The Importance of European March Music

Topics: March, Colonel Bogey March, Military marches Pages: 3 (1028 words) Published: March 23, 2013
European march music
Many European countries and cultures developed characteristic styles of marches. British marches typically move at a more stately pace (ca. 88-112 beats per minute), have intricate countermelodies (frequently appearing only in the repeat of a strain), have a wide range of dynamics (including unusually soft sections), use full-value stingers at the ends of phrases (as opposed to the shorter, marcato stinger of American marches). The final strain of a British march often has a broad lyrical quality to it. Archetypical British marches include "The British Grenadiers" and those of Kenneth Alford, such as the well-known "Colonel Bogey March" and "The Great Little Army". German marches move at a very strict tempo of 110 beats per minute, and have a strong oom-pah polka-like/folk-like quality resulting from the bass drum and low-brass playing on the downbeats and the alto voices, such as peck horn and snare drums, playing on the off-beats. This provides a very martial quality to these marches. The low brass is often featured prominently in at least one strain of a German march. To offset the rhythmic martiality of most of the strains, the final strain (the trio) often has a lyrical (if somewhat bombastic) quality. Notable German and Austrian march composers include Carl Teike ("Alte Kameraden"), Hermann Ludwig Blankenburg, Johann Gottfried Piefke ("Preußens Gloria"), Hans Schmid, Josef Wagner, and Karl Michael Ziehrer. Swedish marches have many things in common with the German marches, much due to historical friendship and bondage with states like Prussia, Hessia and, from 1871 and on, Germany. The tempo is strict and lies between 110 and 112 beats per minute. The oom-pah rhythm is common, although it is rarely as distinctive as in a typical German march. The first bars are nearly always played loudly, followed by a cheerful melody, often with pronounced countermelodies in the euphoniums and trombones. At least one strain of a Swedish march is...
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