An essential part of carnivals, festivals and marriage celebrations all across the Indian subcontinent, the brass band comprising of an entire ensemble of brass instruments is integrated deeply in the Indian cultural tapestry. A paradigm of the nation’s colonial heritage it was brought by the British in the 18th century and the immensity of its popularity in the present can be gauged from the fact that at present there are two thousand brass bands in Rajasthan alone. The Manohar, Shyam and Ramzan brass bands are one of the innumerable groups now playing all across India. They conventionally play folk tunes of the region as they walk with wedding processions or station themselves at the entry point of the venue of the event. The tunes of the folk songs in this collection have never been changed since time immemorial and yet, countless times have their lyrics been improvised and a line added or a word changed or a theme played upon. Thus, it is the tunes that are so deeply intertwined with the experience of being a Rajasthani that a few notes of a rendition bring to the present the memory of innumerable occasions of having swirled to its beat either as a school student, with a group of friends or at a performance. There is palpable a sense of coming back home simultaneous to which is a feel of fun, frolic and abandon as is characteristic of the lighthearted, flirtatious and joyous Marwari folk songs.
A group of about fifteen musicians dressed in traditional military finery plays the Clarinet, Euphonium, Trumpet, Trombone, Bass Drum, Side Drum, Clarinet, Maracas & Cymbal. All woodwind instruments are played in unison and their harmonization, which is a rare phenomenon in the Indian music tradition, is the defining characteristic of the Brass Band.