It not an exaggeration to call Dr. Peter Holmes' new book, Horns and Trumpets of the European Iron Age, the bible of ancient brass. It's a work of music archaeology that examines the subject matter from every imaginable angle. It illuminates the meaning and significance of lip-blown instruments for our ancient ancestors, offering us a profound and unique glimpse into the past. In Dr. Holmes' own words:
"Brass instruments were embedded in their societies, they had their distinctive voice which carried weight. They spoke sometimes for important people, they acted as surrogates for them, be they Gods, or nature itself and, in other contexts, they transformed themselves into mystical beings with all kinds of supernatural powers. To understand their numerous roles, we have to think ourselves way back in time, to detach ourselves from modern thinking and treat the instruments as our ancestors did, as living, breathing entities. Blowers of the brass spoke for their rulers, for themselves and for society as a whole..."