Types of Concert Bands and Marching Bands

Marching Band in Field
Sean Justice / Getty Images

There are two main types of bands: the concert band and the marching band. Below is a look at the difference between the two.

Concert Bands

Marching Bands

  • Instruments included are percussion (ex. bass drum, crash cymbals, and snare drums), woodwinds (ex. clarinet, flute and saxophone in alto, baritone and tenor) and brass (ex. french horn, trumpet, and tuba) or other instruments that can be carried and played while walking.
  • Musicians perform while marching or walking; they have marching formations.
  • Marching bands are usually guided by a drum major.
  • Often, marching bands perform at outdoor events such as during halftime shows and parades.

Other Types of Bands

  • Drum and Bugle Corps - Similar to marching bands but members are usually composed of younger players. This type of band is often sponsored by a non-profit organization. Instruments used are percussion and brass; they also have color guards. Color guards are known as flag bearers, they also carry sabers and rifles. Drum and Bugle Corps are known for their colorful, energetic and lavish performances, they also enter various competitions.
  • Jazz Band - Composed of a rhythm section (e.g. guitar, tuba, drums, piano) and a melody section (e.g. clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone). As the name implies, jazz bands play jazz music. During the 1920s, "big bands" emerged; aside from the rhythm section, a brass and saxophone section was added.
  • Percussion Band - Uses percussion instruments for a children's orchestra. For example, in Benjamin Britten's play called Noye's Fludde (Noah's Flood), the performers were mostly children.