Whit Friday - DC or not to DC?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by TheFopp, May 18, 2010.

  1. TheFopp

    TheFopp Member

    Am I right in thinking that at Whit Friday a band is expected to put a DC into their concert march even if one isn't written.

    I'm sure I've heard people say that the adjudicators expect it, but if its not written on the parts then surely the composer didn't intend there to be one.
  2. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Some Say "With DC" Some Say "With DC if written."

    Some marches (President, ravenswood etc) really do need the DC - however some (Mephi, Honest toil) are pusposely written without one to avoid either finishing in a deeply unsatisfactory manner at a point lacking any finality or having to play the whole darn thing twice. However Most MDs on either tend to opt for option two.

    Seems like everyone plays all repeats both times now - which is pretty pointless too.
  3. yoda

    yoda Member

    If DC is written YES if not NO. Play the published march as written, ie as intended by the composer.

    excerpt from one villages website..... "An unmarked copy of the published march is then handed to the ring steward as the band enters the ring and then their well-rehearsed show-piece march is played through".

    However..... each venue has its own rule, so the best answer is to check :)
  4. Frontman

    Frontman Member

    The directive must be to place a piece exactly as it is published, DC if stated and this also includes all repeats.

    The adjudicator will expect to hear whatever is written on the copy he receives.
  5. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that if obeying musical rules correctly, repeats are never played on DC, just like they are never played on DS. And that applies to any piece - not just marches - and all ensembles - not just brass bands!

    As far as I'm aware that's been accepted musical practice since long before contest marches came along, and that it's the recent practice of doing all repeats both times which is the variance to established convention.
  6. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    I remember playing mephi a few years ago with either Chav Brass or BOC Brass, can't remember.
    We obviously didn't do the (unwritten) DC as it would mean finishing the piece in a minor key.... logical yes? obviously not as 90% of the comments we got back were along the lines of "well played but why no DC?"
  7. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    "Because there clearly isn't one!!" would seem a fitting riposte. ;)

    Very disappointing that the adjudicators failed to notice that though - beside the point that a DC on Mephi makes no musical sense whatsoever. It only hangs together if you finish at the bottom and if Mr Douglas had wanted a DC he would have been perfectly capable of writing one.

    Incidentally, I once played mephi with a band at old silkstone (two venues for the same contest) and we played it as written.

    Predictable at one venue we got "Why no DC" in the remarks. Less predictably, at the other venue we got "Nice to hear Mephi played correctly for once." Alas, the adjudicator at that venue was one Mr Whitham - who sadly won't be with us this whit friday....
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  8. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    Can't remember because of dim memory or too much lager?

    At the end of the day it shouldn't matter whether you play a DC or not, you should, in theory, be marked on what you've played.

    Incidently i've always played DC no repeats 2nd time :biggrin:
  9. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    As far as I'm concerned, unless indicated otherwise on the music, you should take second time on the DC or DS. If there is no DC or DS on the copy then you shouldn't do one.

  10. floppymute

    floppymute Member

    Absolutely right!
    This old chestnut seems to come up on here every year.
    Generally, marches follow minuet & trio form...hence the term Trio... in which there are no repeats in the DC. Mephi is the main problem for the Whit Friday competitors and it doesn't follow this format..so NO DC! :mad:
    It's a sad indictment of the quality of some of our Whit Friday adjudicators if they are unable to understand this simple aspect of musical form.
  11. tubaloopy

    tubaloopy Member

    The issue is that if you do not do a DC then you are playing at least 33% less music than a band that does.
    There is less chance of splitting notes/generally making mistakes.
    I suggest that if you dont do a DC (written or otherwise) you should be marked on the performance, then deduct 33% of the points.
    The problem that most of you have is that you believe Whit Friday is some sort of music festival.
    It's sport i'm afraid.
  12. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    What? So by the same token, if someone stands there and plays the march three times they should get 300% of the marks? Come off it. By your example you also have 33% less time to convince the adjudicator you're a worthy winner, so sounds like swings and roundabouts to me....

    Anyway, you're assuming marches without a DC are necessarily any shorter than those with a DC. This simply isn't the case, because some marches contain high numbers of repearted bars - mephistopheles, for example contains at least four repeated strains if memory serves, so top to bottom it's about the same as ravenswood with a DC and no repeats on 2nd time.

    I doubt a DC will make a serious difference in terms of stamina - when we're all only playing a 5-minute contest march anyway.

    A brass band contest is not just about who can play higher louder faster and longer than anyone else. A great deal of the marks for performance will always be allocated based on how the adjudicator rates the conductor's sensitivity to the intentions of the composer - and that's how it should be.

    Plus my own personal gripe - the reason so few bands get through some venues is at least in part due to bands playing unecessary repeats and DCs on the stand. The old formula works. DC if written, no repeats on DC. Stick to it.

    It has been a musical and religious festival waaaay longer than it's been a contest of any sort, my friend....
  13. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    This year I suggest you take time to listen to one of the good 1st section band performances (there'll be many to choose from). You know the ones, typically pick something like ORB. The performance sets off really well, you think to yourself 'hey, they might cause a surprise this lot!'. Then you get to the trio and the odd bit of looseness and intonation creeps in. They do the DC, and by the time they get to the bass solo it's all over the shop and split city thanks to lack of stamina (which looks like a strong agrument to finish at the bottom regardless). Also listen to one of the top bands play. They'll all do the DCs written or otherwise and will claim the prizes because the DC will be every bit as good as the first time through as they have the stamina to cope.

    Whit Friday morning more than anything is a religious festival that uses bands to accompany hymns and the church processions first and foremost. The secrets to doing well on Whit Friday night are more sport based than musical based. I don't necessarily agree that it should be this way, but that's how it is....
  14. floppymute

    floppymute Member

    One should read one's own signature!:rolleyes:
  15. tubaloopy

    tubaloopy Member

    One knows what it says as one wrote it.

    To Thirteenball:
    I am willing to bet that most top section prizewinners this year play a Dc with all repeats.
    In my experience the Whit Friday adjudicator is as likely to rate the conductor's sensitivity to the intentions of the composer as he is to chew his own arm off.
    What he WILL be looking for is sound, balance, no splits, tightness and tuning.
    Have a great night's banding!
  16. nethers

    nethers Active Member

    Ok, what about marches with more notes than another? Should each note played be given a mark and this added up or averaged to get a score? Or should there be a prescribed number of notes or length of piece?

    Or is it fairer to time each performance and give the prize to whoever takes longest?

    As for sound, balance, no splits, tightness and tuning, even Stone Deaf Shufflebottom will be able to form an opinion without bands having to insert an extra minute of music that was never meant to be there.

    Admittedly, with so many contests happening at once the odd 'duff' adjudicator will find themselves encaravanned for the evening, but if it's the choice of pandering to an idiot or trying to do something to benefit and honour brass music as a whole, I know what I'd be doing.

    I can't remember the last time I read such tripe on here... please convince your conductor to do each repeat three times, you will surely then win every contest.

    Or to save time we could get all of the bands together, say 'ready steady go' and start repeating ad infinitum, awarding the Grand Prize for Outstanding Musicianship to the last band still blowing.

    Please let's not go back to the days of fastest, loudest, highest, there are actually a few bands around making some decent music..
  17. tubaloopy

    tubaloopy Member


    we are not talking about the cream of British adjuducating talent here.
    Benefit and honour brass music as a whole?
    It's a march.
    When I enter a contest I do so with the intention of winning. That's why they call it a contest. If that means pandering to an idiot then so be it.
    There are already examples on this 15 post thread of adjudicators penalising bands for a lack of Dc, why take the risk?
    I actually made a mistake in my last post, there are no repeats on the Dc, but the point still stands.
  18. katieeuph

    katieeuph Member

  19. tubaloopy

    tubaloopy Member

    nethers' words, not mine.
  20. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    <Sigh> and we wonder why brass bads aren't taken seriously by other musicians....

    You're playing music. At least give it the respect it deserves.

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