contemporary and different groups

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Young Trumpeter, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Young Trumpeter

    Young Trumpeter Pianissimo User

    Jun 10, 2006
    i hear teachers of mine mention (often complaining about) modern or contemporary classical/concert band music (not rock or rap or that kind of contemporary). what, and when, is the difference between modern and not-modern music?

    also, what exactly is the difference between concert band, symphonic band, wind ensemble, wind symphomy, and any others i missed? different groups in high school and around where i live are all called these different names but is there a difference in size, instrumentation, music selections, etc?

  2. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    Your first question is involved a short answer would be the harmonic language, rhythmic structure and vocabulary, the way counterpoint is used and tone color used. There are other elements of course but those are the basics, and it gets rid of the pieces that are little more then warmed over regurgitated (I love that word) Mahler. Also a lot of new band pieces seem to have a lot of effects of the nature of "see what I can do." They take so much work for piece that really does nothing or says nothing musically. A lot of them are crap but then one can safely say "most new art is crap" it doesnt' matter whether music, literature, theater, the visual arts.

    Second question Yes there is a difference Concert Band, Symphonic Band are basically the same thing in some schools it could be the way to distinguish between the higher level band and the lower level band. Wind Symphony was developed because some people think that band is a four letter word that gets in the way of being taken seriously. (I think there are other factors involved, such as programming) The wind ensemble is supposed to be a very different group. 1-2 players on a part, ability to use flexible instrumentation and Fennell's original idea was to perform mostly original pieces for wind groups. The advantage is to the Wind Ensemble is a clarity that cannot happen in the large bands, also a chance to really play instead of sucking on the horn the whole time you are in the group. The downsides are that it is brass heavy, and for parts of the literature doesn't have the body of sound required to do it well. My observation is that High Schools use the term for their top band without really subscribing to what Fennell was thinking with creating the Wind Ensemble.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2007

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