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1 4-parted vs 2-2parted marches

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  • 1 4-parted vs 2-2parted marches

    I am just getting my feet wet as a solo competitor (I did Grade 5 this year). In Grade 4 EUSPBA, the rules call for either one 4-parted, or two 2-parted marches (2/4, 6/8).

    While both are allowed, is there a generally accepted "norm" between the options, or are both options utilized almost equally?

  • #2
    Re: 1 4-parted vs 2-2parted marches

    I always hear a single 4-part tune. I think it's easier to memorize and no worries about the transition.


    I think, my opinion, that two 2-parters would rock with proper matching and contrast of key and rhythm.
    "What we play is life." - Louis Armstrong

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    • #3
      Re: 1 4-parted vs 2-2parted marches

      If you're just starting out, then play whatever you can play best.

      I don't think I've heard people play a pair of two parted marches more than two or three times in all the contests I've been to (Southern Branch of EUSPBA). But that also means that it is done on occasion, so it probably won't be the first time the judge has encountered it ;-)

      I think part of the reason 4 part tunes are almost universal is because you will need to learn to play 4 parted marches to prepare for grade three, so your instructor will be teaching you how to play them anyway. That, and there aren't many 2 part tunes that have the dot-cut runs that really typify 4 part marches. That is, a pair of 2 part tunes won't tick all the boxes of the style.

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      • #4
        Re: 1 4-parted vs 2-2parted marches

        Iíve often had beginners play and win with two well played 2 part tunes on the reality that a one part tune has much of the same thrust throughout ( e.g. common ending 4x) plus other same noted measures. Ok...the judge gets it.
        But Throw in an excellent break to a second different character tune played well and a judge also has some creativity to enjoy...not just run of the mill.

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        • #5
          Re: 1 4-parted vs 2-2parted marches

          There are a lot of great 2/4 tunes out there that have had the misfortune to only be blessed with two parts. They are great tunes and should be heard more often.
          http://www.callingthetune.co.uk
          -- Formerly known as CalumII

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          • #6
            Re: 1 4-parted vs 2-2parted marches

            At entry level junior and entry level amateur contests (for me as an adjudicator) 2 x two parted tunes well played with good continuity will always beat a mediocre or poorly played 4 part tune

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