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Dad's March III (2011)


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Notes for Dad's March 3

Happy Birthday Dad! I hope you find this music to be a rousing start to your big day. Enjoy!!

Doug

Notes on the composition:

Last year I wanted to do a march in 6/8 but it was not to be. This year, the muses were with me. This march is a medley in 4 parts:
- Introduction and main theme
- The folk song (The Green Hills)
- Bonhomme, Bonhomme
- Reprise of the theme

The overall march is composed more for a concert band setting than an outdoor 'by the left quick' march. It is more minimalist in the setting and uses harmony within only some instruments.

The main march theme is original (I hope - I've heard a lot of marches) and has three countermelodies in the flutes, clarinets, and french horns, with accented runs from the trombones. I had thought about getting modern with this march and throwing in some interesting chord progressions and note clusters but alas things evolved in a considerably more traditional vein. Note that the snare drum is a single player for this part, not a marching ensemble.

The Green Hills, also original, is mainly played by the woodwinds and is kept simple. The chord progression was fun to work out but played as fast as in this piece (180) you don't get the same impact as when played slowly. I may re-release this folk song at another time at a much slower tempo. The bassoon (are there marching bassoons??) takes the lead supported by the walking bass clarinet and flutes, with accents from the Bb clarinets. No oboes are in this piece by choice, and I would have used saxes but I don't have orchestral samples for them. There is a bass drum played pp just to fill out the low end, and the snare drum also provides accents with the clarinets. I used to love to play pieces by Holst and Vaughan Williams in high school so you probably hear the influence.

Bonhomme Bonhomme is a traditional children's French chanson à répondre which takes the style of a leader singing a line of the verse and then the rest of the singers repeating it. I did not include as many responses as the actual song can generate as it builds up verse over verse, but you get the idea. The tune also has a 3/8 bar in it which needs a timing offset to keep the march in step. This tune is included here as it was part of one of the medleys in the 1967 Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo, a favourite record of my Dad's that I can attest to enjoying over more than a few dinners whilst growing up. In fact, I can still hear entire sequences of the marches in my head. As I was writing these notes on completing this march, I googled the 1967 tattoo and lo and behold a fan and participant of the tattoo has created a website with pictures, videos, and the music. Amazing what one can find on the internet. http://tattoo67.com/index.html

Finally we're back to the main theme that through two repetitions is amped up with all the mayhem of a full marching band, now with a snare ensemble, toms, and most parts doubled at the octave for volume.

I was going to add The Black Bear, the traditional march for return to barracks, at the end of the main theme but it just didn't seem to work this time so I dropped it. Maybe if I do another pipe and drum piece in future I will have another go.

Production notes:

Almost all of these instruments are from the East West Symphony Orchestra Gold package, and each were sampled in the same hall. To that end, they all have the same characteristics in their release trails so additional ambience I found was unnecessary. Further, this thorough package has an optional add-on to give 3 mic positions: close, stage and hall ambience. I used stage for almost everything except for the bassoon, which I wanted to bring forward and so used the close mic as well. The other thing which this piece represents is the first time I have used the extended memory and internal sample disk offered by my new Mac Pro. It's a pleasure to be able to load all of these instruments with their different articulations and volume levels, something I did not have the room or CPU for on my MacBook.

Dedication:
This tune is dedicated to my dad (of course) and to Desmond Hassell, my inspirational music teacher in high school.

Photo from Keith Wilson's '67 Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo website.
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Song Stats
Hits: 2652
Comments: 40
Fans: 18
Plays: 171
Downloads: 50
Votes: 1
Uploaded: Jun 12, 2011 - 07:22:31 PM
Last Updated: Jun 12, 2011 - 07:22:31 PM Last Played: Jun 06, 2017 - 11:22:35 AM
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Creative Commons License:
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Hardware:
Mac Pro
Software:
Logic Pro, EWQL Symphony Orchestra
Comments
Moviz said 2354 days ago (June 12th, 2011)
Having
Just watched the Queen's Birthday celebrations with all the Royal Horseguards parading about, this wouldn't have been at all out of place if it had been played by them..... great rousing music Doug, regards M
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Doug Somers said 2354 days ago (June 12th, 2011)
If the Royal Horseguards ever ask,
you can tell them where to find me. :) Not that I'm expecting a commission for a tune any time soon....

Thanks for coming by for a listen! Be well,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
gadzooks said 2354 days ago (June 12th, 2011)
Dad's March III
Wow Doug ... this is amazing ... just a wonderful grand production. It sounds like an amazing live recorded concert. And I love those last 4 notes through my headphones. Impressive.
SG
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Doug Somers said 2354 days ago (June 12th, 2011)
Thanks Stan
I really appreciate your enthusiastic comments. I was going for that live concert sound. Glad it works for you in your cans.

Cheers,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
drakonis said 2354 days ago (June 12th, 2011)
The folk song "Reels" me back in time
Oh my, that took me back to high school concert band, playing Holst's suites... beautiful arrangements here, love the handoffs to different sections, and the care with which you mixed and balanced so it remained clear... even the brass was not muddy, excellent work, wow. And of course, a really fun set of pieces, AGAIN. Faved for repeated listens and study. What a great birthday gift.
ttfn,
Drakonis
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Doug Somers said 2352 days ago (June 14th, 2011)
Reel nice of you to drop by Drak
Aha, I KNEW you would be someone who would have gone through the Holstian pieces. Thanks for such supportive commentary Sir Dragon. I was thinking of all the work you put into the Black Forest Dance upgrade and decided I should really think this composition through carefully after laying down the original tracks.

Cheers,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
RAVENS said 2354 days ago (June 12th, 2011)
Happy Birthday..
To your Dad, may he have a wonderful day! I'm sure he loves your tribute to him, it is really terrific. This was done with East West Symphony Orchestra Gold? Very cool, I have Silver, but my comp died and I never had a chance to install it. But will soon, hopefully. Very nice piece!

RAVEN ;-)
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Doug Somers said 2352 days ago (June 14th, 2011)
Gold and Silver
Yes, this is with Gold, although I expect the limited range of articulations in this piece would all be in Silver as well. Sorry to hear about the premature demise of your computer. It is fun to use these symphonic sound packs and in your talened hands it would be great to hear what emerges.

Many thanks!
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
michaeljayklein said 2354 days ago (June 12th, 2011)
Happy Birthday Dad!
This was a rouser and John Phillip Sousa would be applauding as vigorously as the rest of your very happy audience Doug. Outstanding! Michael
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Doug Somers said 2352 days ago (June 14th, 2011)
Geee
Thanks Michael. Sousa knew how to get people moving, that's for sure.

I'm grateful to hear your very kind words about this composition.

Be well,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Bowman said 2354 days ago (June 13th, 2011)
I've
a soft spot in my heart for marches Doug.

I remember and loved last year's Dad's march and this is another winner. Beautifully articulated, well paced, dignified yet still playful.

You have many talents Doug and not the least of them is creating a wonderful march.
Cheers,
Charlie
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Doug Somers said 2352 days ago (June 15th, 2011)
Very kind of you to say so Charlie
Dignified and Playful - very observant! I hadn't thought of that but I think you are right on the money!!!

Cheers,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
davisamerica said 2354 days ago (June 13th, 2011)
totally
impressive!
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Doug Somers said 2352 days ago (June 15th, 2011)
Many thanks
Wow, glad you were impressed. It's a bit of a departure from your rant, but can still can be as motivational to move into some kind of action.

Cheers,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Reinholt56 said 2354 days ago (June 13th, 2011)
Hi Doug....
I love this sort of music. So much life and energy within and such a pleasure to listen through. I too delight in this type of music, but tend to listen more to Brass Bands, such as old colliery bands here in the UK.

Your arrangement and choice of parts really works and I hope your father gets as much enjoyment out of this pice as I am doing.

Happy birthday Mr. Somers.

Take care.

Paul
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Doug Somers said 2352 days ago (June 15th, 2011)
I didn't realise that the collieries had brass bands
But then a few quick checks on the subject in Google brought all kinds of interesting information about bands in the North. Maybe it's having a few generations of colliers in my own family that brought in some of the affinity to marches for my dad as well.

Thanks for the kind words Paul. Glad you enjoyed it!
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Jarvoid said 2354 days ago (June 13th, 2011)
Excellent
and total joy to listen to ,hope your dad approves and enjoys as well...tho' no reason to see why not !

Great sampling and looping ...or do you play the samples via a keyboard?....either way it's a bloody good show !!


Jarvo
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Doug Somers said 2352 days ago (June 15th, 2011)
Hello Chris
Glad you liked the march.

I do indeed play this on a keyboard at first, then go back and edit things to adjust wrong notes, timing, volume etc. There are no loops in this piece - everything is played, as it were, into the sequencer. The samples come from EastWest, and are more detailed but otherwise very similar to those you get in Garageband Jam Packs.

Cheers,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
magnatone said 2352 days ago (June 15th, 2011)
Dad's March
what a wonderful and rousing tribute to your dad!! this is done spectacularly well doug - instant D/L and thank you!!
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Doug Somers said 2352 days ago (June 15th, 2011)
Great to hear from you
Ah Karen, thanks so much - I'm truly honoured.

Be well,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
composerclark said 2352 days ago (June 15th, 2011)
Impressive
Wow, this is impressive stuff! Very well composed and executed! The instruments sound very realistic... I actually have that East-West package, but never got around to installing it because I had run out of room on my previous computer, but now I have a new one, and your music has motivated me to get busy with that installation right away. Bravo!
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Doug Somers said 2346 days ago (June 21st, 2011)
Thank you maestro
Your remarks mean a lot to me Clark, many thanks. The samples are addictive once you start using them, so I'm glad to hear you have a new computer to handle the space (and the CPU load). I found that having them on an internal and non-OS disk was important to really take advantage of the disk streaming technology the vendor builds into the package.

Good luck, and have fun!
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Henke said 2352 days ago (June 15th, 2011)
March in June
Strange times these ;-) This is not the kind of music I would put on the stereo to listen to myself, but now that you brought it to my attention it IS a quite nice listen, you get kind of happy by it. Obviously well written and performed. Congratulations to you - and your dad!

Take care,
Henke
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Doug Somers said 2346 days ago (June 21st, 2011)
Atypical music
Yes, I probably wouldn't normally turn out marches if my Dad weren't interested in them, however as a personally crafted birthday gift it is something I take great pleasure in doing. They also sharpen up my compositional skills (and patience!!) and are good fun when the results finally come in.

Nice to hear you posting again too!

Thanks for the comments Henrik.
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
hackneybloke said 2351 days ago (June 16th, 2011)
dad's march
i never expected to hear marching music on macjams...but this was a welcome surprise. i'm always amazed at how someone can put something like this together and make it sound like there's a hundred real instruments involved. lengold showed me his east west software - and ran one of my midi piano tracks through it for one of my song...what a difference it made. money well spent doug....and i'm sure your dad is going to be very pleased with this.
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Doug Somers said 2346 days ago (June 21st, 2011)
Cheers Julian
I found that the EastWest samples aren't as playable as the GB Jam Packs (by me anyway) but they can be tweaked to yield some good results sonically.

Thanks for your kind remarks sir!
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Narad said 2351 days ago (June 16th, 2011)
Dad's March
Splendid fanfare and uplifting march ! Very well done ! Bravi ! :)
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Doug Somers said 2346 days ago (June 21st, 2011)
Thanks Harald
A little more rowdy than your recent pieces of contemplation, which I am really enjoying.

Thanks for the encouragement and uplifting remarks!
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Diviner said 2349 days ago (June 18th, 2011)
Well composed
Really enjoyed this march. It almost got me up,2,3,4.
Nice one Doug
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Doug Somers said 2346 days ago (June 21st, 2011)
By the left .... wait for it ....
These days if I get a little marching around the room it's good supplementary exercise.

Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for the support Keith!

Cheers,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
SerenaS said 2345 days ago (June 22nd, 2011)
Tunes to turn up
This sort off thing is so stirring. I like to play it loud and tap my feet. Well put together, hope Dad liked it - SS
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Doug Somers said 2344 days ago (June 22nd, 2011)
Many thanks Serena
I believe my dad did like it a lot, and as for playing it loud - well, is there any other way to play band music (especially if you have ever played in a band yourself)??

Glad it got the toes tapping.

Be well,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
DWL said 2334 days ago (July 3rd, 2011)
Brilliant Doug!
Really nicely done. Beautifully written and constructed.

Thanks for the detailed breakdown of the piece. Always good to get a bit of background.

You've managed to get some quite authentic sounds out of that package. I may have to investigate further.

Cheers
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Doug Somers said 2334 days ago (July 3rd, 2011)
Cheers Dick
There are times when I like to provide the background whys and hows. I must say I thought that you were using a similar package for Motor Head since the orchestral sounds are quite good in it (and they were creatively used too!)

Thanks as always for the very kind words sir!

All the best,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Philip18 said 2316 days ago (July 21st, 2011)
Amazing
You really have captured the sound here - I am marching all around the house listening to it :-) I am amazed at the thought you've put into this and what you have achieved musically. Great!
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Doug Somers said 2268 days ago (September 7th, 2011)
Thanks Philip
The hardest part is deciding the new march melody. I don't often write 'normal' melodies (preferring to paw at the keyboard - kind of like using a ouija board -and just let things happen), so since this has to work within a defined structure that people expect to sound like a march it stretches me a little which is good. When I arrange traditional tunes that part is easy.

Glad you liked this one, and many thanks for such a supportive commentary. Cheers,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
lengold said 2311 days ago (July 26th, 2011)
Very impressive
Cheers
Len

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Doug Somers said 2268 days ago (September 7th, 2011)
Hey Len
I'm late on the reply, yet nevertheless really appreciate your coming by to listen to such a 'traditional' tune.

Cheers,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
christopherpsly said 2075 days ago (March 17th, 2012)
Hi Doug
I really enjoyed this one.
A lovely live feel and it left me wanting more.
Well done my friend...
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Doug Somers said 2072 days ago (March 21st, 2012)
Cheers Christopher
I have had a lot of fun, and learned a few things as well whilst crafting these marches for my Dad's birthday. I tend to be more at the concert band end of the spectrum vs. the marching band, but still like to keep things lively and moving along. It's also fun to weave in the odd folk tune here and there to provide a midsection to the pieces.

All the best,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
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Name: Doug Somers
Location: Ottawa Ontario Canada
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I make music for pleasure, usually using a computer to create soundscapes around all kinds of music. I used to jam with a local celtic group, playing bodhran and 12 string guitar, but I find that my technical and live performance skills fall short o... [see more]

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