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Topic: Manual for 'Marches'?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member June-Bug-Dan's Avatar
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    Question 'Marches' any help

    Hey,

    I've been a fan of 'Marches' for as long as i can remember. And for just as long i have been trying to compose marches for wind band/brass band etc.

    I was wondering if there was a book/manual or similar out there which broke down the sections of the March etc. (Such like the orchestration course)

    I've been looking for a while now but with no luck. I've read many composition books about harmony, melody, orchestration and so on.

    A March manual would be a great addition to me collection



    If anyone can suggest something then please let me know


    Thanks,

    Dan.
    Trumpet, cornet, flugel player. Composer and student.

  2. #2

    Re: Manual for 'Marches'?

    I'm a big fan of marches too. Sousa is my hero.

    A - Intro
    B - First Verse
    C - Second Verse (Sometimes with key change, often to IV)
    D - Short Optional Bridge
    B - Recapitulation
    E - Ending (Brief or extended)

    There are many variations of the above.

    I don't know of a march book or manual.

    Regards,
    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member June-Bug-Dan's Avatar
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    Re: Manual for 'Marches'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry G. Alexander View Post
    I'm a big fan of marches too. Sousa is my hero.

    A - Intro
    B - First Verse
    C - Second Verse (Sometimes with key change)
    D - Short Optional Bridge
    B - Recapitulation
    E - Ending (Brief or extended)

    I don't know of a march book or manual.

    Regards,
    Thanks Larry,

    This helps but im hoping someone else knows of thorough 'method' book or something similar.

    D.
    Trumpet, cornet, flugel player. Composer and student.

  4. #4

    Re: Manual for 'Marches'?

    In my experience the "traditional technical" terms are:

    Intro
    First strain (optional repeat)
    Second strain (optional repeat)
    optional "break" strain
    Trio (also add a flat to the key sig.) - also optional repeat.
    Stinger (this is that "final" note - sometimes yes, sometimes no)

    I believe this is the general structure of the march. It is just a guideline - vary at will!

    EDIT: I have no idea why they are called "strains" instead of verses when it is a march, but that's the tradition.
    EDIT EDIT: Bierley's book on Sousa might have some insight - haven't read it in awhile.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  5. #5

    Re: Manual for 'Marches'?

    Hi Dan,

    I am a big van of marches too. Many years ago when I was a child a played in some marching bands. My suggestion is: Listen to the marches you like best and try to arrange them in your daw.

    I did a march some time ago with CoMB. You can listen to it here: http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...77&postcount=1

    Best,

    Gunther
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  6. #6

    Re: Manual for 'Marches'?

    Hi JBD,

    There are different kinds of marches:

    • the "marching" march, literally intended to be marched up and down the street with at march tempo, around 120 bpm +/-, Sousa - "Sempre Fidelis"


    • the "grand" march (or entrance march, as I like to call it), slow and pompous, closer to a walking tempo, Mendelssohn - "Wedding March"


    • the "concert" march, which can be just about anything and is typically more elaborate in form then the first two listed above, Williams - "Raiders March"

    So, the form may vary quite a lot, but the classic Sousa-ish march is typically AABBCC, or AABBCCDD, with C & D in a closely related key.

    However, the classic, classic form, e.g., "Stars and Stripes" is AABBC,dogfight,C,dogfight,C

    Some might call the "dogfight" an interlude or 'D', but, if it sounds like a dogfight, then it probably is.

  7. #7

    Re: Manual for 'Marches'?

    ..........
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  8. #8
    Senior Member June-Bug-Dan's Avatar
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    Re: Manual for 'Marches'?

    Thanks for the help guys.

    Another question, for those who have composed marches.

    I always start with the intro rather than the first 'strain' theme. Does anyone do it this way or another way?

    Do you do any planning? ect...

    D.
    Trumpet, cornet, flugel player. Composer and student.

  9. #9

    Re: Manual for 'Marches'?

    Hi JBD,

    I believe it's most common to write the intro on any kind of work after the first strain, or even last, as it's helpul to at least know what you're introducing before writing the introduction. On the other hand, if it works for you to write straight front to back, then do that. That said, when working on things, sometimes what one thought was going to be the intro ends up somewhere else or not at all.

  10. #10
    Senior Member June-Bug-Dan's Avatar
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    Re: Manual for 'Marches'?

    Quote Originally Posted by DarwinKopp View Post
    Hi JBD,

    I believe it's most common to write the intro on any kind of work after the first strain, or even last, as it's helpul to at least know what you're introducing before writing the introduction. On the other hand, if it works for you to write straight front to back, then do that. That said, when working on things, sometimes what one thought was going to be the intro ends up somewhere else or not at all.
    I can see why it would be better to write the first strain or the entire piece, then, the intro. But for some reason i've always started with the intro.

    I'm really trying to improve in my composition skills, and especially in Marches and concert band pieces (i aim to have my local band play one of my pieces, if i write a good one!!)

    Have you yourself written a march before? I'm a fan of the pieces you have done but i cant remember i you've ventured into the Marching world.

    regards, D.
    Trumpet, cornet, flugel player. Composer and student.

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