Flute Bands have, over more than a century, developed styles of musical arrangements to make full use of the range of flutes available to them at any time. The principal changes over time have been the switch to Boehm system instruments, which took place over an extended period up until the 1970's, the change of instruments pitch from a Bb / Eb system to a C/G system and the ongoing development of the bass and contra-bass flutes.
Very broadly, the instrumentation developed as follows:
Simple system flutes in Bb/Eb, early bass and alto flutes.
Boehm flutes introduced, Eb and F bass.
Concert pitch C/G introduced, G Treble and C bass included
Introduction of the contrabass in G and C.
(See picture opposite)
The sub-contrabass has arrived.
Arrangements for these special instruments have been written by a wide range of musicians. Set pieces prepared for the Associations National Championship Contest have often provided the opportunity to test the abilities of new instruments and the technical ability of players throughout the band.
The Flute Band repertoire is broad, classical transpositions and concert arrangements of popular music are at the core but marches used from the fife and drum days still make an appearance.
Education of novice band members is a particular focus in Flute Bands and it is a matter of some pride that bands can point to many musicians whose career started in a Flute Band and who have gone on to a distinguished professional musical careers.
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