Verbal Adjudication

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by CLAIRE SPONG, Mar 21, 2006.



    Someone said this in another thread I read today. Many other countries have their adjudication verbally instead of on paper.

    I have taken part in Hungerford entertainment contest several times and they also do this. The band is recorded as they play and the adjudicator speaks in a soft voice over the top.

    I've found this a brilliant way of adjudicating there is very little lee-way for disputing the adjudicator's comments, when he says it is out of tune you can hear it, wrong notes can be clearly heard etc. etc.! You get much more of a view of how the adjudicator has heard things rather than the distorted hearing you can get from up on stage.

    Why are we behind other countries and not using the technology currently available? Has anyone else had adjudication like this and what do you think?
  2. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    In my area of the US, the school concert bands have "competitions" (competing against a standard, not each other) which are done with open adjudication and taped comments (this has been done for at least 25 years). The comments are wonderful, particularly for future teaching, as you can often hear exactly the parts that the judge marked down.

    It's not perfect - you do have the problem of someone muttering away during the piece, which can be annoying if you're sitting near in the audience.

    HANNAH Member

    They do this for the besson national concertband festival. Atleast our ajudicator (Philip Sparke) did for the youth final at the royal northern a few years ago when I was playing. I can't remember them doing it at the regionals but I certainly think its a good way of doing it.

    HANNAH Member

    Oh yeah that was another thing, it was to a standard as well, not against each other, there was just a highly commended, bronze, silver and gold award. (We won gold!!!!!...just thought I'd add that!)
  5. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hey Claire

    Can I suggest having a read of this article on tMP written by someone or other. There's some interesting information and comments on New Zealand copetition adjudication system that might interest you.

    tMP Article here
  6. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Some interesting stuff in there John - I'd have to take exception to one of the paragraphs though ;) (I'll let you guess which one!).

    Although I find the CD + verbal comments a good idea in terms of general reference (particularly in terms of the Contest Post Mortem), I'm a bit uneasy with the idea of CDs being used as a reference for later discussion by the adjudicators (which will directly affect the new contest in July). There are too many uncertainties for my liking in the technical aspects that could interfere with decisions (bands in different positions relative to the microphones etc that could affect the perceived balance for instance). Sorry that second bit's going off on a bit of a tangent...
  7. Vickitorious

    Vickitorious Active Member

    Wow!! that sounds amazing!! I wish we did that! We could have done with hat at the areas.. find out WHY and WHERE he said our dynamics were rubbish...:mad:

    I won't start ranting.. rant over :rolleyes:
  8. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    I too have played at the Hungerford contest and the recorded adjudication work brilliantly why this cant be used or trialled in the likes of butlins or pontins I don't know
  9. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    I adjudicated this contest a few years ago and agree that it is a better alternative. It's also worth mentioning that the bands actually have a choice how they receive their adjudication. They can have just a written account or just a verbal account or can have both! They decide on this before the day and the adjudicator is given plenty of notice of the bands requirements. The difficult part for the adjudicator is that the verbal and written accounts be different for those that have requested both. With this particular contest the host band (who aren't actually competing) play Number 1 to give the adjudicator a 'dummy' run to familiarise themselves with the set up. In this day and age of modern technology it does seem rather odd that 99.9% of UK contests still use a pencil and paper!

    Congratulations to the Hungerford Contest Organisers for being a world leader in the development of UK Adjudication!

  10. euphfanhan

    euphfanhan Member

    Sounds like a great idea to me. Would give a good idea of what the band sounds like from where the adjudicator is sitting too. Would also be nice to know exactly why our last adjudicator wrote half a paragraph praising our soprano player...when we didn't have one? :rolleyes: Although maybe if the performance was heard again on tape, bands could relate a little more to the comments being made rather than the usual eye rolling and sighing I have witnessed the rehearsal after a contest!
  11. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Er...I'd find it more than likely the Band will be recorded from the stage perspective rather than from inside the box.

    That said, it'll still give a much more accurate representation than that gained from playing positions ;) (perhaps that's what you were getting at - it's late!)
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2006
  12. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    What's the point of that? We have that now. By recording from inside the box the adjudicator can add his comments verbally and they can be heard simultaneously with the event on stage. Surely that is the whole point? If the band is recorded from on stage, then the adjudicator would have to shout for his comments to be heard - which could get annoying;)
  13. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Give him a megaphone ;)

    You have the Bands recorded now - but not with the comments over the top.

    If you want to put a minidisc in the box - but it'll obscure a lot of the detail. From my POV anyway - YMMV.
  14. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    But you would still hear what the adjudicator is listening to and commenting on? True, it probably wouldn't be a recording that you would want to put on the car stereo and listen to over and over again!
  15. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Personally, I'd record the perfromance as it is now with the comments added using a ducking compressor.
  16. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Don't you swear at me! ;) :D This is a family friendly forum! :rolleyes:

    Wouldn't a microphone pick up the comments better than a compressor? :biggrin:
  17. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Again, I think personally that the box should be in a optimised place such that he / she should here what the audience hears....

    But that's a whole other argument ;)
  18. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member


    Just in case anyone bobbing in here wonders what one is, a ducking compressor is used, for example, by DJs talking over records - when they talk the level of the music is reduced ("ducked") so the voice can be heard.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2006
  19. GJG

    GJG Active Member

    This may well be nonsense, and I have no real grasp of the technical implications anyway, however I have a vague recollection of a conversation with a friend who used to compete in Australian contests where this type of "over-dubbed" comments system has been in use for some time. Anyway, I seem to remember him telling me that you got a cassette tape with the band on one channel, and the adjuducator on the other, so if you wanted you could just listen to the band's performance ...

  20. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Yes - this is an option, but if I'm understanding you correctly there's a caveat in that doing it this way would produce a mono recording of the band which makes comments about balance dificult to interpret (to an extent). Given a second pair of hands, and an extra editing station it's fairly easy to burn two versions of the performance - one with 'commentary' and one without.

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