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Bandsmen, Brass Band Uniforms and Nineteenth-Century Militarism: Southern Pennine Bandsmen and Stereotypes of Military Masculinity, c. 1840–1914

  • Stephen Etheridge
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)

Abstract

In spite of being a national movement, brass bands are accepted—almost without question—as being working class and Northern. This was partly because of the density of brass bands found in their cultural home; the Southern Pennines. This large number of brass bands concentrated in an industrial region allows Etheridge to explore two gendered themes that emerged in this period. They are, firstly, the military orthodoxy found in the training of bandsmen and, secondly, how a top-down driven desire for bandsmen to act as gentlemen was a difficult culture to enforce amongst working-class men. Etheridge then, through an examination of bandsmen’s uniforms, explores the military imagery of brass bands in the public space and how working-class men reacted to the restrictions imposed by this culture of gentlemanly educational expectations and the martial influences of uniforms. These explorations add to the understanding of a period when both men and women were taking part in pastimes that started to define working-class cultural identity after the mid-nineteenth century.

Keywords

Gender Masculinity Working class Northernness Brass band Leisure Martial Uniforms 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Etheridge
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarIrwell Vale, LancashireUK

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