What Makes Band Music Great

The other day, I was at a local high school football game, and I heard a song that I recognized. It was from a movie that I had seen a long time ago, but could not quite remember which. I realized at that moment how great band music was, because they play music that many of us recognize, but never really appreciated while it was actually happening.

I remember that shortly after they finished that piece they played another piece of band music that was actually a version of a classic ’70s rock song. I could not ever imagine hearing “Magic Carpet Ride” as played by a high school marching band, but sure enough, they broke into that, much to the delight of the crowd, and that kind of brings me to my next point.

One of the more interesting aspects of band music to me is to hear the parts being played by horns and woodwinds that one would normally hear from guitars and basses. It just seems like there is more of an attention to detail with band music, and that each individual part is more articulated.

A few minutes later, the marching band launched into the Hey Song. I think this is an all-time classic among band music because I have yet to see a band that does not perform it at some point in their show, and usually to a great response. The thing about this song, and other band music, is a lot of it provides the opportunity for the audience to get involved, either by singing or dancing.

When the game was over, I heard two songs that are especially unique to band music, which of course were the school’s fight song and Alma Mater. I always love to hear those songs because I like seeing the crowd’s reaction. I still remember how my school’s fight song and Alma Mater sounded and how much I loved hearing our band play them.

I think of all of the band music that I heard that night, however, my favorite had to be at the very beginning of the game when the home school’s marching band played the Star-Spangled Banner. Besides being our national anthem, it is a very expressive piece of music, and does a good job of incorporating most of the instruments of the band, including the eve important cymbals, into the action. I think what I admired most was the fact that so many of the kids seemed to take such pride in playing it and playing it well.

Band music holds a very special place in my heart because it can cover so much ground. Perhaps it is just the fact that it takes me back to a simpler time in my life, but I always look forward to hearing the high school bands play at their schools’ sporting events.

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