Band Vocabulary

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Battery: 
Drum section that marches on the field as a group. The Battery usually consists of snare drums, bass drums, tenor drums, and cymbals.


Brass:

Wind instruments made of metal alloy (typically copper and zinc, or aluminum). Includes euphonium, mellophone, trumpet, sousaphone, trombone, trumpet. Brass instruments create sound when the player's lips are made to vibrate against a metal mouthpiece (which is why a saxophone, while made of brass is considered a woodwind!)


Cleaning: 
Slang term that means to make each movement well defined and precise. Each has a definite point where the movement starts, changes and stops.


Color Guard: 
Originally the armed guards who protected the U.S. Flag (the Colors). Since drum and bugle corps evolved from the military, they also carried colors and had a guard. As drum corps got more elaborate, the color guard began to include teams of rifle spinners, tall flag performers and dance teams. The name is still used for these teams by drum corps and corps styled bands, even though the national flag is rarely used in performance.


Corps: 
A short name for Drum and Bugle Corps, a type of marching group that performs using various pitched bugles, percussion equipment, flags, rifles, etc. Also means simply, a group of people.


Drum Line: 
The field drums collected together in a single marching unit. This unit often includes; snare drums, tenors, bass drums, cymbals. The drum line is most often used by drum and bugle corps and corps-styled marching bands.

Drum Major: 
A person who leads a marching band or drum & bugle corps.


Eight to Five: 
Marching at a stride of eight steps to five yards (22.5" stride).


G. E.:
A slang term for General Effect. This is the title of a judging caption used for judging drum corps or bands. It has to do with the total overall effect created by all elements of the performance.


Ictus:
(In music) the stress or accent marking the rhythm. (In conducting) the movement made by the conductor's hands or baton to show the accent of each beat. (In drum majoring) the movement made by the baton or mace to show the accent of each beat.


Interval: 
The distance between two people standing side by side.


Pit (The Pit, or Front Ensemble):
A slang term for the percussion equipment and players who do not march on the field, but are stationary on the sideline. This also describes the area where those percussion instruments are set. Instruments typically include all mallet percussion (marimba, xylophone, bells), keyboards and synthesizers, timpani, gongs.


Winds, or Woodwinds: 
Any wind instrument other than the brass instruments. Includes: clarinet, flute, oboe, bassoon, saxophone.