My Bugle

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by commakozzi, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

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    Oct 30, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    I marched drum corps for a number of years when I was younger (I'm only 32, so it really wasn't that long ago). I was introduced to drum corps when two valve bugles were still in use. I'm sure there are plenty of you guys here who would say "Wow, you actually had two valves? We only had one with a trigger!!!". Anyway, within a year of having started drum corps most groups were switching to three valve bugles. However, I really don't think that this had any affect on the intonation of the horn. Bugles, by nature, have very wide partials which makes them a lot of fun to play but also very hard to play well. I've heard people who can't lip trill on a trumpet do so on a bugle fairly easily, but their intervallic relationships are shot to hell. You might even say that a bugle is more prone to be efficient in an Asian ensemble with their weird scales and halftones. My point for this post is really a question to you guys and gals. What do you think of DCI's switch to conventional horns? I, myself, am a drum corps purest and believe that it's not called drum and bugle corps for some arbitrary reason. It's drum and BUGLE corps. There is a difference in sound between a trumpet and a soprano bugle, and drum and bugle corps is a beast of its own that should be preserved. For example, you have orchestras, jazz bands, brass quintets, brass bands, symphonic bands, chamber ensembles, etc. And then there's drum and BUGLE corps. Need I point it out again? Drum and B-U-G-L-E corps. Got it? Good. Why destroy a perfectly legitimate ensemble type? All the corps are switching to conventional instruments, but what will come of the bugle? Is the bugle the instrumental version of the 8-track, only to become obsolete? Why not just make better bugles? Any thoughts? If you say that you like DCIs switch to conventional horns, i.e. trumpets, euphoniums, etc. then you're missing the point of my post and you needn't reply.
     
  2. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

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    I'm not missing the point of your post, but if you ask a question and I have an opinion, you are going to get it, sorry. :dontknow:

    Here is the way I see it. If you are going to ask why move from the two valve bugle, then you might as well ask why increase the size of the front ensemble (the pit, as some of you might know it) and use keyboards and amplifiers. Isn't a glockenspiel enough? :cool:

    Simply stated, I believe, it is just a sign of the times. If you want the sport, and lets face it, that is what it is, to grow, then you have to appeal to the younger masses. That means music and instruments have to keep up with what the kids want to play. I support any DCI decision that will keep Drum Corp growing... well, until they start putting woodwinds on the field...

    Just my opinion...
     
  3. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

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  4. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    Things always change with time. That's the answer.
    The symphony orchestra has changed. Size, instrumentation, music played.

    Football changed. Look at old clips, is it still football?

    I'm a little older than you and when I first went to drum corps they gave me a bugle with one piston and a slide. I bet there were guys saying, "why the hell did they put that valve on there? It's wrecking it."

    I think the idea is to be able to play more music and have more people able to do it. The bugles are still pitched in some weird key and are designed to play loudly. The sound hasn't changed. Third valve = more notes.

    Now here is a change I hate: "The Pit". If you can't carry it and make it go without electricity, leave it at home.
     
  5. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

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    Even though I enjoy Commakozzi's postings ordinarily, I just 'have to' take exception to his history of D&B Corps. In the beginning of D&B usage, there was no such thing as a trumpet, cornet, or any other perinet valved wind instrument. The closest was when the design of the 'keyed bugle', Ophiclyde, etc., with clarinet type keys came about. With the advance of wind instrument technology it only seems normal to me that all forms of music 'should' advance apace. I also am cognizant of the need for a preservationist attitude and those who wish to perform in that type of vintage music to keep the memories of such alive.


    OLDLOU>>
     
  6. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

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    Hi Lou, you are right about the very old history of D and B corps. The preservation angle is operative, consider the many vintage horn bands around featuring 19th century instruments that are going. The pure bugle idea reminde me that I was in an Army ROTC Drum and Bugle Corp unit at MSU when both in an out of the program. ROTC was mandatory in those days for all male students for 2 yrs.
    I don't think the bugles we used had any pistons. Dressed in leggings , white belts and berets, with drum section and two highland garbed bagpipes. We played at ROTC functions and campus activities. I recall we could play a version of "Scotland the Brave".
    That's the only Drum corps experiece I was able to have.:-)
     
  7. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

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    Wow, I didn't know there would be so many strong opinions on this subject that counter my own!!! Yeah, I don't know... I just don't like the sound of the corps that are using trumpets for some reason. It could be that they are just not playing the trumpets well... not sure. I do appreciate the fact, though, that the trumpets will allow the corps to spread their orchestrations out a good bit.
     
  8. David-F

    David-F Pianissimo User

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    Feb 15, 2008
    Woodstock, GA
    I marched when we had to use two hands right hand for the piston the left hand the rotor, the two piston came in right as I stopped. Drum and Bugle Corps back at that time was more exciting and much larger there were at least 70 corps in the open clase. The switch from G bugles to trumpets did hurt the sound there something very unique to a G horn line. And I don't care what you tru to do you can't get that with trumpets and Bb baritones. I think I know why they changed and I think it has to do with the loose of so many corps that it was becoming more dificult to keep the few companies producing the bugles for such a small number and I'm sure money passed hande to open it up to some other compines who would not make the G bugles. All through out the history of Drum and Bugle Corps there have been many maker of bugles but most never stayed long except Getzen(and later DEG) but now that they use what everyone else uses horns should not be a problem. But as far as I am concerned I don't care I'd rather hear a G horn line and have an opertunity to let my kids be a part of a locial corps but DCI has ended most of that in their quest to creat a marketable company instead of opertunities for kids to learn to march and play..............
     
  9. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

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    Oct 30, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    That's an interesting theory about the loss of bugles from those corps. However, I'm more inclined to believe that it's the NBA (National Band Association) mentality that many of the corps owners have these days. They're already using electronics on the field, and even more amplification has been approved for the coming years. Some of the most innovative (and I believe many times destructive) of the leaders in DCI have mentioned wanting to change the rules to add woodwinds!!! That's my biggest underlying reason for hating the switch to trumpets, because I believe that it is a product of that NBA mentality. I personally know of a lot of music educators that would not encourage their students to join drum corps when it was all bugles, and that seems to be changing recently... and just happens to coincide with the switch to trumpets? hmm.... I don't think that's a coincidence. See, I feel like drum and bugle corps should remain just that... drums and bugles. But apparently I'm almost alone on this. Just wait though, one of these days you won't even know you're actually watching a "drum and bugle corps", because the saxophone line just marched by and there's a clarinet soloist on the sidelines with lasers and smoke flying all over the field.
     
  10. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

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    I just had a bizzare thought. As high school bands for quite a few years now have been trying emulated Drum Corps as much as possible with the drill routines, 1 show a year, some different instrumention, marching styles, pits, flags, many contests, yet being inclusive of the typical old style high school band Instrumentation for the most part. If DCI goes the other way, with woodwinds, I can see the pendulum swinging back so it may be hard to tell the two groups apart in future years. Hope that doesn't happen. Your post was very interesting. Lots of behind the scenes stuff going onl:-(
     

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