Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Archive

Scope and Content

Autograph MS of pieces composed or arranged for the ensemble by Philip Jones and others, and annotated published editions and photocopies. The archive encompasses the vast range of repertoire from the Renaissance period to works contemporary with the Ensemble's lifetime. Composers represented include Ray Premru, Elgar Howarth, JS Bach, John Iveson, Samuel Scheidt, Arthur Bliss, Stephen Dodgson, Jan Koetsier, John McCabe and Victor Ewald.

With some correspondence relating to repertoire and performances, and to the Just Brass series published by Chester Music in conjunction with Philip Jones and Elgar Howarth. Correspondence, notes, seating plans etc are also occasionally to be found with individual pieces.

Unfortunately there are no programmes, or records of tours and performers. In some cases the names of the first performers of a piece have been written on the parts, but otherwise it is not possible to identify performers or venues, or frequency of performance.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Philip Jones Brass Ensemble was formed in 1951, and soon consisted of two basic formations: a quintet (two trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba) and a ten-piece group for the larger concert halls in Germany, the USA and Japan. The ensemble, which disbanded in 1986, gained world renown. It made numerous recordings and gave many first performances of new or long-unheard works, and was widely emulated.

The PJBE was a leading force in establishing the brass quintet as a standard chamber ensemble in the UK, owing to the versatility and excellence of its individual members. Its success was partly supported by the revival of Renaissance and Baroque music during the period, coupled with Jones' championing of contemporary music. The Just Brass series, established during the 1970s and published by Chester Music, was a unique and important development in the dissemination of brass chamber music.

A detailed history of the PJBE can be found in Donna McDonald's The Odyssey of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble (pub. Bulle Switzerland, Editions BIM; 1986). It includes lists of members of the ensemble.


PJ's original arrangement (by venue type??) retained by John Miller and preserved in arrangement into 13 series of music, and one of correspondence.

Access Information

Open for consultation.

Acquisition Information

Bequeathed to RNCM, 2001.


Description by M Sarah Wickham.

Other Finding Aids

Royal Northern College of Music Archives catalogue (CALM).

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to Copyrights, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Appraisal Information

Items suitable for loan (eg. because published and not annotated) were transferred to RNCM Library stock during 2002.

The following items were recorded as having been received but were not found on cataloguing the archive (completed October 2003):Garden Rain Toru Takemitsu (Parts only, ensemble Brass Quintets II Samuel Scheidt arr. Frigyes Varasdy (Score and Parts, ensemble


None expected.