Symphonic wind band and European repertoire composed for it
This dissertation is a part of the authors' artistic doctoral degree and introduces the history of the symphonic wind band, the current situation and the repertoire. As a result of mapping the repertoire, the attached catalogue has been collected of significant European symphonic wind band music from the 20th century to the present day. In addition to this dissertation, the doctoral degree consists of four concerts, including premieres, Finnish premieres, standard European repertoire, and works found in the research. As the Finnish brass ensemble, brass septet, dominated Finnish wind band music for more than half a century, the author also did the first complete brass recordings by Armas Järnefelt, Leevi Madetoja and Toivo Kuula.
Art music for the symphonic wind band began to be composed at the turn of the 20th century. However, the music has not spread across countries or between bands. Professional wind bands worldwide are mainly ensembles of the police and the army, which, unlike in symphony orchestra culture, do not tend to use visiting external conductors who would also distribute new repertoire. As a result, numerous wind band works in Europe are only known locally. While searching for repertoire in different European countries, the author had the opportunity to meet numerous wind music professionals who outspoke about the history of wind bands in their country. The stories helped to understand the backgrounds of the compositions and the development of wind music in each country. The history of wind bands is unfortunately poorly known, and it is not available in the curriculum of the Sibelius Academy either. The dissertation unfolds the history of the European symphonic wind bands from a musician-oriented perspective.
The research studied how wind band music has developed in Finland and Europe, what it is today, and what original works for symphonic wind bands have been composed in Europe. The result was a European wind band music repertoire of the four concerts and a list of the significant European symphonic wind band compositions contributing to the repertoire plan of conductors and the international distribution of works. The list available on the website identifies the work's title, the composer, a description of the work, the year of composition, the duration, the publisher and a link to the recording.
The author found numerous interesting compositions, got acquainted with orchestras all over Europe and listened to them play. It has been delightful to see the high level of wind music in many European countries and how popular wind band music is today. The author has also compared education in different countries and presented development ideas on how activities in Finland around playing together could be developed and get children and young people excited about playing.