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5 hours ago, Ghost said:

Yes, in today's DCI, "music ensemble is the brass, battery and pit".  But, if there was only the pit or percussion by themselves, you wouldn't have too many butts in the seats.  A corps repertoire lists music that the brass section is mainly responsible for, but occasionally the pit will "support" the melody.  

a corps repertoire lists the music ALL OF THE MUSICIANS are responsible for. Not just the brass.quite honestly you get more melodic content from the pit during the block chord fest that is a lot of current brass arranging

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4 hours ago, Ghost said:

In the D&BC arena? For judging purposes sure.   Who gets more visitors during pre show warm ups?  Brass, percussion, or pit?

the battery hands down. 

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2 hours ago, N.E. Brigand said:

Why wouldn't that argument apply to woodwind players also? They're told they can switch to brass or percussion if they want to be in a corps. The same message could be delivered to the pit players. 

(As far as "my day" goes, there's always been a front ensemble.)

so a kid does the pit all through high school....and you think "ah #### it kid, grab a baritone"? yeah great way to attract kids.

 

kids today know the pit, love the pit and have little issue with it. so we have it. it's that simple.

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1 hour ago, greg_orangecounty said:

Drum lines would get the **** beat out of them (verbally) if they were too loud.  Ask Ralph Hardimon, or Tom Float.  The same thing exists today except its pits and they get away with it for some reason.  For the life of me I can't understand how it's an "in my day" issue.  Is the overall sound and balance of the total ensemble no longer important?

I don't get it.  

actually pits do. but the judges are way up, not in the lower level. i've been brutal here and elsewhere on pit balance issues over the years, and while some issues happen now, not nearly what it was even 5 years ago.

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1 hour ago, JustEnjoyIt said:

Most butts are in the stands listening to the whole, not camped out in the warm-ups. That said, WGI does pretty well on the percussion side if we want to look at if people want to hear pits or not.



I also want to combat a tone that was woven into this thread. Members in the top groups choose and work hard to be in those pits. Not settle for being in them.

As far as them not taking breaks in playing as opposed to the battery or brass - that's because they're not marching around the field. Of course they're going to play more. Their voice is able to tie those moments together to help move the show along.

In modern ensembles, which the members and audience seems to like, the pit is an equally important voice that plays many parts. Sometimes it's accompaniment for the brass, sometimes accompaniment for the battery, sometimes accompaniment for both. Sometimes it's a co-voice that carries through equally important melodic lines, and yes, sometimes it's the melodic focus as well. I can't help but think of how less-exciting Bluecoats would've been last year without their pit, or how Phantom 2010 would've been without that glorious front ensemble writing. Crown from 2006 -2009, with sweeping pit moments. Blue Knights the past few years have been super tasty in their percussion writing (to my preference, to be fair), and the entire ensemble fits so well for their style. The pit helps tie that together just as the brass or battery does. It is equally important to be heard in the ensemble as a whole.

oh this will make heads explode

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3 hours ago, Jeff Ream said:

oh this will make heads explode

Let it come. Nothing gets me riled up like a nice marching band sound preference debate.

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Yet, the human instruments of sound (voice) are kept more in check. Nothing ugly about suggesting the pit ensemble could well be made a smaller, more subtle delight.

🙂

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4 hours ago, Fred Windish said:

Yet, the human instruments of sound (voice) are kept more in check. Nothing ugly about suggesting the pit ensemble could well be made a smaller, more subtle delight.

🙂

hint: in todays world they won't add brass or battery.

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From what I can recall, '83 was the first year of the established pit.  Prior to that some instruments were grounded, yet the majority were carried by marching members.

Here is an example of a first year established pit.  The fact SCV used steel drums as part of the first year speaks volumes about how "Vanguard" they were - even the writing was so outside of what one would expect from SCV.   Note how few members are part of the pit this first year. 

 

Edited by Continental

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12 hours ago, Jeff Ream said:

so a kid does the pit all through high school....and you think "ah #### it kid, grab a baritone"? yeah great way to attract kids.

kids today know the pit, love the pit and have little issue with it. so we have it. it's that simple.

so a kid does woodwinds all through high school...

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