The Tin-Horn Nuisance.
June 6, 2008 2:56 PM   Subscribe

Help me locate contemporary marching bands (or recordings thereof) who perform on turn-of-the-century instruments (ca. 1916).

I'm producing a radio theatre piece which prominently features an early-20th-century marching band in the script/ambience. Using vintage recordings from this era is untenable, as the band has to sound "live" and not coming from a gramophone. Can you recommend any such groups? They must perform on period instruments - simply performing songs from this era with modern instrumentation will not do. Thanks!
posted by mykescipark to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'd drop an email to these guys. They have a great collection of vintage instruments, and I can remember at least a couple of recent concerts on campus where they've brought out some of the more unusual ones for musicians to play. They'd be a good bet to know if there are any modern recordings with vintage instruments, or if there are any bands who perform in this style on a regular basis.
posted by MsMolly at 4:35 PM on June 6, 2008

Marching band instruments haven't changed much since the early 1900s. Even one of the younger instruments, the tuba, has been around since the 1830s or so.

Sousa toured during your period, and a many of his songs of his would be unfamiliar to your listeners but be in period and sound right.
posted by Monday at 6:46 PM on June 6, 2008

The Dodworth Saxhorn guys play on period instruments, but from the mid-1800s -- not sure if that will fit the bill.
posted by oldtimey at 8:02 PM on June 6, 2008

Vintage Band Festival--links to web pages of several bands that performed at the festival. Most seem to have CDs, sound clips, etc. available.

BTW your most useful google keywords seem to be something like band, "marching band", or "concert band", and "period instruments" or "vintage instruments".

And FWIW I agree that a modern wind band or concert band playing music from that period will be a fair approximation, but brass instruments have continued to develop noticeably throughout the 20th century, plus performance practices and styles have changed quite a bit. So you will very likely capture something noticeably different by looking at vintage instrument recordings by these groups that are trying to recapture the style and sound of that moment.
posted by flug at 8:15 PM on June 6, 2008

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