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Marching Roundtable 638: “Stop Seeing This As A Bugle Activity”

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1 hour ago, BRASSO said:

 The irony here is that " most people I know have increasingly NOT been seeing DCI as a " bugle activity" anymore. Otherwise, these people in this roundtable audio must not have payed sufficient attention to DCI Finals and saw a Corps with a wretched and completely botched and mangled non Brass/ Percussion musical solos medal. DCI has increasingly become far less of a " Bugle activity " and far more of a" Guard/ Visual activity". In recent years. DCI has not had a " Bugle " in the activity in decades. So this criticism headline is dated, archaic, and not part of the current situation in DCI much at all. I feel bad that these people can so misread what is out and about now in terms of discussions that are current/ relevant to most fans of the activity. Its the emergence of the Guard/ Visual and the subsequent diminuation of the REAL brass and REAL percussion ( coupled with faux sounds created by the electronic manipulations) that is of most current and topical issues of the day. Most  DCP'ers and the many fans away from here that I personally know have long ago stopped  viewing DCI " as a Bugle activity ". Heck, look at the scores. Even the DCI Judging community has long since moved away from this being a  Brass ( " Bugle ) activity.. Most people that have a pulse and that have been following DCI know that DCI has diminished the Drums and the" Bugles "( and elevated the Guard/ Visuals ). Heck, some of the early season  DCI shows no longer have Brass judges and/ or Percussion judges any longer. That says it all right there.  So what are these Masters of the Obvious in this audio attempting to tell us as a " new " insight that most everybody I know doesn't already know, and have known now for a decade or longer ?

It's aimed at dinosaurs who expect, if not demand DCI to either go back on course or change its callsign and stop pretending to be something it hasn't been in a long time.  In their mind, they have no reason to change that callsign because it's still warm bodies wriggling around on a football field and, perhaps more importantly, George Hopkins hasn't asked them to change it yet.  When it becomes his master-stroke of an idea, then it'll happen faster than than a BD scatterdrill.

There's no reason in the world a corps couldn't field a line of bugles today. They'd have to re-allocate resources in order to be able to afford to purchase and maintain bugles......perhaps, say, forgoing amplification and electronics, or brand new uniforms, or the giant scaffolding that sits in the middle of the field.....but you know what?  That would be just fine with a lot of people.  Might even bring some former fans back to the activity.

But we're supposed to no longer think of it that way, according to these guys, because that kind of thinking doesn't suit their agenda, nor their narrative.

EDIT: And you know what that tells me?  This truly isn't all for nothing.  If movers and shakers in the activity are going on record to try to refute concerns of where it's headed, that means those concerns ARE being heard, despite the tangible and organized effort to prevent that.  That doesn't make me want to give in and accept that it's too late.  No, that simply makes me want to voice my concerns even more.  I know there are like-minded individuals reading this, whether you post here or not, and I strongly urge you to do the same, because this podcast is tangible evidence that it DOES make a difference.

Edited by Bobby L. Collins

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This is an argument that traditionalists can never hope to win. Just like on the podcast anyone who expresses concern about the direction of the activity can be effectively shouted down as an old timer who just doesn't understand.  The proponents of today's changes are so ENTHUSIASTIC about it that the notion that everyone doesn't love it doesn't even seem possible, therefore such an opinion is invalid.

Like one guy said about DCI evolving. It didn't evolve. It was co-opted by the WGI crowd and mutated into something completely different. That doesn't make it invalid. But it's no longer Drum Corps.

If we took WGI ouside on a football field, cut the electronics and pre-recorded stuff, put people in traditional uniforms with shakos, added 80 bugles, and...marched, would it still be WGI?

 

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No, it isn't "Drum Corps" anymore. But I don't like "America's Got Talent Marching Show Choir." The electronics always wreck one show or another, with the wireless mic failing, or the speaker balance screwed up, or a generator humming throughout the show, or the board mixer can't tell how bad it sounds live, or the live stream mixer guessing wrong about the board send level, or some other stupid thing or another.

I want to hear two things in a show:

1) brass

2) drums

 

Close-mic'd wireless mics on instruments just sound like crap. Does anyone care what it sounds like? Keeping tradition is fine and blazing new trails is fine, but if the sound quality of the show suffers from the use of electronics for its own sake, what is gained by its use?

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Resistance is futile.  As I enter my 50th year in the activity, my motto is "just roll with it". 

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1 minute ago, Terri Schehr said:

Resistance is futile.  As I enter my 50th year in the activity, my motto is "just roll with it". 

And THAT right there is why we have singers and synthesizers drowning out the brass and percussion today.

There is no such thing as futile resistance.  It's time to stop "rolling" and start marching again.

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For those saying a name change would make them feel better...that's already happened.  Go to the DCI web site and you see 

"Drum Corps International Marching Music's Major League."

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10 minutes ago, oldbandguy said:

For those saying a name change would make them feel better...that's already happened.  Go to the DCI web site and you see 

"Drum Corps International Marching Music's Major League."

Still has two words in it that are bald face lies.

Three, if Les Stentors folds.

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We often call it drum and bugle corps, and that is fine by me.  DCI stands for Drum Corps International. There are drums. A corps is a group of people (like Marine Corps or a corps of brothers, corps of cadets, etc.).  International let's you know that it's not just U.S units that compete at the DCI level, but those from Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, etc. Drum Corps Europe is part of the DCI fabric even if all those corps do not attend Finals in Indianapolis. 

The term bugle refers to a brass instrument. The initial bugle was not pitched in G but C and had no valves at all.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bugle 

The bugle from day one has been evolving -- kind of like drum and bugle corps. It has gone from no valves and pitched in C to small keys (like on a clarinet, see link below) to a piston and a rotary valve and pitched in G. It eventually went to 2 piston valves in G and that is what many corps in the 70s were playing. By 1992 the 3-valve bugles were developed but were still in G. Then in 2000 Cadets and BD premiered the 3-valve Bb and F marching brass that was pitched in a more traditional key, one more closely related to band instruments. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bugle#/media/File:Klappenhorn_in_C_-Museum_für_Kunst_und_Gewerbe_Hamburg-1912.1543.tif

To me the evolution of the bugle is no different than any other brass instrument. Trombones and Trumpets have undergone hundreds of years of evolution.  If you're a purest then to you a bugle is a no-valve brass instrument pitched in C.  Therefore the drum & bugle corps of the 60s and 70s were not really true BUGLE corps, were they? I am not a purest because the bugle came in many shapes and ultimately never held onto a design for a long period of time. It is nothing more than a general purpose brass instrument that has evolved from day one. To me, the brass instruments being played today can be called bugles if you think about the general design and evolution of the bugle itself. 

So yes, I have no problem calling it Drum & Bugle Corps. 

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11 hours ago, drangin said:

Close-mic'd wireless mics on instruments just sound like crap. Does anyone care what it sounds like? 

No.  What they care about is making sure that electronics are used.  They are on the sheets, and thus are now a required element of show design.

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