Classical Jazz '05

Keeping the Beat


In music, a drum cadence or street beat is a work played exclusively by the percussion section of a modern marching band (see marching percussion). It is stylistically descended from early military marches, and related to military cadences, as both are a means of providing a beat while marching. Usually, each instrument will have a part that mimics a specific drum or drums on a drum set to create a sound similar to a drum beat.
According to Hiro Songsblog a drum cadence is, “'a drumline piece played in a parading marching band between or in place of full-band pieces'. Cadences, are also: 'a chant that is sung by military personnel while parading or marching'.”
Cadences employ the four basic drum strokes and often directly include drum rudiments. They have a wide range of difficulty, from simple accent patterns to complex rhythms including hybrid rudiments, and are played by virtually every modern drum line. Cadences are important from a performance standpoint, as a good drum cadence can make the band stand out from the rest in competition. Field shows are often preceded by the band marching to the beat of the cadence. 
Marching percussion generally consists of at least snare drums, tenor drums, cymbals, and bass drums, and may include timpani.



A march, as a musical genre, is a piece of music with a strong regular rhythm which in origin was expressly written for marching to and most frequently performed by a military band. In mood, marches range from the moving death march in Wagner's Götterdämmerung to the brisk military marches of John Philip Sousa and the martial hymns of the late 19th century. Examples of the varied use of the march can be found in Beethoven's Eroica Symphony, in the Marches militaires of Franz Schubert, in the Marche funèbre in Chopin's Sonata in B flat minor, and in the Dead March in Handel's Saul.

Marches can be written in any time signature, but the most common time signatures are 4/4, 2/2 (alla breve , although this may refer to 2 time of Johannes Brahms, or cut time), 6/8, and 3/4; however, some modern marches are being written in 1/2 time. The modern march tempo hovers around 120 beats to the minute (the standard Napoleonic march tempo); however, many funeral marches conform to the Roman standard of 60 beats to the minute.
The form of a march typically consists of 16 to 32 measures in length with multiple repeats until a new section. Most importantly, a march consists of a strong and steady percussive beat reminiscent of military field drums.
Marches frequently change keys once, modulating to the subdominant key, and occasionally returning to the original tonic key. If it begins in a minor key, it modulates to the relative major. Marches frequently have counter-melodies introduced during the repeat of a main melody. Marches frequently have a penultimate dogfight strain in which two groups of instruments (high/low, woodwind/brass, etc.) alternate in a statement/response format. In most traditional American marches, there are three strains. The third strain is referred to as the "trio".
A military music event where various marching bands and units perform is called tattoo.


Woodwind Instruments

Woodwind instruments (also called woodwinds) are a family of musical instruments within the more general category of wind instruments. There are two main types of woodwind instruments: flutes and reed instruments (otherwise called reed pipes). What differentiates these instruments from other wind instruments is the way in which they produce their sound. Woodwinds can be either soprano, alto, tenor or bass.

Flutes produce sound by directing a focused stream of air across the edge of a hole in a cylindrical tube. The family flute can be divided into two sub-families: open flutes, and closed flutes.
To produce a sound with open flutes, the player is required to blow a stream of air across a sharp edge that then splits the airstream . This split airstream then acts upon the air column contained within the flutes hollow causing it to vibrate and produce sound. Examples of open flutes are the transverse flute, panpipes and ocarinas. Ancient flutes of this variety were often made from tubular sections of plants such as grasses, reeds, and hollowed-out tree branches. Later, flutes were made of metals such as tin, copper, or bronze. Modern concert flutes are usually made of high-grade metal alloys, usually containing nickel, silver, copper, or gold.
To produce a sound with a closed flute, the player is required to blow air into a duct. This duct acts as a channel bringing the air to a sharp edge. As with the open flutes, the air is then split; this causes the column of air within the closed flute to vibrate and produce sound. Examples of this type of flute include the recorder (instrument), and organ pipes.

Reed instruments produce sound by focusing air into a mouthpiece which then causes a reed, or reeds, to vibrate. Similar to flutes, Reed pipes are also further divided into two types: single reed and double reed.
Single-reed woodwinds produce sound by placing a reed onto the opening of a mouthpiece (using a ligature). When air is forced between the reed and the mouthpiece, the reed causes the air column in the instrument to avibrate and produce its unique sound. Single reed instruments include the clarinet, saxophone, and others such as the duduk and the chalumeau.
Double-reed instruments use two precisely cut, small pieces of cane bound together at the base. This form of sound production has been estimated to have originated in the middle to late Neolithic period; its discovery has been attributed to the observation of wind blowing through a split rush. The finished, bound reed is inserted into the instrument and vibrates as air is forced between the two pieces (again, causing the air within the instrument to vibrate as well).  This family of reed pipes is subdivided further into another two sub-families: exposed double reed, and capped double reed instruments.
Exposed double-reed instruments are played by having the double reed directly between the player's lips. This family includes instruments such as the oboe, cor anglais (also called English horn) and bassoon, and many types of shawms throughout the world.
On the other hand, Capped double-reed instruments have the double reed covered by a cap. The player blows through a hole in this cap that then directs the air through the reeds. This family includes the crumhorn and the cornamuse.

Bagpipes are unique reed pipe instruments since they use two or more double or single reeds. However, bagpipes are functionally the same as a capped double reed instruments since the reeds are never in direct contact with player's lips.
Free reed aerophone instruments are likewise unique since sound is produced by 'free reeds' – small metal tongues arranged in rows within a metal or wooden frame. The airflow necessary for the instruments sound is generated either by a players breath (e.g. harmonica), or by bellows (e.g. accordion).


Musical Form

The structures or musical forms of songs in popular music are typically sectional, repeating forms, such as strophic form. Other common forms include thirty-two-bar form, verse-chorus form, and the twelve bar blues. Popular music songs are rarely composed using different music for each stanza of the lyrics (songs composed in this fashion are said to be "through-composed"). This form can be used in any structural difference in melodies. A common format would be as listed: Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Verse, Chorus, Middle Eight
The foundation of popular music is the "verse" and "chorus". Both are essential elements with the verse usually played first. Exceptions abound with "She Loves You" by The Beatles being an early example in the rock music genre. Each verse usually employs the same melody (possibly with some slight modifications), while the lyrics usually change for each verse. The chorus (or "refrain") usually consists of a melodic and lyrical phrase which is repeated. Pop songs may have an introduction and coda ("tag"), but these elements are not essential to the identity of most songs. Pop songs often connect the verse and chorus via a bridge, which as its name suggests, is a section which connects the verse and chorus at one or more points in the song.
The verse and chorus are usually repeated throughout a song though the bridge, intro, and coda (also called an "outro") are usually only used once. Some pop songs may have a solo section, particularly in rock or blues influenced pop. During the solo section one or more instruments play a melodic line which may be the melody used by the singer, or, in blues or jazz influenced pop, the solo may be improvised based on the chord progression.



"Beats per minute" redirects here. For the website formerly called One Thirty BPM, see Beats Per Minute (website).
"Tempi" redirects here. For the Greek valley, see Témpi. For the Greek municipality, see Tempi (municipality). For other uses, see Tempo (disambiguation).

The first two measures of Mozart's Sonata K. 331, which indicates the tempo as "Andante grazioso" and a modern editor's metronome marking: "♪ = 120". Play (help·info)
In musical terminology, tempo (Italian for time, plural: tempi) is the speed or pace of a given piece. Tempo is a crucial element of most musical compositions, as it can affect the mood and difficulty of a piece.

The tempo of a piece will typically be written at the start of a piece of music, and in modern Western music is usually indicated in beats per minute (BPM). This means that a particular note value (for example, a quarter note or crotchet) is specified as the beat, and the marking indicates that a certain number of these beats must be played per minute. The greater the tempo, the larger the number of beats that must be played in a minute is, and, therefore, the faster a piece must be played. Mathematical tempo markings of this kind became increasingly popular during the first half of the 19th century, after the metronome had been invented by Johann Nepomuk Mälzel, although early metronomes were somewhat inconsistent. Beethoven was the first composer to use the metronome, and in 1817 he published metronomic indications for his (then) eight symphonies. Some of these markings are today contentious, such as those on his "Hammerklavier" Sonata and Ninth Symphony, seeming to many to be almost impossibly fast, as is also the case for many of the works of Schumann.

With the advent of modern electronics, BPM became an extremely precise measure. Music sequencers use the BPM system to denote tempo.

As an alternative to metronome markings, some 20th-century composers (such as Béla Bartók and John Cage) would give the total execution time of a piece, from which the proper tempo can be roughly derived.

Tempo is as crucial in contemporary music as it is in classical. In electronic dance music, accurate knowledge of a tune's BPM is important toDJs for the purposes of beatmatching.

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