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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000342.txt from 1998/03

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: Marching Band
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 1998 14:43:25 -0500


On Thu, 5 Mar 1998, Matthew A. Cullen wrote:
> We have our music arranged
> (Mostly from more modern music...not Movie soundtrack...if fact we did
> Copland this year, Coraal Nocturne, Billy the Kid, and the Promise of
> Living ...and I think some excerpts of Red Pony) and some original
> compositions...So that is a stereotypical remark that must be
> disregarded.

I am still waiting to hear from anyone - waiting to hear the name of one
fine, well-recognized composer who has written a piece specifically for
marching band....not an arrangment by someone for the marching
medium.....but a work written by a fine composer for a marching band to be
used outdoors. And I am not talking about standard marches by John Philip
Sousa and other contemporaries......who wrote marches in a recognized
dance form. I am talking about works of music that are written only for
the marching field - and we are talking a well-thought of composer - in
the leagues of Barnes, Chance, Ticheli, Holsinger, Schueller, Kraft, etc.

The stereotypical remark is non-existant.......marching bands play
arrangments.....good or bad, they are arrangments. They are a wonderful,
entertaining ensemble......that is not recognized as a medium for which
serious composers write. Period! No one is saying marching bands are bad
or not fun, or that they somehow diminsh band programs.....quite the
contrary. However......they continue to be misused by many music
teachers in the public schools. This is a cannot be argued;
rather, it can be proven....and it has been.....many, many times over.
That was the point of the original post which, by the way, I am beginning
to regret having posted (well, maybe not).

Incidentalyy, I don't think 37 years old is too far removed from marching
to understand it. I see them all the time, and I observe them weekly.
I'm not sure what Matthew meant by older people not knowing what marching
bands are now doing.

Roger Garrett

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