The Maltese Wind Band

A Musical Tradition and Its Practice Today

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About the Author(s)

Simon Farrugia is a music educator at Malta’s Ministry of Education working with students of all ages and levels. Some of his projects include a TV series on world music and a coauthored book related to Maltese anthropology, among several other publications.

Bibliographic Details

Simon Farrugia
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 120 photos, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8975-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4875-0
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Here is a subject about which the musical world knows next to nothing. Therefore, this quite comprehensive book describing the history, development, and future of the Maltese Wind Band is such a welcome addition to the growing interest in musical circles about the wind band movement in every country and culture. We are introduced not only to the lengthy history of the wind band and its role and importance in the music of Malta, but also to the music this organization has played and is performing in our day. This book should certainly be of great importance world-wide.”—Samuel Adler, professor emeritus, Eastman School of Music, The Julliard School

• “Writing as a historian, an ethnographer, and a musician, Simon Farrugia dives deeply into one Europe’s most ubiquitous forms of community music-making, the municipal band. In Malta these bands operate at the physical center of village life, and Farrugia writes engagingly about their aesthetic, political, social, and entertainment value in the past and in the present.”—Timothy Rice, UCLA distinguished professor emeritus of ethnomusicology

• “Simon Farrugia’s brilliant book defines, describes, and ruminates upon a long-standing musical practice and its reflection of the cultural milieu of Maltese society. He aptly describes Maltese banda sonically and socioculturally, and by way of the complexities of its multinational history of British colonial imports and regional migrations from Italy to this crossroads island-nation in the Mediterranean Sea. Farrugia has pieced together a meticulously researched exploration of historical resources and ethnographic accounts that take us to an insider’s understanding of community bands in Malta while also giving rise to the complex realities of band culture at large. He expresses the social conditions that shaped and sustained banda, and underscores how banda’s Maltese identity has been actively preserved through festive street marches and other publicly oriented performances. The work is masterful, and meaningful to scholars in study of local musical communities, to instrumental music educators who serve both schools and communities, and to just about anyone who has ever doubted the pivotal role musicians play in the dynamic life of their local society and culture.”—Patricia Shehan Campbell, Donald E. Peterson professor of music, University of Washington

• “The Maltese Wind Band Tradition offers a comprehensive view of wind orchestras, illustrating the strong embeddedness of musical forms in local history, social structures, and relations. This contribution to ethnomusicology is therefore also of great interest for sociologists, including on the political aspects of musical life, beautifully enlightened in this book.”—Vincent Dubois, professor of sociology and political science, University of Strasbourg, France, coauthor, The Sociology of Wind Bands