A marching band is a group of instrumental musicians who generally perform outdoors, and who incorporate movement – usually some type of marching and other movements – with their musical performance. Instrumentation typically includes brass, woodwinds, and percussion instruments and the music usually incorporates a strong and stable rhythmic component suitable for marching. All marching bands use some kind of uniform, often of a military style, that include the school or organization's name or symbol, shakos, pith helmets, feather plumes, gloves, and sometimes gauntlets, shashes, and/or capes.
In addition to traditional parade performances, many marching bands also perform field shows at special events (such as football games) or at competitions. Marching bands are generally categorized by function and by the style of field show they perform. Increasingly, marching bands are performing indoor concerts (in addition to any "pep band" duties) that implement many of the songs, traditions, and flair from outside performances.