Corps-Style Marching/Technique/Principles

Corps-style marching technique aims to serve four basic purposes:

  1. Eliminate the disruptions to airflow and embouchre (for wind players) or rhythmic and dynamic accuracy (for percussionists) that can be caused by a non-fluid motion along the ground
  2. Ensure that the sound of all players is focused in generally the same direction, towards the audience on one side of the field
  3. Make all movements crisp, precise, and defined so as to make marching formations easier to read and more pleasant to watch
  4. Give the performer an air of assured confidence

A normal walking gait, as well as so-called "Big Ten"-style marching, involves the foot impacting the ground rather forcefully. For wind players especially, this can cause problems with maintaining a steady sound akin to the problems one experiences when talking while driving in a car down a rough gravel road. Corps-style marching aims to eliminate this by minimizing the force with which the foot impacts the ground. It does this in two ways:

  • Minimizing the total amount of force the ground is impacted with
  • Minimizing the component of that force that is normal to the ground

Specifically, the goal is to achieve a gliding or rolling motion in the foot that smooths out the natural jolts and bumps experienced, especially when performing on rough ground.