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Madison Scouts 2017

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11 minutes ago, Jake W. said:

I like to think they're designed for both; some certainly lean stronger one way than the other, however. Some years, I think most of the shows were a little too esoteric, judges-catering, and not too rewatchable for pure enjoyment; other years, like 2016, I see the pendulum swinging the other way and the season is chock full of audience friendly shows. Take last year's top 5. *YOU* might not have enjoyed Down Side Up, As Dreams Are Made On, Relentless, Force of Nature, & Propaganda, and I'm sure we can find others to dislike a few shows on this list as well, but I would hope you're not short sighted enough to ignore the overwhelmingly positive response these five shows received all season from crowds, the majority of DCP posters, alumni of those corps, and from high school students (I teach, so maybe I'm a little closer to the perception of future corps members than most). 

And two to three corps is all you enjoyed between this year and last year? I sincerely do not mean to offend, but if that is honestly the case, analyze how open your mind is. Drum corps reaches massive audiences nationwide and many shows last year ended the season with overwhelming support. It was a good season to be a fan. Please consider that the problem could be in your perception and openness, and not with current designs.

You're not offending me at all. I liked pieces of all those shows. For Vanguard - THE entire show. It was just beautiful, melodic and entertaining. Bluecoats, I loved the visual, same with Cavies. BD and Crown, of course, had enjoyable elements. Everyone does. But, it is my opinion that shows are just not as entertaining as they were in the past, and that the the designs are vastly more geared towards the judging community. Although I wasn't crazy about Vanguard's music this year, the whole package was so interesting and dynamic - they were the only corps that kept my attention for entire show. No one else at Stanford delivered like that. 

I think I'm open-minded. None of the things old timers complain about and the activity does have to evolve and modernize - no doubt. I'm just not a fan of the musical construction of today's drum corps, as a whole.

I do wonder, however, just how far the activity really reaches beyond itself. Meaning, aside from alumni, bandos, and family of current marching members how far it reaches out. I don't know.

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1 hour ago, mjoakes said:

And "us" is whom? Arrangers, music directors, music professors? I'm a fan of the Scouts show this year, but there's much in DCI that is not at all recognizable to bunches of fans. That includes parents and donors putting up substantial funds, the total of which surely is not on the small side of "most." Please don't assume us away.

Exactly!  Unfortunately, much of the music being performed now is intended for the judges and those with a far more extensive musical background than the average fan.  I realize the competitive element has pushed the activity more to the visual and away from the music, but it continues to get worse.  It seems the music has become more of a background soundtrack while the guard has become the "show."

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1 hour ago, cowtown said:

Interesting idea

 

Trying to figure out my least favorite, highest ranking Scouts show to find the disconnect

 

gotta go with 1978, Star Wars into Bee Gees, 4th place

 

what's yours?

 

Edited by ndkbass
I totally misread your question.

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34 minutes ago, mbviking said:

Exactly!  Unfortunately, much of the music being performed now is intended for the judges and those with a far more extensive musical background than the average fan.  I realize the competitive element has pushed the activity more to the visual and away from the music, but it continues to get worse.  It seems the music has become more of a background soundtrack while the guard has become the "show."

Disagreed. It's just that the visual demand has risen to match musical demand, vs. drum corps in the 1970s & 80s. And as I responded earlier, many of the people watching our activity have music degrees, teach music, and have a working knowledge of orchestral literature. In regards to the bulk of everyone else, "the average fan", they are parents who have been exposed to the performing arts for a minimum of a few years --- most often they've been watching a good decade --- and they are alum of the corps who have also been around the performing arts for at LEAST a decade by the time they're in the audience. In regards to the Scouts' repertoire specifically, Music for Prague is a concert band staple that I would wager every high caliber high school concert band in the nation has attempted to tackle at some point, and it's absolutely no stranger on the marching field. Why should we pretend that the parents and alumni, with no music degrees, would be unable to recognize or recall a piece (especially one so jarring) that they've most likely either heard or performed before? What SHOULD drum corps be playing? Pop music only? Or....La Suerte de los Tontos and other popular charts from old drum corps eras? Is that what you're getting at here? Why are you assuming that the average fan and parent can't remember the music they played in high school, or can't remember music they heard or played while marching, or remember music they've heard repeated a few times on the field over the years? And even further, why are you assuming that the average fan and parent is incapable of looking up a new piece of music based on something cool they've heard or seen in a repertoire list? How many laypeople were exposed to Vienna Teng after Bloo's use of "Hymn of Axiom"? 

I'll give you that SCV has chosen some obscure material this season. Does that make it unenjoyable to listen to, though? Hardly. Reactions have been incredibly positive to the show so far. On the contrary, reactions to Blue Star's Moulin Rouge closer HAVEN'T been as positive, and that's pretty well-known stuff. I truly believe that if the source material is good stuff, often enjoyed in a concert hall or from any stage WITHOUT any visual component, then chances are great that said piece will translate well to audiences from the field. 

Rant over. And apologies for derailing the Scouts thread so much today. This thread has been chock full of blanket statements that have very little merit ("Much of the music being performed now is intended for those with extensive musical background", "Today's shows are designed for the judges, not the fans", "Nearly every single show is chop and bop", etc.) that need some light shone on them.

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5 minutes ago, Jake W. said:

Rant over. And apologies for derailing the Scouts thread so much today.

It's okay by me. Nice discussion that didn't get petty and pissy.

Bottom line for a basic fan: The Scouts show this year is really enjoyable, and I'm all behind their attempt to try something different. I liked much of the music last night (Evansville), esoteric as it was. It will grow on me by San Antonio and Indy - even if I am clueless about Husa cluster chords.

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9 minutes ago, mjoakes said:

It's okay by me. Nice discussion that didn't get petty and pissy.

Bottom line for a basic fan: The Scouts show this year is really enjoyable, and I'm all behind their attempt to try something different. I liked much of the music last night (Evansville), esoteric as it was. It will grow on me by San Antonio and Indy - even if I am clueless about Husa cluster chords.

Fun fact, and this is the fun in music, you don't even need to know the history behind Music for Prague or the make up of those crunchy chords to like them. 

"Does this super dissonant chord create a cool moment that portrays the chaos and intensity of this world the Scouts are trying to draw us into?"

"Oh hell yes it does."

"How about this one?"

"Oh HELL yes it does!!"

"And this one in the closer??"

"Jesus #### yes it does!!!!"

Then you can applaud ridiculously at your computer like the godd***ed fool you are. That's a page directly from my play book, anyway.

: )

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5 hours ago, cowtown said:

Interesting idea

 

Trying to figure out my least favorite, highest ranking Scouts show to find the disconnect

 

gotta go with 1978, Star Wars into Bee Gees, 4th place

 

what's yours?

Oh c'mon now. How Deep Is Your Love was spectacular. 

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4 hours ago, Jake W. said:

Disagreed. It's just that the visual demand has risen to match musical demand, vs. drum corps in the 1970s & 80s.

We hear this all the time, but I call hogwash. No one will ever be able to convince me that the simultaneous demands on the brass players today are more demanding than they were for '87 Garfield, '90 Star, '91 Star, or 2000 Cadets to name a very few. Today when the music gets tough the tough stand still. Furthermore, horn lines play a lot less. If it wasn't for the alumni, bandos, and family DCI wouldn't have anyone in the stands. I honestly wouldn't bother introducing anyone to DCI these days. Sad, but true.

Edited by henry7184
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Regardless of how one feels of this show the scouts have figuratively ripped the band aid off. The sky is no longer the limit they can perform whatever they want and wear whatever they want in the future. The only tradition that remains is brotherhood and bad assery ⬅️ Not a real word. ⚜️⚜️⚜️〽️〽️

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38 minutes ago, henry7184 said:

We hear this all the time, but I call hogwash. No one will ever be able to convince me that the simultaneous demands on the brass players today are more demanding than they were for '87 Garfield, '90 Star, '91 Star, or 2000 Cadets to name a very few. Today when the music gets tough the tough stand still. Furthermore, horn lines play a lot less. If it wasn't for the alumni, bandos, and family DCI wouldn't have anyone in the stands. I honestly wouldn't bother introducing anyone to DCI these days. Sad, but true.

I try to watch shows for the brass demand when I re-watch on video.  And yes it is rare to see difficult passages played while moving.  Bluecoats for instance.  They have a very entertaining show IMO, but the follow the leader snake drills, and other follow the leader isn't that demanding.  And they do generally stand still to play their features.  

All corps do it similarly now, not meaning to single out Bloo.

It's just different.  I don't think you can say one is more demanding than the other.

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