The Indiana Brass Band

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Indiana Town Band

The Town Band

The first valved instruments came on the scene around 1818 (the year the valved horn was patented by Bluhmel and Stoezel). Perinet was making valved trumpets in the 1820's. Sax was working on his Saxhorns during the 1830's. The valved tuba of Weiprecht (he was actually just a band director. It was his co-worker and instrument builder who actually made the thing) appeared in the early 1830's. The modern cornet, the Courtois modele anglais, appeared in 1855.

There were years where the keyed instruments and the valves instruments competed for dominance, But eventually what killed keyed brass was that valved brass instruments just got better and better, and simply didn't have the problems associated with keyed brass. While early valved instruments blended with keyed instruments, as time went on and valved instruments were improved the sound began differentiate, and they no longer blended well leading to the demise of the keyed instruments.

Additionally, the valved instrument was comparatively easy to mass-produce as compared to keyed and other instrument forms. Once the set up was completed, replication was comparatively easy. Valved instruments were easier to play because they relied on the three most dexterous fingers on the hand, and a common fingering technique was applied to each voice. The instruments were durable, made of easily available materials, and the manufacturing process used techniques that were already employed in a plethora of commercial uses.

The community bands of the mid 19th. Century played on saxhorns. The saxhorns are a family of instruments, all similar in character, and capable of a homogeneous sound.

The saxhorn was the brain child of Adolphe Sax. He claimed that he invented the saxhorn. Detractors claim that he simply capitalized on instruments that had already been invented. And, although one can certainly see similarities between saxhorns and other early experiments such as the cornopean, Cornopean and clavicor; clavicor there are differences as well. Sax fought the matter through the courts for years without a clear determination of the issue. Nevertheless, it can be said that Sax did develop a family of instruments that were able to play as a instrumental choir with power and style. And, he marketed his concept so effectively that his choir of instruments took the world by storm and was the dominant musical organization for over 50 years.

OTS horns on the march

The saxhorns did come in many configurations. Some had bells that pointed up, some had bells that pointed forward, and there was yet one other group that pointed backward. Often the Indiana Brass Band is configured as a Town Street Band, they use these OTS (Over the Shoulder) instruments.

The current Indiana Brass Band represents the historical bands in three different configurations that include: