Marching Bands Show 1: To Arms

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Author Comments

To understand this piece, you'll kind of have to have some familiarity with marching band shows...as it is a marching band song. The rundown is pretty much as follows:

The show begins with only a few woodwind players on the front of the field. The mallet players stand still, heads bowedThe drum major conducts them in a casual, laid-back manner. A few seconds into the song (:19) another drum major shouts out the tap off of another section. The woodwinds stop their playing and turn to see the horns and brass pulling the tympani cart onto the field. A snare shot brings the mallet players to snap to attention and begin the piece of the song that embodies the storyline of a peaceful town being brought to war. This piece is fully incorporated with drum breaks, colorguard routines, and choreography/marching sets. Enjoy

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Here's some things from my experience.

Today's marching bands rarely start a show with woodwinds. I personally never would. It's not I don't like woodwinds, it's just Percussion usually starts the beat off better. Especially delicate melody lines on vibes with mith 4 mallet chords on marimbas. The pauses just make me think you were going crazy and they were just awkward. String it together better and you'll get better sound out of everything. I actually liked the gong in there. It works very effectively. The keyboard parts could be a little bit more gentle, yet louder. The cymbal roll at about 1:37 doesn't sound good hit-rolled. I'd subdivide it even closer than it already is. And the stuff you describe in the author comments wouldn't really work for a conventional marching band. Now, drum corps could get away with brass players pulling carts, but not at the high school level. And this music is DEFINITELY high school level if not junior high (at least by the talent my school has to offer). Again, this is all based on my knowledge and experience in the field (er... ON the field). Possibly the best thing is I can actually here the difference in the snare and the tenor. It's amazing how much difference there is just by loosening the snares. I keep hearing that cymbal hit-roll and shuddering. Now, I realize this is a lot to read. But... There's much room for improvement here. No matter how they were intended the pauses just don't work that well. Keep trying with part 2.

LacrimosaMuse responds:

Hey thanks for taking the time to review my piece. I kind of meant the pauses to be colorguard routines and a few dot changes. I only played drumline in marching band, so its kinda hard for me to write a complicated piece to an instrument i dont really know, but im working on getting the fingerings down for brass and woodwinds. Im using Finale, and the cymbal roll you hear is a 128th note "crescendo" (basically me writing in ppp in the beginning then going to pp etc. etc.) I asked my marching band instructor, and apparently high school bands have had a show that started off the field, but i definatly see what your saying about the woodwinds starting off the right tempo. I tried to picture it as the major tapping them off and if they still mess it up, theres still a pause for the center snare to dut off the trumpet intro

Hear ye, hear ye!

I donĀ“t know, but this really takes me back to Medieval times. I want to put on my jester suit and prance around the streets praising the king. Though not what I expected I still enjoyed this.

Credits & Info

Waiting for 2 more votes

Mar 25, 2009
1:04 AM EDT
File Info
2.3 MB
2 min 2 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.