What is a "British Brass Band?"

A British brass band is a musical ensemble comprising a standardized range of brass and percussion instruments. The modern form of the brass band in the United Kingdom dates back to the 19th century, with a vibrant tradition of competition based around communities and local industry. The Stalybridge Old Band (still in existence) was formed in 1809 and was perhaps the first civilian brass band in the world.

Bands using the British instrumentation are the most common form of brass band in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and are also widespread in continental Europe, Japan and North America. The tradition for brass bands in the UK is continuing, and local communities and schools have brass bands. British band contesting is highly competitive, with bands organized into five sections much like a football league.