Very common and rooted in Valencia, wind bands comprise varying numbers of musicians playing wind and percussion intruments. Sometimes they include plucked, percussive, and bowed stringed instruments. When this is the case they are known as symphonic bands.
These groups normally play in the open air, often in the streets and squares. Even though they also perform concerts in auditoriums where pomp and seriousness prevails, their normal environment is the festival. Bands provide the musical accompaniment to cercavila parades, processions, and the festa major, the main festival.
In Catalonia, how deeply-rooted the bands are differs by region. The most important are those of the Ebro region, which has renowned groups with long traditions, probably due to their proximity to Valencia.
Barcelona, despite not being a city with a tradition of bands, still has some excellent and well-known groups. The oldest is the Banda Municipal, which dates from 1886. The rest of Barcelona's bands have been set up by associations, such as the Banda Simfònica de Roquetes Nou Barris, the Banda Simfònica de les Corts, and the Banda de Música del Pare Manyanet.