Marching Band Show opener - With winds score

• Aug 1, 2011 - 23:45

I've been working on writing a marching band show this summer, because marching band was my favorite part about being in high school, and I am obsessed with music. I discovered musescore and its really grown on me as I've gotten better at using it.

I currently have 3 of the planned 4 movements to this show done. The music is very dark, with a recurring theme of light-to-dark. The mockup recording I linked to is both the intro, and the opening movement. The score I uploaded is just the winds (as I haven't finished the scores for the other sections) and starts at about 1:09 into the recording, if you like to follow along.

Check it out, and tell me what you think!

Attachment Size
Part 1 Winds score.pdf 168.21 KB


Congratulations on making it sound like a band and not a drum corps. Don't be afraid to open many arrangers/composers forget that a marching band has woodwinds. You used them very well and even gave them some chances to shine.

A couple suggestions if I may. Your first hit point in the recording, the build from about 30 secs to 39 secs could grow a lot bigger for my taste. This is the first big WOW point for the drill designer and audience. A bigger build will make the break that follows all the more impressive. (Think BD!)

At letter D, and letter H the ww's are doing a lot of sixteenth notes that may get lost on the field, perhaps a bit more reinforcement from the keys in the pit.

Did you also write and score the percussion and pit? They sound great.

Is the piece going to segue into the next part of the show or is this a complete break at the end?

Again great job of writing for Marching Band.

In reply to by tjm59

Thanks man! I've had a lot of fun writing this stuff. I played clarinet in high school, and my director always made sure there were plenty of woodwind runs and features. Drum Corp gets a little monotonous without woodwind flare!

From 0:30 to 0:39, that will probably end up being bigger with an actual band playing it. I've been a little lazy about putting really good dynamics in the mockup recordings. But more pit action supporting the band in that crescendo is definitely something I'll consider!

I believe on all those woodwind runs I DO have the mallets backing them up, but they usually come in a about halfway through the runs. That was my effort to make sure the pit doesn't overshadow the technical skills of the woodwinds. But I do know how hard it can be to bring the woodwinds out of the mix, which is why I make everything else drop out. But at D, I probably should add the mallets in during the measure where the brass is still playing.

Yes, all the music here is mine. I put together my own little drumline soundfont from samples I found on the internet once, and used them to write the drumline parts. For the pit and winds, I used a mixture of EastWest Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra Silver, and Miroslav Philharmonik. I sequenced it all out in my DAW (Mixcraft 5) and then I take the midi and clean it up, then use MuseScore to make a good looking score. I've notated out the winds and drumline for this part just to make sure it was doable, and I plan to notate the rest when I get the other movements completely finished.

It sort of segues into the next part. When the long note at the end finishes, there is a dark strings synth from the pit playing a really low G, to create some background noise. Then the first soloist starts for the ballad movement.

Thanks again!

In reply to by Jellycrackers

Sorry, HAD to jump in here... It all looks great.. My comment is- PLEASE DO NOT double the woodwind runs in the front line ensemble. I teach at a very competitive school, and there are very few things that irk me more than when arrangers give woodwinds all of these wonderful runs... and then cover them up with the front line! The woodwinds should be given a chance to shine on their own, and the front line should have their own runs!

That's all I had to say! Looks great & good luck with everything! :)

Looks pretty legit! Would you happen to still have the actual musescore file? I would like to practice writing a marching percussion book to this. Nice work!

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