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Suggested Reading

1. Rehearsal Rooms

Struggling to improve the acoustics in your band room? Check out how the Medan Band did it.

2. Concerned about playing swing music properly?

Check out my guidelines

3. Ear training exercises for bands

Unlike piano players, ear training is essential for wind band performers. But how many band directors bother to give their bands suitable exercises?

4. Intonation problems

While tuning is simple act of adjusting a length of tubing on a wind instrument (often by reference to a single note), intonation is an ongoing process in which a player strives to match the pitch of others in the ensemble during performance. 

5. “Blowing” a wind instrument

A common misconception among wind players is to believe that the air moves through the instrument in order to produce the sound. This is simply not true. 

6. Conducting – suggestions for home practice

The best way for a conductor to improve is in front of a live ensemble. The unfortunate reality, however, is that this is not always possible. Aspiring conductors therefore have little choice but to find other ways of honing their skills.

 

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Welcome to The Concert Band

This web site is dedicated to college and secondary school concert and wind bands. It contains information about the various instruments employed, as well as hints about band training (including technique and intonation), conducting, the physical laws the govern sound production, and anything else I think the young musicians who play in these bands might find helpful. Some sections (such as the one on interpretation) are more for band directors than players, of course, but overall I have tried to include something of interest to just about everyone.

There is also a large section devoted to the activities of the Brass Band Jenderal (BBJ), a Salvation Army band based in Medan, Indonesia. If you are interested in this Band, click here.

Some of the information on this website has been extracted from my book entitled The Band Director's Handbook: A guide for College and Secondary School Band Directors in Southeast Asia. The book also includes additional chapters on pedagogy and the varying characteristics of different wind band instruments that are not included in this website. It also has a chapter devoted to writing arrangements and transcriptions for wind band. To order a copy of my book, see the publication details below.

  • BBJ stands for Brass Band Jenderal. It means “The General’s Band” in English. The band is based at a Salvation Army Boys home in Medan, Indonesia. Sometimes called “The Medan Band” by foreigners, it was given the name BBJ in 1989 by General Eva Burrows (the Salvation Army’s international leader at the time) when she met band members in Bandung, Indonesia Read about it here.

     

Focus Articles

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Developing China's National Symphony Orchestra

This article about the problems facing a new conductor appointed to head...

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