The Complete Marching Band Resource Manual

Now in an updated third edition, The Complete Marching Band Resource Manual presents both the fundamentals and the advanced techniques that are essential for successful leadership of college and high school marching bands.

The Complete Marching Band Resource Manual
Techniques and Materials for Teaching, Drill Design, and Music Arranging

Wayne Bailey, Cormac Cannon, and Brandt Payne

2015 | Third Edition
320 pages | Paper $47.50
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Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Understanding the Basics of the Marching Band
—The Marching Field
—Step Sizes and Styles
—Body Carriage
—Marching Fundamentals
—Grid Alignments
—Historical Styles of Show Formats
—Drill Design Software
Chapter 2. Making Drill Design Concepts Work
—Types of Forms
—Types of Movements
—Speed of the Drill
—Flow Between Forms
—Staging the Band
—Instrument Placement
—Paths of the Marchers
—Audience Perspective
—Coordination of Elements
Chapter 3. Designing and Charting the Show
—Selecting the Music
—Designing the Show Format
—Analyzing the Music
—Designing the Show
—Charting the Forms
Chapter 4. Arranging the Show Music
—Preliminary Planning
—Sketching the Arrangement
—Determining Scoring and Choosing Instrument Doublings
—Accompanimental Rhythms
—Harmonizations of the Melody
—Creating Counterlines
—Writing Introductions, Endings, and Transitions
—Aiming the Arrangement and Creating Musical Impact
—Writing the Score

Chapter 5. Teaching the Show
—Teaching the Music
—Memorizing the Music
—Teaching the Marching Fundamentals
—Teaching the Drill
—Sample Warm-ups
—Building Endurance and Power
—Structuring a Marching Band Rehearsal
Chapter 6. Parade Marching
—Selecting the Music
—Parade Formations
—Parade Signals
—Common Problems in Parade Marching
—Parade Routines

Chapter 7. Using the Auxiliaries
—Structuring the Types and Sizes of Units
—Choosing Props and Equipment
—Use of Auxiliaries
—Placement of the Auxiliaries
Chapter 8. Teaching the Marching Percussion Section
—Sizes of Marching Percussion Instruments
—Drumsticks and Mallets
—Correct Striking Area for Marching Drums
—Selection of Players
—Staging the Percussion Section
—Guidelines for Marching Percussion Drill Writing
—Marching Problems
—Parade Marching
—Parade Formation, Drumline
—Tuning the Percussion Instruments
—Musical Roles of Marching Percussion
—Editing Marching Percussion Music
—Percussion Warm-ups
—Traditional Grip vs. Matched Grip

Chapter 9. Sample Designs



Excerpt [uncorrected, not for citation]


The contemporary marching band in the United States has developed into an ensemble separate from the athletic contests and military shows that fostered it. Although it still uses sporting events as a stage for performance, the marching band has developed an audience and purpose all its own.

The marching band director must be a very versatile teacher and musician, able to arrange music, develop design concepts that create visual form over a ten-minute time span, choose uniforms and props, and teach, motivate, and control large groups of enthusiastic young people. This book can serve as a guide for teaching those concepts and administering a successful marching band program. This third edition includes updated sections on all aspects of drill design, charting, and music arranging. Each chapter includes some new information and some material that has been updated to address recent developments in marching band. For example, at the time of publication of the second edition of the text (2003), Chapter 2, "Making Design Concepts Work," focused on types of marching drill forms. At that time forms that were produced on the field were more important than the movement between those forms. Since that time, marching band designers have focused at least as much, if not more, on the movement between forms as they do the forms themselves. To address this, the information in Chapter 2 has been updated—not by deleting information about forms but by adding more information on movement and refocusing the chapter around movement. A further example can be given from Chapter 4, "Arranging the Music." In the second edition this chapter focused on types of scoring and the fitting together of four pieces of music into an overall marching show. Today, it is rare for a band to use four pieces of separate music. Instead, designers create shows that flow seamlessly from one work to another to create a marching show with few stops that is much less segmented in nature. This shift in design caused the authors to refocus the arranging chapter to address current methods. The third edition also includes new material on the percussion section and color guard, and new drill designs and ideas.

In addition to these examples, the following is a list of new material and changes to the third edition.

  1. Updated information in each chapter addressing current design, arranging, and teaching methods used in competitive marching bands.

  2. Additional information in Chapter 1 on terminology used in marching band, and new material on posture and body carriage.

  3. Additional information in Chapter 2 on matching motion to varying styles of music, on the importance of marching paths in relation to drill design, and on the staging of woodwinds, percussion, and color guard.

  4. New information in Chapter 3 on music selection and shaping the show, including updated design/charting ideas to reflect contemporary practices.

  5. New examples of scoring/doubling/arranging systems in Chapter 4 and new material on transitions and aiming musical arrangements.

  6. Additional information in Chapter 5 on teaching the fundamentals of marching, rehearsal techniques with sample rehearsal plans, and suggestions on cleaning drill forms, specifically on how to dress and cover forms, and how to guide while on the move. Updated musical warm-ups for band are also included in Chapter 5.

  7. Additional information on parade routines in Chapter 6.

  8. Updated information in Chapter 7 on auxiliary unit types and sizes, on the use of props and color guard equipment, and on charting and staging for auxiliary units and percussion. Chapter 7 also includes new material on terminology pertaining to auxiliary work and equipment.

  9. Updated information on selection of percussion instruments and front ensemble/pit percussion in Chapter 8, as well as new information on staging the percussion section and tuning of percussion in consideration of the effects of weather on percussion instruments. This chapter also includes new percussion cadences and warm-up exercises.

  10. New sample drill designs and updated drill designs throughout the text.

  11. Updated information on field size, dimensions, and markings.

  12. One new full-length arrangement in the Appendix demonstrating current practices not addressed in the previous editions.

The design, arranging, and teaching concepts presented here have proven successful in a wide variety of settings. New authors Cannon and Payne bring a fresh approach to the design concepts, and like original author Bailey, both have taught marching bands in the public schools and at the college/university level. If the reader draws one important idea from the book, it should be that the music dictates all types of movement to be used on the field. Good drill designing is easily accomplished if this basic concept is remembered.

The authors wish to express gratitude to Mesa Music Publishers of Carlsbad, California, for permission to reprint Alcalde and Shenandoah and to Pygraphics, Inc. for the use of their software Pyware 3D Professional in the creation of all drill charts in the third edition.