What's a good instrument sound for military?

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ironpony
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09 Feb 2020, 3:50 am

I am starting to compose my own film projects, and I have a project in which I want the audience to feel a military/political type tone. I want percussion instruments to emphasize this military type feel. Now when it comes to the military, my mind goes to snare drums, cause you hear those in a lot of military theme movies. However, the snare doesn't have much base and I was wanting a drum or percussion instrument, but with more bass. Is there any, that would invoke a military type theme, or feeling?



Karamazov
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09 Feb 2020, 4:44 am

I’m not sure myself: I usually think ‘brass’ in association with military.
I’m getting an image of men in uniform with a big (I assume bass) drum strapped to their chests...
Are you aware of IMSLP.com: massive collection of out of copyright classical music, it should be possible to toggle the categories to get up a list of military march scores you can pore over for inspiration on the old orchestration front. :D



Sweetleaf
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11 Feb 2020, 3:51 pm

Perhaps a bass drum along with the snare drum.



Borromeo
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11 Feb 2020, 4:43 pm

Kettledrums do the trick...also, are you thinking "parade ground" or "battlefield?"

Here is an entire battle told in music: "The Battle of the Marne" was fought in 1914 and the music was recorded in 1916. I have the cylinder record at home but this is a video of the disc record that they would have dubbed the cylinders from. The record jacket actually tells how the music portrays the battle.

(EDIT- This is not my record player.)


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Last edited by Borromeo on 11 Feb 2020, 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Borromeo
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11 Feb 2020, 4:50 pm

Oh! And before anyone forgets, you can do quite a bit scoring a film with simple instrumentation. Here is a player-piano roll of "Battle of Nations." Quite the belligerent title but they did a nice job arranging the roll.


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naturalplastic
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11 Feb 2020, 5:02 pm

Might wanna also listen to "the 1812 Overture" By Tchaikowsky (the musical depiction of the invasion of Russia by Napoleon to get ideas.



auntblabby
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11 Feb 2020, 9:30 pm

the buketoff arrangement of the 1812 overture, with massed brass bands, percussion battery including cannon, stereophonic chorale on either side, pipe organ and orchestra.



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11 Feb 2020, 9:34 pm

also consider:
the soundtrack to "Patton" :star: :star:
the soundtrack to "Alexander Nevsky" :star: :star:
"Wellington's Victory" [Beethoven] :star: :star:

the last two are basically a musical battle between two sides.
or for something unconventional, you might try some jazz in the form of "The Count Meets The Duke" [1961 recording featuring duke ellington's band on one side, count basie's band on the other, a true "battle of the bands." the first track would be "Battle Royale" and it is indeed a battle of sound. you may jest about jazz paired with military but glenn miller did it with his Allied Expeditionary Force Band during WWII.



naturalplastic
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11 Feb 2020, 11:58 pm

You might go for something like the opening credits in this ( a U-tuber who does Navy stuff). . A section of big strings (violas?) sawing in unison, followed by French horns. Nice menacing sound combinded with a certain stately gravitas. Probably influenced by (if not copied directly) from Holst's "the Planets". The movement devoted to "Mars: The Bringer of War".



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12 Feb 2020, 12:09 am

find a recording of military marching in formation with the marching band behind them. when i was in basic training, they had us march in formation with 2 percussionists marching behind us with a bass drum and a snare drum keeping cadence, in pretty close time with the "jodies" shouted by the drill instructors and basic trainees.



Wolfram87
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12 Feb 2020, 2:47 am

What time period are we talking? What springs to mind are the classic fifes and drums (and maybe some bagpipes), but that's a bit old-fashioned if we're talking a more modern setting.


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ironpony
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16 Feb 2020, 2:26 am

Oh I am open to different time periods, and didn't really have one in mind. The project is set in modern times, but I do not mind drums from a different period, as long as it will sound military like to an audience.

The USS Alaska is good, but I was going for more bass drums or a bass percussion sound though.



Last edited by ironpony on 16 Feb 2020, 3:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

auntblabby
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16 Feb 2020, 2:30 am

ironpony wrote:
Oh I am open to different time periods, and didn't really have one in mind. The project is set in modern times, but I do not mind drums from a different period, as long as it will sound military like to an audience.

The USS Alaska is good, but I was going for drums or a percussion sound though.

of the suggestions you've seen in this thread, which one is closest to what you had in mind?



ironpony
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16 Feb 2020, 3:39 am

Oh, well, this one came to mind, the opening drums at the beginning:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNLfNezFqNk

I like that sound, but will the audience think military/army if they hear that type of drum?



auntblabby
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16 Feb 2020, 3:53 am

ironpony wrote:
Oh, well, this one came to mind, the opening drums at the beginning:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNLfNezFqNk

I like that sound, but will the audience think military/army if they hear that type of drum?

are you thinking "drill and ceremony/troops on parade" or are you thinking skirmish combat, or mass combat? a rout or a resounding victory? each needs its own sound. if this is narration for some kind of documentary, you can watch other documentaries to see how they did it.



ironpony
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16 Feb 2020, 4:01 am

Oh well I want to show soldiers surrounding an area, but play army like music. Kind of like this scene from The Battle of Algiers at 2:55 into this clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_N2wyq7fCE&t=6609s

Now at 2:55 in, you hear snare drums. But snares don't have enough bass for my taste so is there something that can invoke this same military music type feeling, but with more bass in the drums?