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sledding

Marching Band

The end of the summer is announced by the arrival of the drummers. These guys are not Clyde Stubblefield; their style is martial ... marching band drum line, y'all: Pum pum pum pum rat-a-tat-a-tat. When you hear them practicing on campus you know that it won't be long before classes begin, and summer falls by the wayside. A premature fall makes its bombastic entrance.



I confess that I don't understand the attraction of marching band. But, you know, it's so popular I'm tempted to say that there is something about it ... something beautiful, something ineffable ... that escapes me ... Otherwise, how could one possibly explain it? If you know the answer please let me know.

It combines music and spectacle. The problem is that, musically, it's not that musical; and as a spectacle it's not that spectacular.

I remember going to Michigan State football games with my dad back in the seventies. It was a total experience: getting up at the crack of dawn, driving the 166 miles down to East Lansing, lunch at the Union, football game ... I was especially impressed by the high-stepping of the band as it took the field. But nowadays the bands no longer high-step. Too many of the band members are obese.



You surrender to the experience: blaring brass, the pum pum pum of the drums; the formations. It's half-time, the game will resume in a little while. Time for marching band.

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sledding

May 2018

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