Published book: ‘The Distin Legacy: The Rise of the Brass Band in 19th-Century Britain’

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, UK. Date of Publication: January 2013

The rise of the brass band in 19th-century Britain is a historical, social and cultural phenomenon which represents the foundation of the modern international brass band movement. Authors such as Trevor Herbert, Arnold Myers and Roy Newsome mention and acknowledge the relevance of the Distin Family brass ensemble; however, extensive research has produced new information. This book examines the various Distin projects as the main reason why brass bands of today are established in their current form.

Ray Farr (born in Hereford, England, 1948) is an experienced and recognized conductor, arranger and adjudicator. He works with orchestras, wind bands and brass bands on a worldwide freelance basis. His increasing interest in the history of brass bands has triggered research activity, the completion of a Master’s degree in Arts, as well as ongoing studies for a doctorate.

Price Uk Gbp: 54.99 Price Us Usd: 82.99

Available from: Cambridge Scholars Publishing 12 Back Chapman Street Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 2XX



Book reviews:

‘The depth and detail of the research is impressive.’

‘Extensive quotations impart a distinctive period flavour.’

‘Behind the documentation a fascinating story of skill, scandal, opportunism and showmanship that could provide rich pickings for the narrative biographer.’

‘There are ten chapters, each devoted to a different aspect of the wide-ranging life and times of this fascinating family. Those detailing the Distin family as performers, builders of repertoire, pioneering instrument suppliers and their crucial role in developing the brass band sound are the strongest.’

The Distin Legacy is well illustrated, and a significant documentation of a pioneering period of brass band history.’ Paul Hindmarsh (British Bandsman Magazine. September 2013)


‘Ray Farr has gathered material from many contemporary sources to bring the picture into focus in fascinating detail.’

‘ He has combed through newspaper reports, tracked down images and scoured the published literature to piece together a very readable account of the Distin family’s activities as musicians, entrepreneurs and manufacturers.’

‘The author has used this account to argue that many characteristics of today’s brass band derive from the Distin legacy.’ Arnold Myers (The Brass Band World Magazine. September 2013)

‘I loved it!’ Professor Stephen Allen (Rider University)


Published music:


Orchestration Solo Composer


15 Små Styke Ensembles Ensembles Eide Norske Note Service
Adagio BB Cornet Rachmaninov Wright & Round
Adventures WB Farr Obrasso
Adventures in Brass BB Farr Obrasso
Agincourt Song BB Anon Rosehill
Alabamy Bound BB Anon Musikverlag-Frank
Ave Maria BB Cornet Bach/Gounod Prima Vista
Be My Love WB Euphonium Brodszky Prima Vista
Be My Love BB Euphonium Brodszky Prima Vista
Bergenhus March BB Aafløy Musikverlag-Frank
Bergenhus March WB Aafløy Musikverlag-Frank
Blaythorne Suite BB Cornet Nicholas Studio Music
Bowburn March BB Farr Wright & Round
Bryllups Intrada BB Ugland, Johan Varen Nordic Sounds?
Bubbles was a Cheerleader BB Soprano Cornet Williams Prima Vista
Call Of The Righteous WB Condon Gobelin
Can You Read My Mind(See Love Theme from Superman) BB Williams, John Kirklees
Cantilena BB Farr Prima Vista
Christmas Song-The BB vocal Mel Torme Not known
Close to You BB Trombone ??
Confutatis (from Requiem) BB Mozart Nordic Sounds
Coppelia – Valse WB Delibes none
Coronation March BB Meyerbeer Norsk?
English Dances (8) BB Arnold FM Distribution(tel 01279 828989)
Fanfare & Choral BB Hovland, Egil Norsk Musikforlag A/S Hire only
Festival Prelude BB Neilsen Obrasso
Firebird BB Stravinsky Kirklees
First Shoot, The WB Walton, W Warner/Chappell
Four Cornish Dances BB Arnold Faber
Four Scottish Dances BB Arnold Pattersons
Galaxies- An expedition for Band BB Davis Kirklees
Galaxies- An expedition for Band WB Davis Kirklees
General Jacksons Schottishe BB Tidswell Norske Noteservice
Gethsemane BB Sop Cornet Lloyd-Webber, A. Musikverlag-Frank
Good, The Bad, & The Ugly BB Morricone Prima Vista
Good, The Bad, & The Ugly WB Morricone Prima Vista
Goodbye To Love BB Horn Carpenters Hallamshire
Goodbye To Love 10 Piece Horn Carpenters Hallamshire
Hallelujah For Handel BB Drefus Wright & Round
Hjalar Ljod BB Groven Prima Vista
Holiday For Strings BB Rose Studio Music
Hundred Folk Tunes from Hardanger1: Velkomne med ære2: Flyteljod3: Fagraste Viso pao joræ4: Langeleiklåt5: Hastverksbrudlaup6: Guds godhet og Guds storhetThe other movements in the suite are not published BB Tveitt, G Nordic Sounds
I Say a Little Prayer BB Bacharach W&R
In Paradisum (Requiem) BB Faure Nordic Sounds
Indiana Jones BB Williams, John Studio Music
Intrada – Ein Feste Berg WB Farr Warner/Chappell
Intrada – Ein Feste Berg BB Farr Wright & Round
It’s Just Talk BB Metheny W&R
Kingdom Triumphant, The WB Ball, E Gobelin
Lake Luzern BB Farr Obrasso
Lawson’s Mates BB Drefus Wright & Round
Libertango BB Piazzolla Norske Noteservice
Like Always BB Ramos Wright & Round
Lite Styke Norge WB Eide Norske Noteservice
Live & Let Die BB Soprano Cornet McCartney Norske Noteservice
Live & Let Die WB Trumpet/Flugel McCartney Norske Noteservice
Lyric Dance WB Okkenhaug Prima Vista
Mexican Hat Dance BB Cornet Trio Anon W&R?
Midnight Sleighride / Troika BB Prokovief Wright & Round
Minuano BB Metheny Prima Vista
No Matter What BB Lloyd-Webber, A. Rosehill
Nocturne BB Cornet/Flugel Lovland Prima Vista
Nocturne WB Trumpet/Flugel Lovland Prima Vista
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now BB Arcadia Music
O Holy Night WB Cornet Adams Gobelin
O Holy Night (Julesang) BB Cornet Adams Gobelin
On the Town BB Bernstein Warner/Chappell
On the Town WB Bernstein Warner/Chappell
On With The Motley BB Soprano Cornet Leoncavallo Rosehill
One Voice BB Manilow Studio Music
Optimist WB Vocal Teigen none
Our Kind of Love BB Lloyd-Webber, A. Rosehill
Over the Rainbow WB Trumpet/Flugel Arlen Warner/Chappell
Over the Rainbow BB Flugelhorn Arlen Warner/Chappell?
Pilgrim of Love BB Trombone Bishop Norske Noteservice
Pilgrim of Love March BB Trombone Bishop Norske Noteservice
Poinciana BB Simon/Bernier Studio Music
Recado Bossa Nova (The Gift) BB Wright & Round
River Dance BB Whelan Wright & Round
Roaring Days BB Drefus Wright & Round
Robert the Devil 1862 BB Meyerbeer Norske noteservice
Rush BB Drefus Wright & Round
Russian Funeral BB Britten Faber
Softly, Softly WB Fry Prima Vista
Softly, Softly BB Fry Wright & Round
Star Wars BB Williams Norske Noteservice
Superman BB Williams Kirklees
Superman – Love Theme “Can You Read Mind” BB Williams Hallamshire
Sweet & Low BB Euphonium Barnby Hallamshire
Sweet & Low 10 Piece Euphonium Barnby Hallamshire
Symphony #3 BB Khachaturian Prima Vista
Taste of Honey (A) BB Scott Robert Wright & Round
Toccata BB Bach Studio Music
Toccata WB Bach Studio Music
Torn Erik’s Song BB Tuba Traditional Warner/Chappell
Vaults of Heaven BB Lloyd-Webber, A. Rosehill
Volunteer Artillery & Rifle Corps March BB Jackson Norske noteservice
Why Did I Choose You WB Trombone Leonard Norske Note Service
Why Did I Choose You BB Trombone Leonard Norske Note Service
Winter Games BB Foster Norske Note Service
Yorkshire Waltzes BB small Jackson Norske noteservice
You Raise Me Up BB Lovland Nordic Sounds
You Raise Me Up WB Lovland Nordic Sounds