New Publication – Brass Bands of the World: Militarism, Colonial Legacies, and Local Music Making

Edited by Suzel Ana Reily, Queen’s University Belfast, UK and Katherine Brucher, DePaul University, USA

Bands structured around western wind instruments are among the most widespread instrumental ensembles in the world. Although these ensembles draw upon European military traditions that spread globally through colonialism, militarism and missionary work, local musicians have adapted the brass band prototype to their home settings, and today these ensembles are found in religious processions and funerals, military manoeuvres and parades, and popular music genres throughout the world. Based on their expertise in ethnographic and archival research, the contributors to this volume present a series of essays that examine wind band cultures from a range of disciplinary perspectives, allowing for a comparison of band cultures across geographic and historical fields. The themes addressed encompass the military heritage of band cultures; local appropriations of the military prototype; links between bands and their local communities; the spheres of local band activities and the modes of sociability within them; and the role of bands in trajectories toward professional musicianship.

This book will appeal to readers with an interest in ethnomusicology, colonial and post-colonial studies, community music practices, as well as anyone who has played with or listened to their local band.

Contents: Foreword, Charles Keil; Introduction: the world of brass bands, Katherine Brucher and Suzel Ana Reily; Brass and military bands in Britain – performance domains, the factors that construct them and their influence, Trevor Herbert; Western challenge, Japanese musical response: military bands in modern Japan, Sarah McClimon; Battlefields and the field of music: South Korean military band musicians and the Korean War, Heejin Kim; From processions to encontros: the performance niches of the community bands of Minas Gerais, Brazil, Suzel Ana Reily; The representational power of the New Orleans brass band, Matt Sakakeeny; Soldiers of God: the spectacular musical ministry of the Christmas bands in the Western Cape, South Africa, Sylvia Bruinders; Composing identity and transposing values in Portuguese amateur wind bands, Katherine Brucher; Playing away: liminality, flow and communitas in an Ulster flute band’s visit to a Scottish Orange parade, Gordon Ramsey; From village to world stage: the malleability of Sinaloan popular brass bands, Helena Simonett; Bibliography; Discography; Index.

About the Editor

Suzel Ana Reily is a Reader in Ethnomusicology and Social Anthropology at Queen’s University Belfast. She has published widely on Brazilian music, focusing on local community traditions, such as choirs, brass bands and local folk groups.

Katherine Brucher is an Assistant Professor of Music at the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago, Illinois, USA. She has published on the music of Portugal and Portuguese diaspora communities, music and migration, and global wind band traditions.

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