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School band

Music Sound

School band

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A school band is a group of student musicians who rehearse and perform together, under the direction of a conductor (band director). The term "band" refers in this case to a concert band which generally consists of wind and percussion instruments only. A string bass (the band name for a double bass / contrabass) is often added as well.


Types of ensembles within the school band program

Junior or beginning band

Students will join the beginning band at different grade levels depending upon the school district (Usually 4th or 5th grade). At this point, students are just beginning to play for the first time. The beginning band will often perform concerts for the public as early as the holiday season. Instruments for beginning band students are found through a variety of means. Schools typically provide the larger instruments in the band for students because of the heavy financial burden.

Concert or symphonic band

Student musicians in a concert band are students that have progressed past the beginning year. Depending upon the size and status of the school and band program, students will be placed in a concert band where they will focus more emphasis on ensemble sounds in addition to individual progress as a musician. Concert bands will typically perform more throughout the school year and will likely play more difficult music.

Chamber ensembles

Many schools involve a chamber music program as a contrast to the larger concert band. Chamber ensembles such as a brass quartet, woodwind choir or percussion ensemble provides students with more opportunities to be heard as individuals. More is required out of them as well given the nature of the smaller group.

Jazz band

Usually consists of trombones, trumpets, saxophones, drums, guitar, bass and a piano. This ensemble is based after the concept of the big band from the mid 20th century. This is an ensemble that performs a style of music completely unlike that of the concert band. Many students enjoy this style of music because it provides more opportunity for them to play alone (solo). Jazz bands are often times not conducted, but rather "led" by the band director who provides instruction and guidance, but may or may not actually conduct.

Marching band

Many schools, especially United States high schools, have a marching band, often as a complement to the school's football team.

Instruments in school bands


  • Piccolo
  • Flute
  • Oboe (English horn is also occasionally used)
  • Bassoon
  • Alto saxophone
  • Tenor saxophone
  • Baritone saxophone (the soprano saxophone and bass saxophone are occasionally used)
  • Soprano clarinet
  • Alto clarinet
  • Bass clarinet
  • Contralto clarinet
  • Contrabass clarinet


  • Trumpet or cornet (trumpet and cornet parts are often different in older works)
  • French horn
  • Tenor trombone
  • Bass trombone
  • Euphonium (also called a baritone) (often written bass clef and a baritone part in treble clef in B-flat)
  • Tuba


There are a variety of other auxiliary percussion instruments used on specific pieces.

External links

Home | Up | Community band | Military band | School band

Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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