Bands structured around western wind instruments are among the most widespread instrumental ensembles in the world. Although these ensembles draw upon European military traditions that spread globally through colonialism, militarism and missionary work, local musicians have adapted the brass band prototype to their home settings, and today these ensembles are found in religious processions and funerals, military manoeuvres and parades, and popular music genres throughout the world. Based on their expertise in ethnographic and archival research, the contributors to this volume present a series of essays that examine wind band cultures from a range of disciplinary perspectives, allowing for a comparison of band cultures across geographic and historical fields. The themes addressed encompass the military heritage of band cultures; local appropriations of the military prototype; links between bands and their local communities; the spheres of local band activities and the modes of sociability within them; and the role of bands in trajectories toward professional musicianship. This book will appeal to readers with an interest in ethnomusicology, colonial and post-colonial studies, community music practices, as well as anyone who has played with or listened to their local band.