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Steben

Katamari Damacy: 'Katamari on the Rocks' (marching band) DONE!

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katamarimarch.jpg

http://steben.noplaceforatoaster.com/music/index.htm

Yes, folks, it's finally done. Go right ahead and click the link above to download the music for my arrangement of Katmari on the Rocks for marching band. See page 5 for the full announcement.

Below is the original post.

Hey guys. This is totally my first WIP. However, I think what I have to show is slightly different than what's normally found on this WIP boards. But let's give it a try.

As is evident from the thread title, I'm arranging Katamari on the Rocks for marching band, specifically as a stands tune. (And giving it the most predictable title ever -- get over it.) :P My eventual goal is to make it available for anyone to download and use for their high school band. OCR submission would be nice, but this arrangement is probably too close to a cover to be accepted as-is. Also, I'd have to find a competent band who would be willing to make a high-quality recording of the song.

Instrumentation is thus: two flute/piccolo parts, two clarinet parts, two trumpet parts, two F Horn parts, two alto sax parts, two tenor sax parts, two baritone parts, two trombone parts, and a tuba part. I have a friend who's going to arrange the drumline parts for me, and I haven't begun on the auxilary percussion yet.

I have a PDF of the conductor's score and an MP3 recording of the MIDI available. I haven't bothered with sequencing the midi in order to make it sound pretty - I wouldn't know how, and I'm only providing it as a reference to follow along with the score.

At the moment, the score lacks articulation markings and in-depth dynamics. Also, I play trombone, so I may have made some mistakes in the keys for other instruments, or chose a bad range for them. If you happen to play an instrument, I'd really appreciate it if you could give the score a look over, at least for your part, and let me know what you think about how it'd be to play it.

Thanks in advance for the help. I'll also be getting feedback from my music professors and fellow band members here at Auburn, but I definitely would like feedback from the people who know the source material best.

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I don't play any instruments like that, so I'm sorry I can't help you there, but as far as the song goes, I think this genre will suit it very well, and you're humble midi is enough to show that.

Nice work! I'd like to see where this goes.

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Midiness aside, it's kind of bland and the wind part is too loud feeling to me. It feels like it should be in the background.

It's really hard for me to distinguish instruments in midi. (which is funny cause it's all I have to work with myself).

I play trumpet so I'll peak at the score for you.

I know how to do a bit of stuff to midis if you want me to do that just pm me with the original midi file, and I'll do as much as I can for dynamics and stuff that the free version of anvil studio will let me.

EDIT: Trumpet part is mostly cake.... The constant C's above the staff might be a bit much for a Highschool band though, actualy I can gurantee that they are a bit much.

The tenor sax part is fine too, from what my friends have told me tenor range is a little less then trumpet (before it starts sounding shitty)

The flute/piccolo part is probably a bit low though for even really good people to play unless its on like...an alto flute. I've met a single flute player that cam play from about the middle a or b of the staff and up. (If you've looked at flute music before you'll notice most of what they play is like...8+ above the staff, I have no idea how they can read that stuff.) Again not extremely feasable for a highschool band.

I don't know a whole lot about low brass, but I could argue that some of the Tuba part is a bit too high to be practicle for a tuba player...especialy in highschool.

At the highschool level there aren't really a lot of trumpet players able to consitently play C's above the staff and do it well. A college band might be able to do it, but if this is to stay for a highschool band you'll have to tone down a lot of parts.

EDIT#2: I missed the part with Aux percussion, but if this is ment to just be a standtune you won't need Aux at all unless you means just crash symbols for the snare's to play on.

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Midiness aside, it's kind of bland and the wind part is too loud feeling to me. It feels like it should be in the background.

It's really hard for me to distinguish instruments in midi. (which is funny cause it's all I have to work with myself).

I play trumpet so I'll peak at the score for you.

I know how to do a bit of stuff to midis if you want me to do that just pm me with the original midi file, and I'll do as much as I can for dynamics and stuff that the free version of anvil studio will let me.

The actual dynamic markings are in the score. Of course, woodwind parts are naturally softer than brass parts. But whenever the sax parts are playing in this midi, it's like all you can hear! D:

I think maybe some trills in the woodwind parts might make things less bland? I'm gonna look into it.. I realize the woodwind parts are probably terribly easy, technically. I guess it comes from playing trombone for nine years. At least I can chalk it up as a point towards accessibility for high school bands. :)

Thanks for the offer on the midi. I may take you up on it when I'm closer to a final score.

EDIT: Trumpet part is mostly cake.... The constant C's above the staff might be a bit much for a Highschool band though, actualy I can gurantee that they are a bit much.

Yeah. There's a good chance that I can convince my university's marching band to play it in the stands, so I think it'll be fine for them. But for high school bands... I feel the top note needs to be a C, and I'm hesitating to just drop the part an octave.

The tenor sax part is fine too, from what my friends have told me tenor range is a little less then trumpet (before it starts sounding shitty)

The flute/piccolo part is probably a bit low though for even really good people to play unless its on like...an alto flute. I've met a single flute player that cam play from about the middle a or b of the staff and up. (If you've looked at flute music before you'll notice most of what they play is like...8+ above the staff, I have no idea how they can read that stuff.) Again not extremely feasable for a highschool band.

I'll probably just bump the piccolo part up an ocatve (something I meant to do, but totally forgot about). I wonder if an 8va would do the trick, or if it'd be easier to read if I actually moved the notes up the staff?

I don't know a whole lot about low brass, but I could argue that some of the Tuba part is a bit too high to be practicle for a tuba player...especialy in highschool.

At the highschool level there aren't really a lot of trumpet players able to consitently play C's above the staff and do it well. A college band might be able to do it, but if this is to stay for a highschool band you'll have to tone down a lot of parts.

As for the tubas, their part doesn't go above a high G. As I understand it, the tuba range is roughly an octave below the trombone/baritone range, so a G isn't terribly bad. Maybe I could throw in some alternate notes there. Speaking of which, the octaves in the baritones for that same part are supposed to be alternate notes, but the version of NoteWorthy I'm using doesn't support that. Hopefully I'll be trying out their beta 2.0 soon, and I can add in stuff like that..

EDIT#2: I missed the part with Aux percussion, but if this is ment to just be a standtune you won't need Aux at all unless you means just crash symbols for the snare's to play on.

True, but I want to write it out, just in case someone does want to march it. But that's a good point to keep in mind - I don't want anything critical in there, because in the stands it wouldn't get played.

Thanks a bunch for your help. :)

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I can honestly say, I totaly missed the dynamics in the score 8O. In my defense it WAS like 4 in the morning.

For the flute/piccolo just move everything up an octave (or 2).

For the the trumpet part if you want to make it highschool friendly I don't think you'd have to take it down an octave, changeing the note may work. Although I can understand your reluctance to alter what is already there.

All of the parts look extremely simple even for highschool band, if it wasn't for range I could probably hand this to a middle school band and ask them to play it and get a reasonable responce.

If you do get the college to do this, ask them if you can get a recording of the band doing it, I want to hear what this sounds like when the saxaphones aren't makeing a hostile takeover of my eardrums.

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I approve of the PDF score (always nice to see scores in progress).

Regarding the Alto Sax part... they are all in the lowest register of the alto. A few times you hit low Bb with the 2nd Alto part, which is literally the lowest note on the Alto unless you put your foot in the bell. (Then you can get an A, but it's a useless talent).

I would recommend bumping both parts up an octave (or 2), as it will provide a much nicer sounding Alto section. (Instead of Altos trying to be Trombones). The same is roughly true with the Tenor. Bump it up an octave if it's hitting middle C on the score. Saxophones can ALWAYS go higher, but when you go low, there isn't much room to go.

The other thing that I would bring to your attention is the fact that most of the parts are incredibly similar. The simplicity of the piece is definitely a bonus for it being a High School Marching band piece, but don't oversimplify. When the Flutes, Saxes, and Clarinets are playing the exact same lines, you are really limiting yourself and actually hindering the music. I would recommend looking at those lines (Flutes, Alto & Tenor Sax, Clarinet) and figuring out where you can single out a specific instrument. For example, in the higher parts of the song, have the flutes play (and maybe add your trills like you wanted), while the Saxes are hitting half notes. This will add a much greater dynamic to the piece, and gives the musicians some ownership of their specific parts.

You did a great job on the low brass section of the score, and the piece could really benefit from that attention to detail with the woodwinds.

Looks like it's off to a really good start though. Good luck!

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I approve of the PDF score (always nice to see scores in progress).

Regarding the Alto Sax part... they are all in the lowest register of the alto. A few times you hit low Bb with the 2nd Alto part, which is literally the lowest note on the Alto unless you put your foot in the bell. (Then you can get an A, but it's a useless talent).

I would recommend bumping both parts up an octave (or 2), as it will provide a much nicer sounding Alto section. (Instead of Altos trying to be Trombones). The same is roughly true with the Tenor. Bump it up an octave if it's hitting middle C on the score. Saxophones can ALWAYS go higher, but when you go low, there isn't much room to go.

The other thing that I would bring to your attention is the fact that most of the parts are incredibly similar. The simplicity of the piece is definitely a bonus for it being a High School Marching band piece, but don't oversimplify. When the Flutes, Saxes, and Clarinets are playing the exact same lines, you are really limiting yourself and actually hindering the music. I would recommend looking at those lines (Flutes, Alto & Tenor Sax, Clarinet) and figuring out where you can single out a specific instrument. For example, in the higher parts of the song, have the flutes play (and maybe add your trills like you wanted), while the Saxes are hitting half notes. This will add a much greater dynamic to the piece, and gives the musicians some ownership of their specific parts.

You did a great job on the low brass section of the score, and the piece could really benefit from that attention to detail with the woodwinds.

Looks like it's off to a really good start though. Good luck!

Awesome advice - I'll look into it now. Thanks a bunch. :D

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When the Flutes, Saxes, and Clarinets are playing the exact same lines, you are really limiting yourself and actually hindering the music. I would recommend looking at those lines (Flutes, Alto & Tenor Sax, Clarinet) and figuring out where you can single out a specific instrument. For example, in the higher parts of the song, have the flutes play (and maybe add your trills like you wanted), while the Saxes are hitting half notes. This will add a much greater dynamic to the piece, and gives the musicians some ownership of their specific parts.

Variety in the parts is good on occasion, but adding doublings, especially octave doublings, is actually the most effective kind of orchestration there is.

Some other things to consider:

-flutes play up higher

-clarinets playing in octaves (so add a higher part)

-a bass line at rehearsal D that is not rhythmically interfering with the rest of the piece, but instead playing something more idiomatic such as 1 5 1 5 as per a usual march

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Variety in the parts is good on occasion, but adding doublings, especially octave doublings, is actually the most effective kind of orchestration there is.

Some other things to consider:

-flutes play up higher

-clarinets playing in octaves (so add a higher part)

-a bass line at rehearsal D that is not rhythmically interfering with the rest of the piece, but instead playing something more idiomatic such as 1 5 1 5 as per a usual march

I've definitely raised the flutes up an octave. Having the clarinets play in octaves might be something to look into, since often I have them only on one part...

The bassline at D comes directly from the original song. It's actually one of my favorite parts, so it stays. I should note that "Katamari on the March" is kind of a misnomer -- I'm only using it since it'll be played by a marching band. I'm not necessarally interested in making it fit the style of a march.

Thanks again to all of you who've given your input thus far. I'll hopefully have a revised copy up sometime early this week for you guys to see.

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When the Flutes, Saxes, and Clarinets are playing the exact same lines, you are really limiting yourself and actually hindering the music. I would recommend looking at those lines (Flutes, Alto & Tenor Sax, Clarinet) and figuring out where you can single out a specific instrument. For example, in the higher parts of the song, have the flutes play (and maybe add your trills like you wanted), while the Saxes are hitting half notes. This will add a much greater dynamic to the piece, and gives the musicians some ownership of their specific parts.

Variety in the parts is good on occasion, but adding doublings, especially octave doublings, is actually the most effective kind of orchestration there is.

Some other things to consider:

-flutes play up higher

-clarinets playing in octaves (so add a higher part)

-a bass line at rehearsal D that is not rhythmically interfering with the rest of the piece, but instead playing something more idiomatic such as 1 5 1 5 as per a usual march

I agree with you on octave doublings being a powerful method of orchestration, but too much of it can lead to a duller sound; "too much of a good thing". I've always found the resolution chords that receive octave doublings to achieve the greatest effect, but they need to be balanced out with some variety and individual instrument specialization.

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Needs more percussion. Lots more percussion.
Instrumentation is thus: two flute/piccolo parts, two clarinet parts, two trumpet parts, two F Horn parts, two alto sax parts, two tenor sax parts, two baritone parts, two trombone parts, and a tuba part. I have a friend who's going to arrange the drumline parts for me, and I haven't begun on the auxilary percussion yet.

You're totally right, but I'm on it, dude. :D If Daniel (my friend) doesn't come through, though, I may be looking for someone 'round these parts who can arrange for a drumline, and maybe even the auxilary too. I played a bit of the keyboard instruments in high school with our percussion ensemble, but I was never really good. So if someone more familiar with the auxilary wanted to arrange it, I wouldn't make a fuss.

So yeah. Post or PM me if anyone's interested in the drum parts. 8) Depending on your experience and how soon you can have something arranged, I may go with you instead.

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Latest score: http://steben.noplaceforatoaster.com/katamarimarch2.pdf

Latest sound: http://steben.noplaceforatoaster.com/katamarimarch2.mp3

Agghh... the sound is really grating. But it should give you the idea of how the score sounds.

Changes I've made since the first draft:

- Fixed ranges in the flute/piccolo and saxes

- Fixed the key for the F Horn

- Added new parts for the flute/piccolo and clarinets at rehearsal letters B-D and G.

- Added trills for the woodwind parts (not heard in the sound)

- Put in some placeholder percussion in the sound file (just a woodblock, not in the score, and pretty bland)

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Get rid of the key signature on the horn part. Write out the accidentals instead.

Your clarinet part, except for rehearsal G, is too easy. You really should give the first clarinet octave doublings over the second clarinet (assuming what you have now is mainly second clarinet), or unison doublings with the flutes when they're playing low.

Consider using divisi to separate staves when parts are being played in unison (such as clarinets 1 and 2.) If you don't want to do that, write divisi when they split, "a2" when they play in usion, "a1" when it is solo.

Other markings you still need to add include slurs on pretty much every part (especially those 16th runs), and crescendos wherever they might fit. Since this is a march, I bet you could find lots of places for accented notes.

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Get rid of the key signature on the horn part. Write out the accidentals instead.

It was my understanding that marching french horn parts are written in F... why get rid of the key signature?

Your clarinet part, except for rehearsal G, is too easy. You really should give the first clarinet octave doublings over the second clarinet (assuming what you have now is mainly second clarinet), or unison doublings with the flutes when they're playing low.

I've fleshed out the clarinets and gave them two parts for most of it in the latest draft. Thanks for the heads up.

Consider using divisi to separate staves when parts are being played in unison (such as clarinets 1 and 2.) If you don't want to do that, write divisi when they split, "a2" when they play in usion, "a1" when it is solo.

All the part switching is pretty much implied, but I'll definitely pretty up the arrangement before giving it to people to play. I'll probably just write out each part individually, rather than force people to read with both parts on the staff.

Other markings you still need to add include slurs on pretty much every part (especially those 16th runs), and crescendos wherever they might fit. Since this is a march, I bet you could find lots of places for accented notes.

Yeah, I haven't gotten around to the articulations and such yet. Part of the problem is that the current version of the notation software I use, Noteworthy Composer 1.75b, lacks a symbolic cresendo, a symbolic diminuindo, and a rooftop accent, which I'd prefer to use over a regular accent and staccato. I plan on joining in on the public beta of 2.0 soon, so hopefully that will fix that problem.

----

Also, I've uploaded the latest draft of the score and sound. I'm printing this out to show to my band director (slash applied teacher) tomorrow during my lesson, so hopefully I'll get some good pointers from that.

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Horn parts not having key signatures is a long-standing tradition of scoring since horns used to be adjustable based on what key they were playing in. While it is acceptable to give them key signatures, and any good horn player should know them as any other instrument, you'll find most experienced (or should I say "well-informed") composers/orchestrators know that horn players generally perform better with no key-signature attached, but accidentals written instead. Why? Because most classical repertoire is written that way, even up to this day, so it’s no wonder they’d be used to no key signatures. Yes, this means writing in a ton of accidentals, but the way modern music is written calls for all instruments to no longer have key signatures anyway.

Also, it might be a little pretentious to say this, but it makes the score look more "professional." I see a horn part with a key signature, and I immediately think the guy didn’t do his research.

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Horn parts not having key signatures is a long-standing tradition of scoring since horns used to be adjustable based on what key they were playing in. While it is acceptable to give them key signatures, and any good horn player should know them as any other instrument, you'll find most experienced (or should I say "well-informed") composers/orchestrators know that horn players generally perform better with no key-signature attached, but accidentals written instead. Why? Because most classical repertoire is written that way, even up to this day, so it’s no wonder they’d be used to no key signatures. Yes, this means writing in a ton of accidentals, but the way modern music is written calls for all instruments to no longer have key signatures anyway.

Also, it might be a little pretentious to say this, but it makes the score look more "professional." I see a horn part with a key signature, and I immediately think the guy didn’t do his research.

Maybe someone else could chime in, but I don't believe there's a large precedent to do this in marching band charts. Also, my target audience doesn't exactly have much experience with "classical literature" - we're talking high school kids and non-music-major football marching band. But I have zero experience reading horn music, so what do I know?

It's no trouble to force accidentals, so I can change it up no problem. I'm actually writing everything in concert pitch anyway, and converting it to written pitch before making these pdf scores.

In any case, it may be a moot point. I might be changing it from a horn part to a melophone part in the near future - that'll put it in B-flat. Depends on whether or not Auburn's replacing the horn section with melos next year.

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You can do what you want, I'm just pointing out a common tradition in orchestration that sounds reasonably applicable to even a highschool orchestra or band. It would be a good idea to ask the horn players what they prefer, and then go with that. As a clarinetist I prefer key signatures on pieces where a ton of 16th note runs that would merit a lot of accidentals otherwise. Horn players don’t often get that kind of part, so writing in accidentals isn’t all that painful a process.

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That's funny cause most horn parts I have seen old or not are written just like every other part, with a key signature.

Sure it may be the classical way to do it, but if people wanted to do it the classical way then there probably wouldn't be "flag trumpets" with valves either, yet there you go, we've got flag trumpets with valves to play on since it's easier and more practical for general use.

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I know, it's crazy how this "unspoken rule" mainly exists in specific circles of composers, so anyone who writes for orchestra as they would any other kind of ensemble wouldn't imagine that there is this tradition that came out of the late-Romantic period/Impressionist period that treats horns differently than every other instrument (Rimsky-Korsakov, Mahler, Ravel, etc.) I certainly didn't notice this in their scores until I was told. I just assumed horns got key signatures as other people would assume apostrophes denote plurals of acronyms or single letters. It makes sense, and isn't entirely wrong.

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Just got back from talking to Dr. Good -- instead of my applied lesson we mainly listened to and looked over my piece, which is just as well considering I've been working on this instead of practicing! D:

He totally hinted that our band may possibly play this on the field, in the same show as our arrangement of "Tank!" (of Cowboy Bebop fame). Glee!

If it's in one of the shows, there's a good chance that it could be recorded for the band's CD. Legality issues aside (I'm not very hopeful that I could convince the powers that be to let me submit such a recording here), I wonder if such an arrangement would be accepted here? Any judges want to chime in? ;)

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Latest score: http://steben.noplaceforatoaster.com/katamarimarch4.pdf

Latest sound: http://steben.noplaceforatoaster.com/katamarimarch4.mp3

Fixed some range issues for the piccolo. Also, I changed up rehearsal F to bring in the "nah nah" background earlier, so I could squeeze in Auburn's fight song in the background on the next phrase. Incredibly cheesy, which makes it perfectly fitting for the song, if you ask me.

Also, piccolos and clarinets don't change up the "doo-doo-doodoo" part at B until C.

Aaaanyway. Updates will probably slow down now. I only made this one because I wanted to show the head director of bands here at AU the latest revision, so I went ahead and posted it here too. Once Daniel does the percussion, I'll put it here for the world to see.

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Latest score: http://steben.noplaceforatoaster.com/wip/katamarimarch5.pdf

Latest sound: http://steben.noplaceforatoaster.com/wip/katamarimarch5.mp3

After talking to the head of bands here at Auburn, I got a bajillion suggestions on how to improve the piece. I'm not done, but this is a major improvement from my previous drafts. Instrumentation is tweaked as to sound good on a marching field or in the stands, score order is corrected, the ranges of a few of the instruments have been adapted so as to be less taxing, and a few other things.

I still need articulations and percussion. I'm going with Daniel up to the band room tomorrow to try a few things out, hopefully. Percussion should really help flesh out this piece, particularly the beginning.

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