movement and life without being overly difficult. The arranger's hope is that it will bless many listeners.

Dana F. Everson holds the BME and Master's in Saxophone Performance degrees from Michigan State University, and a Master of Sacred Music from Pensacola Christian College. He has over 300 published works.
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by Phil Norris

Higher, Faster, Louder

I recently saw a piece in a music magazine about playing faster, and immediately my mind went to the familiar phrase (faster, higher, louder) used in trumpet circles. Perhaps it's time to take a step back and look at this. What's behind playing well when playing higher, faster and louder?

These three things all begin with warm-up. When playing in extremes, the muscles involved must be relaxed as well as strong. I recommend playing low and slow to warm-up, much as an athlete warms up before a strenuous activity. The warm-up should avoid ascending lip slurs which are fairly taxing and will usually tire rather than loosen the player for more rigor later. In the warm-up I prefer to do more stepwise or small-interval playing than skipping or wide-interval playing. Finally, there should be about as much or even more rest time as playing time. Adequate rest is also important in building strength and endurance.

Higher Higher playing is probably the most complex of the three issues. Younger players are inclined to play higher than their embouchures will permit. What happens then is that the young player pinches the lips and compresses the air for the sake of reaching the high notes. Once the actions are reinforced through repe-tition, the habit is hard to break, and the goal of increasing range is not possible. And habits do not go away; they must be replaced by a different habit or else the previous habit will be used to poor result. Instead, to increase range, players must maintain airflow without compression and resist the urge to tense the lips or close the mouth. The energy of breath must fo-cus AT the lip as the lips pucker more and more firmly with increasing range, like forming a really firm p. The tension or energy point is at the lips, not in the blowing or in the jaw, tongue or mouth.

Another motivator for high playing is playing the high passage at an octave or some other interval lower (i.e. transposing), transferring the rela-tive ease of playing from the lower register eventually to the high octave. The player can then gradually (over the practice session or over days or weeks) work up to the desired pitch.

I must be honest at this point and say that there are limits to what humans can do in general; no one will ever run a mile in three minutes, no matter who well conditioned the athlete. There are natural limits to range and endurance for each player just as some people can sing or jump high and others cannot. Some players' lips simply cannot buzz at higher frequencies, and there is no way to tell by looking who can play high and who is limited in that respect. Nor is it easy to generalize that someone who struggles with range won't in time be able to play higher. All a player can do is maximize range potential with efficient technique: lower jaw staying out, more lip pucker, corners of the mouth turning downward, blowing fast. In trying to increase range, start more quietly using these techniques and gradually add volume of air. Be well warmed-up and limit how much you work on upper range and have enough rest in the course of practice.

Faster playing can only come from slow, repetitive practice. The sound of fast playing should be as good as when playing the passage slowly. If it's not, then the player must back up, play slowly with best sound, then retain the identical quality when playing fast. Automatic playing habits, what I call reflexes, must be formed in order to execute difficult passages with ease. There is no shortcut apart from con-centration on a skill or finger pattern over time. The better the concentration, the faster and more reliable the reflex will be. When finger patterns, tongue action (articulation and lip slurs) and blowing habits are automatic, the player is then better able to focus on the musical expression that the reflex serves. In fast passages, there can be no expression when the player's attention is on the skill.

Reflex development is often a three-steps-forward, two-steps-back process. After a practice session, you may have a certain difficult pattern or passage down cold only to return to it the next time, and it's almost like starting over. What is usually the case, the progress pre-viously made will show up sooner than the earlier practice session, and progress will continue (3 steps forward, 1 or 2 back) until a consistent habit is in place for ready recall. Very fine players are essentially a large assemblage of thousands of well-honed reflexes which are at his/her disposal as a means to artistic expression.

Lastly about speed, make use of a metronome to keep fast passages even and precise in time. One helpful technique in getting straight rhythms even is to play them with both dotted and reverse-dotted rhythms. This sharpens the quickness of finger responses yielding better control of fingers and greater evenness of rhythm.

Louder playing is a factor of moving more air molecules (quantitative blowing), not blowing harder (pressurized blowing). More generally put, loud playing means blowing more air. The moment you blow harder, you immediately reduce the volume of sound along with tone and pitch. The key technique is the same as in running or throwing: the player must be both strong and relaxed. Practice a loud passage more softly maintaining a clear, free-blown sound, then gradually increase the volume while retaining the freedom of blowing and the clarity of tone from slower playing.

Finally, it is possible to practice too slowly or slowly for to long without working up the speed. Once a reflex is formed, speed should not be a serious factor. Yet it is possible to not challenge yourself enough along the way toward playing fast. You must test your reflexes at some point. If or when they break down, then return to slower, concentrated practice (3-steps-forward, 2 steps-back) to re-establish and solidify the habit. At the reflex level, the musical instincts should dominate the performance, with little or no attention to the skill. Let the music motivate the performance. This also has a benefit in reducing anxiety you may experience. When the mind is fully occupied with music-making, it can't be occupied with worry or concern for how the music is being received or how you are viewed by others. Of course, easier said than done! Whether faster, louder, higher or any other way, aim to play beautifully and musically.

Phil Norris is Professor of Music at Northwestern College in St. Paul since 1993. He holds the DMA from the University of Minnesota, MM/Trumpet, Northwestern University and the BME from Grace College. He is also a musician, teacher and elder in his local church.
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by Jay-Martin Pinner

Of Strings and Tuners

Precollege band directors are expected to have at least rudimentary instrument repair skills in order to keep student instruments playable for imminent rehearsals and performances. String orchestra directors are often surprised by and ill prepared for the repair and maintenance needs of their students. For this column I would like to address changing strings on the violin family instruments and the correct use of fine tuners.

String students who do not feel comfortable tuning their instruments with the pegs should use four steel strings and four fine tuners. Normally this would include string students in elementary school grades 4-6 and middle school, depending on when the string program starts at a particular school.

Tuners are metal screw devices that attach the ball or loop end of the string to the tailpiece of the instrument and allow the student to adjust the open string pitches without turning the pegs for each string.

Tuning with pegs involves using a sophisticated turning/pushing motion that is better suited for an older student's larger hands. There are pegs on the market that act like fine tuners and are much easier for a young string student to turn. One of the best such pegs is a Caspari peg. While these pegs work quite well it is still recommended that young students have a fine tuner installed for each of the four strings. (Because double bassists have easy-to-turn machines with gears to tune their strings no fine tuners are made for bassists.)

Steel strings should be used for elementary and middle school violins, violas, cellos and basses. Steel strings are preferable to gut or synthetic strings for young players. Steel strings respond quickly to fine tuners and generally have a longer playing life than other strings. One of the most reliable brands of steel strings is Super Sensitive, Red Label. Steel strings may be purchased in fractional sizes for smaller instruments.

Except for an emergency the string size should match the instrument size. Using a string on a size instrument will leave too much wrapping in the peg box and the string will not vibrate well due to improper tension.

When installing a string the student or teacher should follow several steps.

First: Change only one string at a time. If all four strings are removed at once the bridge will fall and the sound post could fall, necessitating a trip to a string repair technician.

Second: Lubricate the string groove in the nut with pencil. Graphite in lead is a great dry lubricant. Use an old white candle (paraffin) to lubricate the groove in the bridge. Pencil lead can be used on the bridge but it leaves a black mark.

Third: As you install a steel string start at the peg, winding the string wrapping evenly so that the string drops straight from the peg down through the string groove in the nut, across the bridge groove and into the receiving arm of the fine tuner. (When re-stringing a double bass start by threading the string through the narrow slot of the keyhole in the tailpiece. Then wind the string wrapping onto the machine at the peg box, keeping the string as straight as possible from tailpiece to machine.)

Fourth: If time allows only bring the string up to within a half step of the correct pitch. This prolongs the life of the string, especially those that are gut and synthetic. After settling overnight the string may be brought up to pitch. In an emergency any type of string may be brought up to pitch imme-diately. Steel strings will hold their pitch with minimal re-tuning. Gut and synthetic strings need several days of re-tuning before they will hold their pitch consistently.

Steel strings come with either a loop or ball on the end that attaches to the fine tuner. When the ball end of the string does not fit between the two prongs of the fine tuner the prongs can be spread further apart with a flat head screwdriver. Exercise caution during this operation or the prongs will break.

Fine tuners should not normally be used for non-steel strings. Non-steel strings are not designed to fit fine tuners and they are much less responsive to fine tuners than steel strings. When a student graduates to gut or synthetic strings a fine tuner is left on the tailpiece for the E string on the violin. Violists often use a steel A string and have a fine tuner for it. Cellists will often use a steel A and D, necessitating the use of two fine tuners.

Finally, students and teachers should regularly check to be sure that fine tuners are not digging into the top of the instrument under the tailpiece. Having the teacher loosen the fine tuner and re-tuning with the peg will keep such damage from occurring.

Jay-Martin Pinner is Head of the String Department and Conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. For 25 years he supervised the University's String Repair Shop.
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by Rick Townsend

Funding Strategies for Christian School Music Programs - Part 1

Introduction Managers, whether from industry or education, know that quality systems require; a) appropriate facilities, b) effective managers and human resources, c) an optimum production schedule, and d) adequate physical resources. Restated in educational terms, a quality school program requires a) adequate facilities, b) a strong faculty, with adequate access to students, c) an optimized teaching schedule, and d) quality teaching/learning resources. Each discipline requires its own specialized set of such resources. When considering the high cost of fundamental equipment plus individual lessons, school music programs far outpace all other disciplines in per-pupil cost.

This discussion could take many forms, but we will limit our time to the important question of securing adequate financial resources for a quality school music program. MENC, the foremost national music educator's professional organization, discusses this issue in a document entitled Opportunity to Learn Standards, thereby framing the discussion most appropriately in terms of student learning opportunities. I realize that during this discussion I will be opening myself to accusations of elitism and head-in-the-clouds policymaking. However, context is everything when considering appropriate resource allocation, and I have personally experienced the full spectrum.

From 1979-1983 I served as a circuit-riding band director for at least twenty different Christian schools - most having student populations ranging from 25-75. Needless to say, we seldom discussed ideal learning conditions in these schools. We were grateful to find volunteer parents to serve as teachers, $25-$75 instruments to satisfy immediate needs, and a remote closet to serve as a practice/lesson room. In 1984 I was overjoyed to find an old pair of timpani for my own school. It took several months to raise the necessary $300. We took a band to nationals that year. Our only bass instrument was a 40-year-old York tuba held together by duct tape.

By 1986 I was teaching at an 1100-student Christian school in suburban Maryland. Our superintendent responded to my first band equipment requisition with the following question. Do you really, really need this? I replied, If you give me a tree, ten students, and time, I can teach music to your students, but I don't believe that that is the type of program you have in mind for this school. He never again questioned a requisition as long as I stayed within the supplied budget.

Principle-Driven Program Decisions

How large does a school have to be before the budget will allow a full-scale music program? I can give you several examples of 100-student schools (K-12) that provide a full-time music teacher on staff, plus a full schedule of classes-including elementary general music, Jr. & Sr. High bands and choirs, plus optional enrichment opportunities (i.e. computer-aided instruction, com-position clubs) for everyone. When school populations move into the 200s, motivated schools provide both an instrumental and a vocal specialist.

Motivated schools is the key phrase. I hear the following lines continually from administrators at schools like the ones described in the previous paragraph. It is a sacrifice, but it is worth it for quality music in our school. We just determined that, by the grace of God, we would have a quality music program. Placing high priority on our music program is not an option for us. It is a necessity. Obviously, quality music is fun-damental to their stated mission, demonstrated by the fact that these schools will take extreme measures to provide excellent music training for their students.

Unfortunately, few Christian schools professing a commitment to music learning demonstrate such deter-mination. Far more frequently, Christian schools of 100 to 400 students offer barely enough music to provide what I have frequently characterized as the illusion of a music program. It is not uncommon to see dedicated parents providing quality private training for their musician children, then the school using these trained students as a centerpiece for their marginal music programs.

In the next article in this series, I will discuss three funding strategies that serve to maintain the illusion. I will also submit a proposed funding strategy that is currently succeeding at several schools around the country. First, though, let's consider the most fundamental financial question of all.

Who Should Pay for the School Music Program?

School administrators who have hired full-and/or part-time music teachers have already partially answered this question for their institution. The teacher's salary and benefits, as well as the time and space required for even the most basic music program, comes from a school's general funds. Obviously, in this setting, everyone pays equally regardless of participation level. This is a crucial principle that must be settled early on in the discussion.

Axiom 1: Everyone benefits from a good music program, so everyone shares equally in the expenses.

What if a student does not choose to participate in music groups? That student, at the very least, still benefits from quality friends who would not be in the school were it not for a strong music program. What if a family chooses not to have their children participate in performing groups? These children benefit throughout their lives from having participated in a strong general music program during their childhood years.

Even if a child does not participate in high school music opportunities, that child still benefits from the positive environment and enculturation provided by a school with a strong music program - whether from pep bands, evening programs, special assemblies, or any of a broad range of music events. What if a family has only young children in a school? That family can be secure knowing that as the children grow older they will be able to participate in a well-developed series of music classes and groups -in addition to quality early childhood and elementary experiences that the children are receiving at the present time.

Additionally, even if a family does not take advantage of high school music opportunities for their children, they are still able to be a part of the testimony provided by their school's music performances and community outreach events. Finally, every school family benefits from quality musicians brought into the church and school to manage a strong music program. I have listed only a small sample of the ways in which everyone benefits. Once again, here is our principle. Axiom 1: Everyone benefits from a good music program, so everyone shares equally in the expenses.

How Much is Enough?

A quality music program is typically the most expensive program in a school. That is why we are having this discussion in the first place. Music represents one major facet of what I call the four essentials in a Christian school curric-ulum:

  • a) a strong spiritual foundation,
  • b) strong academics,
  • c) a quality fine arts program, and
  • d) a quality athletic program.
Schools choose to incorporate these four aims in many different ways, but schools that determine to accomplish all four aims well seldom struggle.

Still, music is an expensive propo-sition. Equipping an advanced level band and orchestra can cost well over $100,000 for equipment alone. It is safe to say that these are some of the numbers that scare many away from the thought of offering a strong music program, but I grew up singing He Owns the Cattle on a Thousand Hills, and I have seen many small schools provide exceptional band programs - despite the cost.

How much is enough? I will provide more specific answers in the next installment of this article. I will use, as models, schools with 100- to 200-student populations from rural areas because these are the institutions that usually struggle most with school finances. Finally, I will describe three prevalent funding strategies that often result in frustration and failure, plus one strategy that maximizes a school's potential for success. Meanwhile, remember the following axiom.

Axiom 1: Everyone benefits from a good music program, so everyone shares equally in the expenses.

Rick Townsend teaches at Maranatha Baptist Bible College where he directs instrumental music and supervises the music teacher education program. Dr. Townsend earned his B.A. From Alma College, his M.Mus. from Central Michigan University, and his PhD from Michigan State University.
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by Billy Madison

Concert Bass Drum Basics

The concert bass drum is one of the most important instruments in the percussion section. It is the lowest in pitch and produces the funda-mental percussion tone. The bass drum is used to provide a steady beat, add impact, and add depth to the sound of the percussion section.

When striking the bass drum use a wrist action moving in and out instead of up and down. This will draw the sound out of the drum and produce the best tone. Strike the drum near the center for the best sound, but not actually in the center. Striking it in the center will produce a more staccato sound. A large medium-hard bass drum mallet should be used for the basic sound, but a variety of sizes and hardness may be used for different desired effects. Two mallets should be used for more rhythmically complex playing as well as for rolls. The mallet (or mallets) should be held basically the same as snare drum sticks, but with the back of the hand turned more downward.

In most instances the drum should be muffled during rests. This is done by placing the left hand on the left head gently to stop it from ringing. The right head should also be muffled with the right hand (occasionally) or more commonly with the right knee. Whichever method of muffling used it should always be done by the player after the note is played. It is not good to use tape, cloth, pads, etc. to muffle a concert bass drum. The drum needs to be free to resonate and produce a boooooom sound.

A good bass drum sound makes a huge difference in the overall sound of any ensemble, whether it is a small percussion group or a concert band or orchestra. The bass drum will be heard or even felt whenever it is played due to its acoustic nature. Frequently, the player will not hear the drum nearly as loudly as people who are at a distance from the drum. This is important to keep in mind when playing in order to maintain proper balance with the ensemble.

Billy Madison has taught instrumental music in the Arkansas Public Schools for 18 years. He holds both the BME in Instrumental Music and the MM in Music Theory and Composition from Arkansas State University. He studied composition with Jared Spears and Tom O'Connor. Madison has played percussion with the Northeast Arkansas Symphony since 1978.
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There is a nine-year-old, third grade kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened.

It's never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they'll never speak to him again. The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays this prayer, "Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I'm dead meat."

He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered. As the teacher is walking toward him, a classmate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's lap.

The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!" Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy.

The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful. But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else- Susie.

She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. You've done enough, you klutz!" Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, "You did that on purpose, didn't you?" Susie whispers back, "I wet my pants once too."

May God help us see the opportunities that are always around us to do good.
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by Doug Smith

Brass Bands in Britain was introduced in Vol. 8 No. 4 of Lines and Spaces. An Overview and Part I - The Aldbourne Band - appeared. There are a total of 11 parts.

A delightfully predictable feature of the British Brass Band is its instru-mentation.The composer/arran-ger knows exactly what to write for-the instruments and the number of each.The publisher knows what kind of score to use, what size paper to buy and how many parts to print. For a band to compete, it must have the right number of the right people playing all the right instruments.

In the current DIRECTORY OF BRITISH BRASS BANDS there is an entry for Stalybridge: Founded 1809.The oldest brass band in the world. Such a claim demands the question: What kind of 'brass band' was Stalybridge in 1809?

According to J. F. Russell and J. H. Elliot in their THE BRASS BAND MOVEMENT, London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1936, the Stalybridge Old Band, as it was then called, listed among its instruments a trumpet, 2 French horns, a bugle horn, a serpent, 2 bassoons, a bass horn, 4 flutes, 4 clarinets, cymbals, drum, and a triangle.That, their critics must wonder, was a brass band?! Before we go any further, we need to realize that in 1809 valves had not yet been invented, which rules out our kind of trumpet, French horn, and bass horn. (No problem with the bugle horn and serpent!)

Let's fast-forward a century or two and set down an annotated list of instruments in today's traditional brass band. It should be noted that unless a key is given, all instruments are pitched in Bb.


Eb Soprano Cornet (1)
The one-of-a-kind clarino voice, usually, because of the high tessitura, is scored sparingly.The part usually carries solo lines or doubles the solo cornet line, either at pitch or at the octave.

Solo Cornet (4)2nd Cornet (2) 3rd Cornet (2)
The solo, 2nd, and 3rd cornets are all doubling parts. In fact, it is common to quadruple the solo line unless instructed differently by the composer. There is always one player who is recognized as THE soloist, and when the composer wants him to play alone, a 1 appears on the part.

Repiano Cornet (1)
The part that the Salvation Army bands did not adopt is most frequently defined as supplementary. This part can double the solo cornets, strengthen an important accompaniment, or provide a duet part for the Eb Cornet or the Solo Cornet. Often the repiano part is used to prepare a young player for the Solo Cornet chair.

One other thing about this part: it is customarily printed on the same sheet as that of the Flugelhorn. When the composer wants only the cornet sound, he indicates Rep; when he wants only the flugelhorn, he indicates Flugel. In tutti passages he uses the term A2 or Both.

Flugelhorn (1)
In anticipation of the section below on Saxhorns, it must be noted that the flugelhorn is the only instrument designed by Adolph Sax that has a forward pointing bell. All the rest have upright bells.

The flugelhorn part bridges the gap between the cornets and Eb horns, but has increasingly gained popularity as a solo voice.

1stTrombone (1)2ndTrombone (1) Bass Trombone (1)
The trombones complete the bell-front grouping. Yes, they do read Bb Treble Clef parts, with one notable exception: The Bass Trombone.The bass trombone is the only instrument in the British Brass Band system that reads a non-transposed part written in bass clef. None of my English authorities could explain the when, where, or why. Sorry. As for an American learning to play trombone parts in treble clef, it has been discovered that one familiar with tenor clef will adapt rather painlessly to the treble clef scoring.Once they discover the system of subtracting two flats from their key signatures, they merely read the part as they would read a tenor clef part


Adolphe Sax had an instrument factory in Paris, but his big break came at the Crystal Palace in London, during the Great Industrial Exhibition of 1851. At the huge hall there were products for business, industry and agriculture, but no exhibit created more of a sensation than Sax's new brass instruments. Word spread quickly among the working-class players, all of whom wanted desperately to try out these new brasses.

To make a long story short, two years later, in 1853, in the very first British Open Band Contest held at Manchester's Belle Vue Kings Hall, the Mossley Temperance Band arrived with a complete set of Sax's instruments, and with sounds that transfixed the enthralled audience, Mossley walked off with first prize.

The influence of Sax is seen even today by every single brass band in Great Britain, and all brass instru-ments-in America as well as the rest of the world-with upright bells. Having thus arrived, we may now continue through the remainder of the band.

Solo Eb Horn (1) 1st Eb Horn (1) 2nd Eb Horn (1)
The Tenorhorns, as the British call them. have essentially the same range as French horns, although their light, pliable sound is much more at home with the brass bands. Recalling the cornet designation above as Solo, 2nd and 3rd, it is curious that with the horns the score reads, Solo, 1st and 2nd.

1st Baritone(1) 2nd Baritone (1) Euphonium (2)
With the brass bands the two kinds of parts have the same range and the same transpositions, but although Americans all-too-frequently use the terms interchangeably, in Great Britain composers treat the two as having separate functions. The baritone is of smaller gauge, and the sound is lighter and less assertive than that of the euphonium. Ordinarily there are two separate staffs in the score for baritones, but the two euphoniums are written together on one staff.

It has been quite common to use the euphonium as a solo instrument, and as a result, it has tended to draw the better players. As the literature matured, the parts have grown more similar in interest.

EEb Bass (2) BBb Bass (2)
As for ensemble, the gap between the BBb basses and the euphoniums is filled quite effectively by the EEb basses. We would ordinarily use the term Tuba for both instruments, and more often than not, the British do also. Just to be sure, the other term used for the basses is Bom-bardon.Since all the valved instruments in the British Brass Bands use three valves and read the same music, it is common for a young player to start with cornet, and then move down into the lower-pitched instruments as the years accum-ulate. The process seems to the British to be both normal and especially satisfying.


The Russell and Elliot book mentioned above cites the existence in 1832 of a band in Blaina, Wales, which, as far as records show, was completely made up of brass instruments.Just what kind of brass is not completely clear, although valves were certainly a reality by 1832. The band's entry in the most recent directory carries the statement, Longest established brass band in Great Britain.

It is a matter of historical record that the Mossley Temperance Band won the very first British Open Contest in 1853, playing ten of Sax's brand new in-ventions.As for Stalybridge, it is pro-bably the group that started making music first, but any resemblance to what we now know as a British Brass Band is purely circumstantial.Today all three bands still exist playing instruments after Sax, but as to which is entitled to the distinction of being first..

October 5, 2006
Louisville, Kentucky

Doug Smith is a Professor of Church Music at The Southern Baptist Theo-logical Seminary, Louisville KY, where he has taught since 1975. His arrangements for various instrumental combinations have been published by Broadman Press, Theodore Presser, Lorenz, Hope Publishing Co., and several others. He holds the B.S. degree from Carson-Newman College, the M.M.E. from the University of North Texas and the D.M.A. from the University of Michigan.
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