I am interested to know what people feel regarding the way bands approach "test pieces" and their interpretation. Over the last few weeks the debate over the Rienzi inverted turn has raged and whilst Reg Vardy won without inverting the turn I am led to believe that Midlands bands were told that they would be penalised for not inverting the turn... the score had to be adhered to. Then at results time it was made clear that Roy Roe had expected MDs to prove their merit through using artistic flair especially where tempo was concerned. In Yorkshire, a debate has been held about the use of pedal notes as in most cases these are not written. Where does this end: are conductors allowed to re write harmony or put Euphs up the octave (although pretty hard in Rienzi) In the Midlands the use of mutes in the baritones was also noted for the opening on at least one occasion!!!! It changed the whole sound of the ensemble. We no longer know what is and isn't acceptable and the penalties are incredibly severe for the bands who get it wrong. I've been tomany contests where bands have been penalised for not following the score precisely. Isn't it time that guidelines were issued prior to contests? I am not suggesting that bands are told exactly how to play, however it would be nice to know if the adjudicator is looking for accuracy of the markings on the score or if artistic licence can be used for tempo, volume, mutes etc... What do you think?