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Agogobell28

Arrangements

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I agree with WILLIS. Angels and Demons standstill was good but the "program" took it to another level. Toy Souldier had excellent music but how they decided to program it was cheesy. Cavies in their dominant years always took ok music and programmed the heck out of it. That's EFFECT.

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As someone who has listened to many shows from the past 30 years through fan network, I agree with you in that the style of shows have turned into something like a highlight reel. However, i disagree that it takes away from the shows and their impacts. I like both styles equally and each have their own pros and cons.

I agree with you, Cappybara. I also think that over the years a DCI show design has radically changed from a "music-first" mentality to a more holistic approach, where visual is just-as-important (and sometimes more important) than the music. Not to mention the visual demands placed on the members kind of forces music design's hand to include "transitions" to give brass players a breather as they jazz-run at 210 BPM to make an amazing visual effect.

I used to very meticulously buy/collect audio recordings throughout the years: essentially have dozens of discs with TONS of corps recordings from the 60's-mid-00's. But after a while it because apparent that it was difficult to enjoy a 15 minute program without the visual: half of the corps' presentation was missing! People can (and have) analyze difference in arrangement styles over the years, but generally I think shows are better designed now, top-to-bottom/visual+audio than ever before (which says nothing about the amount of demand placed on a MM now vs, say, 1986). It's not a negative, necessarily, but it is an obvious stylistic difference.

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^^^ agreed to a certain extent however the level of musical performance in the top echelon of DCI is exquisite even if the arranging seems sometimes incomplete. Its still nice to listen to.

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I guess that I should not say this, but I'm going to anyway. I actually long for the day when prayerfully the drum corps activity will make a turn from being a visual based competitive activity to a musically based activity once again. But then again, having marched drum corps in the 80's, many of the current youngsters of the activity would call my thinking dinosaur thinking. This is why I had to take a step back from the activity and become more of a spectator than an instructor.

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I think music and visual can work together. Honestly, if you look at the shows from the 80's, they are simplistic to say the least compared to the level of achievement today. I think its just a shift in thinking on arranging the music today that will make a positive difference. I think Crown 2013 did a wonderful job in combining a gorgeous musical program with a pleasing visual presentation. It wasn't earth shattering, but is was constructed and performed well.

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I think music and visual can work together. Honestly, if you look at the shows from the 80's, they are simplistic to say the least compared to the level of achievement today. I think its just a shift in thinking on arranging the music today that will make a positive difference. I think Crown 2013 did a wonderful job in combining a gorgeous musical program with a pleasing visual presentation. It wasn't earth shattering, but is was constructed and performed well.

For sure, and like Chuck said: some design teams are good at being holistic, with awesome arrangements and visual sharing focus. And some are not. If one wants to focus on the top end of DCI, I would say off the top of my head in 2014 BD, Bluecoats, Cadets, SCV, Cavaliers all had really great designs top-to-bottom. Arguably Crown did as well, though they had more problematic stuff than the others I mentioned. However, the further down the ranks you go the more problematic the designs get. But that was true in 2004, 1994, 1984, etc. As corps try to move up the ranks they try to mimic successful corps designs which can lead to bigger problems (over-designing for talent of members, not knowing where the balance is between music & visual, etc).

I would also argue that the WGI influence is just as beneficial as problematic. The WGI pacing gets tiring at times, for sure, especially when designers are not that great at designing highs & lows. But I think the WGI influence have given us some GREAT show flourishes. Some of Bluecoats better shows the last several seasons REALLY feel like winter guard/percussion expanded for DCI (as did Blue Stars last year, not surprising given their design team). Again, it all comes down to "the best designers do good work, the less-good or flat-out bad designers do less-good or flat-out bad work." Again, just like every other era of the activity

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I think music and visual can work together. Honestly, if you look at the shows from the 80's, they are simplistic to say the least compared to the level of achievement today. I think its just a shift in thinking on arranging the music today that will make a positive difference. I think Crown 2013 did a wonderful job in combining a gorgeous musical program with a pleasing visual presentation. It wasn't earth shattering, but is was constructed and performed well.

IMO M. Klesch is always very respectful of the original. Probably the least "over-arranged" material in DCI every single year he's been creating arrangements.

Edited by corpsband
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agreed.

Edited by Tobias

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Corpsband, I tend to love Crown every season for "some reason". Maybe that is it. Although I tend to be a visual guy, Crown pulls me in musically more than any other corps. Whereas my other favorite corps (Cadets) seems to blow me away visually. If we could just merge the two, I would be in drumcorps heaven.

Edited by Tobias

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Corpsband, I tend to love Crown every season for "some reason". Maybe that is it. Although I tend to be a visual guy, Crown pulls me in musically more than any other corps. Whereas my other favorite corps (Cadets) seems to blow me away visually. If we could just merge the two, I would be in drumcorps heaven.

May very well be. For me (at least) good visual design starts with good music. Even with today's visually-focused programs, I still believe the best designs let the music speak visually. The Cavies winning years certainly reversed that approach (and as a result I rarely just *listen* to any of their programs -- they're crippled without the visual. BD's design is also visually driven and I really don't listen to their recent stuff much -- I watch and listen, but not just listen.

Team Allentown has certainly had some winning music designs lately. I adored the Barber show. OTOH they are subject to outright design blunders. l like what I hear this year but any Cadets fan knows that early recordings frequently sound little like the final product. Writing too much material, trying to fix visual snafus, and sometimes really agressive hosing can render a Cadets book unrecognizable at finals. I think part of the reason side-by-side was so wonderful musically was that it was conservative visually. Really they should be 1 or 2 every seaosn -- best arranger and drill designer in the business. But somehow someway they mess something up.

Team Fort Mill OTOH seems to be incrementally fixing stuff. Last season was a design blunder but only because they had a bit too much trust in their ability to "figure things out". Nothing wrong conceptually. 2009 -- feet not clean enough. 2010 -- oh I guess we can't spread them out quite that far. 2011 -- I think was under-rated a lot and suffered from too many preconceptions about "rock" shows. Since '09 they've figured out how to clean feet, get clean in drill, stay clean in guard, and win brass. And now I think they might have found the right mix of staff in percussion. If you think about it, Crown with a top level percussion line is a scary thought. They may be able to play the game formerly played only by BD. Establish an early season lead and never let anyone touch them.

Edited by corpsband
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