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The 19th century brass band in Northern England : musical and social factors in the development of a major amateur musical medium

By R Newsome


This thesis examines the development of the amateur wind band in Britain during the\ud nineteenth century, with special reference to the increasing domination of the brass band,\ud particularly in northern England. After a preliminary review of British amateur wind\ud bands generally, the growth of the brass band competition is investigated, showing how\ud the contesting bands were initially concentrated in Yorkshire. The effects of industrial\ud sponsorship and the emergence of the volunteer movement from 1859 are examined,\ud along with the consequent shift in the concentration of bands from Yorkshire - mainly to\ud Lancashire but also, to a limited degree, to other parts of the north and to the north\ud midlands. Instrumentation and repertoire are also discussed, along with some collections\ud of early band music.\ud Part 2 of the thesis looks specifically at developments during the final quarter of\ud the century, first of all in terms of repertoire, then through some of the personalities\ud involved - conductors and players - before investigating the roles played by the best of\ud the bands. Finally, having shown how a regional brass band movement grew from a\ud nationwide net-work of wind bands, the thesis looks at ways in which the fledgling brass\ud band movement began to spread, paving the way for the national and, indeed,\ud international brass band movement of the twentieth century

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