Brass band - an orchestra consisting mainly of wind and percussion musical instruments.
In the IX century BC e. in ancient Israel, 120 trumpeters took part in the celebrations of the consecration of the temple of the king of the kingdom of Israel and Judah, Solomon. It can be assumed that this was the first orchestra in the history of mankind. The name of the head of the musical collective has not reached us.
In Ancient Russia, before the advent of signaling instruments, Slavic tribes used screaming and whistling during hunting. But the whistle could not be compared with the sound of a horn , neither in volume nor in radius of propagation. Using the horn, it was possible to give signals of various heights, volume and rhythm. During the battle, Russian soldiers also blew their horn, signaling an attack. But over time, a more advanced tool comes to replace the horn - the pipe .
Later, new musical performing principles were established, called the “ Ars nova ”. Gradually, the dismissive attitude of the leaders of the Christian church towards wind instrument performance was overcome. The game on them began to be used, not only in private homes and squares, but also in the church. Also in those days, perfume performers used a relatively meager set of dynamic colors, in their game two shades of dynamics prevailed - forte and piano.
In the 70s of the XVIII century, the role of the march in military life significantly increased. It acquires modern features: it combines rhythmic, melodic and harmonic principles. A tradition is being established to alternate the performance of marches by the full composition of the orchestra with drum roll.
In the first quarter of the 19th century, transcriptions of symphonic and opera compositions arise, since there were practically no original compositions for this composition. One of the few known cases of the use of brass bands in the “serious” music of the 19th century is the opera by J. Verdi “ Aida ”, where a brass band is displayed on stage for the performance of the famous triumphal march.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, some composers drew attention to the peculiarity of the composition and sound of the brass band and wrote for him a number of original compositions. The first piece of this kind is considered Suite No. 1 by Es-dur Gustav Holst , written in 1909. Among other composers who wrote for a brass band are Nikolai Myaskovsky , Igor Stravinsky , Paul Hindemith .
In the USSR, brass bands from the 30s appeared at almost all the Palace of Culture, clubs, factories, factories, military units, police departments and fire brigades. The repertoire was extensive, in addition to classical music and festive works funeral arrangements were prepared for the funeral. Most often, the composition of these orchestras was amateur. In the 50s, a large brass band of professionals was created specifically for mourning processions at the city funeral service.
In the early 90s of the last century, interest in brass bands declined, but by the mid-90s to this day, traditions had resumed. At the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Victory in World War II, a military brass band sounded, performing solemn marches.
The basis of the brass band is the wide-censored wind instruments of the conical channel: cornets , flugelhorns , euphoniums , violas , tenors, baritones, tubes . Another group of copper instruments is made up of ordinary instruments for symphony orchestras with a cylindrical channel: pipes , trombones and horns . Also, brass instruments use wooden wind instruments : flutes , clarinets , saxophones , in large compositions - oboes and bassoons  . At the beginning of the 19th century, under the influence of “Janissary music” , some percussion musical instruments appeared in wind orchestras, primarily a large drum and cymbals , giving the orchestra a rhythmic basis. In a modern brass band, the drum group is vast. In addition to symphonic instruments (timpani, bass drum, cymbals, snare drum, marimba, xylophone, triangle, tambourine, gong), jazz and Latin American drums (rhythm cymbals, congo and bongo, vibraphone, tom-toms, harpsichord, tartaruga, agogo, are used maracas, castanets, pandeira, etc.), which is associated with the appearance of non-academic works in the repertoire of brass bands. Of the harmonic (polyphonic) instruments, the harp began to be used first of all, and in the 20th century, the piano. Now other keyboards are sometimes used (for example, celesta or synthesizer), and even an accordion. Also in the composition of the brass band there may be a string double bass and a guitar in all its varieties (acoustic, electric, bass).
As a rule, the compositions of brass bands are variable, unlike a symphony orchestra, but there is some unification here.
The chamber (Garden) brass band has 25-30 people: flugelhorn, 2 cornets, althorn, 2 tenorhorns, baritone-euphonium, bass and double bass tubes (8), 4 French horns, 2 trumpets (6), 3 clarinets, bass clarinet, alto and tenor saxophones (6), 2 flutes, 1 oboe, 1 bassoon (4), 3 percussion instruments and accordion (rarely a harp that is not used on the street due to size).
Small brass band - 40-50 people: 2 flugelhorn (4 consoles), 2 cornet, 2 altgorn, 2 tenorghorn (4 consoles), 2 baritone euphonium, 2 tubes (bass and double bass), 4 horns, 3-4 pipes, 3-4 trombones (4 bass), 7-8 clarinets, bass clarinet, 4 saxophones (soprano, viola, tenor and baritone), 2 flutes, 2 small flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 bassoons, 5-7 drums , harp, piano.
Large brass band - 70-100 people: 2 small flugelhorn, 2 flugelhorn (4 consoles), 2 cornet (4), 2 althorn (4), 2 tenorghorn (4 consoles), 2 baritones, 2 tubes (bass and double bass - 4 remote control), 8 horns, 5-6 trumpets (including small and alto), 4-6 trombones (6 double bass, 5 bass, 1 alto, 3 plays the bass pipe), 12 clarinets, 2 small clarinets, 2 alto clarinets, bass clarinet (sometimes 2), occasionally double bass clarinet, 6 saxophones (soprano, 2 alto, 2 tenors, baritone), 4-6 flutes (4 - alto), 2 small flutes, 3-5 oboe (3 - oboe - d`amur), English horn, 4 bassoons, cont rafagot, 10-12 percussionists, 4 harps, 3 keyboardists. Such a composition occasionally includes a bass flute, small and bass oboes, clarinets of various tunes.
In the 19th century, the basis of the repertoire of the brass band was various marches and other military music, waltzes and other dances of the so-called garden music, as well as transcriptions of symphonic and opera compositions, since there were practically no original compositions for this composition. One of the few known cases of the use of a brass band in the “serious” music of the 19th century is Giuseppe Verdi 's opera Aida , where a brass band is displayed on stage for the performance of the famous Triumphal March. And the march, orchestrated by Rimsky-Korsakov, from Borodin’s opera “Prince Igor” (often performed by a full-length brass band). More often in operas in the corresponding scenes, instead of a brass band, a simple ensemble of horns, trumpets and trombones (the so-called “Band”) was used.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, some composers drew attention to the peculiarity of the composition and sound of the brass band and wrote for him a number of original compositions. The first piece of this kind is considered Suite No. 1 by Es-dur Gustav Holst , written in 1909. Among other composers who wrote for a brass band are Nikolai Myaskovsky , Igor Stravinsky , Paul Hindemith , Alan Hovaness , David Maslanka .
- Military band
- Brass Quintet
- In Europe, there is a division between a brass band and the so-called. “Fanfare” in which there are no woodwind instruments.
- Brass Band // Musical Encyclopedia. - M .: Soviet Encyclopedia, 1974. - T. 2. - S. 341—343. - 960 s.