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Coop

At what point and time did we lose Drum Corps

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btw, 7 pages and no coop back in the thread they started.

I can only assume they really weren't interested in debating the topic. Just troll flame bait and then disappear.

I hate threads like this.

then why are you so obsessed ?

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I'm always amused whenever it's suggested that the best drum corps shows stay true to the source music. Why should they? That approach strikes me as similar to a greatest hits record.

I don't think that's what's meant by staying true to the source music. It doesn't mean playing it note for note. It means capturing the essential nature of the music, only in a different idiom. Of course it's going to sound different; at the very least, it has to be watered down because people are marching to it, and it probably has to be shortened to fit the time limit. And then, of course, there's that prerequisite "excitement" factor that has to be built in. I'm not arguing against any of that. But I want to hear actual musical phrases, not just squawks and bleats stuck in there for the sake of the drill. That goes way beyond reinterpreting music.

Edited by byline

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I agree with the poster who suggested slowing down a little. Why must everything be done at warp speed.

I don't think we need to go back to symetrical drills or anything like that but it seems that speed and constantly changing patterns are used to obscure poor marching (just an opinion).

On the subject of design, to me it seems like designers are coming up with a visual program first then forcing the music to fit the visual. This coupled with the speed might be what is creating the "chopped" up music theat we hear so much of. The visual progam should be designed to fit the music.

I also agree that the music does not have to be recognizable, but it does have to be recognizable as music. It should have some type of melody or line that can be followed (I'm not a musician so I don't know the technical terms).

I've been at this activity since 1963 and have had my ups and downs with it but keeping hanging in there. I guess my drop dead point would be the addition of woodwinds. At that point Drum Corps would be marching band.

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I never realized how wide the gap is between the ‘traditionalists’ and the ‘current generation’. Being a member of the latter, I love drum corps for what it is now (I guess you could even say, I believe in now…), and certainly not for what it was back in the 70s and 80s (no offense).

I wonder how well the current fan base would receive a junior corps that marched symmetrical drill, played a show that appeared to be a random assortment of songs, played 3 of those songs EVERY year and cranked with abysmal tone quality. Personally, I would not be entertained in the least. I like shows performed at close to perfection with a high level design (e.g. Cadets 05, BD 04, Phantom 06 to name a few).

Even a lot (but certainly not all) of the shows in the 90s don’t compare favorably to modern shows in my opinion. The quality of playing, writing/design, marching, demand and performance has only escalated. What’s wrong with that? If drum corps hadn’t evolved to what it is today, I (and I imagine others) would have no interest in it whatsoever. Just offering a different point of view.

Tell me something and try this at home, If you couldn't HEAR the music ,could you tell what was happening musically by watching the guard or movement of the corps? Watch a video of a corps you wouldn't ordinarily watch, a corps ,whose show you don't already know(whoever that may be) tell me BY VIRTUE OF THE VISUAL ASPECT OF THE SHOW ONLY

where are the loud parts?Where are the soft parts? where are the fast percussive parts? where are the longer toned more melodic parts? In other words If you were DEAF could you enjoy,and get THE GIST of that show? NOW "with new ears" watch and listen to some corps ya' love ? TELL ME why is it that no matter whats going on with the music the drill is what it is(much of the time) almost at a disregard for the subtlety and expressiveness of the musical program.

IN SHORT ,WHY BLOCK FORMS WHEN THEY MAKE NO SENSE? WHY RUNNING AND ROTATING FILES IN A BALLAD? Just a question from a guy who has NOT liked SOME of the "INNOVATION" in the visual books of the last 20yrs.We (often) have "drill" for the sake of the drill as long as the "counts" are equal to the music phrase ,we don't even pay that much attention? Why is that?

Edited by MARK74

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I also agree that the music does not have to be recognizable, but it does have to be recognizable as music.

Perfectly stated! You need not be a musician or know "the technical terms" to be articulate; you just nailed it! :)

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I think this topic has been thoroughly discussed at other times and to me it seems that old school fans have a nostalgic connection to the art form as it was at earlier times. The music, styles etc -- they were more crowd accessible in earlier years. But because the art form has to evolve and change each year the music and styles of earlier times are left behind.

Pure, dynamic art must always be free to innovate, evolve and change. When the art form becomes static it is no longer pure art but stylized folk art -- take bluegrass music for example. Bluegrass music is very structured. New bluegrass musicians emulate the earlier musicians and play their music. The latest generation of bluegrass musicians might write new bluegrass music but it is going to be within the expected structure and form of bluegrass music. If the new generation of musicians choose to go outside those set boundaries they are purposely leaving bluegrass and moving into another genre.

I think when the artists and judges began to look at drum corps as more than just drum corps but began to look at drum corps as a pure art form - an art form with potential for innovation in all areas -- that's when drum corps changed from being a stylized/structured entertainment art form intended to delight the audiences and became a pure art form similar to modern dance or modern art -- where the opinion of the general audience is not the priority - but the opinion of the educated critic (ie, music educators and judges) and other artists takes precedence.

SnPt

an arts booster

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Tell me something and try this at home, If you couldn't HEAR the music ,could you tell what was happening musically by watching the guard or movement of the corps? Watch a video of a corps you wouldn't ordinarily watch, a corps ,whose show you don't already know(whoever that may be) tell me BY VIRTUE OF THE VISUAL ASPECT OF THE SHOW ONLY

where are the loud parts?Where are the soft parts? where are the fast percussive parts? where are the longer toned more melodic parts? In other words If you were DEAF could you enjoy,and get THE GIST of that show? NOW "with new ears" watch and listen to some corps ya' love ? TELL ME why is it that no matter whats going on with the music the drill is what it is(much of the time) almost at a disregard for the subtlety and expressiveness of the musical program.

IN SHORT ,WHY BLOCK FORMS WHEN THEY MAKE NO SENSE? WHY RUNNING AND ROTATING FILES IN A BALLAD? Just a question from a guy who has NOT liked SOME of the "INNOVATION" in the visual books of the last 20yrs.We (often) have "drill" for the sake of the drill as long as the "counts" are equal to the music phrase ,we don't even pay that much attention? Why is that?

You act as if all modern drill writers are just creating forms that fit count structures…I’m pretty sure I could do that, and I am nowhere near a top drill designer. I believe there is SO much that goes into the design process of these shows that I would one day love to comprehend.

I’m not sure what you’re looking for from the drill. Again, I am no show designer so I have no idea how to illustrate loud versus soft and so forth. What I can do is provide examples of what I feel is exceptional show design:

Cadets 05 is one of the best-designed shows ever in my opinion (and trust me, I am far from a lover of the Cadets). This is strictly from memory so I apologize if this is inaccurate. The first movement is called Liquid, and it’s a very fast paced yet extremely well controlled piece that is designed to illustrate a water world through which the focal character is traveling. The girl comes out of the door with a rain jacket and an umbrella. The color guard is spinning flags that look to be made out of water. The drill is written in a flowing fashion to mimic the movement of water. There are two different sections where water is flowing through some type of faucet. They make an umbrella briefly. They make a shark(?) briefly while playing a chromatic passage that is reminiscent of Jaws. During the baritone solo which is very melodic, the flowing faucet behind him moves in half time. At another point there is a repeated motif in the hornline that with staggered entrances (like a ‘round’) while they leave one form with staggered stepoffs and arrive at another sequentially.

This is one movement of one show and I just listed multiple examples (from memory no less) of how the visual package was representative of what is going on musically. On top of that the entire show was so seamless and every movement was extremely effective in very different ways. This leads me to the topic of playing one piece of music for eleven minutes…there has to be some significant range and variation to any piece of music that long. It is possible to carry a musical motif throughout very effectively though, the Cavaliers did this quite well from 01-03.

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Case in point ,find some drum corps recordings from '72, '73 listen to it how much do you miss the pit? NEXT QUESTION

and how much do you miss those crass '70s hornlines? NEXT QUESTION

:P

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I just love some peoples elitest attitudes. They think that a housewife is a "household engineer responsible for construction and re-development" and Drum Corps is an "art form". Neither is true but both are self-flattering.

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