The Impact of Covid-19 on Harmony, Fanfare and Brassband Music (HaFaBra)

By Ruben Gjaltema

In this project I have looked into the impact of corona on HaFaBra (Harmony, Fanfare and Brassband) music in the Netherlands. More specifically I’ve looked at how Covid-19 (as a whole) changed the way music is made, and what this entails for the future (seeing this form of music is grounded in live performance). A major problem is that the varying Covid-19 measures and lockdowns have made it difficult to meet to practice or perform, especially in large numbers. This also meant that the specific scores written for harmony, fanfare, and brassbands couldn’t be played in the same way as before. Professional orchestras in the Netherlands have sidestepped this problem by dividing the different sections and arranging concerts per section. In the last three months, various concerts have been given by the brass section of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (especially small brass), and the flugel-horn section of the Orkest Koninklijke Marechaussee. Moreover, various new ensembles have been established during the pandemic. The interviews with Peter Kleine Schaars, Pieter Gjaltema and Durk Krol reveal that within the HaFaBra music market new compositions are released, specifically for these new ensembles. What does this mean for the future of HaFaBra?

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