In the 1920s, the school band movement exploded across the U.S.A. bringing a need for new band repertoire. Authors such as Arthur A. Clappé provided composing guidelines to enable more people to create transcriptions, arrangements and original compositions for their students. These “how to write for band” rules were based on ensembles that had haphazard instrumentation, conductors with limited training and a very different education curriculum. Fast forward 100 years and many works for wind band still adhere to such guidelines. This adherence has generated a particular wind band sound, a sound our ears have come to expect and love. Today, we find that now, more than ever, there are composers writing for wind band with a different approach to the 1920s model. Some composers may have a ‘rhythm-first’ approach, others a ‘texture’ or ‘timbre-first’ approach. Either way, composers are thinking differently about the sonic capability of the wind band. In this clinic, we will explore some of these composers, their repertoire and how compositional approach not only impacts the timbral outcome, but also, provides newfound opportunities for you to explore the full capability of your students through alternative instrumental blends and differing instrumental roles.
Keen to learn more?
Please read Chapter 6, The Repertoire (R)evolution by Jodie Blackshaw in
as published by GIA Music Inc.
Other contributors include Erik Kar Jun Leung (the driving force behind this incredible book), Alex Shapiro, Courtney Snyder, Robert Taylor and Alfred L. Watkins who share stories of courage, strength and triumph from underrepresented communities in the wind band field (a MUST read!).