October 2014: Marching Band Comparison

Meets National Core Arts Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8


  • Perceive, analyze, and interpret intent in artistic work
  • Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work
  • Organize and develop artistic ideas and work
  • Develop, refine, and complete artistic work for presentation


October 2014 Bonus CD

Optional: Marching Music by Rich Breske

Piano and classroom instruments

 1: Play the Florida State University Marching Band’s “Notre Dame Victory March” (CD track 5).



What time signature is this in? (2/2 or cut time—two half notes per bar.)

Is the key signature minor or major? (Ef major.)

Why do you think it’s in a flat key? (Flat keys are horn-friendly.)

In the beginning, is the texture primarily homophonic, with all the instruments harmonizing the melody in the same note values, or polyphonic, with lines that have independent melodies and rhythms? (Homophonic.)

Which of these textures best describes the music beginning at around 0:07? (Polyphonic.)

What mood does the piece evoke? (Jubilant, etc.)

The piece is titled “Notre Dame Victory March.” In the context of marching music, what’s significant about Notre Dame? (Its marching band is the oldest continuously running American college band.)

 2: Play the Florida State University Marching Band’s “Fight On March” (CD track 6).



What time signature is this in? (4/4.)

Is the key signature minor or major? (F major.)

Can anyone say how far apart the roots of the first three chords are? (Minor thirds.)

What kind of melodic technique, heard often in jazz and blues, is happening around 0:07? (Call and response: One group states a melody and another answers.)

What happens to the music at around 0:43? (It modulates to the key of A-flat, giving the music an emotional lift.)

3: Play the Florida State University Marching Band’s “Hold That Tiger” (CD track 7).



What’s the time signature? (4/4.)

And the key signature? (B-flat major.)

Why do you think all these pieces are in major keys? (Major produces an appropriately festive sound, etc.)

Throughout, is the music of this piece homophonic or polyphonic? (The latter.)

Can anyone identify the type of chord heard at the very end of the piece? (This is a sixth chord—a major triad with an added sixth, in this case a B-flat triad [B-flat–D–F] with a G. Play this chord on the piano to demonstrate.)

4. Play Ohio State’s Trubute to Michael Jackson


How is this does repertoire differ from the tracks on the CD? (It’s an interpretation of popular music.)

Does seeing the band move alter your interpretation of what you’re hearing? (Open discussion)



  • Were they engaged in discussing the listening selections?
  • Were the students able to identify the elements in each song?