A Meta-analysis of Marching Band Drill Design Techniques
This research looks at the varied techniques of coordinate-based drill design as used by marching band directors across the nation. The research goal is to classify recurring elements of drill design and identify innovative uses of these specific techniques. This is useful because there is very little consistency in the rhetoric surrounding drill design and the basic classification of design formations. The lack of existing classification of design elements and access to educational materials on basic show design leads to the inability of inexperienced teachers to create new programs in the marching arts. This research will create a repertoire of basic and advanced design techniques that can be used by music educators throughout the country. The research has two major components. The first consists of a compilation of data from about 20 sources of existing written materials. These sources, written by drill designers and band directors, show a wide variety of terminology used to describe similar techniques. This shows the lack of commonality in classification of basic designs. The second component of the research is a detailed analysis of archived video recordings, as primary sources, from notable programs around the country to discover major innovations in design technique and recurring patterns between ensembles. The data gathered from the videos will be compared against descriptors in the literature, with a goal of defining the same formations with one common name. Ultimately, this research aims to help future directors of band programs to be more knowledgeable about show design which will aid them to be successful marching band educators.