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A popular format for musical groups in America since the turn of the century. Wind bands feature saxophones and no strings, thus setting them apart for the standardized orchestra.

A wind band is usually an academic or academically funded group so the music director can afford to experiment a little bit. It has been this way for decades and as such a small academic sub-culture has sprung up around the music world with it's own patrons, fans, stars, and composers.

Many school systems that cannot afford the insurance or buying price of string insturments often have (a) wind ensemble(s).

David Maslanka and Alfred Reed are good examples of wind band composers.
Traditionally, wind bands and wind ensembles do not incorporate strings. However, an exception is made for the double bass, or string bass as it is often referred to on a wind band's musical score. When wind groups broke away from string orchestras, a bassist was often retained to handle the more delicate and intricate passages the relatively clumsy tuba could not.

It's kinda geeky, though, for a string bass to play with bands, because it's often very hard to hear the intricate parts they are supposed to be bringing out!

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