Band (music)

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Thuringian band in Hermsdorf , 1977

A band [ bænd ] is a group of musicians who usually come together under a single name (band name) in order to make music together. In German-speaking countries, the term is mainly used for jazz , pop and rock music groups. Music groups from other styles see about Big Band (z. B. Swing ), chapel (z. B. folk music ), Orchestra , Ensemble and Chorus (eg. B. Classical ).


A performance by the rock band Scorpions , 2014

The members of a band usually meet at least during joint rehearsals, music performances or sound recordings. When making music, the band members are ideally aware of the contribution of the other members in order to obtain a coherent arrangement and enable the band to play well together. Also for this purpose, sufficient differentiation of roles in a band (such as the division into rhythm section , accompaniment and melody part ) is common. In addition, the members of a band usually have a common purpose; be it at least making music together or, beyond that, pursuing uniform goals such as economic or artistic success of the band. Unlike some classical orchestras or ensembles or big bands, it is not common for bands that instrumental or vocal of the band members in musical notation hold. On the other hand, an interplay within the framework of a piece is widespread after the arrangement of the sequence, the chord sequence or by ear; sometimes also using lead sheets . This takes into account the fact that, on the one hand, many pop and rock musicians - usually different from musicians who are especially classically trained - do not have a strong background in music theory and, on the other hand, this approach enables freer play that demands the creativity of the individual musician.

Origin of the term and history

In English, band denotes a plurality of people, which is borrowed from the Middle French word bande (group, troop). A band in the sense of an organized music group was formed in 1660, when musicians were assigned to an army regiment. When King Charles II returned to London on May 29, 1660 to restore the monarchy, a military band solemnly played for this purpose. Presumably, therefore, the term band can be traced back to the first military bands that performed musical tasks for military purposes. The first evidence of military bands in public concerts emerged in 1767 when the Royal Band of American Musick ( sic ) gave a first concert.

The increased use of the word band goes back to the street bands and marching bands of early jazz in New Orleans. Around 1750 the term band of musick first appeared in parades on public and military occasions. One of the first early examples of civilly organized bands is the band founded by Josiah Flagg from 1767, which performed five concerts in Boston by 1773. The first jazz bands were offshoots of brass bands from New Orleans who marched in street parades or performed at social events such as funerals. At first, spontaneous get-togethers of several jazz musicians were referred to as bands, later an organized collaboration that was not limited in time was required. A distinction was made between uptown bands ( Afro-American ) and downtown bands ( Creoles ); they never had white members. The Eagle Band of Buddy Bolden was one of the early music groups, officially already since 1907 tape called.

The word tape was adopted into German after 1945. The Duden spelling of 1957 did not yet contain it; it was only included in the German Foreign Dictionary in 1960.


According to the wide range of games played by bands styles of music there are many ways of occupation of bands. To classify bands, appropriate terms are used in part - and not necessarily - with regard to the (predominantly) style of music played and the line-up.

Some of the manifestations of bands are listed as examples, although a clear classification is not possible or useful in many cases, for example if several styles of music played overlap:

A big band consists of about 20 musicians
  • In jazz one speaks generally of the jazz band ; Sub-names are big band , jazz combo or small band . Big bands are a large orchestral form in jazz. They can be divided into the melody group (wind instruments, woodwind instruments) and rhythm group (piano, guitars, bass and drums) and each consist of three to four trumpets and trombones, four to five saxophones and the rhythm section. These can be traced back to the genesis of jazz, when brass bands with comparable numbers of people performed. One of the famous early big band forerunners in jazz was the Excelsior Brass Band from 1880. Small bands were Louis Armstrong's Hot Five or Hot Seven ; five or seven band members were small groups in jazz, but would be big bands in pop or rock music.
ABBA is considered the typical pop group

Depending on the level of professionalism and the money earned by the band, a distinction is made between professional (full-time musicians), semi-professional (part-time musicians) and amateur bands ( hobby musicians).

Front people

Bands usually have one or more front people . A singer or a front woman takes in the band in the perception of the audience a prominent position, and communicates with this usually at concerts, for instance by means announcements. Front people usually take on the leading vocal part and do not necessarily play an instrument. You are regularly at the front of the stage at concerts and are therefore often the band's best-known member as the figurehead . This is often intended in the context of marketing.

Band leader

Bands can consist of more or less equal members or have one or more leading members, so-called band leaders . A band leader is usually a conductor or band member who has the power to make decisions about significant issues relating to the band, for example in musical or organizational terms, and who may represent the band in public, for example during interviews . Especially in cases of very decisive band leaders, the band can be named after him; Band leaders can also be the employers of their band and contractual partners of record companies and concert promoters . The terms bandleader and frontman are not synonymous, but in fact often coincide in the same person. A well-known example of this is Jon Bon Jovi , band leader and front man of the band Bon Jovi .

Legal issues

German law does not speak of a band, but of a musical group . It is usually as a civil partnership to qualify (GbR), even if it one by § 705 required BGB social contract not in writing are. To found the GbR, it is enough if the band wants to be economically successful. The band name can be protected against illegal use. The locally responsible patent office protects the "band name" as a registered trademark (service class 41). An entry of the trademark in the trademark register means that the band enjoys a monopoly on their name. On the one hand the band is the only one allowed to use the name, on the other hand it can take legal action against others who use the same name for products or services of the same class. The right to the name ( § 12 BGB) and the business name ( § 5 MarkenG ) and the associated economic value ( "good will" ) belong to the corporate assets of the band as a GbR according to § 718 BGB. This right to the name is available to all band members in their entirety, so the individual cannot dispose of this alone ( § 719 Paragraph 1 BGB). When choosing the group name, care must be taken to ensure that it does not violate any third party property rights and that it is sufficiently distinctive to be eligible for protection. There is both protection against confusion ( Section 15 (2) of the Trademark Act) and protection against recognition in accordance with Section 15 (3) of the Trademark Act. Each individual band member can - even against the will of the other members - terminate the music group by unilateral termination.

In the opinion of the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court, the temporary dissolution of a music group does not mean that their rights to the name used by the music group expire. For commercial exploitation opportunities for the group's works, it does not depend on whether this music group continues to exist in its formation and, if necessary, brings out new works. When assessing the question of when a license plate protection expires, one has to focus on whether the business name is still used in a way that the public sees as an indication of a specific company or not. The OLG did not assume in the judgment that the defendant in the proceedings seriously wanted to take the view that the group name " The Beatles " had become public domain with the separation of the group in September 1969 , although the band members still use their group name "Beatles". would successfully market their products.

Web links

Commons : Music groups  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Volume (n.2). In: Online Etymology Dictionary
  2. ^ History of Military Music
  3. ^ Richard K. Hansen: The American Wind Band: A Cultural History. GIA Publications, 2005, p. 16. ( online )
  4. ^ Wieland Ziegenrücker, Peter Wicke : Sachlexikon Popularmusik . 1987, p. 33
  5. cf. Hansen 2005, p. 14.
  6. ^ William Carter White: A History of Military Music in America . 1944, p. 14
  7. Dirk Sutro: Jazz for Dummies . 2011, p. 73
  8. ^ Daniel Hardy: Exploring Early Jazz . 2002, p. 199 ff.
  9. ^ Jürgen Wölfer: Lexicon of Jazz . 1993, p. 56
  10. ^ Henry Martin, Keith Waters: Jazz: The First 100 Years . 2010, p. 118
  11. ^ John W. Blassingame: Black New Orleans 1860-1880 . 2008, p. 140
  12. ^ Emmett George Price: Encyclopedia of African and American Music . Volume 3, 2011, p. 438
  13. ^ Peter Wicke: Popular music as a theoretical concept . In: PopScriptum , 1/92 - Terms and Concepts, pp. 6–42
  14. Thorsten Knublauch: The Bravo Beatles Blitz Tour . 2005, p. 18
  15. Martini shown . In: Der Spiegel . No. 19 , 1965, p. 114 ( online ).
  16. Registration of trademarks. Nice Classification, January 2013
  17. Hans-Jürgen Homann: Practical Guide to Music Law . 2007, p. 200 ff.
  18. ^ OLG Hamburg, decision of April 20, 2009, Az .: 5 W 39/09
  19. BGH WRP 2005, pp. 1164, 1166 - seicom