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Question Regarding Concertina Bands


Mike Pierceall
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Which bands are you referring to Al? Looks like concertina bands, but I think the OP was actually asking about the reason for the supplanting of brass bands by tina bands. Did that really take place? After all, brass bands, as we know, are still very much with us, so I am not quite sure

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I am no historian, but I thought it had gone the other way, at least as far as the Salvation Army was concerned. Brass bands there were taking over from concertina bands.

 

But the timescale for this may be later than Michael was asking about.

 

Regards,

 

John

Edited by John Wild
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I should have used the word "supplemented" to describe the emergence of concertina bands along with established brass bands, particularly in the industrialized North. I am curious to know how they came about - what forces were in play including the health of the workers in the textile mills and mines and whether that may have forced a change for some.

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Brass bands and concertina bands coexisted for many years - with the concertina bands playing mostly the brass band repertoire.

Brass band competitions even had special sections for concertina bands - most notable winners being Heckmondwyke and Oldham (under the baton of Joseph Astley).

As Alan said, WW1 broke the back of many concertina bands, as well as brass bands - as did the advent of other forms of entertainment such as radio, records and cinema.

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Amongst the Liverpool Orange Lodge bands it is certainly true that concertinas supplanted the silver and brass bands although this seems to have occurred in the 1960s/early 1970s. I am not sure industrial disease was necessarily the cause and expense of instruments/ease of repair is also unlikely to have been a factor. Having seen a number of members playing quite large Maccan duets I also doubt weight/ease of carrying were primary considerations. There is a theory that these brass and silver bands quite literally 'died' out - as members got older, with no new blood coming in, they ended up going off the road.

 

The opposite seems to have happened in Scotland and Northern Ireland where there are, to my knowledge, no Lodge concertina bands left but a number of silver and brass bands still marching.

 

Both played (and play) I believe the same core repertoire of marching tunes and hymns.

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I heard one account for the advent of concertina bands - that concertinas were cheaper than brass or silver instruments.

 

Very often brass and silver bands were sponsored (certainly in NE England) - say by the local coal mine or mill - and the players were employed by the sponsoring organisation.

So you'd end up with "XYZ Colliery Silver Band" for example. I also suspect that there may have been a temperance underpinning to the flourishing of brass and silver bands.

 

I'm not sure about whether concertina bands were sponsored in a similar away. It does seem from the newspaper accounts I'd read, that prominent bands acquired instruments from manufacturers, possibly under favourable terms, and bands often comprised of mostly Wheatstones or Lachenals. I've read at least one account in which a concertina was the prize in a band competition. I suspect that prominent concertina bands were used as advertising vehicles by manufactuers.

Edited by SteveS
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The above reports seem to tell us that the progression -- the what, the when, and the why of changes -- varied from region to region, and I would guess also from band to band.

 

But it seems to me that if lung disease were a significant factor, then the brass bands would have died out independent of concertinas... or never even formed. After all, colliery and lung disease have been around much longer than even the brass bands themselves.

Edited by JimLucas
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IMO it's less about industrial disease for the decline of brass, silver and concertina bands: rather more to do with natural wastage, war, and the advent of other forms of entertainment.

After the advent of other forms of entertainment, there was a significant decline in home-made or DIY entertainment.

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The Salvation Army concertina bands continued and a few concertina bands remained. The area around Manchester was very strong Ashton under Lyne (For may years World Champions with Heywood Concertina band being mostly runners up .Both of these bands are featured on English Internation.Some of the soloists were outstanding and James Eastwoods performance on " Titania" was breathtaking.

Jenny Cox is still very active with Concertina Band work and I now have permission to release some of the other band and groups recordings I have collected if there is interest.

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The Salvation Army concertina bands continued and a few concertina bands remained. The area around Manchester was very strong Ashton under Lyne (For may years World Champions with Heywood Concertina band being mostly runners up .Both of these bands are featured on English Internation.Some of the soloists were outstanding and James Eastwoods performance on " Titania" was breathtaking.

Jenny Cox is still very active with Concertina Band work and I now have permission to release some of the other band and groups recordings I have collected if there is interest.

This is good news Alan, I feel sure there would be plenty of takers for a CD of Concertina Band recordings.... even though ' We' are few in comparison to other instrument passionnés.....

Geoff.

 

PS; just as an example of how small the concertina fanciers group is.... toady on a France only website of things for sale there are 3300 advertsiments for second hand Accordeons.... not to mention 31,000 Guitars !! :o....... maybe I should check for Flugel horns and Bb Basses. B)

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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