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gram written by someone other than a con- temporary music educator.6 The point must be further considered in light of the argument of many current music education philosophers. There are an increasing number of scholars who stress the importance of educating students about mu- sic in relation to its cultural context instead of focusing entirely on skill development. Many scholars suggest that music educa- tors should devote more emphasis on the consideration of music’s social and cultural context. Those of an extreme position hold that bands in schools should be abolished because that culture is no longer relevant. While this position is both extreme and unrealistic, it does raise the concern that it might not be viable to base music education solely on aesthetic rationale. This is somewhat related in part on the debate in band circles over what constitutes quality in music. An older view that certain- ly still has merit is that music must contain elements of high aesthetic value. One cannot argue that students gain immeasurably from studying and performing music by Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. Music by these and

the other masters provide an opportunity to be immersed in the genius of art music from the Western European heritage. However, having experience with a

genuine culture, ranging from popular to the most esoteric, is one of the benefits of study in the arts. Bands of all forms—from the Harmoniemusik ensembles of the 18th century, to the Gilmore Band of the 19th century, to the Sousa Band which gave its first concert in Plainfield, and finally to the United States Marine Band of our current time—have performed marches. Marches in their many different forms are a vital part of the Western culture. Along with many other genres and styles of music, they need to be part of the band’s curriculum, in part be- cause they are part of the band’s culture. In addition, many possess wonderful melodies, engaging harmony, and interesting counter- point—clearly a winning combination. It is difficult indeed to imagine the New

Year in Vienna without hearing Radetzky March by

Johann Strauss. Why should

school bands avoid The Stars and Stripes For- ever?


1 Barber, Carolyn. “Where Have All the Marches Gone? Here They Are!” Tempo 66, no. 3 (March, 2012), pp. 42-43.

2 Ibid, p. 42.

3 Erich Schwandt and Andrew Lamb. “March.” In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, http://www. music/40080 (accessed February 16, 2012).

4 Carl Chevallard. Teaching Music Through Performing Marches. Chicago: GIA Publications, Inc., p. xvi.

5 See Budiansky’s website to read his articles on this subject: http://budiansky. com/MUSIC.html

6 Stephen Budiansky. Talk to the College Band Directors National Association, Eastern Division West Chester, PA, March 13, 2010, p.4-5. CBDNA%20talk.pdf



MAY 2012

MAY 2012



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