Marching Intro to marching band

What is marching?

Marching is walking steadily and rhythmically in a certain direction with others.

History oF Marching

Where it all began

Military bands and field music or corps of drums were historically the first marching bands. Instrumentation varies but generally contains brass, woodwinds, and percussion. Given their original purpose, military marching bands typically march in a forward direction with (no variation of) straight lines. Music is performed at a constant tempo to facilitate the steady marching of the entire military group the band is playing with. The marching step size (interval) is consistent, and usually at a 6 to 5 (six steps per five yards) or 8 to 5. This style includes field music units such as drum and bugle corps or bugle bands, pipe bands, and fife and drum corps.

Styles of Marching

There are three styles of marching techniques

  • High Step which involves lifting the knee with legs directly in front, thighs parallel to the ground, and toes pointed downward. When the leg is elevated, there should be a 90-degree angle with the body and the thigh, and a 90-degree angle with the thigh and the shin. The leg is then lowered, and this is repeated with the other leg.
  • Crab Step refers to marching sideways, like a crab, keeping the entire body facing forward. For percussionists, the crab step will substitute for a slide. To crab step to the left, on the count of 1 sidestep with your left foot over your right, taking about ¾ of a standard sized step. Then sidestep with your right foot, take a slightly larger 1¼ sized step so that you are moving at the same pace as the horn section who is taking standard sized steps each time.

So next time you see the halftime show, consider all the hard work that goes into putting on the performance. A band only has 15 minutes to prove themselves and get as close as it can to perfection.

Created By
Meridith Neuer

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