Reaching the Audience in the Medium of Drum and Bugle Corps
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Drum and Bugle Corps is a complex art form combining visuals and music. In this paper I analyze the components of drum corps in order to define what combinations will be most satisfying to an audience. The work is useful to designers and fans, as well as potential fans of the activity. The components I break down a performance into are entertainment, the beauteous, awe, and skill. In addition to these I use the concept of an invisible barrier between the audience and the corps. In an entertainment performance, the invisible barrier is broken down in order to affect the audience with feelings of fun and delight. In a beauteous performance the barrier is built up in order to affect the audience with a transcendent feeling; in order to overwhelm them with deep emotion. Awe is the ultimate experience for a drum corps audience. I relate this feeling to the sublime. There are additional concepts within awe that come from Edmund Burke’s writings on the sublime experience. These are loudness, suddenness, color, and difficulty. Awe is very important as it is the highest feeling that can be achieved in aesthetics, and thus I relate awe, and its components, to the other components of performance mentioned before. If a performance seeks to invoke awe, it will immediately be on the right track to satisfying the audience. Much of this work concentrates on how to succeed at an awe-inspiring performance. The text analyzes video clips of drum and bugle corps performances which accompany the text on disc. They are meant to be viewed by the reader as the reader encounters them within the text.
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