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glory

Creating musical synergy: Good for drum corps? And drum corps fans?

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In a recent update on its February "production" camp, Boston Crusaders told us their focus included "creating musical synergy when all the performers assemble."

Here's my question. Is "creating musical synergy" different from making music? Isn't it just a fancy-pants way of saying the corps is putting the pieces together? Is it yet another examples of corps over-complicating this marching band thing we love? (Some of us.) You're not creating musical synergy. Synergy isn't the objective. It's music. It's simple.

I know I'm totally splitting hairs. Don't hate me for it. The bar has to be lower in February. 

And what's a "production" camp? Do they have non-production camps? What are they called?

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actually, that's 6 questions, not including the two in the title

yes to the first, not including the two in the post title 

 

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1 minute ago, JAZZER said:

actually, that's 6 questions, not including the two in the title

yes to the first, not including the two in the post title 

 

Now you're splitting hairs!

How is creating musical synergy different than making music? I'm asking for real. Because I don't know how they are different.

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For me it boils down to the difference between the act of "making" and expressing aesthetically so the overall performance exceeds the sum of it's parts.

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Yes it's trying to impress with fancy words. Reminds me of Superfriends!  Assemble!

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Well, here's Mr. Webster's notion of "Make Music":  "to play or sing music".

And synergy, supposedly, is: "the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects". 

I would contend that most 5th-grade intro to band programs "make music" as a group.  But I would suggest that "synergy" doesn't happen until some level of experience and expertise at playing sensitively as part of a larger group is attained. 

Interesting that they don't attempt to attain synergy, apparently, when in rehearsal blocks by section, but I certainly understand that it would be a desired goal as a larger group when "all performers assemble".

I think the best example for me would be that Crown's (or Phantom's) "centering" of pitch in every, single player would produce an aural resonance that would clearly indicate synergy, but harmonic and tonic tones could qualify as well, IMO.

I think it would be generally accepted that music created with synergy (in this definition) would be more pleasing to performers and likely to fans so, in that regard, "creating synergy" would be an admirable goal.

But I'm a drummer; we can tell synergy from a block away.

 

Edited by garfield
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1 hour ago, glory said:

 Is "creating musical synergy" different from making music?

No. This has always been and will always be a trendy activity and it's just about using buzzwords. I remember years ago when a judge on a tape used the term "spatial relations" when judging visual. "Spatial relations"? Really? Apparently "interval" was too pedestrian or difficult to say. 

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The word synergy has been used and maybe even overused by educators, business leaders, motivational speakers, etc., and fifteen years ago, I probably used it too much too. I believe the origins of the word becoming popular is from the business world. Synergy is bringing everyone together, combining efforts, recognizing both the whole and the sum of the parts. It’s a mindset more than anything else. Boston Crusaders is trying to not just move up in placement, but create a new approach while being true to its tradition. If synergy and production camp best describe what is happening, fine. 

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When we work together, as a team, we can do something like this:

 

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I think there's pretty much nothing to see here. "Synergy" is simply as described above...putting the pieces together where the final product comes together in a big way.  The use of the word is nothing more or less than the evolution of the vernacular.  I attend marching band critiques every fall where the judges (most of whom are DCI judges) use words like "vertical linears" instead of "files"....and we have "Visual Performance" judges, not "M&M" judges.  :)

Nothing sinister coming out of Boston.  Yet.

 

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