Yawn inducing attention seeking smartypants

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by 24aw, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. 24aw

    24aw Member

    It really saddens and me to see the continuing debate surrounding the champion section piece. Mainly played out in the letters section of four bars rest. I don't think anyone who has played or heard the piece would doubt it ain't exactly Eric Ball when it comes to the quality of Arrangement, all though i would have to say its a lot better than i could manage and i dare say a few apparently prominent composers/arrangers could do. The fact surely remains that the best band should be able to be picked out from the pack at a contest if all competitors played the Little F and G March ( with percussion!!) The Judges of the secret court may not be everyone's cup of tea but neither is a lot of the stuff that's been on offer from some of our more contemporary composers, some of which i like, some of which i don't like but all of it i have had to practice and play. Surly its a little like a balanced diet a little bit of everything goes a long way. It also really gets my goat to see people in lower sections bemoaning the fact test pieces are too easy or somehow beneath them. Images Of The Millennium is modern and very hard, Carnival is older and very hard in a different way. Isn't it time certain people stopped trying to show the banding world how clever and well educated they are and just got on practising there parts or writing there scores. I heard a number of people complaining about Comedy a few years ago. What planet are they on? The whole debate to me is just pointless and Juvanile. :mad:
  2. JessopSmythe

    JessopSmythe Active Member

    Well said
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Not everybody is going to be happy with any choice of music. Individual tastes and ability dictates what is either suitable or demanding. I have scratched my head, however, at some of the choices made by the panel in recent years. What parameters did they use to make these decisions, especially for the lower sections?

    Saying that, an easier piece that is more traditional in style demands a change in focus back to the basics of playing. That means more acute listening skills for tuning, timing and expression. Old works can sometimes be given a makeover in the modern world of banding and sometimes a conductor may have to think what the composer/arranger would have wanted given the evolution of banding. We do not necessarily have to refer to a bygone era for authenticity although due respect must be given. As long as the character of the music is kept, I feel that should be sufficient.
  4. 24aw

    24aw Member

    I just don't think we as players or conductors should concern our self with how the decision about what piece is set came about. If the pieces are rubbish then people wont turn up to contests as we have seen over the last few years, eventually the people who make money out of our amateur organisation will present us with music that fits the bill better because if they don't they maybe put out of business thus forcing them to get real jobs that involves working very hard for a living!! All we should be concerned about is can we play the set piece better than the band down the road. Out of the few successes i had at the highest level, some of the ones that meant the most to me were the Whit Friday results because to win those we had to play really really well, in tune, together, with dynamics and style...the much mentioned BASICS of playing. whats more simple than a march eh? No mutes, aleatoric sections, percussion, 16/5 bars!!! Just 20 or so people playing well together. Cant beat it!!! The best bands in the Country playing Indian Summer, Geoff Whitham in the box, the best band wins. Simple
  5. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    In my experience it's rare for a MD to be given any credit for such an approach, particularly in the lower sections. With most adjudicators it seems that a "play it safe" approach wins out.
  6. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    This is how we ended up with our brass band instrument line-up. The publishers got sick of printing costly extra parts for 2nd ophicliede and only published parts in treble clef for certain instruments.

    The balance has to be struck between picking pieces that the audience will like and expanding the repertoire for brass bands. Occasionally both can happen in the same piece! Don't imagine that these older pieces are easy. Most younger players have never played them and they are always particularly hard to count (or maybe that was just me).

    I presume the panels that choose these pieces take this into account and don't pick a piece simply because it has been newly typeset and would therefore make a certain publisher lots of money (this would obviously never happen).
  7. MrsMosh

    MrsMosh Member

    Mr Mosh always says (and moans) about test pieces that the easier it looks, the harder it is. Apparently it is easy to bluffthe fast stuff but very hard to play long notes with good production and nice tone.

    Pete likes all test pieces - I think he trusts the judgement of those people who choose these and whilst he has favourties (Kensington Concertois his fave) and some he doesn't like as much as others, he enjoys the whole thing of 'spending fliiping weeks looking at the same 6 bars of nonsense only to play for 20 seconds on a stage and invariably get marked down for being too loud / quiet, fast /slow or other'. :)
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - it seems no suprise then that when adjudicators were allowed to comment on performances, they always separate bands on their quiet and slow playing rather than the techy side of things! :rolleyes:
  9. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Interestingly, it's the same sort of thing that sometimes categorises Band's recordings - it's (relatively) easy to play the loud and / or fast stuff but it's much more difficult to make the quiet stuff come off.
  10. MrsMosh

    MrsMosh Member

    He'll be so proud of me - someone who knows so little about the brass world actually making what seems to be a good point. Next thing you know, I will be playing!!!!
  11. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - there's a shortage of BBb basstuba players apparently! ;)
  12. MrsMosh

    MrsMosh Member

    I have just asked him if I would be welcome on Gresley's Bb Bass section. He said no - there is already enough glamour with him and the other Eb player and the Bb's haven't learned their table manners yet :( Little Mosh is more than welcoem apparently, although Daddy Mosh wants him on a proper tuba ;) 'not a grunting growling bottom end behemouth'