Film Music and Wind Band Repertoire: The Opinions of High School Band Directors

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Film Music and Wind Band Repertoire: The Opinions of High School Band Directors

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Selecting appropriate repertoire seems to be an issue of ongoing interest among wind band directors. Since the curriculum of a wind ensemble is largely determined by the repertoire, one can make the argument that choosing the music to be performed may be the most important decision that the conductor can make. Although symphonic film music and film music arrangements for these ensembles are readily available, few studies appear to exist regarding the role of film music within the wind band repertoire. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the opinions of high school band directors regarding their use of film music arrangements in their concert programs throughout the regular school year. The subjects for this investigation were high school band directors from three north midwestern states. A questionnaire was sent to approximately 500 high school band directors in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The subjects were asked to provide their opinions regarding appropriate venues for film music performance, the quality of film music transcriptions or arrangements for wind band and the influence of film music and film composers on wind band composers and compositions. The respondents were also given the opportunity to offer general opinions about the general topic of film music and wind band repertoire. The results of this study showed that there is agreement among subjects that a “Non-Pops” concert is an appropriate venue for film music performance while a music contest or festival is not an appropriate venue for film music performance. The results also showed that the directors believed that film music arrangements are of high quality and that this music has artistic value in addition to popular appeal. Very few respondents reported that they program film music more today than they did five to eight years ago. Most of the directors would like to see some of the older film scores arranged for the wind band and that film music has influence wind band compositions. Based on the results of this study, it is recommended that there be more professional discussion about film music transcriptions/arrangements for the wind band. More discussion may lead to a recognition of high quality film music music that could be programmed on a regular basis. It is also recommended that if film music is programmed, the arrangement’s musical value rather than short term popularity should be a selection factor.


A Plan B paper submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Music in music education, March 2004. Committee names: Judith A. Kritzmire, Mark Whitlock, Daniel G. Lipori. This item has been modified from the original to remove the signature page present.

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Hintzman, Michael. (2004). Film Music and Wind Band Repertoire: The Opinions of High School Band Directors. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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