Author Topic: March for concert or marching band  (Read 328 times)

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Patrick O'Keefe

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March for concert or marching band
« on: May 30, 2017, 02:39:21 PM »
I've written only one piece for band.  It, like most of my work so far, is a "student work" but probably one of the best things I've written.  (It's a bit over two years old.  I get to do one "best" work a year.  :) )  It's a short (3:45) tongue-in-cheek march titled "Marching to Elsewhere".  I'll probably eventually think of a better name.

Score: https://app.box.com/s/09ukwpw1x0cvgov3vhmdws1401yidss2

Audio: https://app.box.com/s/ee1pmz7xjgta6vm3a54mipllut4fe7ve

gogreen

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Re: March for concert or marching band
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2017, 04:53:09 PM »
Patrick: Very enjoyable piece--humorous and bright. Clever ending, too. A few suggestions:
* The current scoring isn't really "wind ensemble." I'd flesh out the scoring to make the piece more practical for Grade 3 and above wind ensemble. That is, add an oboe part, another clarinet staff for clarinets 1 and 2, maybe another alto sax staff for altos 1 and 2, baritone saxophone, French horn, maybe another trombone staff for trombones 1 and 2, bass drum, and perhaps a xylophone part. Optional would be string bass and piccolo (either doubling in the flute part or a separate piccolo staff). For the cymbals part, I'd probably specify "blending clashed cymbals." I'd also think about adding a suspended cymbal and make it on one staff so that one player could comfortably move between instruments.
* Bracket the glockenspiel part with the other percussion instruments.
* The low brass part leaves much to be desired. Give them a melodic line here and there--overall, make the low brass parts more enticing. This might require some rewrite.
* I'd put the snare drum and bass drum on the same single-line staff. Only in Grade 1 band music would it be prudent to give each instrument its own staff.
* Remove the parentheses from the cymbal staff in measure 13.
* Instead of "nat.," I'd use "open" in the trumpet parts. At this level, two or three measures before the "mute" indication, I'd add an expression "insert mute." And right after the muted spot, I'd add an "open" and again in the measure that's played without a mute. And I assume you mean straight mute, so I'd specify "straight mute," instead of just "mute."
* FYI--in its current state, I'd call this piece a "hybrid." That is, overall it's about a Grade 3, but it includes more difficult elements in some parts (trumpets, in particular).

Nice work overall, Patrick--I like it. Did you notate the piece in Finale? If you'd like a Grade 3 wind ensemble template (Finale file or PDF), let me know and I'll post it for you to download. You should get a local college group to perform and record this piece.

Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: March for concert or marching band
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2017, 08:01:00 PM »
Arthur, thank you for your comments.  I have to admit that I just pulled the term "wind ensemble" out of the air.  (It's for an ensemble and most of the instruments use wind.   :) )  I hadn't really thought about the grade level when I was writing it - it was just an exercise in wind and brass writing - but I was told it was around 3.5.  I guess I should expand the instrumentation to actually match that grade.  The additions you suggest make a lot of sense but would require a bit of work.  I probably won't get to it right away, but I'll definitely keep them in mind.   

You are absolutely right about the low brass - it's boring!  There are places where the melodic material could easily be moved down there.  That will be first on my list of changes.  (Even before expanding the instrumentation.)

tbmartin

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Re: March for concert or marching band
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 05:02:57 AM »
Fun.  The program notes explained it nicely. Very enjoyable to listen to.  If you round it out to a more standard instrumentation as Arthur mentioned, it will also give you some more options for developing the piece, if you want to expand it.
Terence Martin

Tools: Finale 2003 on Windows XP
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Goal: Improve quantity and quality of concert band compositions.
Play: Saxophones (all, but tenor primary), Bass Clarinet, Piano (poorly)

Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: March for concert or marching band
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 09:05:11 AM »
I got interrupted when responding to Arthur and posted too soon.  The completion:

I have an old version of Finale but I use Sibelius.  It has templates (although called something different) for some band configurations, but not based on grade.  I will probably just add instruments rather than start over with a canned configuration so a PDF would be as useful as a Finale template.  But an authoritative web page would work as well as a PDF.  I've seen a few but they don't all agree.

I doubt I'm going to make all the changes you suggested, but I'll certainly make some of them.

And Terence, thanks for your comments, too.  I know this is a pretty short work, but I don't think I'm going to expand it.   I like the balance of the sections as it is; I'm not sure lengthening any of the sections or adding new sections would improve it.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 09:59:06 AM by Patrick O'Keefe »

sandalwood

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Re: March for concert or marching band
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2017, 09:16:53 AM »
Love the tongue-in-cheek quality to it. Witty and enjoyable. Thanks for posting.

Reha

Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: March for concert or marching band
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2017, 02:51:32 PM »
Thank you Reha (and anybody else I may have missed).

I've a question (based on my complete ignorance of band techniques) for those suggesting a larger ensemble:  Do I need the additional instruments because the balance of the work demands it, or because that would better match standard band configurations?  Is there the concept of a "chamber band"  like there is "chamber orchestra"?  A small group of wind instruments with no set configuration?  (I know about wind octets and nonets, but I mean small bands rather than augmented wind quintets.)

tbmartin

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Re: March for concert or marching band
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2017, 06:39:53 PM »
Thank you Reha (and anybody else I may have missed).

I've a question (based on my complete ignorance of band techniques) for those suggesting a larger ensemble:  Do I need the additional instruments because the balance of the work demands it, or because that would better match standard band configurations?  Is there the concept of a "chamber band"  like there is "chamber orchestra"?  A small group of wind instruments with no set configuration?  (I know about wind octets and nonets, but I mean small bands rather than augmented wind quintets.)

My comment was aimed at making it fit a more standard band configuration.  There is a concept of "wind ensemble" in which each part is played by exactly one instrument.  Those tend to be 20 to 40 players, but the exact instrumentation is defined by the piece being played.
Terence Martin

Tools: Finale 2003 on Windows XP
Day job: Actuary
Composing/Arranging output: mostly sax quartets
http://bit.ly/TerenceMartinSaxArranger
Goal: Improve quantity and quality of concert band compositions.
Play: Saxophones (all, but tenor primary), Bass Clarinet, Piano (poorly)

RJB54

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Re: March for concert or marching band
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2017, 07:41:21 AM »
This is a good, fun, piece.

I agree with what the other commentators said regarding the instrumentation.  I can't speak to the pedagelogical aspects as that is outside my area of expertise.

All in all a piece which would be fun for the players and the audience.
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.
Frank Zappa

mjw58

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Re: March for concert or marching band
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2017, 02:08:35 AM »

Sorry for my late response on this post. This is a very fun piece. Itís different and deserves a performance.
I agree with the comments regarding instrumentation etc, but itís a piece that made me happy.

Morten
Compositions: Wind band, Brass band and Fanfare
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Patrick O'Keefe

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Re: March for concert or marching band
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2017, 09:13:18 AM »
Thank you, Morten.  I haven't started making changes yet but will eventually.  I don't think I'm going to add many instruments - I intended this for a small ensemble and will probably keep it that way - but will try to improve the bass part a bit.

As far as being "different", well, yes if you think of march in terms of Sousa.  But if you think of a Bavarian oom-pah band that might march through a Mahler song then maybe not so different.

Jerry Engelbach

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Re: March for concert or marching band
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2017, 10:40:44 AM »
Another late comer here.


Marvelous piece for its melodic invention, interactions between the instruments, rhythmic and dynamic variety, and that little percussion cadenza towards the end.


Cheers,
Jer
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