Figure 1.--This Scout band had a drum major and a Cub as his understudy. Like many Cubs in Scout bands he wears dressy white kneesocks. Also notice the red sash.
The drum major is the leader of the band. The term begins to appear in the English language about the beginning of the 1tth century. I'm not precisely sure how it was derived. Many English Scout bands had drum majors. He would be the only band member dressed differently than the other band members. I don't recall seeing all of the Scout bands with drum majors, but many had them. The drum majorscwere usually Scouts. One band had a Cub. I don't call seeing Guide drum majors.
The drum major is the leader of the band. Many English Scout bands had drum majors. Being a drum major is more complicated than it looks. It involves showmanship, conducting, and marching. Signals have to be given to the band. Stylish salutes are important. The drum major has to have a sence of cheoreography. There are several different styles of marching. Particularly important is handling a rtwirling the mace.
There are three destinctive performance styles for drum majors.
Corps Style: Incorporates a "glide" type marching step without batons.
Traditional Style: Incorporates a "chair" type marching step and the use of some type of baton.
Mace Style: Incorporates a "glide" type marching step and the use of a mace or signal baton. Most Scout band use the Mace style as it is particularly popular in Britain, deriving from the British Army.
The term begins to appear in the English language about the beginning of the 17th century. I'm not precisely sure how it was derived.
I am not positive how the drum major is selevted. Some band leaders stress conducting and marching skills, teaching ability, as well as communication and leadership skills. While these are the skills that all band directors look for, different directors may ascribe varying importance to these different skills.
He would be the only band member dressed differently than the other band members. I don't recall seeing all of the Scout bands with drum majors, but many had them. Often the drum major has destinctive features to his uniform. This is less true for Scout bands. The drum majors lead a realatively normal Scout uniform, but with some added touch like a red sash. One Cub with a band wore white kneesocks which many, but not all Cubs, wear to give their uniform a dressy look.
The mace is a club-like ancient weapon designed to smash the armor worn by medevil knigts. Medevil ones often had metal spikes. In the modern era, the medevil mace has evolved into a ceremonial staff, symbolic of office. It is carried by the drum major of a band to symbolize his position as leader of the band. Learning to hanndle the Scout band mace can be very difficult, especially for smaller boys. As a resuly, the drum major is usually one of the older boys.
The drum majors are usually Scouts, often an older band member. One band had a Cub learng to be the next drum major. I don't call seeing Guide drum majors.
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