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Topic: Not the Ninth (for marching band)

  1. #1

    Not the Ninth (for marching band)

    Alright! I'm still working on the George Orwell show (amongst 4 other original shows for next fall!), but in the spirit of showing off my new GPO and JABB libraries, I'm sharing a show I wrote last year for a marching band in central Illinois.

    The show is called "Not the Ninth" and is a modern twist on Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The inspiration comes from the Santa Clara Vanguard and their 1995 show "Not the Nutcracker". Their entire show took themes from the Nutcracker and twisted them around in very dark ways. They went pretty far out there with their interpretation, but from a composition standpoint, I was fascinated with the show. Knowing that Beethoven's Ninth was more well known and beloved, I chose to still take it in a darker and modern direction while still being careful to respect the original material.

    The general idea of the show was to keep using the Ode to Joy theme through the production but to never give it to you completely until the last impact of the show. I had been threatening to write this show for years, so to finally sit down and get it into the computer was an emotional experience. I had mulled the ideas over for years and had in many ways built it up in my head to a point that it was pretty difficult to achieve the high expectations I had for myself.

    The files utilize GPO, JABB, and the CaMB Garritan libraries. I also utilized some light reverb. After the almost unanimous opinion from my last offering, I spent some time with it, and I think I have found a setting that works for me. I personally don't want to go much wetter with the reverb.

    1) Not the Ninth
    Based on the first movement of the symphony, it also establishes that we will be using the familiar themes in new ways. I dedicated this movement to my wife as we had just gotten married when it was written. The dedication reads, "To Jen - my wfie and one true joy."

    2) Looking for Ludwig
    Based on the second movement, it is for the most part a percussion feature that allows the mallets to be featured with a relatively straight up version of the main theme of the movement.

    3) Thou Glorious Spark
    The ballad is based on the third movement. The flutes and clarinets set down their instruments after the introduction and move to flags. When the big impact hit, there were nearly 60 silks on the field. Before the impact, the melody is a solo trumpet. The last notes are backfield along with the trumpet solo. The last note is a fermata that leads directly into...

    4) Yoj ot Edo
    The entire beginning is still backfield, all the way until the impact. The last movement is based on the Ode. I struggled with this movement the most because I had put a lot of pressure and expectation on myself to make the payoff as satisfying as I had built it up to in my head. Having the last 2 movements run together like this ended up being a great effect on the field.

    I hope you enjoy the show. I'm very proud of it as well as how well those kids performed it. They turned something I had been thinking about for years into something really special.

  2. #2

    Re: Not the Ninth (for marching band)

    Hello, trimpe

    I've been looking forward to more field band music from you - Thanks for coming back with more, and filling us in on the interesting background for this.

    Really impressive arrangement --The second time through #4 just came to it's climax, I must stop and applaud.

    Love your arrangements, and I'm glad you're adding at least a tiny bit of reverb. I still think you're overly sensitive to it, but it's fun for me to finally meet somebody who prefers things even dryer than I do! - I think the instruments would sound better with a more standard reverb setting, but there ya go. You think the recording should sound more like outdoors, and I think that for the purposes of a recording, the band should move indoors - and so we don't agree on that. Oh well!

    Technically, the other thing really missing on these tracks, for me, is vibrato. In the opening section of #4, for instance, trumpets have some long sustained notes, and they're perfectly motionless - and that's utterly unrealistic. When these sounds are held for much duration at all, without vibrato, they can start sounding artificial and synth-like, because we're hearing a sound not quite like what's ever heard in the real life counterpart. I wish you'd experiment with adding some vibrato throughout - it could really sparkle up your marvelous arrangements.


    Randy B.

  3. #3

    Re: Not the Ninth (for marching band)

    Yes! Go you Trimpe for putting some marching band literature on the forum! You've done marvelous with this writing. I love it when marching band/drum corps write music like this. I must admit, (even though I am aware you're not a virtuoso in the field) that I wanted to hear some battery licks in the recording here or there. But not to worry, your writing was good enough for me to almost envision the battery parts while I was listening to it.

    I love the last movement ALOT! Great job on it all. I could hear some of our area high schools here in North Carolina performing your stuff.

    Thanks for the musical treat!

    Nieves Villasenor

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    South of the Ohio River

    Re: Not the Ninth (for marching band)

    Where is the link for the 3rd movement? Movements 1,2 & 4 are outstanding but I want to hear movement 3.
    Dayton, Kentucky
    Personally, I'm waiting for caller IQ.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Penfield (Rochester), NY

    Re: Not the Ninth (for marching band)


    This is really good material, well written and executed. I agree with Randy, it is still a little too dead sounding. I am not suggesting wetter, but fuller, like a nice small performance hall.

    Hmmm Farmington Hills, I am originally from more upstate, the Cadillac area.

    Hope to hear more of your works in the future.



  6. #6

    Re: Not the Ninth (for marching band)

    More excellent show writing, Trimpe! Ninth especially
    impressed me, quite a ride.

    I'm still hungry (with Randy) for more generous sound
    treatment, though!

    My best,


  7. #7

    Re: Not the Ninth (for marching band)

    Hello all! Thank you all for the positive comments about the work. I'm very proud of how it turned out, and to have other knowledgable people in the field appreciate it is very nice indeed. I appologize for not being able to respond to your comments earlier as my wife and I have both been pretty knocked out with some post-holiday virus or something. We have been doing lots of nothing, taking the occasional unexpected nap, all that good stuff. As of yesterday, we are both starting to feel something close to human again.

    Concerning vibrato:
    In another show I wrote last year (and will be posting sometime soon), I have a flute duet in the ballad. I use the flute sample from GPO because I love the warmth to the sound, partially brought forward from the vibrato. As I mentioned before, I will be the first to admit to not knowing how to extract the full potential out of the libraries as I'm still quite new to them. It's not there because I am against it, it's because I quite honestly don't know how and have yet to figure out how to do it. Composition and publishing are the main focus of my work; the sample recordings, while incredibly important, are not as important as other fascets like marketing, communication, writing, and publishing. That being said, if there is an easy way to add it in (I work entirely with Finale 2008), I'll be more than happy to try it out and post a comparison file in this thread.

    While we are at it, I have yet to figure out a good way to do suspended cymbal rolls in Finale as well. If anybody knows a trick or two, I'd love to hear it.

    Concerning reverb:
    I guess I should be flattered that the biggest criticism is tending to be coming from a production standpoint as opposed to content! Since it still seems to be the biggest comment, let's try and do something about it. For those of you who work with Finale (I imagine Sibelius is quite similar), tell me the settings that you use for your works. I'll plug them in and make an mp3 with your settings and post it here for people to compare. Maybe in the process I'll find something that's even better.

    Again, I appreciate the comments, and hopefully through this process I'll continue to learn a thing or two about getting the most from these libraries.

  8. #8

    Re: Not the Ninth (for marching band)


    One of my favorite works by The Master is his 9th Symphony. To be able to to what he did without even hearing it is so far beyond me, its.....?

    As others have said it is lacking that little bit, but who cares. This is a great arrangement and I doubt if you made the Master roll over.

    Well done


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