11 definition by songspirit

Top Definition
n. and adj.

Marching band, simply, is a group of people who play certain types of musical instruments - notably, brass, woodwinds, drums/percussion - and march with them.

Some marching bands are comprised of people who have written these other Urban Dictionary definitions. Some marching bands are comprised of people who are offended by these other Urban Dictionary definitions, which in either case are describing far more than simply marching band.

Marching band, as a genre, is not limited by the season of the year; school, organization or community membership; age of the individual performer; musical selections or styles; and most obviously, level of devotion, values, character, focus, as well as hype or other nonsense. Just as there are good and bad performances, there are good and bad marching bands and good and bad members and players. All of these variables are determined by the individual marching band's membership, requirements and leadership/organization (or lack).

The general reader is advised to learn about marching band from people who are excited about marching and the playing of musical instruments, and ignore input from those who need or prefer to focus on other alleged characteristics.

Marching band instrumentation became focused on the three instrument classes of brass, woodwinds and percussion due to the combination of increased portability, durability and ability to be heard both indoors and outdoors. There are other sorts of instruments - notably strings, such as violins and guitars, and larger percussive instruments, such as pianos and harps, which are welcome in indoor orchestra halls but never became popular as a part of bands due to problems with durability and portability. Woodwinds are an instrument class which are sometimes eliminated from marching bands for these reasons, and such marching bands are more properly termed brass bands due to being comprised solely of brass and drums/percussion. Alternatively, woodwinds are often valued by other marching bands, whether due to the quality of their indoor woodwind players, their contributions to the total sound of the band in all settings, the desire to be inclusive to all members, or combination thereof. Such outdoor portability and performance utility no doubt contributed throughout history to the formation of what we know as a band, which can perform well both indoors and outdoors without a large scale change of instrumentation.

Marching band was developed by people who played instruments indoors who wished to play and perform outdoors, as well as people united by other interests and associations who chose playing band instruments as an activity. Examples of the former are musicians who play trumpet, saxophone, drums, etc.; examples of the latter include fraternal organizations and businesses (such as those who built the British brass band movement in the 1800s, or those seeking a method to advertise their name such as the USA's Goodyear Community Band).

"Marching" can range from a group of individuals merely walking together to the most perfectly uniform and military-styled precision, in step and in time with the music. The term "marching" is sometimes misused to signify other forms of outdoor performance.

In addition to the music makers, marching bands may have auxiliary units such as drill teams, dance squads, honor guards, color guards and other sections associated with them. These other sections may or may not be considered an integral part of the marching band, again depending upon the individual marching band.
Marching bands have developed in most countries over the past two centuries as a way to provide live music to listeners, both indoors and outdoors.
by songspirit May 19, 2006

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A marketing goal and methodology which involves elevating hype over substance; of imparting great value to the name whether or not the thing so named is worth anything at all.
Coca-Cola and Pepsi are successful examples of branding, even though the value of soft drinks and preferring one over the other is debateable.
by Songspirit April 18, 2006

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singular: corps (pronounced CORE)

plural: corps (pronounced CORZ)

A military-styled marching music fraternal genre, epitomized by Canadian and American corps sponsored by veterans organizations primarily between the 1920s and the 1970s, and still in existence today. Bugles are bell-front brass instruments with or without horizontal valves or slides used to change pitch, and unlike bands the entire hornline is in the same key, usually G. Drums are marching drums, primarily snares and bass drums. Color guards most closely resemble military honor guards.
You could hear the drum and bugle corps from miles away.
by Songspirit April 18, 2006

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An honor guard is comprised of at least two persons, usually numbering five to seven persons, and can be larger. These individuals are usually uniformed, such uniforms relating to the particular group or organization they are providing services to. For example, a police honor guard would be comprised of uniformed police officers; a military honor guard would be comprised of armed forces members, members of an armed forces auxiliary organization, or other military-styled organization.

Further, honor guards represent the highest ideals of the country or culture they belong to. Most honor guards, therefore, in honor to their country of origin, carry their National flag and observe their country's flag code, as they pay their respects to the other values they hold. Nearly all military honor guards, by their nature, also include a National flag bearer and whatever else is required by said flag code. For example, the American flag code requires that the American flag be protected; thus, an additional member of the honor squad generally carries a rifle or saber (genuine or replica) in order to pay respects to this requirement.
The honor guard led the drum and bugle corps in the parade.
by songspirit May 19, 2006

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Brass band is a musical genre which employs brass and percussion instruments. It differs from a marching band in that a brass band does not have woodwind instruments, such as saxophones, oboes, flutes, fifes and bassoons.

While brass bands and drum and bugle corps are both musical genres which are defined by the use of instruments classed as brass and percussion, the two genres differ as follows. A brass band:

-- may or may not have an honor guard -- a drum and bugle corps must have an honor guard;
-- may or may not observe patriotic or historically military traditions and values as a drum and bugle corps must (this is due to the often strictly civilian nature of band instruments as opposed to the purely military history of drums and bugles as signalling weapons);
-- is focused first on instrumentation and the playing of instruments, not (always) first being a fraternal group, as drum and bugle corps are;
-- plays band instruments in a variety of keys - drum and bugle corps use single key brass instruments throughout their hornline;
-- may or may not play outdoors or march - while a few drum and bugle corps may be organized as a "concert" or non-marching group, they still only perform with marching outdoor instrumentation; and
-- identifies with and honors band people and band history, while drum and bugle corps identify with and honor drum and bugle corps history, all other outside musical genres being optional and less vital than one's own genre.

Some categories of brass bands, such as traditional British brass bands, observe strictly regulated rules regarding size and type of instrumentation.
The brass band marched from the parade route into the center of the park, and performed a wonderful summer concert for the community.
by songspirit May 19, 2006

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n. and adj.

plural: blan-dos

Derogatory term (except sometimes when used defensively by blandos themselves) applied to a performance music member, staffperson or other profiteer more interested in hype, marketing and supporting a political network than in music and genuine performance genres.

Original form was "bando", in order to distinguish those of mediocre intentions from genuine band and performance members and supporters. Similarities to the word "bland" are intentional, reflecting this impression of mediocrity, i.e., less than what could be as evidenced by hype and politics. Most usually related and applied to highly competitive marching band circuits and Drum Corps International (DCI).
"The best marching bands at the show didn't win, because the blandos were judging and put the blando school first." (both noun and adjective forms)
by Songspirit April 18, 2006

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In modern times, marching band for people too stupid to spell properly - or care enough to use a spellchecker. Such people are usually woefully ignorant about a lot of other things too. Sometimes this is due to the presence and influence of mediocre teachers, purported leaders and even predators who use children for reasons of sexual or financial exploitation. All of these are very bad signs of something no one decent should want to be involved with. Amusingly for "drumcorp" critics, "corp" is also the abbreviation (without the period) for corporation - and corporate exploitation is often one of the reasons for the ignorance and lack of care such mispellings reflect.
The use of the terms "drumcorps", "drumcorp", "drum corp" and "corp" are all signs of ignorance and a lack of respect for drum corps, drum and bugle corps and other genuine marching musical history.
by songspirit November 19, 2006

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