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About On Brass


For more than 60 years, I have been combining my love of brass music with my love of engineering. Starting with a brass band and quickly into Dixieland, I then earned well when dance bands were all the rage in the late 50s. At the same time, orchestral took its place, alongside a cathedral brass ensemble and all sorts of pit work. I finally retired into a wind band where I now relax and play what comes.

From the 60s onwards, I have studied extensively in both ancient and historical brass but ancient ultimately took over when I decided to put my mind to serious study. Being an engineer, making instruments has always sat alongside studying and playing and, as I write this, I am in the process of finishing an Iron-Age salpinx in steel – a new challenge.

The world of ancient brass is, indeed full of surprises, it still surprises me after all these years of immersion. This blog, as extracts from my many journeys through the ancient world of brass, will hopefully shed an interesting light on how the world of brass music came to be what it is today.

Dr Peter Holmes, BSc, PhD, CEng, MIMechE