The Corps Value of Music
A History and Overview of Drum & Bugle Corps in the United States

   A drum and bugle corps, sometimes known within the activity by the contraction, "drum corps", is a musical performing unit consisting of only bell-front brass, percussion, and color guard. The majority of drum corps are independently operated non-profit groups. Very few are run by high schools or universities. Competitions occur on football fields and are scored by circuit-approved judges based upon musical performance and effect as well as the performance and effect of the movement of the elements of the corps.

    Previously known as "marching," the movement is largely influenced by dance and includes substantial input from the color guard which is predominately an expressive component whose equipment is traditionally flags, rifles, and sabres. Corps are colorfully and distinctively uniformed although guard members typically wear more theatrical costumes that are largely predicated on the theme of the corpsí musical presentation.

   During the competitive season, June through August, corps from all across the US and Canada perform to crowds of up to 35,000.

Drum Corps
Drum Corps
Focus Content Area:
Fine Arts

Secondary Content Area:
Grade Level: