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SF2K4

Does tradition mean anything anymore?

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I think, when it comes to drum corps, tradition for tradition's sake is overrated. For that matter, so is innovation for innovation's sake.

I want to be entertained at a drum corps show. Certain corps have traditions I enjoy -- like the Conquest hit during a BAC show, for example, or the BD warmup. But there are other traditions that I find myself living without quite nicely, like G Bugles, or color presentations.

It's important to recognize that music in general, including drum corps, must constantly evolve. My musical tastes are much different than my parents and grandparents, and different from today's youth. And while I enjoyed the Bridgemen Alumni performance on Saturday night as a one-time thing, I wouldn't want to turn the clock back to 1976. Admittedly, I don't like all the innovations of today's corps but "more of the same" gets old after a while.

"Tradition ist schlamperei" - ("Sloppiness" or "creampuffs with jam and sprinkled sugar")

and

"Tradition is your last bad performance"

- - - -Gustav Mahler

"Respect the old, search for the new"

- - - Roksaburo Michiba

I think wisdom is sometimes found between the lines - depends on how hard you want to search and everyone - absolutely everyone - is entitled to their own tolerance level. DCI either survives or it doesn't. Same with "drum corps" - though the two are not synonomous.

regards - Jim

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The Cadets operate entirely within the structure of the activity in creating highly entertaining yet innovative shows...including 2006.

Not really. Over the past few years, when miccing the pit, voice, amps, etc. all came out is when this trend of shows that get so much heat (2005, 2006) began, so in a sense you could say the Cadets operated in a way NOT in the structure but rather changed the structure to fit their shows.

Voice has been legal for decades. As in miccing the pit, miccing the voice makes it better.

I disagree. So far, I have not been impressed at all my mic'd voice. I still say it sounds terrible, singing and everything. Narration is still the worst, however.

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It is no joke.

I refer to the musical piece the way the composer titled it.

Your last statement shows you are a very shallow thinker you does not care to learn from history. Freedom needs to be maintained. There will always be someone out there more than willing to ###### your country up as theirs. When it becomes "uncool" to be patriotic, you make their task easir.

Mike (Sousa lover and proud of it)

I am also a Sousa lover, though his stuff grew pretty tired at the end of his career. I'm neither proud nor ashamed that I enjoy Sousa, just as I do any other composer. And sorry dude, I don't believe for a second that you put the word "march" at the end of the title.

You said this:

I don't want to hear any whining from you when the Chinese are running this country.

Should you be told how absurdly bigoted that sounds? Let alone the absurdity in the fact that you made that statement in reference to somebody not wanting to hear a Sousa march to end a drum corps show.

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Voice has been legal for decades. As in miccing the pit, miccing the voice makes it better.
But, that's your opinion, right? In my opinion, as far as drum corps goes, it's a waste of time and money. I'd rather, instead of hearing a soloist or group of vocalists, they add to their show from their respective fields (i.e guard, percussion, hornline). In my opinion, I'd rather hear that gorgeous hornline that the Cadets have sans voice. You could have a Harry Connick Jr. clone come out sing and I wouldn't want to hear it on the field.

From my perspective, why would I want to go out and sing on a football field when I have my church, recording studios, Los Hooligans, the stage and many other venues for my vocal outlet? Why waste it on a football field? Again, JMO.

Micced vocals are indeed 'music'. Whatever makes you think they are not?
Yes, I'll agree with that statement. However, I'd just rather not hear it on the field. B)

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Not really. Over the past few years, when miccing the pit, voice, amps, etc. all came out is when this trend of shows that get so much heat (2005, 2006) began, so in a sense you could say the Cadets operated in a way NOT in the structure but rather changed the structure to fit their shows.

The Cadets did not 'change the structure'...the DCI BOD did. The Cadets operate fully within that structure.

I disagree. So far, I have not been impressed at all my mic'd voice. I still say it sounds terrible, singing and everything. Narration is still the worst, however.

OK...that is your opinion. Mine differs. ESP the 2004 Crown and now the 2006 Cadet ballad use of voice for singing. My favorite narration is 2006 Crossmen with 2005 Cascades right up there too.

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But, that's your opinion, right? In my opinion, as far as drum corps goes, it's a waste of time and money. I'd rather, instead of hearing a soloist or group of vocalists, they add to their show from their respective fields (i.e guard, percussion, hornline). In my opinion, I'd rather hear that gorgeous hornline that the Cadets have sans voice. You could have a Harry Connick Jr. clone come out sing and I wouldn't want to hear it on the field.

Right...it's MHO. Most things posted here are opinions.

Of course, mine is always right. :ph34r:

"I never lie, and I'm always right," don't forget. ($1 to Firesign Theater)

From my perspective, why would I want to go out and sing on a football field when I have my church, recording studios, Los Hooligans, the stage and many other venues for my vocal outlet? Why waste it on a football field? Again, JMO.

Why not, if it's good, as the singer in the Cadets is this year. Why go to see a corps show at all? Voice is and has been legal for decades (that is a fact, BTW). Now it's just possible to be used better (an opnion).

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I agree with those who say that there is still a good bit of tradition in this activity, and in general.

Tradition is a tough thing to put a finger on and define. And it can be both good and bad.

In some cases we hold tradition high because it incorporates those things we have done for years. Whether they be flag presentations, certain kinds of music, a uniform style and look, or the traditions of membership in a specific corps. Many of these things are still there. I think most of the corps have a tradition of educating their marching members about their past, and drum corps past in general. Most of the drum corps are still playing many of their old signature tunes for encores, parades, and other concerts.

Some have died. Color presentations and entering the field from the left (fans perspective), the patriotic nature of the acitivty to some degree, and the old style uniforms have mostly faded. You can't expect the uniform styles to hold for generations when fashions tend to change so fast. The Cadets uniform is simply one of those that still works today. Many, many old uniforms would not work today.

But for all the tradition we speak of when harkening back to the good ole days of drum corps, we must remember that the post WW II drum and bugle corps was constantly changing. It was a creature of change more than that of tradition and continuence of the same. Some changes seemed minor. Adding valves at first was not seen as a big deal. Adding some pit was not seen as a big deal. The musical styles and the artistry that found its way into a newly formed DCI in the 1970s seemed a lot more controversial compared to what corps were allowed to do at the VFW/AL shows.

I think most people today were somewhat fine with the changes to 3 valve G bugles, the modern style, the advancement and expansion of the pit, and the use of more dance in the guard. It has been just recently with the Bb/F horns being allowed, and the amplification/voice rule, that we find the tradition of drum corps, as an all acoustic ensemble, broken. And probably for good. I think the amps are here to stay, but how they are used, and the issue with voice, may undergo some change. Who knows.

Tradition doesn't mean much if it gets in the way of advancement for the sake of education, or if it prohibits us from finding a better way. It is in such cases that Alan Bloom, in his excellent book "The Closing of the American Mind," states that "Once tradition has come to be known as tradition, it is dead." Many may not agree with this, at least not in every instance, but too much tradition leads to a lack of change, a lack of searching for a better way, complacency, and an unwillingness to see beyond your own vision because you have become too attached to, and blinded by, those traditions. If tradition is all one has, then they have stopped their search for something better. If tradition is merged with advancement in a careful way, then the best of both worlds can be addressed.

The best of traditions give us a sense of purpose and pride, and they define who we are. They can define an organization, a small group, a school, a business, a city, a people. The best traditions can accomodate the needs of a society or activity for an eternity, while the worst traditions will have people who are not blinded by their addiction to the same old, same old crying for change.

Edited by jwillis35

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Micced vocals are indeed 'music'. Whatever makes you think they are not?

How is the narration in the Cadets show ("You unlock this door...") and all of he chattering in the percussion feature ("ALICE, GET READY FOR A MIND-BLOWING AFTERNOON!!!!!!!!!" etc.) musical in any way, shape, or form?

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I've been lurking in the background for the past six months as a guest. Bit of background, been following Drum Corps since 1962. Never marched but did volunteer work.

This whole tradition vs innovation/evolution thing has me perplexed.

I certainly don't want to go back to the days of a prescribed program, ie off the line, color pre, etc. Nor do I want to hear the same song played by four different corps at a show. On the other hand it would be nice if a corps like Casper could get credit for doing a more "traditional" show, or Boston could play more than a few notes of "Conquest"

The amp thing will probably work itseld out over time. I think amping the pit is a good idea. for voice I'm not so sure. There has been some well done singing without amps in the past. For the most part narration doesn't do it for me. BD over did it last year and Crown was short and decent.

I do miss retreat, not for the sake of having it but for its entertainment value. DCI alots 17 minutes for each corps. Since a show is 11 minutes in length that means 6 minutes is for setup/breakdown. If a contest has six corps that is roughly an hour and a hlaf in length with 30 minutes given to setup and only one hour of actual performance time. From a consumer point of view is this a reasonable bang for the buck considering ticket prices, travel cost, etc.

A full retreat would add more entertainment value to the show. If corps played themselves off the field maybe additional tradition would come back and we could here "you'll Never Walk Alone", "Conquest" and other Corps theme songs. Then the winning corps which is already on the field could play their encore.

Just some thoughts.

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How is the narration in the Cadets show ("You unlock this door...") and all of he chattering in the percussion feature ("ALICE, GET READY FOR A MIND-BLOWING AFTERNOON!!!!!!!!!" etc.) musical in any way, shape, or form?

I'm positive you realize that what they were discussing was singing. However, I will point out that the Red Queen does indeed speak in rhythm (four eighth-sixteenth-sixteenth patterns with a sixteenth pickup).

This is really me playing Devil's advocate, though. Personally, I don't want miked vocals of any kind.

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