A brass band is a musical ensemble generally consisting of brass instruments, but often also featuring a percussion section.


Brass is one of the fastest groups of instruments to learn, making it ideal for a children's band and for teaching in a group situation. With the exception of the trombone, the fingering is the same for the three valves on all the instruments, which makes it possible to switch between brass instruments, the musician only needing to adjust to the different size of the mouthpiece. Many brass musicians swap between instruments.


The Shepway Brass Academy currently includes the cornet, tenor horn, trombone, baritone horn/euphonium and tuba. Most of the younger children begin on the cornet.

Cornet - this has a more mellow sound than the trumpet but is in the same pitch B♭ . It is more usually featured in brass bands.

Flugelhorn -  also pitched in B♭, but has a wider, conical bore than the Cornet. The instrument was developed from the valved bugle and is a member of the saxhorn family, which was developed by Adolphe Sax,

Tenor horn - often described as the 'alto' of the brass instruments, this is the smallest of the "bell up" range and the brass band equivalent of the classical orchestra's French horn.

Baritone - largest of the horn family, pitched with the euphonium. It has a similar tone to the trombone.

Trombone - the only non-valved brass instrument, it is pitched with the baritone.

Euphonium - smallest of the tuba family and the most versatile of the brass instruments, with a range of about four octaves.

Tuba (bass) - largest of the brass family, with the lowest pitch.