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DRUM MAJOR'S STAFF DRILL

 

By

Drum Major John C. Moon

1994

 

As excerpted from

A Compendium for the Fifes & Drums

Of Colonial Williamsburg (John C. Moon, 1994)

 

DRUM-MAJOR’S STAFF DRILL

 

COMMENTARY

  1. THE ATTENTION                                                                                            

  1. THE STAND AT EASE (FROM THE ATTENTION)                               

  2. THE STAND EASY (FROM THE STAND AT EASE)                        

  3. THE STAND AT EASE (FROM THE STAND EASY)                        

  4. THE ATTENTION (FROM THE STAND AT EASE)                       

  5. THE CARRY..AT THE HALT                                                          

  6. THE CARRY..ON THE MARCH                                                      

  7. THE REVERSE CARRY ON THE MARCH                                            

  8. THE TRAIL                                                                                                

(a)   THE TRAIL FROM THE CARRY, AT THE HALT                       

(b)   THE TRAIL FROM THE CARRY, ON THE MARCH                       

(c)   THE TRAIL TO THE CARRY, ON THE MARCH                                   

  1.   THE MACE SWING                                                                                

(a)   THE SWING FROM THE CARRY                                                           

(b)   THE REVERSE SWING                                                                       

(c)   RESUME THE SWING FROM THE REVERSE SWING                       

  1.   THE CEREMONIAL WALK                                                                       

(a)   THE WALK FROM THE HALT                                                           

(b)   THE WALK FROM THE CARRY                                                           

(c)   RESUME THE CARRY FROM THE WALK                                   

  1.   THE PREPARATORY SIGNAL                                                                     

(a)   THE PREPARATORY AT THE HALT                                               

(b)   THE PREPARATORY ON THE MARCH                                               

  1.   THE STEP OFF SIGNALS                                                                               

(a)   THE STEP-OFF FROM THE ATTENTION                                               

(b)   THE STEP-OFF FROM THE CARRY                                               

(c)   THE STEP-OFF USING HAND SIGNALS                                               

  1.   THE MACE SALUTE                                                                               

(a)   THE SALUTE AT THE HALT                                                           

(b)   THE SALUTE ON THE MARCH TO THE LEFT                                   

(c)   THE SALUTE ON THE MARCH TO THE RIGHT                                   

  1.   THE LEFT WHEEL                                                                                             

(a)   THE LEFT WHEEL MACE SIGNAL                                                

(b)   THE LEFT WHEEL HAND SIGNAL                                               

  1.   THE RIGHT WHEEL                                                                                 

(a)   THE RIGHT WHEEL MACE SIGNAL                                               

(b)   THE LEFT WHEEL HAND SIGNAL                                               

  1.   THE COUNTER MARCH                                                                                

  2.   THE CROSS COUNTERMARCH                                                            

  3.   THE MARK TIME                                                                                      

(a)   THE MARK TIME HAND SIGNAL                                                           

(b)   THE MARK TIME MACE SIGNAL                                                           

  1.   THE HALT                                                                                                 

(a)   THE HALT FROM THE MARK TIME                                               

(b)   THE HALT ON THE MARCH                                                           

  1.   THE CUT OFF (CEASE PLAYING)                                                    

(a)   THE CUT-OFF AT THE HALT                                                           

(b)   THE CUT-OFF ON THE MARCH                                                           

(c)   THE CUT-OFF AND HALT TOGETHER                                               

  1.   THE FORM CIRCLE                                                                                 

(a)   FORM CIRCLE                                                                                   

(b)   THE REFORM BAND (BLOCK)                                                           

  1.   MACE DRILL AND SIGNALS IN SLOW TIME                                      

(a)   SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES                                               

(b)   THE CEREMONIAL WALK IN SLOW TIME                                   

 

CONCLUSION

 

 

DRUM-MAJOR'S STAFF DRILL

 

 

COMMENTARY.

 

Perhaps the most complete description of a Drum-Major appeared in Henry Hexham's THE PRINCIPLES OF THE ART MILITARIE published in 1637:

 

“A drumme is one of the necessariest officers to a company, and divers passages of weaight and moment hee is to be employed in: for many times they are sent to Parlie with the Enemie, and to redeeme Prisoners from the Enemy; therefore hee ought to be a man of personage, faithful, secret and trusty; Hee ought to speak several languages, especially the Drumme of a Colonels Company.   [The Drum_Major] ought to be this qualified, hee had the command of all the Drummes of the Regiment, and upon a March hee appoints every Drumme in his place, and time to beate, using a due proportion to every one for their time of reliefs: in a Campe or Leager, no Drumme must offer to beate for the releeving of the Watch before the Drumme-Major first begins.  Most usually hee is sent upon all employments too, and from the Enemy; hee ought to have a small Drumme for lightness to carry with him; hee is also to have a paper wherein is writ the Contents of his Message, which is to be placed upon his Hatte:  When he approache neere the Enemies Towne, hee is to make a stand a Musquetshot from the Ports and to beat a Parley, whereby they may know his intent; hee ought to be of singular good carriage, and discreet to observe and take notice of all passages, that may give intelligence to his officers of the state of the Enemie.  Hee must be very wary of the Enemies friendship, in bestowing courtesies upon him especially in giving him drinke, lest in his cupps he reveale any secrets.  When a Drumme is sent out of the Enemies Campe hee must not be suffered to approach neere the Guards not Ports until an Officer bee sent unto him (who must be attended with a guard of Musquetires) and having blind-foulded him; hee is to be conducted into the camp of the Generalls Pavilion where a guard must passe on him least hee should discover the weaknesses of the Campe.  A Drummer ought daily in the day time in time of peace, to frequent the Guards and beate to the souldiers, that they may distinguish, and know one kind of beate from the other (Viz.) a Call, a March, a Troop, a Change, an Allarm, a Retrait etc.  Hee ought to passe precisely upon the hours appointed for the releeving of the watch, to beat their drummes for the summoning of the Souldiers together, and to doe such other duties as shall bee required; hee must bee obedient to his Captaine, and the rest of the Officers whensoever they command him to goe, or stand, or to beate any point of warre, every private Company ought to have two Drummes at the least.”

 

In order for the Drum-Major to convey signals and control the music group and its music and drill when his voice could not be heard, two devices were used.  One was a parade cane, a staff about three feet long, with a rounded head and a metal ferrule, usually bound by a leather thong and used in the right hand to signal appropriate commands.  Modern short batons are the direct descendants of the parade cane, which gradually became delegated to use for rehearsal or informal presentations, and eventually gave way to the more formal staff called a mace, the other device that has survived the centuries.

 

The mace is a direct adaptation of the medieval weapon that had two uses, one as a dismounted weapon during jousting contest and the other as a device, swung around the head and used to clear the path for a following entourage. The mace weapon comprised three major parts, the spiked ball at the top, attached to a wooden or metal staff by a metal chain.  Modern military maces have the same component parts, with a designed head attached to a cane staff which is wrapped by a metal chain.  Maces were also used by the church and the State, there being many examples of such ecclesiastic, scholastic, legislative and civic maces in existence.  The mace became a symbol of that which it preceeds and the mace head became more ornate as the original uses became more obscure and less needed.  Todays maces usually display devices and honours, often embossed or raised in repousse in precious metals and continue to represent the churches, states, cities or military units that own it.  Hence, its bearer, the Drum-Major has come to assume special responsibilities and traditions that should be preserved.

 

The military mace, used exclusively by Drum-Majors, usually carry the coat-of-arms, crest or device of the regiment, its title and number and the battle honours awarded, thereby being an article of historic importance and should be used and maintained with the proper respect due to it.  For the purposes of the descriptions of drill and signals that follow, the proper nomenclature of parts will be used. THE HEAD, THE STAFF and THE FERRULE.  The head is self explanatory, the staff being the wooden or cane stick enwrapped by the metal chain and the ferrule being the bottom metal sleeve that seats the staff.  Hand signals as well as mace signals will be included in the descriptions, as will some of the proper response reactions by musicians to the actions of the Drum-Major.  In recapitulation, the mace should be used when the voice cannot be easily heard, therefore, when no music is being played, mace signals should either not be used or should be used in conjunction with voice commands, a device that helps continuing training under practical circumstances.  When signals are given by the mace, care must be taken to ensure that such signal can be seen by all performers, therefore, the higher the mace is in the air, the clearer the signal is seen by the rear ranks.  Similarly, the Drum-Major must ensure that the signal given allows ample time for the players to react and follow the signal, and it will be of benefit to all to ensure that signals are given in the same manner each time, and preferably in tempo with the piece being played.

 

Drum-Majors will find that performing their signal in tempo, in the same manner every time will engender confidence in their players which, in turn, enhances playing levels allowing the musicians to concentrate on musical activities, rather than worrying about when the mace is going to drop.  The performance of these drills requires the assumption that the Drum-Major has the proper responsibilities to allow him the leadership qualities needed, namely the responsibility for the DRILL, DEPORTMENT and DRESS of the musical unit.  Other principle musicians should support this division and recognize the need to enhance mutual esteem.

 

Once the unit is "On Parade", the Drum-Major assumes the role of leader without detracting from the other principles' positions of rank.  It is the Drum-Major that must provide the stamp of authority and the standards of appearance.  What follows is a set of drills and signals for the mace, culled from many sources, all of them old, chosen for their simplicity, clarity and style.  Elements of the Guards Brigade drill, the Highland Brigade drill, Breton drill and Prussian drill are incorporated into describing this manual of the mace than can be adapted to any form of musical aggregation representing any period of music.  There should be discipline added to the user's style which should include an understanding and recognition of the music being controlled, a reluctance to further embellish the mace movements and a commitment not to flourish in such a way as to detract from the sight and sound of their musicians' performance.  In practice, should the mace come above the Drum-Major's shoulder, it should be giving a preparatory or executive signal.  Superfluous movements of the mace above the shoulder will eventually cause the musicians to disregard such movements, which might well include an executive signal, a habit that is not conducive to good drill.  Some guidelines will help the reader of the following manual improve his or her performance and artistry.

 

·                    When moving the mace, it is preferable that the Drum-Major keeps his elbows close to his sides

                      without being rigid, allowing a more controlled set of motions and a more upright posture.

 

·                    When on the march, stepping short is a better habit than stepping long, but care must be taken

                      that a comfortable interval is kept between himself and the front rank of performers.

 

·                    Looking up at the mace when it is above the head and about to be brought down should be

                      shunned.  The law of gravity will ensure that the mace will come down when released and the

                     Drum-Major should look at his hand at eye level rather than look up to watch the mace come

                     down.

 

·                    A most professional habit is to execute all motions of the mace drill in tempo with the music

                      being played or the pace being marched.  By this method, the Drum-Major gives the appearance

                      of fluid control as a performing musician.

 

 

1. THE ATTENTION.

 

The position of ATTENTION is that from which all words of command are given and all mace movements are initiated.  The position is assumed by the Drum-Major standing:

 

·        Erect with heels together and in line, with feet turned outwards at an angle of 45 degrees.

 

·        With knees unbent, upper body erect, weight evenly balanced and shoulders drawn downwards and

           backwards, level and square to the front, all without force or strain.

 

·        With the left arm hanging straight from the shoulder, elbow to the side, fingers curled and thumb

           pointing downwards, the whole left hand just behind the central line of the body, front to rear.

 

·        With head up, eyes looking own height and straight ahead.

 

·        With the right hand grasping the mace just below the mace head, fingers together and right thumb

           pointing straight upwards, perpendicular on the mace head.

 

·        With the right elbow into the right side without being forced, at an angle of some thirty degrees from

           horizontal, and with the mace head to the right of the right shoulder.

 

·        With the ferrule on the ground, immediately to the right of, and touching the outer edge of the right shoe,

           some three to four inches from the front of the shoe.

 

·        With all of the above without strain and evenly balanced on both feet, elbows comfortably into the waist.

 

      Care should be taken to ensure that the Drum-Major can hold and maintain this position for some length of time without discomfort. Any strain or unnatural posture experienced is a sign to re-check the position being held and to adjust accordingly.  The body weight should be carefully distributed both front to rear and side to side.  The Drum-Major should refrain from "leaning" on the mace whilst standing at ATTENTION.

 

      Poor habits and common faults include:

      1.  Unnecessary movement,

      2.  allowing the ferrule of the mace to be in front of the right toe, thereby causing the body weight to lean

            forward,

      3.  the incorrect angle of the feet, causing poor blood circulation,

      4.  the head coming forward, causing loss of balance and, thereby, loss of symmetrical appearance, and

      5.  allowing tenseness in the muscles.

 

 

2. THE STAND AT EASE (FROM THE POSITION OF ATTENTION).

 

The position of STAND AT EASE is that from which the Drum-Major and his musicians may change their posture when standing still, thus providing relief.  This position should not be used when the needs to march or play are imminent and should not be used when music is being played (and therefore no mace signal is required), as the Drum-Major's vocal word of command can be given and heard.  The position is assumed by that word of command, at which time, the Drum-Major will:

 

·        Keep the right foot still and in place, with the right leg slightly braced.

 

·        Bend the left knee slightly, then carry the left foot some twelve inches to the left, placing the foot to the

          ground, heel first, then brace the left leg slightly.

 

·        Keep both hands and the mace still, without any motions, keeping the elbows into the side.

 

·        Transfer the body weight to the centre of the body, without moving the shoulders, so as to be evenly

          balanced.

 

·        Ensure that the left foot is placed at the proper angle when it strikes the ground.

 

Care should be taken to ensure that the head does not come forward as the foot is moved to the left.  As with the position of ATTENTION, the Drum-Major should experience no strain, and no other movement is permissable whilst in this position.  The arms do not move during the transition from ATTENTION to STAND AT EASE. 

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Unnecessary movement,

2.  allowing the elbows to be loose, thereby allowing the mace-head to move and the upper body to lose

     height,

3.  the incorrect angle of the feet, causing poor circulation, and

4.  allowing tenseness in the muscles.

 

 

3. THE STAND EASY (FROM THE STAND AT EASE).

 

The position of STAND EASY is that from which the Drum-Major and his musicians may relax their posture, without undue fidgeting or moving of feet, whilst standing in place, providing relief.  This position should not be used when the needs to march or play are imminent and should not be used when music is being played, therefore no mace signal is required, as the Drum-Major's vocal word of command can be given and heard.  The position is assumed by that word of command, at which time, the Drum-Major will:

 

  •     Relax the body, head and limbs without moving the feet from their position.

 

·        Take the mace from the right side position, lifting the ferrule over the right shoe and placing the ferrule in

          a central position between the feet, in the same line.

 

·        Bring the left hand across the body and place it so as to cover the right hand on the mace, at the same

          time as the mace is brought to the centre.

 

Care should be taken not to move the feet, otherwise the initial covering and dressing can be lost.  Relaxation should be undertaken at the STAND EASY position, without undue movement. The Drum-Major should refrain from "leaning" on the mace.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Unnecessary movement,

2.  allowing the ferrule of the mace to rest in front of the feet rather than between, causing an imbalance, and

3.  failing to take the opportunity to relax.

 

 

4. THE STAND AT EASE (FROM THE STAND EASY).

 

This movement is accomplished by reversing the motions described in Sec. 3 above, and should be completed by the Drum-Major on his own before calling his musicians to ATTENTION.  In ample time to prepare his musicians for the next sequences, the position is assumed by the Drum-Major who will:

 

  •   Release the grasp by the left hand and return it to its previous position by the left side.

 

·      At the same time, lift and take the mace across the right toe and place the ferrule on the ground as for the

        position of ATTENTION.

 

  •   Properly resume the position of STAND AT EASE.

 

      Care should be taken to ensure that no undue body movement, other than described above is apparent.  Refrain from becoming tense when adopting this more formal position.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Allowing the head to drop forward. thereby losing height,

2.  looking down to ensure that the mace ferrule is in the correct position, and

3.  allowing the elbows to leave the side, presenting a "flapping" appearance.

 

 

5. THE ATTENTION (FROM THE STAND AT EASE).

 

This movement is accomplished by reversing the motions described in Sec. l above, and should be completed by the Drum-Major on his own before calling his musicians to ATTENTION.  In ample time to prepare his musicians for the next sequences, the position is assumed by the Drum-Major, who will:

 

·        Bend the left knee slightly and bring the left foot to the right, placing it beside the right foot, as described

          in Sec. 1 above.

 

  •      Assume the proper position of ATTENTION.

 

Care must be taken to ensure that no unnecessary movement by the head, arms or torso is evident.  The description in Sec. 1 above should be assumed by this one motion, without the elbows leaving the sides or the mace moving in any direction. Note that all commands and static signals are given from the position of ATTENTION, endorsing the importance of mastering this stance before proceeding with instruction.

 

Poor habits common faults for this movement are as described in Sec. 1 above.

 

 

6. THE CARRY AT THE HALT.

 

THE CARRY is the position most often used, either at the halt or on the march, prior to signals being given by the mace.  It is performed in two movements.  To assume the position the Drum-Major, from the position of ATTENTION will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        Take the mace, with the head leading, across the chest to the left side of the chest, with an outward

          arcing motion, without changing the configuration of the right hand grasp, other than pointing the right

          index finger upwards along the bottom of the mace head.  The right elbow should remain close to the

          staff with the right forearm in line with, and at the same angle as the staff.

 

·        At the same time, move the left hand to the point of balance on the staff, keeping the left elbow to the

          side, and the left hand going underneath the right forearm, to grasp the staff with the left thumb behind

          and first two fingers on top of the staff, and the ring and little finger beneath the staff.  The grasp should

          be made in the centre of the body at waist belt height.

 

·        Adjust the grip firmly, out of sight beneath the right forearm, before making the second movement.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Following a regulation pause (either of one second, or in tempo with the music being played, or about to

          be played) release the grasp with the right hand and return the right arm to the right side, keeping the

          right elbow to the side, as in the position of ATTENTION.

 

·        At the same time, ensure that the mace head is kept still at the left shoulder by adjusting pressure upon

          the left hand grip.

 

Care should be taken not to move the head, upper body or feet during either movement.  Do not allow the weight of the mace, during the initial arcing motion, to draw the body weight forward.  As with all mace drill movements, the elbows should be close to the side, without being held rigid.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Failing to achieve a proper grip on the mace staff at the point of balance,

2.  failing to place the left hand at the waist belt,

3.  gripping the mace with improper finger placement,

4.  rushing the second movement, thereby not being "in tempo", and

5.  allowing the angle of the mace to waver as the right hand releases its grasp.

 

 

7. THE CARRY ON THE MARCH.

 

THE CARRY ON THE MARCH is the position most often used when marching and is always the start position from which most mace signals are given when on the march.  It is performed in three movements.  To gain the position the Drum-Major, from the position of ATTENTION will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        Take a full pace forward with the left foot in normal fashion, at the same time take the mace, with the head

          leading, across the chest to the left side of the chest, with an outward arcing motion, without changing

          the configuration of the right hand grasp, other than pointing the right index finger upwards along the

          bottom of the mace head, in exactly the same fashion as in THE CARRY AT THE HALT (Sec. 6 above).

          The right elbow should remain close to the staff with the right forearm in line with, and at the same angle

          as the staff.

 

·        At the same time, move the left hand to the point of balance on the staff, keeping the left elbow to the

          side, and the left hand going underneath the right forearm, to grasp the staff in exactly the same fashion

          as in THE CARRY AT THE HALT (Sec.6 above).  Adjust the grip firmly, out of sight beneath the right

          forearm.

 

·        Complete the next pace with the right foot in normal fashion, retaining the grasp as described above.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Take the next full pace forward with the left foot, in normal fashion and, as the left heel strikes the ground

           release the grasp with the right hand and return the right arm to the right side, down the centre line of

           the body.

 

·        At the same time, ensure that the mace head is kept still at the left shoulder by adjusting pressure at the

           left hand point of balance.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Complete the next pace forward with the right foot, in normal fashion then, on the next (third) left foot,

          swing the right arm to the rear in normal fashion as the left heel strikes the ground.  BE PREPARED TO

          CHANGE THE ANGLE OF THE MACE AS THE RIGHT ARM SWINGS FORWARD.

  

Care must be taken not to move the head, upper body or shoulders during each movement.  Do not allow the weight of the mace to draw the body weight from an upright stance.  Elbows must be kept as close to the body as possible without being rigid.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Failing to achieve a proper grip on the mace staff on the first movement,

2.  failing to position the left hand centrally to take grasp on the first movement,

3.  making movements as the right heel strikes the ground, thereby destroying cadence, and

4.  failing to adjust the angle of the mace so that the right hand makes contact with the staff as the right arm

     is swung forward.

 

IT WILL BE SEEN IN SECTION 7 AND IN THE FOLLOWING DESCRIPTIONS OF MACE MOVEMENTS AND SIGNALS ON THE MARCH THAT EACH MOVEMENT IS USUALLY EXECUTED AS THE LEFT HEEL STRIKES THE GROUND, THUS PROVIDING A STEADY AND PREDICTABLE SERIES OF MOTIONS, WITH REGULATORY PAUSES BETWEEN EACH MOVEMENT OR MOTION, AND AN APPEARANCE OF CADENCE IN TEMPO WITH THE MUSIC BEING PERFORMED.

 

 

8. THE REVERSE CARRY ON THE MARCH.

 

8 (a). THE REVERSE CARRY ON THE MARCH.

 

8 (b). RESUME THE CARRY ON THE MARCH.

 

8 (a). THE REVERSE CARRY ON THE MARCH is the position assumed to either relieve the left arm from long periods of holding the mace or to effect certain mace signals described below.  It is performed in three movements and requires six paces to complete.  To achieve the REVERSE from the CARRY the Drum-Major will:

 

(a) On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        As the left heel strikes the ground, take the mace head, with the head leading and without altering the

          position of the point of balance, to the right shoulder by exerting pressure with the left fingers on the

          staff and, at the same time, bring the right hand across to the centre of the body and underneath the left

          hand to grasp the staff at the point of balance.  As the right hand arrives, transfer the grip on the staff

          from the left to the right hand, but retain both hands together whilst adjusting the angle of the mace until

          the second movement.

 

·        Complete the next pace with the right foot in normal fashion, retaining the grasp as described above.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        As the left heel strikes the ground, release the grasp with the left hand, fully grasp the staff with the right

          hand at the point of balance and return the left arm to the left side, centrally positioned.  Complete the

          next right foot movement in normal fashion.  Adjust the angle of the mace.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        As the left heel strikes the ground, pull backwards with the left arm, resuming the normal marching

          posture and style.

 

8 (b). RESUME THE CARRY ON THE MARCH from the REVERSE CARRY, using three movements and six paces and using similar techniques as described in (a) above.

 

Reverse the movements as described, changing the mace head position from right to left, grasping the mace at the point of balance with the left hand, and reverting to the position of the CARRY, moving the mace, arms, and hands as each subsequent left heel strikes the ground in cadence.

 

 

 9. THE TRAIL.

 

9 (a). FROM THE CARRY, AT THE HALT.

 

9 (b). FROM THE CARRY, ON THE MARCH.

 

9 (c). THE TRAIL TO THE CARRY, ON THE MARCH.

 

The position of the TRAIL is that which is normally assumed when, on the march or stepping off, no music is being played.  Two major reasons for the TRAIL being used are that:

 

1.  When the voice can be heard, (no music playing) no mace signals are needed to direct musical activities.

2.  When the voice can be heard, no mace signals are needed to direct drill or movement activities.

 

 

9 (a). THE TRAIL FROM THE CARRY AT THE HALT.

 

In two movements, the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        Bring the right hand from the right side, the shortest way across the body, to grasp the staff below the

          mace head with the right thumb behind the mace and the four fingers grasping around, with the right

          forearm along, and at the same angle as, the staff, as in the CARRY above.

 

  •      Count a regulation pause without movements.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Release the grasp with the left hand and return the left arm to the left side in a central position.  At the

          same time bring the mace head down and across the body, using an arcing motion, to the right thigh,

          changing the right thumb grip to one pressing down on top of the mace head, the staff being held parallel

          to the ground, with the right hand in a central position.

 

Care should be taken that no excessive movement is made by the head or shoulders when the weight of the mace is being changed from left to right.  Other than the mace and the right arm, the position of ATTENTION should be assumed after the second movement.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.   Unnecessary movement,

2.  failing to "arc" the mace head when it is being transferred,

3.  not ensuring, by thumb pressure, that the staff is parallel to the ground, and

4.  not adjusting body weight to mace weight.

 

 

9 (b). THE TRAIL FROM THE CARRY ON THE MARCH.

 

In three movements, the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        As in the first movement described in Sec. 9(a) above, bring the right hand across the body to grasp the

          staff below the mace head, to co-incide with the left heel striking the ground.

 

·        Complete the next right foot step without mace movement.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        As in the second movement described in Sec. 9(a) above, release the grasp with the left hand and bring

          the mace head to the side of the right thigh, to co-incide with the left heel striking the ground.

 

·        Complete the next right foot step without mace movement.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Push the mace to the front with the right hand, to co-incide with the left heel striking the ground and

          keeping the staff parallel to the ground by exerting pressure on the top of the mace head with the right

          thumb.  At the same time, pull the left arm to the rear to swing naturally.

 

·        Complete the next right foot step and pull the mace to the rear, to co-incide with the right heel striking the

          ground.  At the same time, allow the left arm to swing forward naturally.

 

·        Continue marching, swinging both arms naturally.

 

Care should be taken to ensure that the arms do not swing excessively and to compensate for the weight of the mace moving backwards and forwards.  Experimentation with the amount of pressure to be exerted by the right thumb and wrist will allow the Drum-Major to ensure that the staff remains parallel to the ground throughout the TRAIL sequences.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Allowing the right shoulder to drop as the mace is swung,

2.  swinging one arm more than the other, and

3.  failing to keep the staff level throughout the marching sequence.

 

 

9 (c). THE TRAIL TO THE CARRY ON THE MARCH.

 

Drum-Majors should bring the mace from the TRAIL position to the CARRY before giving any mace signals or commands.  In three movements, the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        Bring the mace across the body from the right side to position the mace head at the left shoulder and

          retain the grasp with the right hand, to co-incide with the left heel striking the ground.  At the same time

          bring the left hand by the shortest route to the waist centre and grasp the staff at the point of balance, as

          in the position for the CARRY.

 

·        Complete the next right foot pace without mace or hand movement.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Retain the grasp with the left hand and release the right hand and return it to the centre position of the

          right side, to co-incide with the left heel striking the ground.

 

·        Complete the next right foot pace without mace or hand movement.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Push the right arm forward and resume swinging the right arm in natural fashion, to co-incide with the left

          heel striking the ground.

 

Care must be taken not to allow excessive motions by the head or shoulders.  It is imperative to achieve the proper grasp, at the proper place, by the left hand on the first movement of returning to the CARRY.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Stepping "short" to allow the mace to come across the body, and

2.  realizing a poor left hand grip, (this can be rectified by not executing the second movement, i.e. releasing

     the right hand grip, until the following left foot sequence, giving time to adjust the grip on the staff).

 

 

10. THE MACE SWING.

 

10 (a). THE SWING FROM THE CARRY.

 

10 (b). THE REVERSE SWING.

 

10 (c). RESUME THE SWING FROM THE REVERSE SWING.

 

The SWING allows the Drum-Major to move the mace whilst on the march, without giving the appearance of executing signals.  The motion allows better blood flow on long marches and was originally used to set various tempi by the Drum-Major to the time-keepers.

 

10 (a). THE SWING FROM THE CARRY.

 

This action is achieved in two movements. The Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        Allow the left hand to fall to the left thigh, bending the left wrist outwards and downwards, adjusting the

          finger grip on the staff and without "throwing" the left elbow away from the left side, to co-incide at its

          lowest level with the left heel striking the ground.  At the same time, swing the right arm forward, in

          natural fashion.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Bring the mace upwards and across the body with the left hand arriving at the right side of the chest,

          turning the left wrist upwards and inwards and without "throwing" the left elbow too far from the left

          side, to co-incide with the right heel striking the ground.  At the same time, swing the right arm to the

          rear, in normal fashion.

 

·        On each successive left and right foot, swing the mace as described in the FIRST and SECOND

          MOVEMENTS, making sure that an angle of approximately 45 degrees is maintained throughout the

           SWING.

 

Care must be taken not to change the length of your pace when using the SWING.  Ensure that the wrist movements of outwards and downward co-incides with the left heel striking and of upwards and inwards co-incides with the right heel striking.  Do not allow the weight of the mace movement to raise and/or lower the shoulders, thereby causing a wavering motion with each pace.  Do not allow the weight of the mace movement to bring the head forward as the mace is thrust downwards.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Allowing the mace to control the head and body motions instead of vice -versa, and

2.  failing to end each "swing" as the heels strike the ground.

 

AS WITH ALL OTHER MACE MOVEMENTS, PRACTICE EXECUTED IN FRONT OF A MIRROR OR A MONITOR WILL HELP ACHIEVE GOOD, SMOOTH MOVEMENTS.

 

 

10 (b). THE REVERSE SWING.

 

This action is achieved in four movements and may be used to relieve a tiring left arm. The Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        Stop the motion of the SWING as the left heel strikes the ground.  At the same time, pull the right arm to

          the side.

 

·        Complete the next right foot pace without motion from arms or mace.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Exchange the mace left hand to right hand, as described for the REVERSE CARRY, with right hand under

          the left and the mace head transferring from left to right.

 

·        Complete the next right foot pace without motion from arms or mace.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Pull the left arm to the left side, establishing the proper grip at the point of balance with the right hand.

 

·        Complete the next right foot pace without motion from arms or mace.

 

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Retaining the right hand grasp at the point of balance, raise the mace head with the right hand and arm to

          the left shoulder, with the right wrist turning upwards and inwards. At the same time, pull the left arm to

          the rear in natural fashion, all to co-incide with the left heel striking the ground.

 

·        On the next right foot, draw the mace head down to the right thigh, turning the right wrist outwards and

          downwards to co-incide with the right heel striking the ground. Swing the left arm forwards in natural

           fashion.

 

·         Continue these movements to achieve the REVERSE SWING, all movements opposite to those described

           in the SWING.

 

 

10 (c). RESUME THE SWING FROM THE REVERSE SWING.

 

This is achieved in four movements. The Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        Stop the motion of the REVERSE SWING as the left heel strikes the ground.  At the same time, pull the

          left arm to the left side.

 

·        Complete the next right foot pace without motion from arms or mace.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Change the mace angle in reverse of the motions described in Sec. 10 (b) above and similarly reverse all

          other described motions.

 

·        Complete the next right foot pace without motion from arms or mace.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Return the right arm to the right side in reverse of the motions described in Sec. 10 (b) above.

 

·        Complete the next right foot pace without motion from arms or mace.

 

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

  •      Resume the SWING as described in Sec. 10 (a) above.

 

 

 11. THE CEREMONIAL WALK.

 

11 (a). THE WALK FROM THE HALT.

 

11 (b). THE WALK FROM THE CARRY.

 

11 (c). RESUME THE CARRY FROM THE WALK.

 

The ceremonial WALK is a complex system of mace and drill movements that should be executed only by competent Drum-Majors.  It should be noted that no signals or commands can be given during the WALK sequences and that, as previously explained, the position of the CARRY should be achieved before giving any mace signal on the march.  To assume the WALK requires four successive motions on successive left and right feet, different to the previous advice of habitually moving the mace only as the left heel strikes the ground.  Too, the WALK requires successions of four-pace movements as described, providing a smooth marching posture and progression. There are many versions of the WALK. This is but one.

 

11 (a). THE WALK FROM THE HALT.

 

To assume the WALK, in four movements, the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        From the position of ATTENTION, take a normal pace forward with the left foot.  As the left heel strikes

          the ground, pull the left arm to the rear in normal fashion, at the same time raise the mace slightly with the

          right hand, turning the wrist downwards and inwards to thrust the ferrule forward to touch the ground in

          front of, and just to the right of where the right foot will next arrive, to co-incide with the left heel striking

          the ground.  Keep the head of the mace to the inside of the wrist and position the mace head at the right

          thigh so that the right arm and staff form one straight line from the thigh to the ground.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Take a normal pace forward with the right foot, at the same time, swing the left arm forward in normal

          fashion, turn the mace head with a quick outwards motion with the right wrist, followed quickly by a

          sweeping motion leftwards and inwards to bring the mace head to the left shoulder keeping the ferrule

          firmly on the ground without moving its position. the left extent of the mace head should co-incide with

          the right heel striking the ground.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Take a normal pace forward with the left foot, at the same time, pull the left arm to the rear in normal

          fashion.  Bring the mace head across the chest quickly, keeping the right wrist turned slightly inwards

          and, keeping the ferrule in place, extend the right arm almost fully to the right, turning the wrist outwards

          as the mace head crosses the body and reaches the extension.  Keep the right elbow from extending more

           than six inches from the right side.

 

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Take a normal pace forward with the right foot, swing the left arm forward in normal fashion and, at the

          same time, using an upwards and inwards lift by the right wrist, raise the ferrule from the ground with the

          mace head coming as high as the right cheek, allowing the weight of the mace to resume a perpendicular

          staff position, then quickly thrust the ferrule forward again to a position as described in the FIRST

          MOVEMENT, poised above the ground ready to repeat the sequence of the four movements by

          touching the ferrule to the ground as the next left heel strikes.

 

The CEREMONIAL WALK must be practiced slowly at first, ensuring that the head of the mace describes a good arc from right to left and back to right.  The left arm must swing normally, the most difficult of the motions to master.  The right wrist must be flexible and strong enough to control the mace head throughout the turns and the ferrule must remain stationary on the ground during the first three movements, without the Drum-Major "leaning" his weight on the staff.  By walking through each movement separately and slowly, once the motions are mastered, the "flow" of the WALK will become evident and comfortable.

 

            Care must be taken not to allow the motion of the mace head to pull the body weight from side to side.  Practice will allow the Drum-Major to estimate the extent of the thrust forward with the ferrule on the first movement, otherwise unequal paces will result.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Excessive body motions compensating from the swing of the mace,

2.  poor left arm swinging,

3.  "bouncing" the ferrule on the ground as it is thrust forward, causing slippage,

4.  allowing the shoulders to waver and roll, and

5.  allowing the head to come forward as the ferrule comes forward.

 

n.b.  Many Drum-Majors when stepping off into the CEREMONIAL WALK from the position of ATTENTION prefer to assume the movements of the TRAIL for some six paces before assuming the WALK, thereby affording a smoother transition.

 

 

 11 (b). THE WALK FROM THE CARRY.

 

To achieve the WALK from the CARRY requires two preliminary movements followed by the four movements described above.  The Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST PRELIMINARY MOVEMENT

 

·        As the left heel strikes the ground, assume the first movement of the TRAIL as described in Sec.9 (b)

          above.

 

·        Complete the next right foot pace as described.

 

On the SECOND PRELIMINARY MOVEMENT

 

·        Complete the next left foot pace as normal for the TRAIL, then as the staff reaches the parallel position

          with the mace head at the right thigh, as the right heel strikes the ground, raise and thrust the mace into

          the first motion of the WALK as described in the first and second movements above.

 

On the FIRST, SECOND, THIRD, and FOURTH MOVEMENTS

 

·        Follow the sequences described for the WALK, above.  Each successive sequence will then follow in

          four-pace motions.

 

11 (c). RESUME THE CARRY FROM THE WALK.

 

To achieve the CARRY from the WALK requires three movements. The Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        As any left heel strikes the ground at the end of a four-pace WALK sequence, bring the mace across the

          body with a sweeping motion with the right wrist turning in-ward.  The mace head arriving at the right

          shoulder and the left hand coming to meet the staff at the point of balance as the left heel strikes the

          ground.  The grasp with the left hand should be as described in the CARRY ON THE MARCH in Sec. 7

          above.

 

·        Complete the pace with the right foot.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Transfer the grasp to the left hand, releasing the right hand and returning it to the right side as described

           in THE CARRY ON THE MARCH in Sec. 7 above.

 

·        Complete the pace with the right foot.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Resume the normal swinging of the right arm as described in THE CARRY ON THE MARCH in Sec. 7

          above.

 

Care must be taken to describe an arc with the mace head when assuming the first movement.  Reaching the proper grip with the left hand remains important, as does ensuring that both elbows are not allowed to "fly away" from the body.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Excessive motions with the head and/or shoulders,

2.  losing a full pace forward as the mace comes across the body on the first movement, and

3.  failure to allow the wrist to turn inwards as it reaches the left shoulder.

 

 

 12. THE PREPARATORY SIGNAL.

 

12 (a). THE PREPARATORY AT THE HALT.

 

12 (b). THE PREPARATORY ON THE MARCH.

 

This mace signal can have many uses: preparing to step off on the march; preparing instruments to be positioned for playing; changing tempi whilst static, etc.  As seen by the sub-heading the signal is versatile enough to be used either static or on the move.  Drum-Majors should decide when and how the signal is to be used and are advised to be consistent in its usage.

 

12 (a). THE PREPARATORY AT THE HALT is performed in five movements. The Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        From the position of ATTENTION and in tempo with the music being performed or about to be

          performed, bring the mace to the centre of the body with the head of the mace at mouth height.  At the

          same time bring the left hand across to the centre of the body to grasp the mace at the point of balance

          with the palm upwards, the thumb to the front and the four fingers together behind the staff, keeping

          both elbows close to the sides.

 

·        Count a regulation pause, without movement.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Pull the mace head with the right hand to the right and downwards, releasing the grip as the mace head

          passes the right shoulder.  At the same time, grasping the staff firmly between the open left thumb and

          fingers, turn the left wrist sharply to the right until the mace has turned a full revolution to the right and

          returns to a fully upright position in front of the body.  With the left wrist now facing downwards and the

          left elbow parallel to the ground retain the grasp with the left hand and place the right hand, with thumb

          on the inside and the four fingers together on the outside, at the point on the staff where it meets the top

          of the ferrule, keeping both elbows close to the side.

 

·        Count a regulation pause, without movement.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Release the grip with the left hand and pull the left arm to the left side of the body, at the same time thrust

          the mace upwards grasping firmly with the right hand until the hand is in line with the mouth, closing the

          thumb and four fingers and keeping the mace perpendicular.  This movement is the executive command

          for whatever activity is being signaled.

 

·        Count a regulation pause without movement, or wait until the following movement is needed.

 

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Open the right hand enough to allow the mace to pass through the fingers, without pulling and keeping

          the staff perpendicular and the right hand at the level of the mouth.  Grasp the mace with the right hand

          as the bottom of the mace head arrives at the hand, closing the thumb and of the mace in front of the

          centre of the body.

 

·        Count a regulation pause without movement.

 

On the FIFTH MOVEMENT

 

·           Raise the mace head slightly to clear the right foot and arc the mace head to the right with the right

             hand and place the ferrule at the side of the right foot and resume the position of ATTENTION.

 

Care must be taken not to move the head during each of the five movements, especially as the mace is released.  As with all other movements, the elbows should be kept as close to the side as possible without being stiff and rigid.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Not achieving a good grip with the left palm uppermost during the first movement,

2.  letting the elbows "flap",

3.  looking up to watch the mace come down into the right hand, and

4.  not raising the left elbow enough during the second movement.

 

 

12 (b). THE PREPARTORY ON THE MARCH.

 

Similar to the STATIC PREPARATORY, this versatile signal is performed in seven movements. The Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        From the CARRY position, bring the right hand to grasp the staff below the mace head as described in

          the first movement for the TRAIL in Sec. 9 (b) above, as the left heel strikes the ground.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without motions by mace or arms.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Bring the mace head to the centre of the body with the right hand making the staff perpendicular and, at

          the same time, bring the left hand with palm upwards to grasp the above. Both movements to co-incide

          with the left heel striking the ground.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without motions by mace or arms.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Push the mace to the right with the right hand and release the grasp and at the same time rotate the left

          wrist to spin the mace to the right, as described in the second movement of Sec 12 (a) above.  In similar

          fashion, grasp the mace at the bottom of the staff with the right hand as the staff regains the

          perpendicular position.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without motions by mace or arms.

 

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Thrust the mace upwards with the right hand to reach a point in line with and in front of the mouth, at the

          same time, release the grip with the left hand and return the left arm to the left side as described in the

          third movement of Sec. 12 (a) above, to co-incide with the left heel striking the ground.  This movement is

          the executive command.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without motions by mace or arms.

 

On the FIFTH MOVEMENT

 

·        BRING THE MACE WITH THE RIGHT HAND AT THE LEVEL OF THE MOUTH TO THE RIGHT

          SHOULDER, (See comments below) then open the right hand to allow the mace to pass through the

          fingers, to be grasped again as the mace head reaches the right hand at shoulder level as described in

          Sec. 12 (a) above, as the left heel to drop without looking upwards.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without motions by mace or arms.

 

On the SIXTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Bring the mace head across to the left shoulder with the right hand, at the same time bring the left hand

          to grasp the staff at the point of balance at the centre of the body at waist height, as described in the first

          movement of the CARRY in Sec. 7 above, as the left heel strikes the ground.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without motions by mace or arms.

 

On the SEVENTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Release the grip with the right hand and return the right arm to the centre of the right side as described in

          Sec. 7 of the CARRY above, to co-incide with the left heel striking the ground.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without motions by mace or arms, then resume the normal right arm swing

          as the next left heel strikes the ground.

 

Care must be taken not to speed up the movements, but to move the mace and arms only as the left heel strikes.  Do not allow excessive movement by the head and/or shoulders.  Do not look up as the mace is released and comes down.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Failing to move the mace to the right shoulder before releasing the grasp, thereby “walking onto" the

      mace,

2.  keeping fingers and wrists rigid instead of flexible, and

3.  not allowing a shortened pace as the mace descends, thereby having to reach behind to re-grasp the

     mace at shoulder height.

 

 

13. THE STEP-OFF SIGNALS.

 

13 (a). THE STEP OFF FROM THE ATTENTION

 

13 (b). THE STEP OF FROM THE CARRY.

 

13 (c). THE STEP OFF USING HAND SIGNALS.

 

There are as many step-off signals as there are systems.  My preference is to use the PREPARATORY AT THE HALT signal described in Sec. 12 above, with the fourth movement being the executive command to step off.  By the rigid cadence of the three preceeding movements, tempo is set for the musicians to perform together and for instruments to be placed in a playing position, hence my preference.  The simple, and therefore, classic step-off signal is by vocal word of command, either by the Drum-Major or by the commander of the unit being marched.  As music units are often required to step off on others' words of command it is prudent to practice and/or use the classic method AND TO RE-INFORCE IT with a signal I shall describe in Sec. 13 (a).  Time restraints may require less formal signals to be used to step off and I will describe another method in Sec. 13 (b).

 

13 (a). THE STEP-OFF FROM THE ATTENTION.

 

This signal is given in four movements.  To co-incide with either word of command to step off, the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        Take the mace to the first position of the TRAIL with the right hand, as described in Sec. 9 (a) above,

          keeping the staff parallel to the ground.

 

·        Count a regulation pause without motion.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        With an outwards and upwards flourish of the wrist, push the ferrule upwards and to the front so that

          the mace head is reversed and the ferrule is in the air, properly perpendicular and with the right hand in

          front of the mouth, the back of the wrist towards the mouth.

 

·        Count a regulation pause without motion.

 

 On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Turning the wrist to the right, allow the ferrule to arc downwards and to the left without pointing forward

          of the shoulders, adjusting the grip with the right hand.  At the same time bring the left hand the shortest

          way to the centre of the body at the waist to collect the staff at the point of balance in the CARRY

          position.  At the same time, step off with the left foot in normal marching fashion.  This is the executive

          command for all to step off.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without motion by arms or mace

 

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Release the grasp with the right hand and return it to the centre of the right side as per the CARRY.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without motion then resume the marching fashion.  All movements to be achieved in the cadence designated for the marching tempo.

 

n.b.  This signal may be initiated from the CARRY position by substituting the following description of the FIRST AND SECOND MOVEMENTS. The Drum-Major will:

 

13 (b). THE STEP-OFF FROM THE CARRY.

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        Grasp the mace just below the mace head with the right hand as for the position of ATTENTION.

 

·        Count a regulation pause without motion

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        With the right hand arc the ferrule to the right and upwards so that the staff arrived in a perpendicular

          position with the right wrist turned outwards at the height of the mouth and the ferrule in the air above

          the head, as described above.  At the same time release the grip with the left hand and return it to the

          centre of the left side.

 

·        Count a regulation pause, then complete MOVEMENTS THREE and FOUR as described above.

 

 

13 (c). THE STEP-OFF USING HAND SIGNALS.

 

As mentioned in the first paragraph of this Section, a further signal is available for use when time constraints preclude the use of more complex, time-consuming, signals. This simple signal is also useful to use when moving from a MARK TIME function (to be explained in Section 19) to a STEP-OFF function.  The STEP-OFF HAND SIGNAL is completed in two movements.  The Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        From the position of ATTENTION, raise the left hand straight into air with fingers together, pointing

          upwards.

 

·        Count a regulation pause without motion.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Bring the left hand with a forceful motion to the CARRY position and bring the mace into the CARRY

          position with the right hand. At the same time, step off in normal marching fashion.

 

·        Complete the next right foot then assume the CARRY movements.

 

OR

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        From the position of the CARRY, raise the right hand straight into the air with fingers together, pointing

          upwards.

 

·        Count a regulation pause without motion.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Return the right arm to the right side with a forceful motion.  At the same time, step off in normal

          marching fashion.

 

·        Complete the next right foot then assume the CARRY movements

 

Care must be taken to keep the elbows close to the body at all times.  Ensure that the wrist controls the mace and not vice versa. Maintain tempo at all times.

 

 

 

14. THE MACE SALUTE.

 

14 (a). THE SALUTE AT THE HALT.

 

14 (b). THE SALUTE ON THE MARCH TO THE LEFT.

 

14 (c). THE SALUTE ON THE MARCH TO THE RIGHT.

 

Many times, especially when the following musicians are performing, the Drum-Major has the sole responsibility for saluting on behalf of the musicians.  As there are many hand positions used by many units, I have refrained from describing the hand postures for the following salutes.

 

 

14 (a). THE SALUTE AT THE HALT is used when the Drum-Major is approached by a ranking officer.  It is achieved in two movements.  The Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        If at the Position of ATTENTION, assume the position of the CARRY, then raise the right hand to the

          right eyebrow or right side of the headdress and execute a salute in normal fashion.

 

·        Count a regulation pause without motion.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Return the right hand to the centre of right side as for the position of the CARRY or the ATTENTION.

 

·        If desired, resume the position of ATTENTION as described in Sec. 1 above.

 

 

14 (b). THE SALUTE ON THE MARCH TO THE LEFT.   Although rare there are occasions when salutes must be given with the head and eyes to the left, to recognize a ranking officer. This salute is accomplished in two simple movements.  On approaching the officer, dignitary or saluting base to the left, the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        From the position of the CARRY, raise the right hand to the saluting position normally used.  At the

          same time turn the head and eyes to the left and retain the right hand in the saluting position for at least

          five paces, all as the left heel strikes the ground.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Turn the head and eyes smartly to the front, at the same time return the right hand to the right side in the

          shortest manner, all as the left heel strikes the ground.

 

·        Resume the normal arm swinging motion used in the CARRY.

 

 

14 (c). THE SALUTE ON THE MARCH TO THE RIGHT.  This salute is achieved in exactly the same fashion and tempo as the SALUTE TO THE LEFT, described above, except that the head and eyes are turned to the right as the salute is offered to the right

 

Care must be taken not to stay with head and eyes to either the right or left, as frontal direction may be lost.  It is good habit to arrange with the musician immediately behind the Drum-Major to verbally "guide" him if the salute is long.

 

 

15. THE LEFT WHEEL.

 

15 (a). THE LEFT WHEEL MACE SIGNAL

 

15 (b). THE LEFT WHEEL HAND SIGNAL

 

As previously described, there are several functional and adequate systems for wheeling bands on the march.  The following descriptions for both left and right wheels are considered efficient and eye-pleasing.  Time constraints sometimes preclude the use of complex mace signals, hence the inclusion of a simple hand signal that may be used regularly as well as in an emergency situation.  Wheels are those unit drills designed to retain band formation and change marching direction without the use of sharp turning movements.  The Drum-Major should diligently practice the wheeling signals in order to help him gauge the distance at which he must start his movements so that he and the musicians who follow can efficiently gain the centre line of the new direction to be marched.

 

 

15 (a). THE LEFT WHEEL MACE SIGNAL is achieved in six movements, four of which are executed before the change in direction.  The Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        From the position of the CARRY, grasp the mace below the mace head with the right hand, as the left

          heel strikes the ground as described in the first movement to the TRAIL in Sec. 9 (b) above.

 

·        Complete the next right foot pace without other motions.

  

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Bring the mace to the right thigh as the left heel strikes the ground, described in the second movement of

          the TRAIL in Sec. 9 (b) above.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Arc the ferrule of the mace forward and upward with the right hand as the left heel strikes the ground, to

          a position with the right hand in front of the mouth and the mace perpendicular, ferrule uppermost, as

          described in the STEP-OFF signal in Sec. 13 above.

 

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Keeping the right hand and mace head in front of and in line with the mouth: allow the ferrule to fall to

          the left without moving forward of the shoulders as the left heel strikes the ground.  At the same time,

          raise the left arm to the left to its full extent and, with pressure from the right wrist, guide the ferrule into a

          V formed by the left thumb and fingers, turning the head and eyes to the left to ensure that the ferrule

          arrives in the left hand fork.  This is the executive signal to start the wheeling drill in normal fashion.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace as the left wheel starts then retain the mace grip and posture until the new

          centre line is reached regardless of how many paces are needed.  At this juncture it is considered good

          drill for the Drum-Major to MARK TIME in place until the front rank of musicians is around and square

           to the new march line.  As a rule of thumb, if the frontage of musicians numbers 5, then MARK TIME for

           10 paces.  If the frontage is e.g. 8, then MARK TIME for 16 paces.

 

  •      Complete the next right foot pace without other motions.

 

On the FIFTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Release the grasp with the left hand and allow the ferrule to fall to the left as the left heel strikes the

          ground.  At the same time turn the right wrist downwards to the left with some pressure so that the staff

          returns to the CARRY position in front of the body, grasp the staff at the point of balance with the left

          hand as in the CARRY movement and turn the head and eyes back to the front.

 

·        Complete the next right foot pace without other motions.

 

On the SIXTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Retain the grasp with the left hand and release the grasp with the right hand and return it to the right side

          as in the CARRY movement.

 

·        Complete the next right foot pace without other motions.

 

Care must be taken not to step too long during the wheeling movement.  Be sure to control the mace head with pressure by the right hand and wrist when bringing the mace upwards in reverse during the third movement and when arcing the ferrule to the left during the fourth movement. 

 

Poor habits and common faults include

1. Excessive head and shoulder movements to compensate for the mace weight shifting.

 

 

15 (b). THE LEFT WHEEL HAND SIGNAL.  Executed in six movements, this hand signal is expressive and descriptive of the wheeling movement.  Again, movements made with the left heel striking the ground is the key to ensuring good drill and predictability.  The Drum-Major will:

 

On the First MOVEMENT

 

  •    Execute the first movement of the REVERSE CARRY as described in Sec. 8 (a) above.

 

  •    Complete the right foot pace without other motion

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

  •    Execute the second movement of the REVERSE CARRY as described in Sec. 8 (a) above.

 

  •    Complete the right foot pace without other motion

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Describe an arc with the left hand traveling across the body to the right shoulder then to the left side of

          the body at shoulder height, in a clockwise circular fashion to a comfortable extent of the left arm, with

          the thumb and first two fingers open and the other fingers closed.  The circle should be timed to take up

          two paces, left foot, right foot.

 

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Make a forceful down-and-up motion with the left wrist to indicate the executive command to start the

          wheeling motion.

 

·        Remain in this posture until the new centre line has been reached, using the left hand to restrain or bring

          forward the inside files of the musicians following.  Remain in this posture during the MARK TIME

          sequence described in Sec. 15 (a) above.

 

On the FIFTH MOVEMENT

 

·        With a sweeping motion forwards, arc the left hand to the left side, this being the executive signal to resume marching along the new centre line.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the SIXTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Execute the RETURN TO THE CARRY FROM THE REVERSE movements as described in Sec. 8 (b)

          above, taking the proper amount of paces to complete the return to the CARRY.

 

Care must be taken to practice the sweeping motion by the left hand and to time the sweep to last two full paces.  Once the left hand has reached the extent from the left shoulder, ensure that it remains in line with and not in front of the shoulders. 

 

Poor habits and common faults include

  1. Rushing the arcing of the left arm and hand,

  2. allowing the mace to move during this motion, and

  3. allowing the head to move.

 

 

16. THE RIGHT WHEEL.

 

16 (a). THE RIGHT WHEEL MACE SIGNAL

 

16 (b). THE RIGHT WHEEL HAND SIGNAL 

 

As with the left wheel signals, the Drum-Major must carefully judge the point at which he must start the series of movements so that he may wheel properly onto the centre position of the new line of march, hence the inclusion of the simpler hand signal that may be used when space does not allow the luxury of the mace signal sequence.  All movements are to co-incide with the left heel striking the ground.

 

16 (a). THE RIGHT WHEEL MACE SIGNAL.  Performed in seven movements, the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST and SECOND MOVEMENTS

 

·        As described in Sec. 8 (a) above, assume the position of the REVERSE CARRY ON THE MARCH

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the THIRD and FOURTH MOVEMENTS

 

·        Bring the mace with the left hand to the reverse of the TRAIL movements as described in Sec. 9 (b)

          above, i.e. with the mace in the left hand at the left thigh, parallel to the ground.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the FIFTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Arc the ferrule forwards and upwards with a smooth wrist motion to a position with the left hand in front

          of the mouth, the palm outwards and with the ferrule in the air and staff perpendicular.  The right arm

          remains to the right side, all in reverse to the movement described in the LEFT WHEEL MACE SIGNAL

          in Sec. 15 (a) above.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the SIXTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Allow the ferrule to drop to the right, controlled by the left wrist.  At the same time raise the right arm to

          almost full extent to the right, forming a V between thumb and fingers held together; and guide the ferrule

           into the fork of the right hand, turning the head and eyes to the right.  All in reverse to the movement

          described in the LEFT WHEEL MACE SIGNAL in Sec. 15 (a) above.  This is the executive signal for the

           right wheel to commence.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace, remain in this posture until the centre of the new direction is reached and

          continue to MARK TIME in this posture until the files are squared.

 

On the SEVENTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Release the grasp with the left hand, exert strong pressure with the right wrist and, with the right hand

          grasping the staff return the mace head to the left shoulder.  At the same time bring the left hand to a

          position in the centre of the body at the waist and resume the position of the CARRY by grasping the

          mace at the point of balance as described in Sec. 7 above.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motions, then resume the arm swinging in normal fashion as

          per the CARRY descriptions.

 

 

16 (b). THE RIGHT WHEEL HAND SIGNAL.  Achieved in three movements, the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        Retain the position of the CARRY with the left hand and, with an arcing motion, describe a circular swing

          with the right hand from the left shoulder to the extent of the right shoulder with fingers placed as, and in

          reverse of, the description for the LEFT WHEEL HAND SIGNAL in Sec. 15 (b) above

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motions.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Using a sharp downwards, then upwards motion with the right wrist given as the left heel strikes the

          ground, provide the executive signal for the right wheel to begin.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motions and remain in this posture until the centre of the new

          directional line has been reached, guiding the inside flank by hand motions if needed.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Arc the right hand forwards and downwards to signal the continuance of the march and resume the

          movements of the CARRY.

 

The guidelines in Sec. 15 for good performance pertain.

 

 

17. THE COUNTERMARCH.

 

     The drill movement for musicians that allow them to reverse their direction of march is commonly called a Countermarch, consisting of a mace signal in two sections, preparatory and executive, and a turning to the right (or left) of each rank as it reaches the turning point then passing through its own ranks to emerge in formation but marching in the reverse direction.  As with most mace drills there are several competent signals.  I have chosen this following signal, having found it to be effective and attractive and will describe another in Sec. 18 below.

 

The COUNTERMARCH signal is achieved in four movements.  With each movement effected as the left heel strikes the ground, the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST and SECOND MOVEMENTS

 

  • From the CARRY, take the mace to the TRAIL position as described in Sec. 9 above.

 

  • Complete the right foot pace without other motions.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Using a strong right wrist motion, thrust the ferrule forwards and upwards to spin the mace head

          completely around, raising the right wrist to a point in front of, and to the right of, the right thigh so that

          the ferrule of the mace does not strike the ground during the spin.  The mace head must be revolved on

          the inside of the wrist.

 

·          Complete another spin as the RIGHT heel strikes the ground without stopping the first spin motion and

            with the mace head to the inside.

 

·        Complete two-thirds of a third spin, in the same fashion, the ferrule leading forwards and upwards as the

          next left heel strikes the ground and control then stop the forward motion by pressure with the right wrist

          to bring the right hand up to, and in line with, the mouth as described in the LEFT WHEEL MACE

          SIGNAL in Sec. 15 above.  Continue the left arm swinging normally as the spinning motions are

          completed.  The mace ferrule arriving at its height above the head is the executive signal to start the

          COUNTERMARCH.

 

·        The drill movement should be executed in whatever fashion is used by the Band, the finale of the third

          movement being the signal to start, but the mace will continue to be held in reverse, perpendicularly,

          either until the Drum-Major is clear of the rear rank of the musicians following or until all ranks have

          completed the counter, (dependant upon which Band drill is in use) at which time the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

Allow the ferrule of the mace to drop to the left side, keeping the head of the mace inside the wrist and bring the head of the mace to the left shoulder as described in the STEP-OFF signal in Sec. 13 above, at the same time bring the left hand to the centre of the body to grasp the staff at the point of balance to resume the position of the CARRY.

 

 

 

18. THE CROSS-COUNTERMARCH.

 

Some musical marching units, and some marching drill opportunities, call for an alternate system of crossing over the files during a countermarch, many times in order to retain the lead musician at their usual flank position.  The drill movement calls for the centre file to countermarch in normal fashion and for the outside files, no matter how many, to cross over to the opposite flank during the first paces of the actual countermarch.  The signal that follows is descriptive of crossing over and is well suited to the CROSS-COUNTERMARCH.  Drum-Majors should note that this signal requires more preliminary movements and paces than does the countermarch signal described in Sec. 17 above.  It is achieved in six movements wherein, using the left heel striking the ground to initiate each movement, the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST and SECOND MOVEMENTS

 

  •   Assume the position of the TRAIL from the CARRY

 

  •   Complete the right foot pace without other motion

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Bring the mace with the right hand, using a forward arcing motion to the perpendicular position in front of the mouth as described in the LEFT WHEEL, Sec. 15 (a) above.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Pull the left arm to the left side and keep it there, at the same time, keeping the right hand in line with and

          in front of the mouth, arc the ferrule downwards to the left with a sweeping motion so that the staff

          passes outside of, but close to, the left shoulder, taking two paces to return the staff to the central

          perpendicular line, with the right wrist having changed its position to that of facing inwards.  At the next

          left foot, without any stopping of the sweeping motion, arc the ferrule downwards to the right with the

          sweeping motion so that the staff passes outside of, but close to, the right shoulder, taking two paces to

          return the staff to the reverse upright position in front of the mouth with the right wrist turning back to

          facing outwards.  All the above taking four normal paces to accomplish, REPEAT the same four pace

          sequence then, as the mace arrives at the reverse perpendicular position at the end of the second right

          shoulder sweep, exert pressure with the right wrist and fingers to stop the mace movement so that it has

          returned to the position described in the third movement.  As in the COUNTERMARCH signal described

          in Sec. 17 above, this is the executive signal to start the CROSS-COUNTERMARCH and the Drum-Major

          will remain in this posture until Band formation has been resolved and all ranks and files have established

          the new line of march.

 

On the FIFTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Allow the ferrule of the mace to drop to the left as described in the COUNTERMARCH signal, above.

 

·        Complete the next right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the SIXTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Resume the CARRY position as described in Sec. 7 above.

 

·        Complete the next right foot without other motion, then resume the normal arm swing motions.

 

It should be noted that variations might be either required or helpful during the execution of the CROSS-COUNTERMARCH sequence of movements.  If a Drum-major has mis-judged the distance from the beginning of his movements to where he wants, or needs, to start the drill movements he may elect to cross-swing (the fourth movement) only once instead of twice, thereby saving four paces of space.  Conversely, if he has started the first movement too early, he may elect to continue to cross-swing as many times as he sees fit to execute the fourth (executive) movement at the place where he wants the drill movement to start.  Whereas in the COUNTERMARCH signal, the normal count of paces before turning following the executive signal is four, when all files are turning together, the CROSS-COUNTERMARCH requires longer to complete and the Drum-major may elect to MARK TIME once he has turned to the new centre line in order to allow the crossing flanks to reach their new position.  If this helpful drill movement is used, the centre file immediately behind the Drum-Major must also MARK TIME, thereby keeping proper distance from the Drum-Major and giving a clear marker for the outside flanks to cover as they reach their new positions.  A simple raising of the right hand during this MARK TIME process will allow the Drum-Major to control the forward progress of the flanks.  Dropping the right hand back to the right side will give a clear indication to the newly-fanned front rank that it, and the Drum-Major, will resume forward progress.

 

Care must be taken to practice the sweeping arcs with the mace being held in reverse and at mouth height.  The right wrist must be strong and supple enough to control the mace head as the wrist describes figure-eight motions.  Do not move the head to compensate for the shift in weight from left side to right.  Keep the left arm to the side to help balance the upper body, which should be held straight, but not rigid.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Holding the mace head too far in front of the mouth, bringing the body weight forward,

2.  not retaining the normal length of pace, and

3.  not timing the sweeps to co-incide with the left and right heels striking the ground.

 

 

 

19. THE MARK TIME.

 

19 (a). THE MARK TIME HAND SIGNAL.

 

19 (b). THE MARK TIME MACE SIGNAL.

 

Often in long marches or parades a band is required to remain marching on the spot but keep the music playing.  There have been certain opportunities during the preceeding descriptions of signals that a MARK TIME has been of use to complete sequences without elongating the files of musicians.  In addition, it is usually good band drill to MARK TIME whenever possible before giving the HALT signal (to be described below), in order for the ranks and files to cover off and dress before halting.  As with previous signals in this manual I have chosen the one mace signal best suited to most musical formations and have included a simple hand signal that will allow a Drum-Major to briefly hold the normal forward marching during any complex signal or manoeuvre.  To assist conformity, I suggest using the HAND SIGNAL when it is obvious that the MARK TIME will be of short duration and to use the MACE SIGNAL for a longer duration, or prior to when the band is about to HALT.

 

19 (a). THE MARK TIME HAND SIGNAL.

 

This signal is achieved in two movements.  At the point where the MARK TIME is to take place, and moving the hand as the left heel strikes the ground the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        From the position of the CARRY and using the normal fashion of foot drill, stop the forward marching

          progress, raise the right hand to the extent of the right side in line with the shoulders and above the

          height of the right shoulder with the thumb and first two fingers open and the ring and little fingers

          closed, palm facing outwards. This is the executive signal for the front rank, and following ranks to

          MARK TIME.

 

·        Remain in this position until resumption of the forward marching progress is required then:

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Return the right hand to the right side with an arcing motion forwards and downwards.  This is the

          executive signal to resume marching forward.

 

·        Resume the normal right arm swinging at the CARRY as the next left heel strikes the ground.

 

Care must be taken to ensure that the front rank understands and complies with the hand signal.  Practice will preclude the Drum-Major having to turn and face the band.  Do not use this signal when it is obvious that a HALT signal is soon to follow.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1. Turning the head from side to side,

2.  not raising the right hand high enough or not making the motion decisive enough to stop the front rank's

     forward motion, and

3.  not making the resume FORWARD motion in a decisive fashion.

 

 

19 (b). THE MARK TIME MACE SIGNAL.

 

Used when the MARK TIME is expected to be long or to be followed by a HALT signal, the mace signal is achieved in three movements, each as the left heel strikes the ground.  On reaching the point at which marking time is to occur, the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        From the CARRY, bring the right hand across the body to grasp the staff below the mace head as

         described in Sec. 9 of the TRAIL.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Release the grasp with the left hand, bring the mace head down to the right thigh with the right hand, at

          full arm's lower extent, then grasp the staff where it meets the ferrule with the left hand, with palm

          outwards, at the left thigh so that the staff is parallel to the ground.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

        ·       Raise the mace with both hands simultaneously to the full extent of the arms, still parallel to the ground

                 and with palms facing inwards.  Adjust both hand grips to one of the staff resting in the V fanned by

                 thumb and by the four fingers extended upwards together.  MARK TIME on the spot in normal fashion. 

                 This is the executive signal for all to MARK TIME.

 

This position is maintained until either the forward progress of marching is resumed or until the HALT signal (described in Sec. 20 below) is given, to regain the forward progress the Drum-Major will:

 

·        Lower the staff to the thigh position described in the SECOND MOVEMENT, this being the executive

          signal to resume marching, therefore, at the same time, STEP OFF.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

·        Release the grasp with the left hand and arc the mace head upwards and to the left shoulder with the

          right hand, at the same time resume the left hand grasp at the waist as in the CARRY.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion, then resume the normal right arm-swinging.

 

Care must be taken to keep the staff still whilst marking time and to ensure that the parallel position is maintained.  This signal often causes excessive head movement, which should be kept to a minimum.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1  "Creeping forward" instead of remaining in place,

2.  not using the full extent of the arms above the shoulder,

3.  not stepping off as the mace comes down to the second position, and

4.  excessive head motions and shoulder motions.

 

 

 

20. THE HALT.

 

20 (a). THE HALT FROM THE MARK TIME.

 

20 (b). THE HALT ON THE MARCH.

 

20 (a). THE HALT FROM THE MARK TIME.

 

As a continuation from the MARK TIME MACE SIGNAL, where the mace is held by both hands above the head and parallel to the ground, the HALT from the MARK TIME is achieved in four movements.  With the initial motion made as each left heel strikes the ground whilst MARKING TIME, the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        At the eighth pace before the end of a musical section, bend both wrists outwards and backwards twice,

          quickly retaining the mace in the parallel position above the head.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

  •   At the sixth pace before the end of the section, repeat the FIRST MOVEMENT.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        At the second pace before the end of the section, raise slightly, then lower the staff to the full extent of

          both arms so that the staff is now held parallel by both hands at thigh level, at the same time, stop the

          MARK TIME on the pace before the end of the musical and place both feet at the position of

          ATTENTION.  This is the executive signal for all to HALT.

 

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Release the grasp with the left hand and return the left arm to the centre of the left side, at the same time,

          take the mace head with the right hand to a position outside of the right shoulder, lowering the ferrule to

          the ground the mace head as it moves upwards and outwards.

 

·        Should the Drum-Major wish to return to the position of the CARRY then the FOURTH MOVEMENT

          should read:

 

·        Release the grasp with the left hand and, at the same time bring the mace head with the right hand to the

          left shoulder in an arcing motion, at the same time take the left hand by the shortest route to the waist

          and grasp the staff at the point of balance as described in the CARRY in Sec. 6 above.

 

·        Count a regulation pause, then release the right hand grasp and return the right arm to the centre of the

          right side, in the CARRY position.

 

Care must be taken to count the measures (paces) of music being performed so that the two cautionary signals in Movements 1 & 2 are complete before the executive signal to HALT on the third movement.  Do not allow excessive head and/or shoulder movements during the signal.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Not knowing the musical sections by which to initiate the signal,

2.  "creeping forward" during the MARK TIME sequence, and

3.  not allowing enough time (paces) to complete the signal.

 

 

20 (b). THE HALT ON THE MARCH.

 

Only well-trained units and Drum-Majors should use this signal as no MARK TIME sequence is called for.  It requires total concentration by every musician not only to react to the signal, but to be well-covered and dressed as there is no margin for error if the ranks and files are not square.  In order to maintain the rule of thumb that mace head up means a music signal and ferrule up means a drill signal, I have adjusted this signal to the following, achieved in five movements, on each successive left foot.  To HALT on the MARCH, the Drum-Major will:

 

On the First MOVEMENT

 

·        From the position of the CARRY, at the left shoulder, grasp the mace below the head with the right hand

          with thumb behind, four fingers together to the front and palm outwards.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Release the grasp with the left hand, at the same time, take the mace head across the body in an arc to a

          position at the right thigh at full extent of the right arm, with ferrule upwards.  At the same time bring the

          left hand the shortest way across the body and grasp the mace staff at the right shoulder.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Release the grasp with the left hand and return it the shortest way to the centre of the left side, at the

          same time thrust the mace straight upwards to the extent of the right arm in a perpendicular fashion. This

           is the executive signal to HALT.

 

  •      Complete the final right foot to HALT beside the left foot.

 

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Following a regulation pause, and all in one motion, pull the right arm down so that the mace head almost

          reaches the right shoulder, then arc the ferrule to the left across the body anti-clockwise so that the staff

          comes around with the mace head at the left shoulder.  At the same time, bring the left hand to the middle

          of the waist to grasp the staff at the point of balance, as for the CARRY position.

  •      Count a regulation pause.

On the FIFTH MOVEMENT

 

  •      Either resume and retain the position of the CARRY

 

OR

 

·        Taking two movements, return to the position of ATTENTION as described in Sec. 6 above.

 

Care must be taken to keep the elbows close to the sides and not to step too long as the mace is thrust into the air on the third movement.  Continual practice will make this an effective emergency HALT signal.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Looking up as the mace (a) is thrust upwards and (b) is brought back down after the executive signal,

     and

2.  excessive head and shoulder movement as the mace is thrust upwards.

 

 

 

21. THE CUT-OFF (CEASE PLAYING).

 

21 (a). THE  CUT-OFF AT THE HALT.

 

21 (b). THE CUT-OFF ON THE MARCH.

 

21 (c). THE CUT-OFF AND HALT TOGETHER.

 

Three signals that provide Drum-Majors with the tools to cease the music being played either at the halt or on the march, along with a supernumery signal to allow two major functions to be executed at the same time, the HALT and the CUT-OFF.  All three utilize the mace being held at an angle of 45 degrees above the head: distinguishing them from all other signals in this manual.  As in all other signals, the mace movements should be initiated as the left heel strikes the ground, and the following right pace should be completed without other motion...EXCEPT WHERE NOTED.

 

21 (a). THE CUT-OFF AT THE HALT.

 

Achieved in six movements and always from the position of ATTENTION, the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        In tempo with the music being played and on the first beat of any measure, drop the right hand on the staff without releasing the grasp, to a point just above the upper chain ring.

 

  •      Count a regulation pause without motion.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Bring the mace in an arcing motion with the right hand, across and close to the body to a point above the

          left shoulder, with the staff parallel to the ground.  At the next musical beat, (right foot), bring the left

          hand to grasp just below the mace head, release the right hand grasp as soon as the left hand is firmly in

          control, then slide the right hand (by merely opening the thumb and fingers) to a point above the right

          shoulder with both elbows held slightly from the body, pointing downwards, and the staff equidistant

          from the centre and parallel.  Place both thumbs under the staff, which should be at mouth level.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Keeping the centre of the staff at the centre line of the body, lower the left hand and mace bead to the left

          hip, and raise the right hand and ferrule upwards to a point where the right elbow is in line with the

          mouth, thumbs remaining under the staff.

 

·        At the next musical beat (right foot), thrust the mace head sharply but smoothly upwards and to the right

          with the left hand, releasing the grip as the staff passes the parallel mark, and return the left arm to the

          centre of the left side.  At the same time thrust the right arm firmly in an arcing motion to the full extent of

          the arm, in line with the shoulders so that the mace head comes to a position exactly above the head and

          the staff at an angle of 45 degrees, from the right hand grip to the mace head.

 

·        Retain this position (keeping a strong grasp in the right hand by exerting pressure from the wrist) until

          the penultimate beat of the music being played.

 

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

·        On the penultimate beat of the music, either left foot or right foot measure, sharply and smoothly lower,

          then raise, the right wrist, retaining the strong grip and pressure, and...all in one motion...on the final

          measure, bring the right hand in an arcing motion to a position in front of the mouth, keeping the mace

          head in the central position while changing the staff angle to perpendicular without changing the right

          hand grasp with thumb and fingers. This is the executive signal to cease playing (Cut-Off).

 

·        Count a regulation pause without motion.

 

On the FIFTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Open the right hand and allow the mace to come down through the fingers until the mace head reaches a

          point in line with the mouth, as described in Sec. 8, the PREPARATORY, above.  Then close the hand to

          regain the grasp, keeping the mace perpendicular.  Do not look up to "watch" the mace into the right

          hand.

 

·        Count a regulation pause without motion.

 

On the SIXTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Return the mace to the position of ATTENTION as described in Secs. 1 and 8 (The PREPARATORY)

          above.

 

Care must be taken to practice the angles and hand grips and thumb placements, then practice again.  The elbows should be kept as close as comfortable during the Cut-Off and the head should remain still, regardless of mace motions.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Looking up to see the mace come down in the 5th movement,

2.  not knowing the final music measure of the piece being performed,

3.  failure to control the mace head by moving it in straight lines rather than in arcs, and

4.  insufficient wrist pressure to hold the mace head centrally and at the proper height for a length of time.

 

 

21 (b). THE CUT-OFF ON THE MARCH.

 

Similar in form and function to the CUT-OFF AT THE HALT, but with some vital refinements, the signal is executed in six movements.  Emphasis on the INITIAL motion of each movement occurs as the left heel strikes the ground, but some continuations of these movements happen as the right heel strikes, requiring a smooth transition from initial to secondary or tertiary motions.  The Drum-Major must be careful to estimate the length of time taken to execute ALL the preparatory movements before the executive signal, either to allow time to execute the complete signal fully or, more importantly, not to be holding the mace for a long time at an awkward angle above the head whilst marching. The Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        From the CARRY, using a small circular motion, grasp the staff with the right hand at the point where the

          ferrule is seated, with thumb and first two fingers together in front of, and the other two fingers behind,

          the staff.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motions.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Bring the staff upwards with the right hand, releasing the grasp with the left hand, the staff parallel to the

          ground.  Re-grasp the staff below the mace head with the left hand in the same position, with thumbs

          underneath, as described in Sec. 21 (a) above.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Complete the next LEFT foot without other motion, then as the next right heel strikes the ground, pull

         downwards with the left hand and push upwards with the right hand, thumbs controlling the staff, as

         described in the third movement of Sec. 21 (a) above.

 

·        Immediately, on the next left foot, thrust the mace upwards with the right hand to the right extent of the

          right arm. At the same time, push upwards with the left thumb, then release the grasp and return the left

          arm to the center of the left side, all as described in Sec. 21 (a) above, with the mace head immediately

          above the head and the staff at an angle of 45 degrees.

  

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

·        With a sharp down and up motion with the right wrist at the penultimate measure of the music being

          played, and keeping the left arm firmly to the side, bring the staff in an arc to a perpendicular position

          with the right hand coming to a position in front of the mouth on the final note of the final measure, all as

          described in Sec. 21 (a) above.  This is the executive signal to cease playing (Cut-Off).

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the FIFTH MOVEMENT

 

·        BRING THE STAFF FROM THE MOUTH TO THE RIGHT SHOULDER, then open the right hand to allow

          the staff to pass through the grasp, then close the hand again as the mace head reaches the right

          shoulder.  DO NOT WALK ONTO THE MACE.  All as described in Sec. 21 (a) above, except for moving

          the staff to the right before allowing it to fall.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the SIXTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Bring the mace across the body with the right hand in a sweeping motion, so that the mace head is at the

          left shoulder.  At the same time, grasp the staff at the point of balance with the left hand, as for the

          CARRY.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace, then resume normal arm-swinging

 

OR

 

·        If no other music is starting, replacing the music cut by the signal, bring the mace downwards with the

          right hand in an arcing motion forward, to resume the marching position and movements of the TRAIL,

          as described in Sec. 9 above.

 

Care should be taken as outlined in Sec 21 (a) as above.  Be alert to moving the staff to the right at the fifth movement, so that your forward progress does not cause you to strike the mace on its downward path.  Practice will allow you to perfect the signal.

 

 

21 (c). THE CUT-OFF AND HALT TOGETHER.

 

Often, a Drum-Major must halt the band and cease playing at the same time.  The following signal will allow these two functions simultaneously by relying upon the Drum-Major's knowledge of the music being performed.  Without this knowledge, the signal cannot be executed to co-incide with a musical phrase or end of part.  The movements are quite similar to those described above in the CUT-OFF ON THE MARCH, except that the staff is reversed, in order to designate a combined musical and drill signal.  In six movements, the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        From the CARRY, bring the right hand across the body to the left shoulder to grasp the staff just below

          the mace head, with palm outwards and with thumb in front, and four fingers together behind the staff, as

          described in the first movement of the LEFT WHEEL in Sec. 15 (a) above.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Bring the staff across the body with the right hand in an upward arcing motion, releasing the grasp with

          the left hand, so that the right hand is outside of the right shoulder and the staff parallel to the ground.

          Re-grasp the staff at the point where the staff meets the ferrule with the left hand in the same position,

         with thumbs underneath, as described in Sec. 21 (a) and (b) above.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Complete the next LEFT foot without other motion then, as the next right heel strikes the ground, pull

         downwards with the left hand and push upwards with the right hand, thumbs controlling the staff, as

         described in the third movement of Sec. 21 (a) and (b) above.

 

·        Immediately, on the next left foot, thrust the mace upwards with the right hand to the right extent of the

          right arm.  At the same time, push upwards with the left thumb, then release the grasp and return the left

          arm to the centre of the left side, all as described in Sec. 21 (a) and (b) above, with the tip of the ferrule

          immediately above the head and the staff at an angle of 45 degrees from the extent of the right arm.

  

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

·        With a sharp up and down motion with the right wrist at the penultimate measure of the music being

          played, and keeping the left arm firmly to the side, bring the staff in an arc to a perpendicular position

          with the right hand coming to a position in front of the mouth on the final note of the final measure, all as

          described in Sec. 21 (a) and (b) above.  This is the executive signal to cease playing, (CUT-OFF).

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the FIFTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Turn the right wrist quickly to the left and arc the staff downwards and to the left to a position with the

          right hand below the mace head at the left shoulder.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the SIXTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Place the left hand at the center of the waist and grasp the staff at the point of balance as for the CARRY

          position.

 

·        Complete the right foot pace without other motion, then release the grasp with the right hand and return

          the right arm to the center of the right side.

 

·        Remain at the CARRY in preparation for the next signal or verbal word of command.

 

OR

 

·        Return to the position of ATTENTION from the CARRY in two movements as described in Sec. 1 above.

 

The guidelines for Sec. 21 (a) and (b) pertain.  Practice will show that the hand grip and wrist pressures for the HALT AND CUT TOGETHER are different to those of the CUT-OFF AT THE HALT and the CUT-OFF ON THE MARCH and the Drum-Major must adjust the weighted balance of the mace in order to find the proper angle of the staff.

 

 

 

22. THE FORM CIRCLE.

 

22 (a). THE FORM CIRCLE.

 

22 (b). THE REFORM BAND (BLOCK).

 

This is a descriptive signal that commands the musicians to form circle (or other type of formation in use) and then to re-form to their original formation, all with music being performed.  Any formation may be achieved using the executive command of the FORM CIRCLE signal as may the re-formation back to the original.  As with all other signals in this manual, the initial mace movements should be initiated as the left heel strikes the ground and with elbows kept as close to the body as is comfortable.  Tempo remains an important part of the overall smooth execution.

 

22 (a). THE FORM CIRCLE.

 

In six movements the Drum-Major will:

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT

 

·        From the CARRY, bring the right hand across the body to grasp the mace below the head at the left

          shoulder, as described in the TRAIL FROM THE CARRY in Sec. 9 (b) above.

 

·        Complete the next right foot without other motion.

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT

 

·        Release the grasp with the left hand and bring the mace head to the side of the right thigh, keeping the

          staff parallel to the ground, as described in the TRAIL FROM THE CARRY in Sec. 9 (b) above.

 

·        Complete the next right foot without other motion.

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT

 

·        Arc the ferrule of the mace forwards and upwards with the right hand to a position with the right hand in

          front of the mouth and the staff perpendicular, ferrule uppermost, as described in the STEP-OFF signal

          in  Sec. 13 above.

 

·        Complete the next right foot pace without other motion.

  

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Keeping the right hand in front of and in line with the mouth, allow the ferrule to fall to the left without it

          moving forward of the shoulders.  With pressure from the right wrist continue the circular motion of the

          ferrule until it reaches full circle above the head, the mace head spinning INSIDE the wrist, meanwhile

          keep the left arm motionless at the left side.  This circular path of the mace should be executed in two

          paces.

 

·        On the next left and right foot, repeat the circle swing.

 

·        On the next left and right foot, repeat the circle swing for a third time, checking the arcing motion with the

          right wrist, so that the staff reaches and maintains the perpendicular position for the third time.

 

On the FIFTH MOVEMENT

 

·        When players and the Drum-Major are in the position to form the new formation, turn the wrist to the

          right and allow the ferrule to arc downwards and to the left, adjusting the right hand grip.  At the same

          time, bring the left hand across to grasp the staff at the point of balance in front of the waist in the

          CARRY position, as described in the STEP­OFF in Sec. 13 (a) above.  This is the executive movement to

          signal the FORM CIRCLE.

 

On the SIXTH MOVEMENT

 

·        Release the staff with the right hand and return it to the centre of the right side, meanwhile MARK TIME

          without mace signal and turn to face the drill movement being executed by the musicians forming circle.

 

·        A MARK TIME AND HALT signal may now be executed once all musicians are in their new, assigned

          positions.

 

 

22 (b). THE RE-FORM BAND (BLOCK).

 

The signal to re-trace drill steps and re-form original or block formation is achieved in five or six movements, dependant upon whether or not the Drum-Major is at the CARRY or the ATTENTION as the preparatory movements begin.  The Drum-Major, from either position, will:

 

·        Bring the mace head to the TRAIL position with the right hand, then to a perpendicular position, in

          tempo, as described in Sec. 22 (a) above.

  

On the NEXT MOVEMENT

 

·        Repeat the three circular motions with the mace as described in Sec. 22 (a) above, standing still and in

          tempo with the music being performed, to co-incide with the END of a musical phrase or part.

 

On the NEXT MOVEMENT

 

·        Allow the ferrule to arc downwards and to the left without pointing forward of the shoulders, adjusting

          the grip with the right hand.  At the same time, STEP-OFF on the FIRST beat of the FIRST measure of the

          next musical phrase or part, whilst turning about to resume the original line of march.  Bring the left hand

          to the centre of the waist and grasp the staff at the point of balance as in the CARRY.  This is the

          executive signal for all to STEP-OFF, re-trace drill steps and RE-FORM BAND in the original formation.

 

·        Complete the next right foot pace without other motion.

 

On the NEXT MOVEMENT

 

·        Release the grasp with the right hand and return the right arm to the right side, then resume normal arm

          swinging as the next left heel strikes the ground.

 

Care must be taken to time the circular swings to co-incide with the foot movements, no matter the tempo.  Keeping the left arm held to the side during the circles motion will help restrain undue upper body motion.  Teach the musicians not to anticipate their moving into the new formation during the circle motions, as these motions allow the Drum-Major to ensure that he is in the ideal spot to start the executive signal.

 

Poor habits and common faults include:

1.  Not checking your forward motion as the executive signal is given, and

2.  failing to time the static circles to match the end of a musical phrase or part when signaling the re-

     formation of Band or Block.

 

 

 

23. MACE DRILL AND SIGNALS IN SLOW TIME.

 

23 (a). SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES.

 

23 (b). THE SLOW CEREMONIAL WALKS

 

23 (a). SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES.

 

Many musical units, and the ceremonial units they support, use SLOW MARCH music and sequences at certain times in their presentations.  According to the 17th century directive, recognized throughout the European militaristic nations, which advised that progress was to be measured at one pace or one drill movement per second, the basic tempo upon which all others were based was 60 beats to the minute.  The mace drills and signals described in Sections 1 through 22 can be readily used in QUICK TIME, i.e. at tempi between 90 and 120 beats per minute.  These signals need not be changed but require some adjustments when being used in SLOW TIME (usually between 60 and 75 beats per minute), and the rules governing movements starting as the left heel strikes the ground and the right foot pace lying fallow are pertinent.

 

There are some differences in mace drill movements that must be recognized and practiced and are listed below.  In addition care must be taken, when transferring the descriptions of movements within the various signals, not to rush the mace motions but to maintain the tempo in which the accompanying music is being performed.  Practice of the preceeding signals at the slower tempo will allow the Drum-Major to adjust the speed at which the mace head and/or ferrule moves, and wrist control will allow the movements to remain graceful, yet decisive and constant.  Smooth flow from marching to signaling marks the professional Drum-Major's performance in SLOW TIME and concentration upon describing an arc with the mace head whenever it moves is vital for such presentational skills.  Above all, confidence in the knowledge of the signals and the music will polish the appearance and control of the Drum-Major.

 

There are three major differences in usage and presentation between QUICK TIME and SLOW TIME.

 

1.  There should be no arm-swinging, either left or right, during drill performed in SLOW TIME.

 

2.  The MACE SWING, as described in Sec. 10 above should not be used by the Drum-Major in SLOW TIME.

 

3.  The CEREMONIAL WALK as described in Sec. 11 above is performed in different fashions in SLOW

     TIME.  There are many variations of THE SLOW WALK and I have chosen three that may be used either

     successively or as single, repeated flourishes that do not involve the mace being raised above the

     shoulders (thereby giving the appearance of being a signal).  Do not attempt to master the following until

     you are proficient in the preceeding 22 Sections.

 

 

23 (b). THE CEREMONIAL WALK IN SLOW TIME.

 

The major difference between these movements and the others in this manual is that the sequences are achieved over six paces and not two or four.  There are similarities to the ceremonial walk in QUICK TIME, but practice will show that the Drum-Major should "sweep" more widely with both wrist and arm motions in order to fill out the extra time available.

 

Although the left heel striking the ground dominates the timing pattern, the right heel striking also determines mace movements as in the QUICK WALK.  It is advised to start the SLOW WALK with an automatic move to the TRAIL position using six paces with the mace moving on pace 1 and 3.  This will allow pace 6 (immediately prior to the first walk sequence) to be accomplished as described below.  Following the TRAIL position, the SLOW WALK is achieved in six movements, the practice of which should be broken down, pace by pace, unti1 smooth flow is evident, therefore the movements and paces will be numbered together for clarification.  The left arm does not swing throughout any slow march sequence or signal.  The Drum-Major will:

 

On the SIXTH MOVEMENT (to co-incide with the last pace of the TRAIL)

 

·        As the right-foot comes forward, raise and arc the mace head upwards from the right thigh with a strong

          wrist motion, so that the mace head is at the right cheek bone and the ferrule is arcing forwards in line

          with the right shoulder and the ferrule point no more than two feet in front of the body.

 

On the FIRST MOVEMENT (pace 1)

 

·        Continue the motion by thrusting the ferrule forwards and in line with the right shoulder, lowering the

          mace head to a point beside the right thigh, with the right elbow close to the hip joint, forming a straight

          line with staff and arm from the shoulder to the ferrule.  Do not touch the ferrule to the ground

 

On the SECOND MOVEMENT (pace 2)

 

·        Touch the ferrule to the ground as the right foot comes forward, then turn the mace head with a quick

          outwards motion to the right immediately followed by a sweeping motion leftwards to bring the mace

          head across the body to the left shoulder, keeping the ferrule firmly on the ground.  The mace head

          should arrive at the left extent as the right heel strikes the ground. (pace 2).

 

On the THIRD MOVEMENT (pace 3)

 

·        Complete the leftwards sweep as described in the second movement, then bring the mace head across

          the chest, keeping the ferrule at the same point on the ground, and continue the motion towards the

          right.  Bring the mace head to the full extent of the right arm, in continuation and in line with the right

          shoulder as the left foot reaches its forward motion.  The ferrule remains in place.

 

On the FOURTH MOVEMENT (pace 4)

 

·        Lift the ferrule from the ground as the right foot comes forward and arc the mace head leftwards and

          forwards to a point in line with the line of march, then arc the mace head back to the center of the right

          thigh, the staff parallel to the ground in the TRAIL position, arriving as the right foot reaches its forward

          position.

 

On the FIFTH MOVEMENT (pace 5)

 

·        Complete the left foot pace at the TRAIL position.

 

On the SIXTH MOVEMENT (pace 6)

 

·        Repeat the motions as written above for pace 6 as the right foot comes forward.

 

·        Repeat the six-pace sequences as often as needed.

 

TO RETURN TO THE CARRY FROM THE SLOW WALK, REPLACE THE FOURTH MOVEMENT DESCRIPTION WITH:

 

·        Lift the ferrule from the ground as the right foot reaches its forward position, then bring the mace head

          across the body to the left shoulder.

 

·        Replace the FIFTH MOVEMENT description with:

 

·        Bring the left hand to the center of the waist and grasp the staff at the point of balance to resume the

          CARRY position.

 

·        Complete the next right foot without other motion.

 

·        Return the right arm to the center of the right side to complete the CARRY position as the left heel strikes

          the ground.

 

The variations on the SLOW WALK occur between MOVEMENTS 5 and 6. Do not advance to the following variations until proficiency has been reached in the basic SLOW WALK.

 

 

VARIATION 1.

 

On the FIFTH MOVEMENT (pace 5)

 

·        After the left heel has struck the ground, adjust the finger grip with the right hand to allow the mace head

          to remain at the right thigh, then force the ferrule downwards to where the point is just above the ground

          and swivel the point anti-clockwise, outward, and forwards.

 

On the SIXTH MOVEMENT (pace 6)

 

·        Complete the swivel motion until the point of the ferrule is immediately in front of the right shoulder and

          the staff and arm are in a straight line forward, as described in the sixth movement of the basic SLOW

          WALK, above.

 

  •      Continue on with movements 1 through 6.

 

VARIATION 2.

 

On the FIFTH MOVEMENT (pace 5)

 

·        After the left heel has struck the ground, adjust the finger grip with the right hand to allow the mace head

          to remain at the right thigh, then force the ferrule upwards, then forwards, so that the mace head turns

          inside the wrist and the staff passes outside of the wrist, the ferrule passing from behind to a position

          forward of the body, the whole motion in line with the line of march.

 

On the SIXTH MOVEMENT (pace 6)

 

·        Complete the forward revolution with the ferrule until it reaches the point just above the ground in front

          of the right shoulder, and with the staff and arm forming a straight line, as described in the sixth

          movement of the basic SLOW WALK, described above.

 

·        Continue on with movements 1 through 6.

 

As mentioned in the preamble, the basic movement and the variations thereon may be used singly or in sequence.  It will be apparent to the practitioner that the finger grip and wrist pressure is different for each variation and familiarization with, and timing of, the three methods of bringing the ferrule point from the TRAIL to the forward position is important.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

A final comment about "flourishing" the staff, an activity eagerly sought by many Drum-Majors.  I have attempted to categorize the preceeding signals in this manual in two ways so that the musicians who follow may become comfortable with the system and that they can trust the mace (and the Drum-Major) whenever it intrudes upon their eyesight.

 

1.  The mace appearing above the shoulder is a mace signal for a warning that a signal is about to be given.

 

2.  Mace signals ordering MUSICAL activities are given with the mace HEAD in the upper position and

      mace signals ordering DRILL activities are given with the mace FERRULE in the upper position.

 

It then becomes apparent that any extraneous motions or movements by the mace can be construed by the musicians as a preparatory or executive signal.  Flourishing the mace can often confuse the music and/or the drill rather than controlling it, and I urge Drum-Majors who use excessive mace or body movements to find a way not to detract from the band's overall sight and sound at the expense of personal gratification.  The general public or specific audience can be distracted from relishing a particular musical presentation by the sight of a Drum-Major throwing his mace in the air in perfect (or imperfect) triple or quadruple turns, often lurching around to catch the mace as it returns to earth somewhere.

 

The successful catch may gratify the thrower but can alienate the performers.  The unsuccessful catch can spell disaster for both.

 

Regimental Drum Major Association © 2003 - 2006