Open Adjudication - A Poll

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by brassneck, May 7, 2007.


Should We Have Open Adjudication?

  1. Yes, for ALL contest types!

    51 vote(s)
  2. Yes, but ONLY for Entertainment Contests!

    56 vote(s)
  3. No, closed adjudication only!

    13 vote(s)
  4. Don't Know!

    3 vote(s)
  1. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I've always been in favour for open adjudication for entertainment contests, but have reservations whether set/open test-piece formats should be the same. Entertainment contests usually follow some sort of visual element whether it be choreographed or even played without parts and judges are not aware of these aspects unless written in the scores. Test-piece competitions, however, may require some isolation for judges to not be distracted by anything to concentrate on scores and performance. What do you think should be the future of adjudication?
  2. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    wher's the poll ?
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - the poll has to be added after the thread has been created!
  4. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    I'm not a fan of open adjudication at all. I don't think the judge should be able to see which band is on stage, similarly I have a similar opinion about pre-drawn contests. I think if a judge knows who is on stage there is always a chance (no matter how slim) of bias.
  5. Di

    Di Active Member

    It has to be open for entertainment contests, otherwise how can the entertainment value be judged? Unless you go to the expense of two adjudicators, one in the box, one not which some contests do.
  6. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Any adjudicator who is worth the money should not be influenced by which band is on stage. If that is even a possibility, they shouldn't be in the box (or the chair, if not boxed).

    I am all in favour of open adjudication - not only will it give the adjudicator the chance to see what might be being done on stage, but also the chance for the bands (and audience) to see that the adjudicator is actually concentrating on the score, not just writing a result at the end of the day (which is an accusation that is raised quite often on here).
    The chance to see what is going on onstage is something that I believe is essential for entertainments contests, but also would prove beneficial for regular contests. It might make conductors think twice before any rescoring, restaging, repositioning of players/parts.

    The biggest problem with this open approach would be that the adjudicator would have to be completely impartial (which would rule out anybody with long associations with any one band). They would have to be open to any interpretation that is seen as well as heard (some are very fixed in what they want to hear, imagine if they could actually see what was going on onstage). Could be a very interesting experiment to try out.

    One addition I would personally make, is that at the end of a band's performance the adjudicators notes and remarks are taken away from them - meaning that they can't be altered later in the day to suit the results that aren't decided until the end.
  7. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Definitely closed for non Entertainment contests. No matter how hard an Adjudicator may try to be neutral, human nature will always play a part. Points may be biased towards a very young band, or to players/conductors/bands the Adjudicator knows from normal life etc.
  8. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly Active Member

    Hear hear!
    It only seems to be brass banders who have a hang-up about closed adjudication. Sainsburys Choir of the Year, BBC Singer of the Year, BBC Young Musician of the Year, Leeds Piano Competition, to name a few off the top of my head, all have open adjudication and trust the adjudicators to be impartial and objective. What does it say if we can't trust brass band adjudicators to be the same?
  9. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    i think that ALL contests should be OPEN adjudication
  10. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    Its time we grew up folks!
  11. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    Me too!
  12. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    It has nothing to do with 'growing up'. Human nature is what it is and no matter how impartial someone tries to be they will be influenced one way or the other. Either by favouring a band they know (unintentionaly) or by being harder on a band they know.
  13. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Works in every other sort of music competition - it is just brass bands that seem to have such little faith in their adjudicators that they feel they would be influenced.
    Maybe this is one of the big problems - the adjudicators are often people who have come through the system as players with certain bands. If the adjudicators were all of the highest calibre of musician (as opposed to "he played horn with Dyke for 25 years, he must know what he is doing" - no offence to horn players, just an example), then maybe there would be fewer problems.
  14. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    Local Music Festival all over the UK, Young Musician of The Year, Leeds Int Piano competition - none of these are closed. I voted Yes for all contests.
  15. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    We need to be grown up enough not to have immature worries like those you mentioned.
    No other form of musical competition seems to have our fixation with "boxes, slop buckets and whistles" its only when you think about do you realise how laughable it is!
    Banding!....too busy being stifled by the past to embrace the future!
  16. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I've voted for Open for all, and would go along with what previous posts have said regarding this. In addition, it should help reduce some of the problems where the logistics of the hall mean that the box is situated in an odd position, giving an un-natural perspective for the adjudicators. The box can also affect the audience seating, meaning that what should be some of the best seats are not available.
  17. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    I think we should all learn to love open adjudication! It worls for everyone else and at least we'll all know who to chuck eggs at if we don't like the result.

    Particularly at entertainment contests, too many bands forget to cut loose and have fun. Is this because we feel the adjudicator doesn't see it so why should we try and entertain the one man and his dog in the audience??

    Also we should feel blessed that evolution has allowed us to remove the rod from our backs and take advantage of the chance to make contesting fun! After all some of our orchestral colleagues aren't so lucky!
  18. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    Only for entertainments, where presentation is part of the issue. Problem I would have is not so much bias, but that bands who were a player short say might just not turn up as they would think, the adjudicator will disregard us straight away.

    Think there wouldn't be any bias, but there would be more accusations of bias.
  19. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I have thought of a scenario where some bands may be put off going to a contest where there's open adjudication. Say if a band is short of players and have to cover parts. Would they reconsider entering if they thought they would be marked down by a judge who noticed this? Or should the judge take this into consideration?
  20. JTKBrass

    JTKBrass Member

    Imagine if we had adopted open adjudication 20 years ago. Think how dull contesting would be! We would probably be sitting here wanting closed adjudication back because three or four bands had won every major contest for the past 20 years.

    If we had had open adjudication then you can guarantee we would never have seen Kennedy's, GUS or Marple win the Open, and the two Co-op wins at the Nationals would never have happened (as the open adjudication experiment carried out at the time proved).

    Someone said earlier that people can't be impartial, which is true regardless of how professional they are. In the same vein you don't get an international football game being refereed by people from one of the competing nations.

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