Cheating at contests cont . .

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Splitzer, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. Splitzer

    Splitzer Member

    As wooden Flugal closed the previous thread having given us the hours of 1am to 8 am to brig her back on topic I'd like to resurect it here.

    Please try and stay on topic, or it will be closed.

    I was enjoying it,

    Please give your thoughts on:

    Adjudicators possible smudging result.

    Can bands actually cheat, how? Would it not actually be down to an individual, a conductor perhaps rather than a band?

    Would contest comittees pull a result and for what reason?

    And the big one for me, if you suspect or even know a result is bogus how on earth can you proove it?

    Is there any investigatory body that could or would look into allegations and If there was, (or is) who would take us seriously in the real world? Could there be any penalty other than a ban from contesting?

    Discuss please.
  2. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    You had from before 2:00pm yesterday - every other post after that time was OT, and several on the preceding pages. Quite frankly I thought the thread had mostly run its course anyway. But - meh! Go on, prove me wrong then....

    Over to you....

    EDIT: and just to be uber-helpful ('cause I'm like that ;)) here's the link to the original post:
  3. Splitzer

    Splitzer Member

    Will do. ;)
  4. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    Athies, Pas de Calais, France
    You can divide cheating into breaking the rules and bending them. I think everyone would agree that being caught breaking the rules (bribing the adjudicator, unregistered players) should result in punishment. Bending rules is more difficult to police. If the rules don't actually say that players shouldn't use dusters to mute their instruments or parts shouldn't be swapped (for example), even if other bands might feel cheated, what can you do about it, apart from change the rules? What happened when compensating instruments came in, or trombones with plugs? The test piece writing got harder to allow for the now technically superior technology.
    Where is music making as art in any of this?
  5. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    The engine room
    Not sure if this was covered in the previous thread.

    There are times when a part needs to be covered, and these are the times I feel it is acceptable

    Lower sections, where the position is vacant and it is a necessary evil

    Where a player falls apart on stage and the bumper up take over

    Where someone in the same section of the band plays a solo rather than the principal, Solo Cornet solo's can be played anywhere on the front row, Euph Solo can be play by either.

    Where the part is unique and is it given to someone else to play, although I don't think it is cheating, I certainly believe it is unbandsmanlike. If the composer has written a solo for third cornet, then surely the third cornet player is good enough, or they would not be playing at that level. Same goes for dusters over cornets for Flugel solo's. If the flugel player can't play it, either put someone on the part that can, or don't choose that piece. If it is a set piece contest, it is ony right to swap players prior to the day.

    Other than that I don't really care. If it gives a performance that is on the money, and your average Joe Public enjoys it, good luck.

    If it is blatantly obvious that a band is resorting to unbandsmanlike tactics, the men in the box shouldn't comment unless they are more certain than anything else in their life.

    Out of interest, what do people think about bells out, standing up (mainly trombone players :tongue: ), and all the other shenanigans that go on in the contest arena. Are they forms of cheating?
  6. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Brighouse, Yorkshire
    Regarding rescoring parts, on the last thread, Philip Sparke wrote something to the effect that if he wrote a cornet solo he didn't care which cornet played it, as long as it was actually a cornet playing it.

    I'm of the same school of thought. If, I'd written two euph solos in a piece, one needing high playing and one needling low, and a conductor had two euph players with strengths at opposite ends of the register in their band then that's clearly a no-brainer! Each solo goes on the player best able to play it because it's still being played on a euph......

    .....but I'd be mightily unhappy if I'd written a baritone solo and that ended up played on euph, because believe it or not, most composers have enough command of musical knowledge to know what instrument they want something played on.

    Would you move the (deliberately very high) basson part from the rite of spring onto higher woodwind because Stravinsky clearly didn't know what he was doing? Or would you accept he was trying to create a harsher, more strident sound by pushing the range of the instrument?

    Yes composers know bands in lower sections may take to the stage with lower numbers of players than the full compliment - hence why lower section test pieces often feature solos for the more obvious chairs. (top man, top euph, flugel, solo horn etc.) So yes, there are degrees, and if a band covers a missing sop part on their top man, then there's nothing intrinsically wrong with that. But trying to cover up the deficiencies of the top man by moving a high part to sop is another matter.

    By all means, shuffle your pack of players - but please leave the parts on the instruments the composer meant them for as far as possible, or it simply won't sound like he/she intended.

    Oh, and using mutes to play open passages quieter.... don't get me started!!!!
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  7. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    Personally, I don't think moving parts around the band, changing/adding mutes (or dusters), standing up, facing in (or out), bass pedals, etc is in any way cheating or 'unbandsmanlike'.

    All the MD is doing is trying to get the best performance from the band - surely that is what we should all be striving to do?

    How do the composers out there feel about this?

    Have you ever heard a piece you have written played with some alteration of scoring and thought either:
    a) what the .... are they doing to my composition
    b) wow, that really works, if only I'd thought of writing it like that
  8. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    Bergen, Norway
    'Best' and 'Safest' are easily confused here and don't always mean the same :)
  9. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    Shrewsbury, Shropshire
    I`ve not yet played at any Area Contest where the MD had not re-scored some part of it. We are in the exciting process of auditioning for a new MD and to be honest if He doesn`t come up with a re-score I would probably think he was not as obsessed about winning as all the other MD`s I have known. :)
  10. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Maybe composers should only write a draft of what is required allowing MDs to rescore at will? Free tempos, part swapping and effects obligatory? It would create an interesting format. :rolleyes:
  11. kingsmessenger

    kingsmessenger New Member

    Hello, virgin post for me! Intersting thread.

    I have a problem with re-writing. Less so with time signatures, and I don t think there is any harm in spreading solos around a section. Bumper up playing solo etc, I don't see the harm in that. However:

    I do get a bit upset when solos are move from one instrument to another. Grindstone euphonium played the baritone solo on isiah 40, and many times we see tenor horn solos on Flugal. An example would be Devil and the Deep Blue sea. In this example many bands had Flugal players cover the high notes of the solo and the Eb horn play the main solo. ( although nationals 199? Is many years ago!)

    In my opinion this swapping of solos to different instruments is cheating. Although it probably not officially.
  12. John_D

    John_D Member

    Just beyond the edge
    just to add another thought to the discussion. It's already been said that the composer knows what sounds etc he/she wants, but do the adjudicators interpret things in the same way.
    A couple of years ago, the band I played with at the time had an MD who went to a workshop on the area test piece that included some input from the composer. The composer went to great lengths to say what he had wanted at each bit of the piece. One other MD from our area went to the same workshop.
    At the area the 2 MDs approached the piece in a similar way and came last and 2nd to last. In his 'speach' the adjudicator said what he was looking for, some of which was in contradiction to what the composer had said.
    Makes you think that some of the swapping of parts etc is only one facet of the big picture.
  13. kingsmessenger

    kingsmessenger New Member

    Your right, and changing parts and instruments around is accepted practise in just about every band room in country. Your also absolutely correct that an adjudicator often looks for very different aspects of a performance than a composer. Composers are usually completely interests in the maid and the expression of their concept, but is it "cheating"??

    I'm sure it mist be cheating to play a bari solo on a euph and a tenor horn solo on a baritone? Or is it actually the case that if we so wished we could go on stage with 4 tubas in Bb, 6 trombones in Bb 5 euphoniums, 5 Bb cornets and 5 tenor horns and that's within the rules?

    There are rules about which instruments we may use, but are there rules regarding what combinations of those instruments we can use?

    Further: as I understand it as single player may NOT play more than one instrument on stage. A part however may be split up between as many instruments as we like. That can't be right surely. The latter situation undermines the earlier rule completely!
  14. HornBlast

    HornBlast New Member

    What about making bands at set-piece contests go on stage with a "clean" i.e. unmarked set of parts that they receive as they go on stage. That way if they want to re-score the piece they'll have to learn it from memory!
  15. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Don't think there are any rules on the mixture of instruments - just the number of brass players and the instruments that are allowed - no trumpets or valve trombones.
  16. Janet Watkins

    Janet Watkins Member

    Apologies for repeating a post from the closed thread:


    According to the book of rules downloadable from Kapitol here

    8. The Contest is open to brass bands only, consisting of a maximum of 25 brass players plus percussionists, as required by the band. Brass instrumentation will be from the following list:

    Eb Soprano Cornet, Bb Cornet, Bb Flugel Horn, Eb Tenor Horn, Bb Baritone, Bb Euphonium,
    Slide Trombones, Eb and EEb Bass, Bb and BBb Bass.

    A brass player may only play ONE brass instrument, unless required by the score.

  17. kingsmessenger

    kingsmessenger New Member

    Ok, so we indeed can use any combination of the instruments listed.

    Are there any rules regarding the "splitting" of parts between instruments/ players?
  18. Splitzer

    Splitzer Member

    There must be. Otherwise the whole one instrument per player rule is completely pointless.

    Mote fundamental than any of these pointe though is that there actually is no way to accuse, investigate and judge whether a contest have been rigged or smudged.

    The attitude here for instance is that to accuse a contest committee of any wrong doing without concrete, old baily style beyond a reasonable doubt evidence is tantamount to some sort of treason against the movement.

    It's human nature, especially in situations where there is a great amount of personal pride, and sometimes financial pressure and career making or breaking events that if an avenue is available to ensure a favourable outcome it will be taken. Our movement is so small, with the same adjudicators working the same circuit yer in year out the players and conductors get to know them. David read is on facebook with hundreds of friends from the movement. Surely it's a farce.

    Further, Even with the best intentions on everyones part and without any intentional wrong doing adjudicators are ridiculed and protested against so much when the wrong bands are in the frame that they must find themslefs guessing which bands are which and placing who they believe to be the biggies in the top slots. It's survival of the fittest and self preservation. In the end we are human, and it's a matter of statistics that a percentage of the people involved will be open to persuasion.

    Just look at the welsh and Yorkshire areas!

    We don't have an FSA of band contesting. We hope there is no cheating, but in practise it's so diffucult to bring a case that it could be happening and we would have no power to stop it anyway.

    Why don't we use foreign judges that we don't know?
  19. toby hobson

    toby hobson Member

    There seems to be this general feeling that if a composer writes something then he/she is naturally putting on paper the best way to create the particular effect. Well Composers don't know everything. Its a bit like a previous occupation of mine....the construction industry, designers design (composers) , planners work out how its going to practically happen (Conductors) and site foremen/builders actually get the thing built (section leaders/players)

    I certainly get tired of the constant, often pretentious peddling debate, because there are actually some great players who know more about the art then composers. As for part swapping etc, there are conductors who know more about getting the best out of players under pressure than composers. It has always gone on, it always will, get used to it!!!!!
  20. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member


    I thought the ruling was to stop a start player playing the trombone solo (on a trombone) and the euphonium solo (on a euphonium) or the cornet & flugel solos.
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