LEAD TRUMPET - Louis Dowdeswell to inspire online

Issue 6088

MAPPED OUT - Host cities confirmed for European Championships

IFOR JAMES - The horn player who tried to change the horns 

What's good and what's not?

Tuesday 6 April, 2021

One person’s favourite piece of music might be another’s dreaded item – but does that make the music good or bad? Often, music – especially works that abandon traditional ideas of melody and tonal harmony – are derided, consigned to the scrapheap because they sound unfamiliar.

Composer Christopher Bond examines some of the debates relating to brass band composition, hearing from prominent voices with their roots in the banding scene.


The boom of social media in the past 20 years has transformed the way we interact with each other. The ability to be able to search for people, find out information and connect with people has created a social revolution in ways that simply wouldn’t have been imaginable, even I was at primary school a couple of decades ago. For all its positive advancements in communication and social interaction, it brings with it a platform for free expression of opinion, the very idea of which underpins our values and democracy – but which can also create huge division in a social media savvy world.

One such hot topic that arose recently on a brass band social media platform was about new music for brass bands and how that music should sound. It’s a widely-discussed topic which, as a composer, hits close to home, but what interested me about many of the comments was the complete disregard for pieces of music which people simply did not like.

“I’m sorry but that piece is just terrible,” wrote one user, which made me consider the very meaning of the word “terrible” and the idea of what constitutes a good piece of music and a bad one.


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