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hostrauser

Segmentation: How DCI Has Gotten More Complicated... And Less Difficult

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Well, you just saved me a couple hours typing.  And you did it far more eloquently than I ever could.  Thank you.

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Jeff Ream    7,469
20 minutes ago, hostrauser said:

Segmentation: How DCI Has Gotten More Complicated... And Less Difficult

Of all the changes DCI has undergone so far in the 21st century--any key brass, amplification, electronics, generalized body movement increasingly replacing marching/drill, the move from corps-specific uniforms to show-specific costumes--the change that has affected my enjoyment of the activity the most has been the increasing segmentation of show design.

This is a reward-based activity, so if a change doesn't boost the score (when utilized correctly) it will fall by the wayside. So perhaps my argument is that the DCI sheets are due for another overhaul. Perhaps I think that the sheets aren't rewarding the correct aspects of the performance in the correct proportion. And, like anything else in this activity, my opinion is as subjective as anyone else's. For every person that comes onto DCP and shouts "YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG" at DCI there is someone else who thinks they are doing it right, and they eagerly dive into that day's monkey slap-fight in Thread X.

And, of course, it goes without saying that these are concerns regarding show design and scoring, not performance caliber or effort from the kids. I try REAL hard not to slide into dinosaurhood with regards to drum corps, but the bottom line is drum corps is about the performers NOT the fans. Some fans have strong issues with this, but the simple fact is that the time and money we put into this activity as fans doesn't come close to outweighing the time and money put into this activity by the performers.

So, with the usual caveats in place, here's what's bothering me about DCI as of 2017...

1. SEGMENTATION OF MUSIC
To this day I consider the 2009 Blue Devils' show "1930" to be the easiest ensemble brass book to win DCI in the modern era. Visual, guard, and percussion were all smoking in that show, but the brass was carried by a small handful of extremely skilled soloists while the full ensemble played long tones and not a whole heck of a lot else. The show was almost at the level of a Concerto for Brass Soloists and Drum Corps. And when it scored 99.05 at Finals, we were off to the races with regards to musical segmentation (specifically brass).

I say specifically brass due to the relative limitations of segmenting the percussion section. The field battery has a limited number of both performers and pitches. They might break into smaller ensembles a time or two during the show, but one really skilled snare drummer can't carry the whole snare line: the way percussion is written doesn't really allow for it. The front ensemble has a few more options, but again their limited numbers require more cohesiveness to be effective in the full ensemble sound.

Brass, on the other hand, you can slice and dice a million different ways: soloists, duets, ensembles of 6 or 10 or 20, high instruments, low instruments, concert instruments (like trombones and french horns), the possibilities are endless. By creatively breaking apart the ensemble over and over again, you can have your 10 or 20 strongest players carry the entire difficulty load of whole brass book, lessening the impact of your "weakest" performers and making cleaning the ensemble sound a whole lot easier.

I'm not saying solos and small ensembles should be banned. Nor am I saying they don't present their own unique challenges to perfect. But it's also a bit of a smoke and mirrors act with regards to difficulty. Let's say you have an 80-member horn line. The top 25% play challenging music for 10 minutes of the show, the 2nd 25% play challenging music for 8 minutes, the 3rd group for 6, and the bottom 25% for only 4. Your brass line has 560 "player-minutes" of challenging music in the book. Now let's say there's another 80-member horn line that focuses more on a whole (large) ensemble sound. Their top 50% plays challenging music for 10 minutes, and their bottom 50% plays challenging music for, 6 minutes of the show. They have 640 player-minutes of challenging music. It's hard to combine subjectivity and analytics, but the second group has arguably a much harder brass book for the ensemble as a whole.

I do not think the DCI sheets and/or judges currently reward/consider this at appropriate levels. Cleanliness is--and always has been--king in DCI. And it is far easier to clean an ensemble, match intonation, address tone quality problems, etc. when there are only 10 or 20 performers as opposed to 80. In modern DCI, the MORE your whole ensemble is playing the harder it will be to get a good score. That doesn't seem correct.

2. SEGMENTATION OF VISUAL
My realm of knowledge in music is far broader than in visual, so this won't be quite as in depth. Also, I don't want to repeat myself too much and a lot of the same principles apply: cleaning four batches of 20 is far easier than one batch of 80, particularly when the four batches of 20 are spread across seventy yards and their movements are not interconnected or uniform.

Sure, it adds wonderful layering. And complexity of a sort. But since drum corps has gotten to this point it also largely eliminated the single-most difficult part of visual design: transitions. No need any more to write a challenging drill move to maneuver the right instruments to the right positions for the next segment. Just have Pod 1 finish their body movement and do a flutter/scatter drill twenty yards to their left where they will join half of Pod 3 for the next body movement segment. Meanwhile Pod 6 is still on the back forty doing completely different movements because Pod 6 is jerks. Oh look! All the pods have joined together to form one large ensemble that... does 32 counts of follow-the-leader or jazz running before breaking up and fluttering away to their next pod/body movement assignment.

The warning sign, in retrospect, came a few years ago when visual ENSEMBLE became visual ANALYSIS, and musical ENSEMBLE became music ANALYSIS. The ENSEMBLE aspect of drum corps just doesn't seem to matter a whole lot any more, and that makes me sad.

3. COORDINATION OF ELEMENTS
I'm sure we've all seen the 2017 Blue Devils by this point. They play very, very well. They move very, very well. And they almost NEVER do both at the same time. There's what, ten or fifteen seconds at the end of Flight of the Bumblebee where the brass is trucking with both fingers and feet simultaneously. Otherwise, all the difficult movement occurs by performers with their horns down, while the hard music is performed by small groups stationed and immobile on the staircases. And then there's the park and bark. Oh sure, you can throw in a few lunges and leans, maybe a stanky leg or two, just so you aren't COMPLETELY immobile while you're playing, but come on. It's still park and bark, just "new" park and bark.

I pick on the Blue Devils, but they're just THE BEST at it, they're not the only ones doing it. I like Vanguard's show better this season, but their design definitely seems to have been of the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mindset. SCV is going to have their best finish in almost 20 years essentially by performing a Blue Devils visual book. I guess that's both a compliment and a criticism.

I look back over the past five or ten years, and almost all my favorite musical moments do not have WOW visual moments accompanying them. And vice versa for the great visual moves. The Bluecoats seem to be the best at maxing out visual and musical effect simultaneously these days, but look where that's gotten them in 2017: 4th place. They just can't get clean enough to match the BD's and SCV's who aren't trying to do so much all at once.

Which, if I recall, was the whole point of moving away from the tick system in the first place.

The tick system was only about error. Doesn't matter what you're doing, just don't make mistakes. The build-up scoring system was introduced in 1984 to allow for more creativity. And yet, over the course of about 30 years it has slid back into the same trap as the tick system: doesn't matter what you're doing, just don't make mistakes. Be creative, but not TOO creative. What you are doing and how well you are doing it, except the "how well" is about 90% of the emphasis seemingly.

And that's how we got to where we are today. Avoiding ensemble difficulty (because it's much too hard to clean). Breaking drum corps shows into pieces so we have COMPLEXITY shifting the full weight of the show's difficulty onto a small portion of the corps' most elite performers. The criteria and judging rewards this, encourages it.

This isn't what I want drum corps to be. And in THAT regards, I guess I am part of a very large ensemble.

if what you're doing doesnt matter, then why does every sheet have half for rep/comp and half for performer?

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hostrauser    1,439
14 minutes ago, Jeff Ream said:

if what you're doing doesnt matter, then why does every sheet have half for rep/comp and half for performer?

If the "how well" didn't greatly affect that then the rep/comp scores shouldn't change much throughout the course of the season. Similar to the effect scores. HOW WELL you are doing it is more important than WHAT you are doing. This mindset is correct, but I feel current DCI has taken it to the extreme.

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PamahoNow    100
31 minutes ago, hostrauser said:

 

3. COORDINATION OF ELEMENTS
I'm sure we've all seen the 2017 Blue Devils by this point. They play very, very well. They move very, very well. And they almost NEVER do both at the same time. There's what, ten or fifteen seconds at the end of Flight of the Bumblebee where the brass is trucking with both fingers and feet simultaneously. Otherwise, all the difficult movement occurs by performers with their horns down, while the hard music is performed by small groups stationed and immobile on the staircases. And then there's the park and bark. Oh sure, you can throw in a few lunges and leans, maybe a stanky leg or two, just so you aren't COMPLETELY immobile while you're playing, but come on. It's still park and bark, just "new" park and bark.

....

I look back over the past five or ten years, and almost all my favorite musical moments do not have WOW visual moments accompanying them. And vice versa for the great visual moves. The Bluecoats seem to be the best at maxing out visual and musical effect simultaneously these days, but look where that's gotten them in 2017: 4th place. They just can't get clean enough to match the BD's and SCV's who aren't trying to do so much all at once.

 

 

 

I gotta agree with this completely.  

I watched Bumblebee closely last night.  What a fast, exciting piece, and there was a good bit of movement.  Just not at the same time by the same players, and the most complex movement by the entire brass was when the pit was doing it's thing.  I'm not complaining (I don't think, anyway), and they are being rewarded for it ... and I guess correctly by the sheets that now exist.  

But I also watched Psychopomp and Zomby Wolf.  The difficulty of doing both the movement and the music at the same times seems much much greater.  And I don't even want to think about the closer.  

I would think that somehow the sheets could reward both.   I completely enjoy Devils this year ... and think they are the best corps out there.  But I cannot figure out the way the Bluecoats are being evaluated.  But what they are selling, the judges are  not buying.  But from what I can tell, the audience is.

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GUARDLING    1,725
44 minutes ago, hostrauser said:

Segmentation: How DCI Has Gotten More Complicated... And Less Difficult

Of all the changes DCI has undergone so far in the 21st century--any key brass, amplification, electronics, generalized body movement increasingly replacing marching/drill, the move from corps-specific uniforms to show-specific costumes--the change that has affected my enjoyment of the activity the most has been the increasing segmentation of show design.

This is a reward-based activity, so if a change doesn't boost the score (when utilized correctly) it will fall by the wayside. So perhaps my argument is that the DCI sheets are due for another overhaul. Perhaps I think that the sheets aren't rewarding the correct aspects of the performance in the correct proportion. And, like anything else in this activity, my opinion is as subjective as anyone else's. For every person that comes onto DCP and shouts "YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG" at DCI there is someone else who thinks they are doing it right, and they eagerly dive into that day's monkey slap-fight in Thread X.

And, of course, it goes without saying that these are concerns regarding show design and scoring, not performance caliber or effort from the kids. I try REAL hard not to slide into dinosaurhood with regards to drum corps, but the bottom line is drum corps is about the performers NOT the fans. Some fans have strong issues with this, but the simple fact is that the time and money we put into this activity as fans doesn't come close to outweighing the time and money put into this activity by the performers.

So, with the usual caveats in place, here's what's bothering me about DCI as of 2017...

1. SEGMENTATION OF MUSIC
To this day I consider the 2009 Blue Devils' show "1930" to be the easiest ensemble brass book to win DCI in the modern era. Visual, guard, and percussion were all smoking in that show, but the brass was carried by a small handful of extremely skilled soloists while the full ensemble played long tones and not a whole heck of a lot else. The show was almost at the level of a Concerto for Brass Soloists and Drum Corps. And when it scored 99.05 at Finals, we were off to the races with regards to musical segmentation (specifically brass).

I say specifically brass due to the relative limitations of segmenting the percussion section. The field battery has a limited number of both performers and pitches. They might break into smaller ensembles a time or two during the show, but one really skilled snare drummer can't carry the whole snare line: the way percussion is written doesn't really allow for it. The front ensemble has a few more options, but again their limited numbers require more cohesiveness to be effective in the full ensemble sound.

Brass, on the other hand, you can slice and dice a million different ways: soloists, duets, ensembles of 6 or 10 or 20, high instruments, low instruments, concert instruments (like trombones and french horns), the possibilities are endless. By creatively breaking apart the ensemble over and over again, you can have your 10 or 20 strongest players carry the entire difficulty load of whole brass book, lessening the impact of your "weakest" performers and making cleaning the ensemble sound a whole lot easier.

I'm not saying solos and small ensembles should be banned. Nor am I saying they don't present their own unique challenges to perfect. But it's also a bit of a smoke and mirrors act with regards to difficulty. Let's say you have an 80-member horn line. The top 25% play challenging music for 10 minutes of the show, the 2nd 25% play challenging music for 8 minutes, the 3rd group for 6, and the bottom 25% for only 4. Your brass line has 560 "player-minutes" of challenging music in the book. Now let's say there's another 80-member horn line that focuses more on a whole (large) ensemble sound. Their top 50% plays challenging music for 10 minutes, and their bottom 50% plays challenging music for, 6 minutes of the show. They have 640 player-minutes of challenging music. It's hard to combine subjectivity and analytics, but the second group has arguably a much harder brass book for the ensemble as a whole.

I do not think the DCI sheets and/or judges currently reward/consider this at appropriate levels. Cleanliness is--and always has been--king in DCI. And it is far easier to clean an ensemble, match intonation, address tone quality problems, etc. when there are only 10 or 20 performers as opposed to 80. In modern DCI, the MORE your whole ensemble is playing the harder it will be to get a good score. That doesn't seem correct.

2. SEGMENTATION OF VISUAL
My realm of knowledge in music is far broader than in visual, so this won't be quite as in depth. Also, I don't want to repeat myself too much and a lot of the same principles apply: cleaning four batches of 20 is far easier than one batch of 80, particularly when the four batches of 20 are spread across seventy yards and their movements are not interconnected or uniform.

Sure, it adds wonderful layering. And complexity of a sort. But since drum corps has gotten to this point it also largely eliminated the single-most difficult part of visual design: transitions. No need any more to write a challenging drill move to maneuver the right instruments to the right positions for the next segment. Just have Pod 1 finish their body movement and do a flutter/scatter drill twenty yards to their left where they will join half of Pod 3 for the next body movement segment. Meanwhile Pod 6 is still on the back forty doing completely different movements because Pod 6 is jerks. Oh look! All the pods have joined together to form one large ensemble that... does 32 counts of follow-the-leader or jazz running before breaking up and fluttering away to their next pod/body movement assignment.

The warning sign, in retrospect, came a few years ago when visual ENSEMBLE became visual ANALYSIS, and musical ENSEMBLE became music ANALYSIS. The ENSEMBLE aspect of drum corps just doesn't seem to matter a whole lot any more, and that makes me sad.

3. COORDINATION OF ELEMENTS
I'm sure we've all seen the 2017 Blue Devils by this point. They play very, very well. They move very, very well. And they almost NEVER do both at the same time. There's what, ten or fifteen seconds at the end of Flight of the Bumblebee where the brass is trucking with both fingers and feet simultaneously. Otherwise, all the difficult movement occurs by performers with their horns down, while the hard music is performed by small groups stationed and immobile on the staircases. And then there's the park and bark. Oh sure, you can throw in a few lunges and leans, maybe a stanky leg or two, just so you aren't COMPLETELY immobile while you're playing, but come on. It's still park and bark, just "new" park and bark.

I pick on the Blue Devils, but they're just THE BEST at it, they're not the only ones doing it. I like Vanguard's show better this season, but their design definitely seems to have been of the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mindset. SCV is going to have their best finish in almost 20 years essentially by performing a Blue Devils visual book. I guess that's both a compliment and a criticism.

I look back over the past five or ten years, and almost all my favorite musical moments do not have WOW visual moments accompanying them. And vice versa for the great visual moves. The Bluecoats seem to be the best at maxing out visual and musical effect simultaneously these days, but look where that's gotten them in 2017: 4th place. They just can't get clean enough to match the BD's and SCV's who aren't trying to do so much all at once.

Which, if I recall, was the whole point of moving away from the tick system in the first place.

The tick system was only about error. Doesn't matter what you're doing, just don't make mistakes. The build-up scoring system was introduced in 1984 to allow for more creativity. And yet, over the course of about 30 years it has slid back into the same trap as the tick system: doesn't matter what you're doing, just don't make mistakes. Be creative, but not TOO creative. What you are doing and how well you are doing it, except the "how well" is about 90% of the emphasis seemingly.

And that's how we got to where we are today. Avoiding ensemble difficulty (because it's much too hard to clean). Breaking drum corps shows into pieces so we have COMPLEXITY shifting the full weight of the show's difficulty onto a small portion of the corps' most elite performers. The criteria and judging rewards this, encourages it.

This isn't what I want drum corps to be. And in THAT regards, I guess I am part of a very large ensemble.

I haven't been in the position to comment much this summer BUT will as we end the week. with that said there is alot to address here but will start with the highlighted area. Just 1 question for you. Ever try and do this with a group? Well, it can be much harder to do this than floating arcs, files, etc etc. WAY HARDER to coordinate that process. Fact , not opinion.

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44 minutes ago, hostrauser said:

Segmentation: How DCI Has Gotten More Complicated... And Less Difficult

Of all the changes DCI has undergone so far in the 21st century--any key brass, amplification, electronics, generalized body movement increasingly replacing marching/drill, the move from corps-specific uniforms to show-specific costumes--the change that has affected my enjoyment of the activity the most has been the increasing segmentation of show design.

This is a reward-based activity, so if a change doesn't boost the score (when utilized correctly) it will fall by the wayside. So perhaps my argument is that the DCI sheets are due for another overhaul. Perhaps I think that the sheets aren't rewarding the correct aspects of the performance in the correct proportion. And, like anything else in this activity, my opinion is as subjective as anyone else's. For every person that comes onto DCP and shouts "YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG" at DCI there is someone else who thinks they are doing it right, and they eagerly dive into that day's monkey slap-fight in Thread X.

And, of course, it goes without saying that these are concerns regarding show design and scoring, not performance caliber or effort from the kids. I try REAL hard not to slide into dinosaurhood with regards to drum corps, but the bottom line is drum corps is about the performers NOT the fans. Some fans have strong issues with this, but the simple fact is that the time and money we put into this activity as fans doesn't come close to outweighing the time and money put into this activity by the performers.

So, with the usual caveats in place, here's what's bothering me about DCI as of 2017...

1. SEGMENTATION OF MUSIC
To this day I consider the 2009 Blue Devils' show "1930" to be the easiest ensemble brass book to win DCI in the modern era. Visual, guard, and percussion were all smoking in that show, but the brass was carried by a small handful of extremely skilled soloists while the full ensemble played long tones and not a whole heck of a lot else. The show was almost at the level of a Concerto for Brass Soloists and Drum Corps. And when it scored 99.05 at Finals, we were off to the races with regards to musical segmentation (specifically brass).

I say specifically brass due to the relative limitations of segmenting the percussion section. The field battery has a limited number of both performers and pitches. They might break into smaller ensembles a time or two during the show, but one really skilled snare drummer can't carry the whole snare line: the way percussion is written doesn't really allow for it. The front ensemble has a few more options, but again their limited numbers require more cohesiveness to be effective in the full ensemble sound.

Brass, on the other hand, you can slice and dice a million different ways: soloists, duets, ensembles of 6 or 10 or 20, high instruments, low instruments, concert instruments (like trombones and french horns), the possibilities are endless. By creatively breaking apart the ensemble over and over again, you can have your 10 or 20 strongest players carry the entire difficulty load of whole brass book, lessening the impact of your "weakest" performers and making cleaning the ensemble sound a whole lot easier.

I'm not saying solos and small ensembles should be banned. Nor am I saying they don't present their own unique challenges to perfect. But it's also a bit of a smoke and mirrors act with regards to difficulty. Let's say you have an 80-member horn line. The top 25% play challenging music for 10 minutes of the show, the 2nd 25% play challenging music for 8 minutes, the 3rd group for 6, and the bottom 25% for only 4. Your brass line has 560 "player-minutes" of challenging music in the book. Now let's say there's another 80-member horn line that focuses more on a whole (large) ensemble sound. Their top 50% plays challenging music for 10 minutes, and their bottom 50% plays challenging music for, 6 minutes of the show. They have 640 player-minutes of challenging music. It's hard to combine subjectivity and analytics, but the second group has arguably a much harder brass book for the ensemble as a whole.

I do not think the DCI sheets and/or judges currently reward/consider this at appropriate levels. Cleanliness is--and always has been--king in DCI. And it is far easier to clean an ensemble, match intonation, address tone quality problems, etc. when there are only 10 or 20 performers as opposed to 80. In modern DCI, the MORE your whole ensemble is playing the harder it will be to get a good score. That doesn't seem correct.

2. SEGMENTATION OF VISUAL
My realm of knowledge in music is far broader than in visual, so this won't be quite as in depth. Also, I don't want to repeat myself too much and a lot of the same principles apply: cleaning four batches of 20 is far easier than one batch of 80, particularly when the four batches of 20 are spread across seventy yards and their movements are not interconnected or uniform.

Sure, it adds wonderful layering. And complexity of a sort. But since drum corps has gotten to this point it also largely eliminated the single-most difficult part of visual design: transitions. No need any more to write a challenging drill move to maneuver the right instruments to the right positions for the next segment. Just have Pod 1 finish their body movement and do a flutter/scatter drill twenty yards to their left where they will join half of Pod 3 for the next body movement segment. Meanwhile Pod 6 is still on the back forty doing completely different movements because Pod 6 is jerks. Oh look! All the pods have joined together to form one large ensemble that... does 32 counts of follow-the-leader or jazz running before breaking up and fluttering away to their next pod/body movement assignment.

The warning sign, in retrospect, came a few years ago when visual ENSEMBLE became visual ANALYSIS, and musical ENSEMBLE became music ANALYSIS. The ENSEMBLE aspect of drum corps just doesn't seem to matter a whole lot any more, and that makes me sad.

3. COORDINATION OF ELEMENTS
I'm sure we've all seen the 2017 Blue Devils by this point. They play very, very well. They move very, very well. And they almost NEVER do both at the same time. There's what, ten or fifteen seconds at the end of Flight of the Bumblebee where the brass is trucking with both fingers and feet simultaneously. Otherwise, all the difficult movement occurs by performers with their horns down, while the hard music is performed by small groups stationed and immobile on the staircases. And then there's the park and bark. Oh sure, you can throw in a few lunges and leans, maybe a stanky leg or two, just so you aren't COMPLETELY immobile while you're playing, but come on. It's still park and bark, just "new" park and bark.

I pick on the Blue Devils, but they're just THE BEST at it, they're not the only ones doing it. I like Vanguard's show better this season, but their design definitely seems to have been of the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mindset. SCV is going to have their best finish in almost 20 years essentially by performing a Blue Devils visual book. I guess that's both a compliment and a criticism.

I look back over the past five or ten years, and almost all my favorite musical moments do not have WOW visual moments accompanying them. And vice versa for the great visual moves. The Bluecoats seem to be the best at maxing out visual and musical effect simultaneously these days, but look where that's gotten them in 2017: 4th place. They just can't get clean enough to match the BD's and SCV's who aren't trying to do so much all at once.

Which, if I recall, was the whole point of moving away from the tick system in the first place.

The tick system was only about error. Doesn't matter what you're doing, just don't make mistakes. The build-up scoring system was introduced in 1984 to allow for more creativity. And yet, over the course of about 30 years it has slid back into the same trap as the tick system: doesn't matter what you're doing, just don't make mistakes. Be creative, but not TOO creative. What you are doing and how well you are doing it, except the "how well" is about 90% of the emphasis seemingly.

And that's how we got to where we are today. Avoiding ensemble difficulty (because it's much too hard to clean). Breaking drum corps shows into pieces so we have COMPLEXITY shifting the full weight of the show's difficulty onto a small portion of the corps' most elite performers. The criteria and judging rewards this, encourages it.

This isn't what I want drum corps to be. And in THAT regards, I guess I am part of a very large ensemble.

Nice well constructed and illuminating argument.  I feel like I understand much of the bickering on DCP now a little better.  The really big question is whether or not there is a solution that would fix those issues and make DCI stronger.  I for one, am interested in hearing possible solutions, but I also wonder how many agree that these are issues that need to be fixed.  Any ideas?

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ShortAndFast    762

I would also like to see full ensemble music + movement rewarded more. Groups obviously do much less of it than in the past, and it seems like the reason is that everyone has figured out that it's higher risk/lower reward on the sheets. As an audience member, these are almost always the DCI moments that I find most compelling.

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10 minutes ago, PamahoNow said:

I gotta agree with this completely.  

I watched Bumblebee closely last night.  What a fast, exciting piece, and there was a good bit of movement.  Just not at the same time by the same players, and the most complex movement by the entire brass was when the pit was doing it's thing.  I'm not complaining (I don't think, anyway), and they are being rewarded for it ... and I guess correctly by the sheets that now exist.  

But I also watched Psychopomp and Zomby Wolf.  The difficulty of doing both the movement and the music at the same times seems much much greater.  And I don't even want to think about the closer.  

I would think that somehow the sheets could reward both.   I completely enjoy Devils this year ... and think they are the best corps out there.  But I cannot figure out the way the Bluecoats are being evaluated.  But what they are selling, the judges are  not buying.  But from what I can tell, the audience is.

I agree.

 

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Cadevilina Crown    2,781
1 hour ago, hostrauser said:

The warning sign, in retrospect, came a few years ago when visual ENSEMBLE became visual ANALYSIS, and musical ENSEMBLE became music ANALYSIS. The ENSEMBLE aspect of drum corps just doesn't seem to matter a whole lot any more, and that makes me sad.

This. Apparently now the Analysis judges seem to only care about the variety of things that corps do, not the balance between different elements of the music and visual book. Just look at BD and Crown this year. BD is winning Visual Analysis because they have a larger variety of things they do visually than anyone else, and Crown is winning Music Analysis because they have more variety in their music book than anyone else. It has hardly anything to do with performance or simultaneous demand. I think they need to separate the Analysis captions from the rest of the Visual and Music captions, call both of them "Ensemble Analysis" without naming either Music or Visual (similar to the changes to GE in 2014) and have one judge with a music focus and one with a visual focus.

Edited by Cadevilina Crown
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