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Band(i) (Fr. bande; Ger. Kapelle; It., Sp. banda)locked

  • Keith Polk,
  • Janet K. Page,
  • Stephen J. Weston,
  • Armin Suppan,
  • Raoul F. Camus,
  • Trevor Herbert,
  • Anthony C. Baines,
  • J. Bradford Robinson
  •  and Allan F. Moore


An instrumental ensemble. This article deals exclusively with Western uses of the term ‘band’.

The word ‘band’ has many applications in music, more or less precise. In a general sense, it may refer to almost any ensemble of instruments. When used without qualification it commonly applies to a group of musicians playing combinations of brass and percussion instruments (a brass band; see §IV below) or woodwind, brass and percussion (e.g. a wind band, a circus band or a symphonic or concert band; see §III below). The ‘24 violons’ of Louis XIV were called ‘la grande bande’ to distinguish them from Lully's ‘petits violons’, and Charles II's similar ensemble was known as ‘the king's band’. By extension, ‘band’ came to mean orchestra in colloquial British usage: the two terms can also be used interchangeably. In Europe the wind and percussion band is descended from the ‘high’ or ‘loud’ groups (...

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