Thursday, June 29, 2006


During my commute each day I have been listening to a podcast from down under called Brasscast.

A podcast is like a radio program, delivered (typically) as an MP3 file that you can download to your computer. You can use your computer to listen to it, or use any of the host of MP3-playing portable devices, such as an iPod or certain cellular phones. Some recent car radios can play MP3 files, including podcasts. The Brasscast shows are typically around 20 minutes in duration, so listening on a weekly basis doesn't require a major investment of time.

I find Brasscast to be instructive, as well as pleasant listening and entertainment. The show is focused on the music of bands, mostly all-brass bands, and, more often than not, bands that are conformant with the British Brass Band instrumentation. Each show features an interview with one of the featured musicians, and some of these are very instructive and encouraging.

I recommend this podcast to each of you, whether you are a brass player or not. The show features a wide variety of bands, many of whom are repeat competition winners. I find it interesting to compare the bands from week to week. Some are simply good bands playing challenging music, but some are truly remarkable in their sparkle and professional performance. I suggest that you listen to these podcasts as a means of training your own ear, giving thought to why some bands sound so much better than other winners.

If you know of other podcasts that relate to music performance, whether band, chamber music, orchestra or choir, please post a comment here.