Many military traditions survive in modern marching band. Bands that march in formation will often be ordered to "dress" their "ranks" and "cover down" their "files". They may be called to "attention", and given orders like "about face" and "forward march". Uniforms of many marching bands still resemble military uniforms.
Outside of police and military organizations, modern marching band is most commonly associated with American football, and specifically the halftime show. Many U.S. universities had bands before the twentieth century. The first modern halftime show by a marching band at a football game was by the University of Illinois Marching Illini in 1907 at a game against the University of Chicago.
Another innovation that appeared at roughly the same time as the field show and marching in formations was the fight song. University fight songs are often closely associated with the university’s band. Many of the more recognizable and popular fight songs are widely utilized by high schools across the country. Three university fight songs commonly used by high schools are The University of Michigan’s “The Victors”, Notre Dame’s “Victory March”, and the United States Naval Academy’s “Anchors Aweigh”
Other changes in marching band have been:
* adoption of the tradition by secondary schools (high schools, junior high schools, and middle schools)
* the addition of a dance team, and/or baton twirlers/majorettes
* the addition of color guard members
Bands of America Award Ceremony at the Superregional Competition in St. Louis, MO, October, 2005 Bands of America Award Ceremony at the Superregional Competition in St. Louis, MO, October, 2005
Since the inception of Drum Corps International in the 1970s, many marching bands that perform field shows have adopted changes to the activity that parallel developments with modern drum and bugle corps. These bands are said to be corps-style bands. Changes adopted from drum corps include:
* marching style: instead of a traditional high step, drum corps tend to march with a fluid roll step to keep musicians' torsos completely still (see below)
* the adaptation of the flag, rifle, and sabre units into "auxiliaries", who march with the band and provide visual flair by spinning and tossing flags or mock weapons and using dance in the performance
* moving marching timpani and keyboard percussion into a stationary sideline percussion section (pit), which has since incorporated many different types of percussion instruments
* the addition of vocalists and/or electric instruments (marching bands have as a general rule adopted these aspects before drum corps, for instance the Drum Corps International circuit has only allowed electronic amplification since 2004 and has yet to permit electronic instruments without penalties)
* marching band competitions are judged using criteria similar to the criteria used in drum corps competitions, with emphasis on individual aspects of the band (captions for music performance, visual performance, percussion, guard (auxiliary), and general effect are standard).
source : http://marchingbandsale.blogspot.com