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KeithHall

Is There A Difference?

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BITD, almost anyone could march.....

Today ? I doubt I could make a top 12 corps of today even when in my prime as a 20 year old music major.

I love almost everything about all era's of corps but I do miss the days when almost any kid could march.

Back then, we got to meet and get to know kids in other corps from all over the country which we normally would have not had the chance. While kids can still do it, it doesn't seem as big of a deal as in our day because of computers, cell phones, facebook etc.

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Sure.. if you only want to hear about " the good ", there is plenty of that, imo.

a) the marchers pretty much all want to have their Corps perform well, so they work their hardest to accomplish this. This hasn't changed much in 50 years. They want to win, or place as high as possible... to please themselves, their fellow Corps members. They want to get better in their craft. They're still as fierce the competitors of earlier generations, imo.

b) Many value their Corps history and want to know as much about it as we did when we first joined a new Corps.

c) instructors and staff still work long hours in thinking of ways to help make their Corps perform better.

d) while its decidedly " different ", its still kids competing on a football field playing music and moving in unison on the field and being judged by both judges and fans alike.

e) the overall musicianship abilities of marchers, on the whole, has improved exponentially since the 50's, 60's 70's, 80's. What these current day marchers are asked to do in competition is really quite amazing regarding the levels of demand and complexity, imo.

Thats a few " good things " about today. There are no doubt many other things that could be mentioned too.

Great points.

No matter what has changed, the "core experience" of being in drum corps is pretty much the same as it's always been. IMO of course.

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The big difference that I see now is that the talent levels are superior to when we marched Keith.

There were several thousand more marchers in the 60's than today. As such, there were BOTH " more talented " marchers marching back then, as well as lots more " less talented " marchers marching back then. Today, the talent is despersed in DCI among approx. 50 Corps instead of upwards of 1000 Corps. So back in earlier decades... in terms of sheer numbers... we had a much broader, deeper swarth of musical levels of talent. All the way from those who could not read music and seemingly marched with 3 feet, to those that were capable of playing in their nearest Symphony. The notion that there is " more musical talent " marching today than in the 50's, 60's,70's is probably inaccurate in my view. That said, there was definately " less musical talent " allowed to participate in the 50's- 60's-70's .Thats because the primary goal and mission was different than it is today too.

Edited by BRASSO

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There were several thousand more marchers in the 60's than today. As such, there were BOTH " more talented " marchers marching back then, as well as lots more " less talented " marchers marching back then. Today, the talent is despersed in DCI among approx. 50 Corps instead of upwards of 1000 Corps. So back in earlier decades... in terms of sheer numbers... we had a much broader, deeper swarth of musical levels of talent. All the way from those who could not read music and seemingly marched with 3 feet, to those that were capable of playing in their nearest Symphony. The notion that there is " more musical talent " marching today than in the 50's, 60's,70's is probably inaccurate in my view. That said, there was definately " less musical talent " allowed to participate in the 50's- 60's-70's .Thats because the primary goal and mission was different than it is today too.

I usually just say the average talent level has gone up because the number of marchers has declined. And like you said if you're below a certain talent level there are few options. Plus the cost is enough to deter a lot of marginal or less serious players.

LOL - few years back Major League Baseball had the other problem as there are som many teams the level of talent is lower than the past. They actually toyed with disbanding two teams to try to bring things up a bit. But... when the commissioner has ties to one of the teams being considered.... it kinda fell off the table....

Edited by JimF-LowBari

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Another difference and this is a positive, is improvement of drum equipment. I'm so glad this generation has drum stands! What a back saver!! Also, much better practice pads including tenor pads. I remember taking 5 books and trying to mimic my quints.

On the other hand, I'm sad about the current fashion of Big Mac daddy tenors now in vogue. The drum equipment weight really needs to go down, especially with all of the running.

I also thing it's amazing how today's musicians can go on YouTube and find out how to play just about anything. What a benefit!

A real negative is that the activity has become far less racially diverse: perhaps one of the few activities in the US headed backward in that direction. Combined African Americans, Hispanics and Asians total around 35% of the population (off hand estimate) and we see no where near that in corps memberships or audiences.

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