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  • 1. KEITH ROBINSON | 03/02/2019
Dear Mr Laplace,
I am a retired music teacher but I am interested in the history of Chinese Brass Bands. In the course of my research into Robert Hart’s Chinese Brass Band started in 1884 I have found these names :-
Antoine Bigel a French expert appointed in 1884 to teach bugle.
I can’t find anything about him so I thought I would ask you if you had come across this name?( Some sources seem to think he might have been German since the Chinese Government at that time employed many German Military experts to advised them.)
More intriguing to me is that Hart appointed two Portuguese Bandmasters to teach his Chinese boys how to play brass and read Western music.
Manuel Inácio da Encarnação (1863-?).
Benjamin da Costa (1859-?).
Both were fairly well known Bandmasters and composers in the Portuguese Military Bands. I know that the Portuguese Military Bands were influenced by the French Military Band model set up by Arban in 1845. So I wondered if you knew where I could find information about the students Arban taught? Did Arban teach any Portuguese musicians?
Many thanks in anticipation of your help.
Keith Robinson
PS I live in England.

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