Saturday, October 24, 2009

Brass bands - how I love them

It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.

 --Johann Sebastian Bach

Well, Johann Sebastian Bach makes it sound like it is quite simple to play a musical instrument. Oh yes, you might make a sound but is it pleasing to the ear? To play an instrument well takes skill and practice. You also have to enjoy it too.

I took piano lessons for a few years. My brother and I took lessons with a woman who lived near our school. I must admit I was not one to practice a lot but I did learn to play. I progressed to grade eight but we didn't take exams or perform in recitals. In addition to our music books, I learned to play hymns from the hymnary. These days, if I am to sit down to the piano to play, it would be most likely a piece from one of our hymn books.

Other than my Iles relations, I do not know whether anyone on my mother's side of the family played a musical instrument. When I think of the Iles family, I primarily think of them playing brass instruments. Some played woodwinds, such as the saxaphone (not my favourite instrument) but it is always the brass instruments that I remember.

I enjoy very much listening to a brass band, especially when they play a good rousing march or a steering or thoughtful hymn. Perhaps, this comes from attending band concerts as a child or listening to band music records. I love the sound of the Salvation Army band.

My grandfather, William George Iles, played the cornet. He began playing it when he was fourteen years old. I don't know if he joined the Salvation Army after he had started to play or whether he learned the instrument after he joined the local corps in Birmingham. When he came to Canada, he re-organized the band in Owen Sound. Later, he played an active part in the development of the Owen Sound city band.Grandpa played until he was seventy-six years old

In an earlier posting, Genealogist's Parade, I talked about the various instruments played by my family. I never learned how to play a brass instrument. I don't know if I could at this stage in my life.

This posting was written for the 83rd Carnival of Genealogy. It will be hosted here at Janet the Researcher. I look forward to hearing about the musical instruments played in your family. To submit your submission click here.

© 2009 Janet Iles

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you might like to try playing a brass instrument Janet. Maybe you should give it a try. With all the other brass players in the family you just might find you missed your calling!


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