Bollywood Blast series (Bollywood Brass Band)


This series of books is produced by the Bollywood Brass Band (BBB) to get you playing in a Bollywood style.

Play along with the backing tracks at home, and with regular practice you too can become a Bollywood star!

As you work your way through these books you will learn how to play like the BBB, and also find out about brass bands in India and the UK, Indian weddings and, of course, about Bollywood films, the music and the stars!



Bollywood Blast for Ensemble: Bhangra One - Score and Parts (PDF)
Bollywood Blast for Ensemble: Bhangra Two - Score and Parts (PDF)
Bollywood Blast for Ensemble: Bollywood One - Score and Parts (PDF)
Bollywood Blast for Ensemble: Bollywood Two - Score and Parts (PDF)
Bollywood Blast for Ensemble: Pop Song - Score and Parts (PDF)
Bollywood Blast for Ensemble: Wedding One - Score and Parts (PDF)
Bollywood Blast for Ensemble: Wedding Two - Score and Parts (PDF)


Bollywood Blast - Trumpet [PRINTED MUSIC]
Bollywood Blast - Trombone [PRINTED MUSIC] (TROMBONE + CD)
Bollywood Blast - Tenor Horn/Eflat Tuba [PRINTED MUSIC] (TENOR HORN Eb + CD)
Bollywood Blast - Clarinet [PRINTED MUSIC] (CLARINET + CD)
Bollywood Blast - Flute [PRINTED MUSIC] (FLUTE + CD)
Bollywood Blast - Saxophones (alto or tenor) [PRINTED MUSIC] (ALTO SAXOPHONE + CD)
Bollywood Blast - Oboe [PRINTED MUSIC] (OBOE + CD)
Bollywood Blast - French Horn [PRINTED MUSIC] (HORN IN F + CD)

About this resource


Kay Charlton, Bollywood Brass Band


Spartan Press


Books+CD, downloads (PDF)


£12.95 - £14.95 per volume

Where to buy

From the publisher

*Create UK strategy report


The Creative Industries Council is a joint forum between the creative industries and government set up to be a voice for creative industries.

Council members are leading figureheads drawn from across the creative and digital industries including TV, computer games, fashion, music, arts, publishing and film.  It is co-chaired by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid MP, the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable MP and Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice-President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Facebook.

About this report


The report was presented at a cross-part gathering of Ministers, MPs and Peers on 9 March 2015 at which members of the Creative Industries Council urged political parties to continue working with industry to ensure the global success of the UK's creative industries after the May 2015 General Election.

Education highlights

  • Education system must include a commitment to creativity and support young people inspired to pursue a career in the creative industries
  • Need for focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics), not just STEM, with Ofsted inspection framework supporting this

(See pp10-12 of report)

'El Sistema: Orchestrating Venezuela’s Youth' by Geoffrey Baker. Reviewed by Jonathan Savage

Geoffrey Baker’s new book, El Sistema: Orchestrating Venezuela’s Youth, is a stinging critique of the Venezuelan instrumental and social music education programme. Baker’s research is far reaching, drawing on observations of the programme throughout Venezuela and interviews with key participants in the programme and students themselves. As a piece of qualitative and ethnographic research, it is beautifully constructed. Throughout his book, Baker is at pains to justify his assertions about the programme and, when necessary, points to the limitations of his research and the conclusions therein.

Following a general introduction, the book is divided into four main parts. Part One introduces the institutions of El Sistema and the various people involved, notably ‘el maestro’ - José Antonio Abreu, the conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra. Part Two addresses the issue of music education and pedagogy within the programme before Part Three considers the issues of whether or not the programme has made a positive social impact. Finally, Part Four considers the wider impact of El Sistema, including the political, economic and cultural impacts both claimed by proponents of the programme and evidenced through Baker’s research. The book closes with a fascinating set of alternative proposals for music education in the twenty-first century that might, Baker suggests, provide a broader, more inclusive and pedagogically rich experience for children than those found in El Sistema.

As someone with a broad interest in music education and an active researcher, but nothing more than a general knowledge about El Sistema drawn from listening to fellow educators and researchers talking about the movement within education conferences, reading publicity about the programme and commenting on evaluations of ‘spin-off’ programmes here within the United Kingdom, I was thoroughly engaged with Baker’s critique of El Sistema throughout all four parts. Baker’s carefully worded and eloquent prose is evidence indeed that all that glitters is not gold (and the elite Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra can certainly glitter!).

I note in other reviews of Baker’s book that his critics have argued against his research methodology and methods. I have no complaints on this front. Baker adopts a qualitative, ethnographic approach throughout and is entirely aware of the limitations of such a methodology. His methods too - formal and informal interviews, observations of the day-to-day business of El Sistema (including rehearsals, lessons and administrative activities in different regional centres, the study of documents and written evidence) - have their limitations but, again, Baker is completely candid about this. Throughout the book, you will find statements like this:

The scope of my research is limited. … This book is not a comprehensive or conclusive narrative but rather a critical, informed analysis of some of El Sistema’s key actors and core claims. … I can only open a window onto these complex realities; there is much more to explore, many other research methods to be applied, and a vast number of stories still to be told. (p20)

Whilst this opens up Baker’s approach to criticism, I take this as a major strength of the book, its author and its critique of El Sistema. Baker has very challenging things to say about the El Sistema model. For him, and many other cultural observers, El Sistema is testimony to Abreu’s mastery of the dark arts of politics and economics, driven by his autocratic management style, his intolerance of competing visions and a relentless pursuit of power (p47). Its benefits for participants are musically, socially and culturally compromised by this.

For example, as a social development programme, Baker argues, El Sistema is conceived as a cultural and educational continuation of mid twentieth century modernist theory. Its large, centralised and top-down development structures are characterised as paternalistic, authoritarian and exclusive. In all aspects, Baker argues, it swims against the tide of progressive thinking in arts education (p107).

In terms of music education, too, Baker is highly critical of the model adopted by El Sistema. He questions the legitimacy of the orchestra as a positive social, educational or professional environment for the development of young people’s musical skills. His research reveals that large numbers of classical ensembles are permeated by social dysfunction, questionable ideologies and pedagogical flaws (p132). All of these, and many more, are evidenced through the El Sistema and reach their pinnacle in the Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra, which, he claims, exploits children mercilessly in pursuit of ‘excellence’ in its grand scale, staged, performances across the world.

Despite the significant and worrying nature of these assertions, for a music educator such as myself, Chapter 6 and its focus on learning and teaching in El Sistema is perhaps the most troublesome. Here, Baker exposes numerous aspects of El Sistema’s pedagogical approach and critiques them rigorously. Amongst other things, he explores:

  • The intense and exploitative work schedules of the young musicians that has resulted in a ‘work-centred’ rather than a ‘child-centred’ approach to learning (p134 & p139)
  • The sequential and repetitious nature of the lessons and rehearsals (p135)
  • Hierarchical and teacher-centred pedagogical approaches that underpin an old-fashioned view of teaching as ‘transmission’ and fundamentally undermines children’s own sense of musical creativity (p136)
  • The limited musical repertoire and the consequent effects this has on children’s ability to play more fluently across musical styles or engage with their own folk musics (p140)
  • Limitations in pedagogical approaches adopted by established teachers and through peer teaching, with an emphasis on ‘teach as you were taught’ rather than an openness to more contemporary approaches to teaching and teacher education (p142)
  • The lack of critical thinking, or any divergent thinking really, in El Sistema, which fails to give children the opportunity to stop and think for themselves and certainly does not allow for any dissent from students or teachers about the pedagogical approach that is inherent within the programme (p144)
  • The mono-dimensional nature of music education within El Sistema, which prioritises musical performance to the exclusion of everything else and leads to students having major gaps in their musical knowledge when they move onto other musical studies (p147)
  • The devaluing of Venezuelan traditional and folk music as legitimate alternatives for music education.

To sum up this important chapter, Baker states clearly, and I would agree with him on this, that El Sistema’s ideology and practices ‘lie far from much recent research on music education, equity, and social justice’ (p150). Furthermore:

El Sistema argues that learning to play orchestral music will make you a better person; critical educational theory suggests that focusing on orchestral music may curtail genuine education and lead to social oppression rather than justice. (ibid)

One of the most worrisome sections of Baker’s book comes in Chapter 10, Realities, Dreams and Revolutions. Here, Baker discusses issues relating to allegations of sexual abuse within El Sistema. Baker describes the ‘relative normality of sexual relationships between teachers and pupils’ (p227), reporting one ex-Sistema musician as describing the programme as ‘like a chain of secrets and favours - like a secret society’ (p228). Baker has found no concrete evidence that these allegations or suspicions are true. Here, particularly, he is open and transparent about the limitations of his study as a foreign ethnographer and musicologist. However, the regularity with which allegations surfaced across the data he collected through interviews, conversations and via document analysis of Internet forums was striking. Following on from numerous criminal prosecutions for sexual abuse of young children, from institutions such as Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, and with further criminal prosecutions to follow this year within court rooms across the United Kingdom, it seems that the issues associated with sex and music education are, sadly, only just beginning to be uncovered both here and abroad.

Given the scale of the ‘success’ of El Sistema, it is not surprising that there have been copycat models developed throughout the world. By late 2012, Baker cites models in around fifty countries on six continents (with over 70 projects inspired by El Sistema in North America alone). Whilst many of these projects are built upon El Sistema’s illusions as much as its realities, Baker is careful not to tar all these projects with the same brush. Rather, he claims that many have improved on the traditional El Sistema model in many ways, notably through a more rigorous and productive use of educational evaluation and public transparency. However, the traces of El Sistema are only too evident in movements such as Sistema Scotland which, he argues, is still in ‘thrall to the orchestra and classical music, and shows a dismissive attitude toward popular and traditional music (p306).

Baker’s book closes with examples of how the El Sistema has been genuinely superseded by other, more productive in his opinion, models of music education across the globe. Citing examples such as Sheila Nelson’s string project in Tower Hamlets, Peter Cope’s Scottish fiddle project and the Musical Futures initiative, he argues that more progressive models of music education such as these have significantly more value that the state-sponsored, modernistic, bureaucratic and tyrannical model found in El Sistema. Whist El Sistema has undoubtedly opened up ‘extraordinary space for music education’ (p322), it is suited to a bygone age, the nineteenth rather than the twenty-first century. Whilst its ‘elite’ performers stun audiences around the world:

… problems lie just beneath the surface; skeletons are rattling in the closet; and experts cannot continue forever to confuse propaganda and fact, or to ignore the gulf between progressive theory and conservative practices. (ibid)

Baker’s book is a bold and insightful exploration of El Sistema. The El Sistema lobby is powerful throughout the world and will not take kindly to his thesis. However, his words need to be heard and acted on seriously and conscientiously by policy makers. Baker’s book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in arts and music education, policy and practice. It is uncomfortable reading. But the clarity of his historical, political, cultural and pedagogical analysis is insightful throughout. I highly recommend it to you.

About the book

Geoffrey Baker

Published by
Oxford University Press (Nov 2014)

Hardcover (376 pages), Kindle
Language: English

ISBN-10: 0199341559
ISBN-13: 978-0199341559

Buy from Amazon

About the author

Geoffrey Baker is a Reader in the Music Department at Royal Holloway, University of London. His books include Imposing Harmony: Music and Society in Colonial Cuzco (2008), which won the American Musicological Society's Robert Stevenson Award, and Buena Vista in the Club: Rap, Reggaetón, and Revolution in Havana (2011). He has also created a series of ethnographic films about childhood music learning in Cuba and Venezuela.

About the reviewer

Jonathan Savage works as a Reader in Education at the Institute of Education at Manchester Metropolitan University.

He is also Managing Director of UCan Play, a company specialising in the production of educational hardware and software.


Let’s stop the name-calling: music-making should be for everyone - Matt Griffiths

At Youth Music we want to ensure that young people's backgrounds and circumstances don't stop them from fulfilling their music-making dreams.

No doubt we've all followed the public spat between Chris Bryant and James Blunt and associated commentary over the last couple of weeks. Lots of words, accusations and assertions liberally thrown around: classist gimp, paranoid wazzock, talent will out, politics of envy etc. Mildly entertaining, if slightly old hat. Nevertheless, there was an underlying serious issue raised by Chris Bryant in terms of how your background and circumstances affect the progress you make in fulfilling your dreams.

Coming from a privileged background often means that you can pursue a career in the arts safe in the knowledge that there's a backstop or alternative route if it goes horribly wrong. Music is a risky profession, but taking a calculated risk becomes an easier decision to make if you have something to fall back on. For so many young people though, taking this risk is a luxury they simply and literally can't afford. They have the potential to 'make it', but they don’t have the support networks to be able to try. The majority have to focus on finding regular, reliable income to pay the bills: no mean feat in itself. Often it’s just about plain survival day to day.

The imbalance between the 'haves' and 'have nots' is getting worse. What can we do to address this?

Before suggesting some solutions, I found myself reflecting on my own family circumstances when I was young. From an early age, I wanted to be a drummer. Lessons were provided free by the music service in Cardiff, as were the various groups and ensembles I played in. Then at home, I'd set up and gig with various bands knowing I could rehearse very loudly with them in the 'new room' in our house. So loud in fact that our next door neighbours moved to Bristol! My parents made sure I had somewhere to practise, and they made sure they could drive me to where I needed to be.

I benefitted from a local authority grant to get me through my degree. The Monday after I graduated, I went self-employed as a freelance percussionist, building what we now call the classic 'portfolio career'. My parents felt slightly apprehensive about my going freelance - they had both been in stable jobs with a passion for music-making in their spare time - but nevertheless they could tell it was something I really wanted to do. They helped me with the cost of buying a Bedford Rascal, which I lovingly called the 'loaf on wheels'. It sounded like a hair dryer with its 900cc engine, particularly on the M1 on my regular trips between Leicester and Leeds. But it helped me to carry my heavy instruments around the country: something that would have been impossible without my own transport.

Why am I saying all this? Well, even though there wasn't loads of money at home, my parents were able to support me to give it my best shot, providing an environment for me to flourish and, yes, this was sometimes with financial help. And I guess I wasn't unusual in this:  safe to say the free tuition, during both my school and college days, together with the college grant cheque, made a massive difference. I wouldn't have been able to become a percussionist without all these things. I was able to directly benefit from targeted public subsidy at all stages of my musical progression.

So rose-tinted spectacles aside, and roll forward thirty years to tough times, significant funding cuts and a complete change in the music education business model. I'm convinced that the precious Lottery resources and public funding available to the sector need to be directed towards supporting children and young people in challenging circumstances. This perhaps goes counter to the notion of 'every child', but recognises that many children and young people can regularly access music provision without any need for intervention from the public purse. What I think is needed is a business model genuinely based on a mixed economy: targeted rather than universal subsidy. Those who can afford to pay do so; those who can't don't have to but still have access to regular provision.

I was very moved recently to read Darren’s story, a young man who takes part in a music-making project supported by Youth Music and run by Skimstone Arts in Newcastle. I wanted to share an extract here:

Darren explains:

'I was in a really bad situation, really low. I was living in hostels and it was miserable but I had no choice. I never saw my family and only had two friends. People would kick my door, and punch me when I was walking to the toilet or kitchen. I just used to stay in my room all day. No-one even said hello.'

That all began to change when a friend suggested he go along with him to Skimstone.

'I didn’t have any interest in playing music then,' remembers Darren. 'In school we did music lessons but they didn’t let me play an instrument, so I didn’t know I’d like it.'

Two years after joining the project, the change in Darren has been remarkable. He now has a part-time job, and has recently moved from the hostel into a flat. He’s working towards his Silver Arts Award, has saved up and bought his own bass guitar, and has plans for his band including going on tour locally and making a name for themselves.

Darren adds:

'If it wasn’t for the project, I’d still be depressed, on my own, on Jobseekers and going to the job centre, I’d just be really bad, I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now. I couldn’t believe that my life could change for the better like this… I feel like a different person.'

Helping young people like Darren is the principal reason why the National Foundation for Youth Music was set up in 1999. Sixteen years on, our work with children and young people in challenging circumstances brings us closer to our goal of achieving a musically inclusive England. But there’s so much more to do: we’re currently unable to reach everyone who needs our help, which is why, as a national charity, we fundraise with initiatives like Give a Gig. As ever, partnership is key. I believe the wider sector could achieve so much more if everyone adopted a more targeted approach, rather than try and do everything spreading itself too thinly. Only then can change be achieved: going beyond the wise and well-meaning words and actually doing something about it.

Music-making is life-changing for all young people, and the projects Youth Music invests in are ensuring that those without privilege get the support others (including me) are lucky enough to be born with.

About the author

Matt Griffiths is Chief Excecutive of Youth Music

The Power of Music - Prof Susan Hallam


'Compelling evidence' for the benefits of music education are revealed in a new research review (January 2015)  by internationally renowned Professor Susan Hallam MBE, Institute of Education.

Commissioned by the Music Education Council (MEC) and published by the International Music Education Research Centre (iMerc), The Power of Music - a research synthesis of the impact of actively making music on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people brings together the vast amount of quality research evidence that has built up over recent years.

It provides the basis for the argument that every child and young person should have access to quality music making opportunities and supports calls for schools to ensure that all pupils receive a thorough, broad and high quality music education.

Executive summary of report

About this publication


Prof. Susan Hallam (Institute of Education, University of London)


International Music Education Research Centre (iMerc)

Publication date

January 2015


Paperback, PDF


US$25 (paperback)
Free downloads of executive summary and full report in PDF format

Where to find

Buy the paperback version from Amazon
Download the executive summary
Download the full report

About the author

Professor Susan Hallam MBE is Professor of Education and Music Psychology at the Institute of Education, University of London