Adjudication Changes for BFBB Contest

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by brasscrest, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Just noticed this on 4br

    What do you think about the adjudicators being able to go back and review a performance at the end of the contest? Could this eliminate the "draw effect", where bands that go first seem to be at a disadvantage?
  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I believe that more useful time could be spent getting together to discuss the test-piece prior to judging! Mind you, how long are they going to spend listening to the recordings to make a final decision? Recordings never give a totally accurate portrayal of the acoustic, analogue sound produced live in my opinion, although they are better than relying on memory!
  3. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    What good is a recording really going to do though? There won't be time to count mistakes...and you really can't get the overall feel for the performance, can you? (due to acoustaics and what not as brassneck mentioned)
  4. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I've just thought of another problem. Are the CD recordings going to be index marked at every section or rehearsal mark? Imagine the judges trying to fast forward ot rewind the recordings to the places they want to check? :biggrin:
  5. lewis

    lewis Member

    Use younger adjudicators that are still capable of thinking fast enough to judge a piece correctly as it is played, not fall asleep during the middle bands, are deaf and are able to fairly adjudicate the first few bands as well. Just a thought anyway?
  6. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    That's what we need - more deaf adjudicators! ;)

    The inherent problem with any type of competition that is serially performed and adjudicated is that the first few performers are always at a disadvantage. This happens in adjudicated sports also. The problem is one of "leaving headroom". If the very first group gets high marks, then is there enough room to for possible better performances later? This is why, in Olympic skating for example, the skaters always perform in reverse order of their placing in the previous round. In a closed adjudication, random-draw situation, this isn't possible.

    Theoretically, the bands are supposed to be judged against a standard, but any adjudicated contest is going to have some subjective criteria applied no matter what the written standard is.

    I don't like the idea of the CDs because I think that it simply introduces yet another variable into the process. What if the recording equipment fails after 10 bands have performed? What if a the recording engineer fails to properly adjust the levels or changes the adjustments between bands, changing the quality of the recording? None of this should affect the outcome, but it will affect it if the judges are relying on the recordings.
  7. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hmmmm.... this is exactly what I suggested in my article published here on tMP many months ago, and that BB didn't wish to do anything with...:rolleyes:

    Here's the link:
  8. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    :tup John. Your influence grows . . .
  9. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  10. Humphrey

    Humphrey Member

    How and who will set up the recording gear used to record the bands? Will a band be used as a "control" to set up the levels? Will some bands be given "insider" information regarding microphone placements to allow them to seat the band in the optimal seating arrangement? Will the recording engineer be as impartial as we expect our adjudicators to be? Will the recording console be locked away in a tamperproof box?
    ..... or......
    I suspect an engineer will be seated in a room offstage with full rein to adjust fader levels and possibly eq settings and will no doubt be happy by somewhere around band number 7! In the meantime band number 1 will be used as a guinea pig to set up the equipment prior to any further 'artistic' refinements and the old disadvantages will still be in place.
    Technology can be a wonderful thing but I don't believe it should be used in the way suggested. There are too many variables in the recording process which in itself is far from perfect and it is highly unlikely that the sound reproduced will be the sound the adjudicators originally heard and therefore useless as a reminder IMHO.
  11. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    I had a daft dream about area contests a few nights ago.

    Before the first to fourth section started, championship section bands had to play the lower section test pieces.

    The adjudicators were told this. Conveniently, there were 12 competitors in the top section, so each adjudicator got three previews.

    Even if the performances weren't perfect, or even rehearsed (!) it would give the adjudicator three chances to eliminate the early draw blues, and to be happy with what they wanted from the piece.

    In addition to helping the standards of adjudication in the lower sections, it would give each championship section bands a chance to have a decent blow before going on stage in their own section.

    Rather impractical, of course, unless the areas all take please in the same building on the same day!
  12. lewis

    lewis Member

    Here's an idea then. The result from the year before is the order you play in reverse and just have open adjudications.

    Or a short test piece is chosen as the first round and the results of that decide the paying order but don't affect the result of the main test piece.
  13. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Though implementing this may indeed cost ££ to put into place, none of these issues are technically insurmountable and all can be solved with discussion. I am just really glad this is now being debated here on tMP...

    You state there are too many variables in the recording process... I am no sound engineer... but if the levels are set, the gain in the mics is set, the mixing desk is fixed and all bands are recorded with these same parameters, then it is a start for consistency. I agree though that the actual 'sound' heard by the adjudicators wouldn't be the same, and some mechanism would need to be put in place with the adjudicators that compensates or allows for this change in acoustic/dynamic/level etc. However, an adjudicator being able to call on the playback of a section of a piece is better than not being able to... surely...?

    We are looking for some form of consistency here, something which is sorely lacking at present. The standard and quality of the 'music' produced can only be discerned by an experienced, talented and well regarded musician... who judges in a consistent manner, in accordance with an agreed set of criteria that in turn measures his ability to perform. It's called QA... and is certainly not a closed, invitation only, self-governed club.

    Kicking thread folks... :)
  14. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    This is an interesting idea. There are clear technical problems - as Humphey has mentioned. I can remember doing the Weston contest one year and we drew number one, playing Suite Gotheque. So the guy doing some recording has set his levels from the forth section and is relaxing while we set up to start the third section. Fired up, we really go for the first note of Suite Gotheque (FF full band in case you are in any doubt)... and the poor recording bloke has to deal with his levels shooting off the range. I've heard the recording of that performance and it takes him until the third movement to get everything sorted out to a resonable degree.

    That said I think there are merits in this. I always wonder if we put too much pressure on adjudicators to come up with results after a section has finshed. I've been at contests wher a "slow" adjudicator has been subjected to a slow hand clap and jeers from the audience. Not good for someone who is trying to work out positions based on the last 4-8 hours of performances.

    As a point of interest I wonder if the adjudicators at Butlins this year took any longer to figure their section out. Due to the fixed time of 8:00pm for the results they were clearly under no presure to announce the results of the section so I wonder if they took the time to really consider their placings?

    EDIT: Sorry kind of went of at a tangent there...What I was going to say is I like the idea of adjudicators being able to review the performances after the event. Given a fixed time for results, and recorded performances, adjudicators could then have time to properly reflect on their adjudication and place bands with a more informed view of their performance
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2005
  15. lewis

    lewis Member

    In giving the adjudicators the option of listening to play backs in simple the BFBB admitting too many blatant mistakes have been made so these so called efficient adjudicators!

    It's been said before but you need to have passed various exams to be an ABRSM examiner so why don't the BFBB introduce a similar system and get rid of the dead wood (of which the list is endless) in the process.
  16. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    :clap::clap::clap::clap: couldn't agree more Lewis... as I clearly point out in the same article I eluded too earlier. It is about the provision of a capability across banding for delivering quality adjudication, in a consistently consistent manner, with an agreed and measured methodology/guidelines and modus operandi, with monitoring of adjudication standards, quality control and feedback, and effective training and qualifications to assume these positions - and most importantly - with experienced, well qualified and well regarded musicians.

    Facets of which we do indeed already have, but most certainly not something we presently have in total.
  17. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    What might be the best idea if more than one ajudicator is used is to get them to compare notes at the break and/or conclusion and then review any performances to dispute and counsel any differences of opinion. But, using such a system, will they try to solve differences right down the listing of bands? How long would this take? I expect each judge, in reality, not to consult the playback option as individuals if they are clear and adamant about their decision making if kept separate from the others.
  18. lewis

    lewis Member

    I'm sad to say I can never see it happening though! Unlesss there is some way of petitioning and letting the federation know how we feel. It comes up so often on this site and 4bars that maybe we should try and do something rather than just venting our anger on forums?
  19. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Bravo... we are most certainly on the same wavelength here Lewis. I am more than willing to put whatever weight I would be able to into it. Believe it or not, though we don't publicise this fact, tMP has regularly stood up strongly against the big-boys!!!!

    Thing is... the BB didn't think much of what I wrote, and now 4BR seems to be reporting the very same things being done in certain contests across the UK. The "introduction of recording equipment at a contest" is not the first thing now being trialled that I suggested in my article either...:wink:
  20. lewis

    lewis Member

    I might look into the possibility of a web petition, I don't know that much about it but I have seen one before and I'm guessing it can't be that hard. Also, itwould probably be an idea to contact the federation and ask what their policies are on listening to and considering outside ideas. You probably know more than I do on that one.

Share This Page