Volunteers, salvationists and committees: consensus versus regulation in amateur Victorian brass bands

Herbert, Trevor (1999). Volunteers, salvationists and committees: consensus versus regulation in amateur Victorian brass bands. In: Chastagner, Claude ed. La musique populaire des Iles Britanniques, 1835-1915. Cahiers Victoriens et Édouardiens (50). Montpellier: Centre d'Études et de Recherches Victoriennes et Édouardiennes de l'Université Paul-Valéry, pp. 105–121.

Abstract

The article looks at three types of Victorian brass band organisations: the 'secular' brass band movement (that is, those bands for whom banding was a recreational and competitive activity), the bands of the '1859 Volunteers,' and the bands of the Salvation Army. The focus is on the structures and processes of control and regulation to which these bands were subject, and the extent to which, largely through the demands of the contesting framework, the secular brass band became an example of consensus and self-government. It is suggested that this example became a point of reference for the other two spheres of banding activity. Volunteer bands were drawn from the wider band movement, and their experience of self-regulation made it impossible for them to accept military discipline. The Salvation Army owed the success of its mission to a strict, military-style central control, and the self-government of the secular brass band was seen by leading Salvationists asa threat to be guarded against.

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