"Music is the cup that holds the wine of silence. Sound is that cup, but empty. Noise is that cup, but broken.”

Robert Fripp


22/12/2011

The Cause of Labour

From the film The Miners' Hymns by Bill Morrison
with the famous music by Jóhann Jóhannsson.



Brass band music has a long association with North East England and with coal mining in particular. One of the earliest known bands was the Coxlodge Institute Band of County Durham, which was founded in 1808. The band played at a ball to celebrate the sinking of a mine shaft at Gosforth Colliery, Newcastle, in 1821, when three hundred people danced to their music 1,100 feet underground.


By the middle of the Nineteenth Century, music- making was, perhaps for the first time, a regular part of community life and not just a pastime for the upper or middle classes. Bands and choirs were springing up all over the country and their membership was predominantly from the working classes. By 1850 almost every village, mine and group of mills in the north of England had its own band and perhaps the majority of working-class bandsmen were miners.

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