[[quoteright:284:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Drumline_5410.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:284: Halftime is gametime.]]
->''"One band. One Sound."''


'''''Drumline''''' is a 2002 film starring Nick Cannon and Creator/OrlandoJones.

Devon Miles (Cannon) is a talented, but cocky freshman drummer for the marching band at the fictional college Atlanta A&T. Devon is recruited by band director Dr. Lee who sees his talent while scouting. His self important attitude puts him at odds with upperclassman and section leader Sean Taylor. The band director, Dr. Lee (Jones), struggles with whether Devon's talent outweighs the damage his behavior brings to the band.

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AchillesHeel: Devon [[spoiler: can't read music]].
* ArtisticLicenseMusic: The printed music that comes out of a snare drum solo in the middle of the movie has sharps and flats, despite the fact that a snare drum has only one note (roughly, "bang"). The main notations for drumming are things like rests(silence), flams(both sticks hitting within an instant of each other) and paradiddles(left-right-left-left or the reverse).
* AuthorAppeal: In-canon; Lee refuses to let the band play music other than the old-school stuff ''he'' likes, even risking the band over it. He eventually learns to compromise.
* AuthorAvatar: The story, and Devon's character, are both based off of music director Dallas Austin.
* BetaCouple: Deidre and Ernest.
* BreakTheHaughty: Devon thinks the entire band should revolve around him solely on his talent. He has a rough time learning that that will only get him so far.
* BrokenPedestal: Mr. Wade is Dr. Lee's former teacher despite their philosophical differences and contemporary rivalry. This leads to CallingTheOldManOut.
* ChallengingTheChief: Devon attempts to do this when he wins a contest with Sean over who can play the longest while making eye contact. Dr. Lee instead calls him out for being a JerkAss.
* TheChick: Deidre.
* DisappearedDad
* DownToTheLastPlay: The tie at the competition is broken with a showdown of the two drumlines.
* {{Fanservice}}: The scantily-clad dancers in the BET Classic are shown gratuitously during the trailer.
* GenreBusting: It's a band movie, crossed with a sports movie!
* HardWorkHardlyWorks: Devon shows up Sean many times during the first act of the film due to his natural talent despite Sean being older and more experienced. The downside to this is that Devon is initially a showboating jerk who thinks about his own glory more than the good of the band. Dr. Lee eventually snaps him out of it by making him go home and ''learn'' how to really play the drums via sheet music.
* HardWorkMontage: Several.
* HeelFaceTurn: Sean.
* JerkAss: Devon, initially.
** As was Sean, who let [[SmallNameBigEgo being section leader go to his head.]]
* JustLikeMakingLove:
-->'''Shaun''': Playing the drums... it's like making love. You can't keep looking down and seeing what's going on down there.
* MonochromeCasting: All main characters of the film are black except for Jayson. There are also only two or three non-African American background characters in the entire band. The movie is set at an {{Expy}} of a historically black college.
* TheRival: Sean to Devon.
** The Morris Brown College Marching Band is this to Atlanta A&T.
* SecondActBreakup
* SeriousBusiness: Bands, though it's not much of an exaggeration. Also, "musicianship."
** An amusing shot early in the film pans across each section of the band, with each section leader emphatically explaining why their section is the most important.
*** TruthInTelevision. Percussion keeps the beat, low brass/woodwinds are the root and backbone of the band, high woodwinds do all the crazy fast stuff, and high brass handles those huge impacts and high notes... and each section ''knows'' they're the most important.
* ShoutOut: The band plays the epic "King's Motorcade" from ''ComingToAmerica'' in a scene, with Dr. Lee's appropriately commanding presence as conductor.
* ShownTheirWork: Though there's plenty of ArtisticLicenseMusic in the cadences and techniques, the way the band is run, and life on it, is pretty spot-on to life on a real marching band. This crosses into GeniusBonus territory when Dr. Lee absolutely insists on Devon being able to read sheet music. Why is that? Because marching band sheet music is designed with extreme precision; it is a very complex notation that keeps the individual carefully choreographed with his section mates, and helps keep the section timed with the rest of the band. That's triply important in a drumline, which keeps the beat for the ''entire band''. Devon may not need to read music to learn his cadences, but he absolutely must be able to do so to make sure his playing matches up with everyone else in the band - right from the start of the learning curve. Until he can read music, he can never be a team player - literally.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Devon's primary character flaw, though [[CharacterDevelopment he does mature]].
* TheStoic: Dr. Lee.
* TokenWhite: Jayson. Lampshaded with his nickname "Affirmative Action".
* TookALevelInBadass: Devon, believe it or not, once he finally puts aside his grudge against the world (and Shawn!) and starts learning to be a disciplined member of the band. In the drumline-duel at the end, he and Shawn together lead the line flawlessly, and he doesn't so much as twitch when Morris Brown tries to taunt him into a reaction by banging on A&T's drums. That unflinching discipline in the face of Morris Brown's classlessness likely won them the duel, and the competition.
** Well, he twitches a ''little'', but not nearly as badly as earlier in the film when he gets into a fistfight during a competition.
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