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March, One Way or Another!

I was considering what topic to blog about and came upon the march.. it’s a music type that everyone uses, but doesn’t always know what it is.

To shed a little light on the topic, there are many kinds! Your standard 4/4 march will be my first mini glance. This march can have 2 different accents to it. One which could be the accent on the 1 (Think Of Star Wars march), OR, alternatively, the accent could be on the + (a favourite of mine for this accent is the song “Do You Hear the People Sing” from Les Mis).

Another march to know about is the 2/2 march, or cut time march. This is a fast duple meter march. You can hear the peppy 1 2 1 2 feeling in this recording of the Stars and Stripes Forever (by Sousa) recording. This is not only fun, but perfect for children to march to; your typical 4/4 march tends to be too slow for their short legs, they’ll end up not being on the music.

Finally, and not the least, we have the 6/8 march! This is most commonly heard in the droning marches of a bagpipe marching band. They walk to their music and if you listen and count, you’ll discover they’re often playing a 6/8! Not my cup of coffee, but to each their own! lol

Just as an interesting side note to this discussion on the march, the polonaise is sometimes consider the march of the 3/4 family. It has a strong and equal accent on each of it’s 3 beats. Here is a polonaise by Chopin (Op.40 no. 1). The quality and speed of the music is great for anything where you want equal value to each position. Many teachers use it for grand battement because of that! Up on the 1, touch the floor on 2 and closed on 3.

March on, great teachers! March on!

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