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brassneck
14.10.2009, 22:44
There's a rumour that a major contest is being held in Kensington on Saturday. Anyone heard anything about this? :rolleyes:

Seriously, it looks like it's going to be a good competition that I'll miss. Peter Graham's test-piece, Torchbearer (http://www.gramercymusic.com/image/Torchscore.pdf), looks like it will test the musicality of bands with the different flavours of Eric Ball suggested in the score. Are there any tMPers, who are competing, enjoying the piece?

trombone-john
15.10.2009, 13:22
I'll be there.

Love the piece. Not looking forward to the first note though!

Nijinsky
15.10.2009, 13:55
Black Dyke accused of cheating... Is this becoming more than a coincidence?!

http://4barsrest.com/news/detail.asp?id=10583

trombone-john
15.10.2009, 15:01
Hmmmm!

Odd that the errata was already published on Kapitol's website BEFORE the Monday rehearsal.

towse1972
15.10.2009, 16:11
Accordingto Peter Graham there has been further additions to that errata since the Monday rehearsal. I for one take his statement as fact. Dyke conspiracy theorists again? Black Dyke were merely helping out the composer by allowing him to hear the piece performed as a tool to perfect it..... He was bound to pick a quality band to listen to playing the piece wasn't he? If he had gone to some bands rehearsals there could have been the risk of more individual errors which i assume would make it harder to decifer if it was him or them!
At least when those bands get a **** result they can say it was a fix!!

Red Elvis
16.10.2009, 11:32
Not playing , but from all I've heard about the piece , and the snippets in the write-up in BB , I can't wait !! I have an ( almost !) perks-like devotion to Eric Ball , and I've never played / heard a Peter Graham work that I didn't like so all the boxes are ticked !

As regards the attendance at Dyke's rehearsal , a case of "move along , nothing to see" ? He played no role in the rehearsal other than listening , and from my reading of the 4br piece had met with the adjudicators prior to this ?

Anyway , looking forward to a good day. Hope Redbridge and Zone One give a good account of themselves ( Good luck Chris , Chris and Keith !! ) . If Cory do the "Slam" I'll be able to do a Max Boyce and say "I was there" ! :)

SuperHorn
16.10.2009, 22:04
Come on CORY. :clap:

Jan H
17.10.2009, 06:46
good luck to all competing bands today!

David Mann
17.10.2009, 09:25
Very interesting draw, wonder if that will change the predictions? Most of the favourites in the first half.
Courtesy of 4BR:
Black Dyke, Dr. Nicholas Childs, 5
Camborne Town, Richard Evans, 12
Carlton Main Frickley Colliery, Russell Gray, 11
Co-operative Funeralcare, Michael Fowles, 1
Cory, Dr. Robert Childs, 6
Desford Colliery, James Gourlay, 7
East Yorkshire Motor Services, Jason Katsikaris, 15
Fairey, Philip Chalk, 13
Flowers, Paul Holland, 14
Fodens, Garry Cutt, 9
Hepworth (Cookson Homes), Frank Renton, 10
Kirkintilloch, Selmer Simonsen, 8
Newstead Brass, Duncan Beckley, 20
Northop, Thomas Wyss, 2
Pemberton Old Wigan DW, Mark Bentham, 16
Redbridge Brass, Jeremy Wise, 4
Reg Vardy, Stephen Roberts, 3
Rothwell Temperance, David Roberts, 19
Tredegar, Ian Porthouse, 17
Zone One, Richard Ward, 18

brassneck
17.10.2009, 18:08
Results:

1. Black Dyke, Dr. Nicholas Childs, 5
2. Fodens, Garry Cutt, 9
3. Cory, Dr. Robert Childs, 6
4. Rothwell Temperance, David Roberts, 19
5. Reg Vardy, Stephen Roberts, 3
6. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery, Russell Gray, 11

Best instrumentalist:
Glyn Williams, Foden's

http://www.4barsrest.com/news/detail.asp?id=10592

brassbandmaestro
17.10.2009, 18:22
Good!! I am happy!! Dyke won!! Now come on you conspiracy theorists!! More or less what i thought would happen.

brassneck
17.10.2009, 18:35
FULL Results:

1. Black Dyke, Dr. Nicholas Childs, 5
2. Fodens, Garry Cutt, 9
3. Cory, Dr. Robert Childs, 6
4. Rothwell Temperance, David Roberts, 19
5. Reg Vardy, Stephen Roberts, 3
6. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery, Russell Gray, 11
7. Flowers, Paul Holland, 14
8. Camborne Town, Richard Evans, 12
9. Co-operative Funeralcare, Michael Fowles, 1
10. Newstead Brass, Duncan Beckley, 20
11. Fairey, Philip Chalk, 13
12. Zone One, Richard Ward, 18
13. Hepworth (Cookson Homes), Frank Renton, 10
14. Tredegar, Ian Porthouse, 17
15. Redbridge Brass, Jeremy Wise, 4
16. Desford Colliery, James Gourlay, 7
17. Kirkintilloch, Selmer Simonsen, 8
18. Northop, Thomas Wyss, 2
19. Pemberton Old Wigan DW, Mark Bentham, 16
20. East Yorkshire Motor Services, Jason Katsikaris, 15

http://www.4barsrest.com/news/detail.asp?id=10592

BigHorn
17.10.2009, 21:10
Followed this on 4BR live. I know its only an opinion but they said
"The one band that played well above itself and may well get in the mix is EYMS for us – a great effort."
Seems strange that EYMS finished last then - especially when 4BR appear to have agreed with the adjudicators on the top four bands.

Perhaps Stephen Meads comments from a couple weeks ago are ringing true again.

bassendworld
17.10.2009, 21:16
An enjoyable day though for me the test peice didn't live up to the hype...enjoyable enough but just lacked that something.

Can't argue with the top 4 although I had fodens to win

But some of the lower places are baffling to me

Special mention to Zone One what a classy show and as 4br said all very nicely in place. They had the player of the day for me .....no not euph (bound to be a Euph Instrumentalist winner...mind you Mr Williams was awesome) but the Sop player first class, no idea who it was but congratulations!!!!!

Also have to congratulate Cory on doing what a lot of bands don't for 45 mins after a contest and thats entertain with showy numbers well done guys....

Please no conspiracies just enjoy the day for what it was.

Al
17.10.2009, 22:45
Sounds a good day.

What did Cory play for the concert?

Ste69
17.10.2009, 22:46
"The one band that played well above itself and may well get in the mix is EYMS for us a great effort." - 4BR

In the words of Homer Simpson............. "D'OH"

Never mind fellas - I'm sure it was a great performance and sorry I wasn't there to hear it.

PeterBale
17.10.2009, 23:05
Special mention to Zone One what a classy show and as 4br said all very nicely in place. They had the player of the day for me .....no not euph (bound to be a Euph Instrumentalist winner...mind you Mr Williams was awesome) but the Sop player first class, no idea who it was but congratulations!!!!!


Craig Burnett is Zone One's sop and is a very fine player (also on piccolo trumpet in symphonic brass ensembles). He stood in as Principal Cornet for a while but it was good to see him back in the sop chair.

(Edit: spelling corrected :oops: )

Enjoyed the day a great deal, and also pretty much in agreement re the top 4, although I thought Fodens probably shaded it. A little surprised that Desford were as far down, but there were a few blips. Listened to 18 out of the 20 bands, and had fun spotting the references to various Eric Ball works.

Cory's items (taken from the programme, as we left after the last band had played): Enter the Galaxies, Torchbearers, Suo Gan (Chris Thomas, trom), Sing, sing, sing, Brillante (David Childs, euph), An American Tale

stevetrom
18.10.2009, 00:20
Craig Bennett is Zone One's sop

back on the day a young lad called Craig played with us (Brackley) for a year (2nd place in 2nd section nationals) -is the the same fella?

the test would be a a 'yabba-dabba-do' contest, the Craig who played with us could take on fred flinstone and win!

Daisy Duck
18.10.2009, 10:38
A great day! And a pretty packed Albert Hall, which was nice.

Black Dyke were brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I especially loved their band braces - in Dyke colours.

Cory's mini concert was fantastic (they also played Highland Cathedral as an encore).

And I was very pleased to see Zone One do so well too - they were good. :clap:

mikey.smithy
18.10.2009, 10:47
[QUOTE=Daisy Duck;710272]A great day! And a pretty packed Albert Hall, which was nice.

I wouldnt say it was packed? It looked fullish on the floor and in the choir stalls but I sat up in the circle for Redbridge Dyke, Cory and Desford and it was at 80% empty in that area - there are nearly 2000 seats in the circle!!!!

Chris Hicks
18.10.2009, 11:14
An enjoyable contest, i had it 1.cory, 2.fodens, 3.dyke, purely on that cory played a cleaner perfomance, however i very much enjoyed fodens interpretation, and mark wilkinson was definitely the best cornet soloist on the D-D slur at the end! class!
Euphoniums holding that top Eb for ages though, i just thought it made absolutely no musical sense, but there we go!

Red Elvis
18.10.2009, 13:18
Thoroughly enjoyed the day - cracking test piece . Had 4 out of the top 6 right ( although only Cory in the right position ! ).
For what it's worth , I'd have given Hepworth , Zone One and Desford a higher placing and also thought 15th was harsh on Redbridge but then I wasn't in box ! :)
Only comment I would make on the adjudicators.......Mr Broadbent appeared to be wearing white socks with black shoes !! I shall be making a complaint to the Fashion Police !!

fatstickmanslim
18.10.2009, 14:34
How dare you criticise the adjudictors, those mighty gods on high, those that can do no wrong. They can wear any colour socks they want!

ian perks
18.10.2009, 14:39
I heard ALL 20 bands play!!!!
It was a great piece top 4 cant argue with at all it was less than a hares breath between the top 3.;)
Rothwell a well deserved 4th spot .
EYMS raised a few eyes as there was a lot of bands worse than they were the first 2 in particular.
A great piece to listen to and a very good choice to have as well.
Good speech by David Read as well short and sweet also Phillip Morris as well,the other bloke went on a bit to long.
Corys mini concert was outstanding as well;
David Childs TOPDRAW.:clap:
Lets hope that a good test piece is picked for next year as well as its proved that when a good piece with TUNES in it the audience stays into to listen to the lesser bands which as got to be a good thing;:tup
Pick a naff test piece and the hall becomes a GRAVEYARD at 12ck midnight almost!!!!
I think with Peter Bates coming on saying about the traders said quite a lot about the test piece they could not have done much trade with having such a good test piece to sit and listen to.:biggrin:

dyl
18.10.2009, 15:44
Pick a naff test piece and the hall becomes a GRAVEYARD at 12ck midnight almost!!!!
Errm if they pick a piece that keeps bands playing till midnight, then they deserve the place to be like a GRAVEYARD! ;)

critic
18.10.2009, 19:54
Thoroughly enjoyed the day - cracking test piece . Had 4 out of the top 6 right ( although only Cory in the right position ! ).
For what it's worth , I'd have given Hepworth , Zone One and Desford a higher placing and also thought 15th was harsh on Redbridge but then I wasn't in box ! :)
Only comment I would make on the adjudicators.......Mr Broadbent appeared to be wearing white socks with black shoes !! I shall be making a complaint to the Fashion Police !!

I Great test piece thought fodens had won butt top four well deserved dyke using mutes when clearly marked open a bit cheeky but overall a few places a bit surprising but a great day of msic .

deave
18.10.2009, 20:29
congrats dyke on another victory!!

did anybody hear somebody behind my band clanging around at the beginning and in the quiet bits?? quite off putting!! :-S

deave - fodens

Daisy Duck
18.10.2009, 21:15
congrats dyke on another victory!!

did anybody hear somebody behind my band clanging around at the beginning and in the quiet bits?? quite off putting!! :-S

deave - fodens

Yes, it was the official photographer. His paparazzi style long lens fell off and went clattering down the steps.

Thirteen Ball
18.10.2009, 21:23
congrats dyke on another victory!!

did anybody hear somebody behind my band clanging around at the beginning and in the quiet bits?? quite off putting!! :-S

deave - fodens

We were up in the gods at the far end of the hall, and I think the photographer up behind you dropped something. He seemed rather embarrassed about it too as he bent down behind the wooden screening to pick it up and then didn't reappear until after you'd walked off!

If you check Paddy Flower's 'betting' type thread, I called the top four weeks ago - miraculously! All though let's face it, it didn't take a lot of working out that dyke, cory's and Fodens were going to be right at the sharp end - Although I knew Rothwell had a blinder in there somewhere.

Have to say I had Fodens first because it was so exciting to listen to - but honestly couldn't decide between Dyke and Cory because Dyke's band sound was (as it always is) simply fabulous, but Cory's precision of playing was every bit as good. Any one of them would have been a worthy winner for me on the day.

Rothwell richly deserved a pre-qualification spot. So much life and energy in the performance and some really precise playing too. A fantastic showing. And I was very impressed with Reg Vardy as well. A certain Mr Shawcross who I know of old had a very good day on 2nd euph.

I think Hepworth's result is a funny one. The interpretation was so....ahem individual... from Mr Renton, that it's almost like the adjudicators didn't know what to do with them, so put them nowhere. I was expecting either a bit further up there (cos they did pretty much everything they were asked to very well - Particularly Jim Fieldhouse on Euph) or right down the bottom having been slated for the interpretation - and the members of the band I spoke to were expecting something similar! So thirteenth was a bit unexpected.

EYMS last? Gotta agree with Mr Perks there (for once eh Ian? ;)) in that there was much worse than them across the stage. A showing that had some real merit in it and deserved better.

Lastly, hats off to all the solo euphonium and cornets on the day - I heard 14 bands and there were some really fantastic performances from both chairs on fiendishly difficult parts... and better yet, some real music made around the technical difficulties. I salute you all!

Simon Preshom
19.10.2009, 09:06
I was there on Saturday.

First of all, congratulations to Dyke.

Have to ask some questions about some of the results though.

Flowers - very untidy 7th was very very generous (good euph though)
Hepworth - a very good band but arguably the most self-indulgent interpretation I have ever heard.
Desford - A high-class musical display (with arguably the best conductor there) marred by a few minor bumps and slips. Because of those bumps and slips, they should not have been challenging at the very top, but 16th?????
EYMS - last?? Not a great show, but last placed is normally reserved for the band who actually struggled to play the piece and with a box-full of errors, neither of which related to EYMS.

Interesting.

snazzy_cornet_sound
19.10.2009, 10:13
A very enjoyable day. That stage can catch alot of prisoners! listened to Tredeger and was really impressed by there principle cornet and solo horn. Also heard Pemberton who gave a very clean performance if a little under tempo, very solid soloist. Was nice to play to a very full audience (still no Queen though)

Carina Halliwell
19.10.2009, 10:39
Out of interest, did anybody else hear us (Pemberton) and if so what was your verdict?? I just want an unbiased opinion on the performance i.e not from our supporters or the adjudicators! And I won't take offence to criticisms!

cockaigne
19.10.2009, 10:47
Out of interest, did anybody else hear us (Pemberton) and if so what was your verdict?? I just want an unbiased opinion on the performance i.e not from our supporters or the adjudicators! And I won't take offence to criticisms!

Italics added - d'you mean to imply that the adjudicators are biased? Erk...

snazzy_cornet_sound
19.10.2009, 10:49
Hi Carine I heard your band play, I thought you played a very clean performance with some excellent soloists (Principle Cornet, Euph & Rep) Thought the tempos were abit under but by doing so it did help with the overall tidyness. It sounded a differant band from when you played at the Scottish Open. A much more rounded sound.

Aidan
19.10.2009, 10:50
Agree with some of the comments here, I though Zone 1 and EYMS in particular were quite harshly placed. I had Geoghegan as the best pc on the day, even on trumpet chops.
I really thought fodens should have run away with the cup though. Great musical performance.
Thought the other 2 of the top3, while being very very technically proficient, were rather bland musically. Clearly oozed the class of top bands but I though the music would win through with the people who were in the box. Well done glyn, and wilky played a blinder too as per norm.
Mutes in dykes performance didnt detract for me, thought that aspect was rather overhyped in the media :p And unless peter gave feedback to nick on their performance I don't see the wrong doing in him being at an OPEN rehearsal. I don't think dyke would be putting in wrong notes and having the score ammended to fit them.

TheMusicMan
19.10.2009, 10:51
Yes, it was the official photographer. His paparazzi style long lens fell off and went clattering down the steps.
Should have engaged a real photographer... ;) :)

Carina Halliwell
19.10.2009, 11:00
Have to agree with you on that Aidan, altho I still don't think Dyke won it! I heard the first 7 bands and for me Cory was better than Dyke BUT they both left the door wide open as neither performance was clean and I felt so much more could have been done with the music. However they still had that special sparkle that not many bands can replicate. I didn't get chance to listen to Fodens but by all accounts they were the winners!

I also thought Reg Vardy played a good band - excellent principal cornet best I heard all day! Desford were also good, not top 6 material but not 16th!!

Carina Halliwell
19.10.2009, 11:04
Italics added - d'you mean to imply that the adjudicators are biased? Erk...


Yes Cockaigne I do mean the adjudicators are biased!! IMHO! :)

BarneyEuph
19.10.2009, 13:33
Great day at the Albert Hall (and the Queens pub!)

Listened to all the top bands. Not sure of the system used by the adjudicators to select best instrumentalist, but as the scoring was most complex on Euphonium, it was most likely to be in that section.

I only heard 1 Euphonium handle both the complexities of the candezas whilst still making music. That was David Childs. The top Eb was sublime with a fantastic shape. Excellent.

Thirteen Ball
19.10.2009, 15:41
I must confess to being slightly surprised by Glyn Williams taking the soloist prize - despite a brilliant performance.

If the adjudicators had decided it had to go to a euphonium player (and there was plenty of cause for that) I genuinely thought David Childs was the best on the day. And other than one small wobble Jim Fieldhouse was very close on his heels. Glyn was in there with them but I don't think he was the outright best on the day.

Then again, when I can play a top Eb that well, I suppose I'll be in a position to criticise!!! :oops:

Chris Hicks
19.10.2009, 16:05
I agree on the glynn williams point, he had one of two flips, and i thought he played at a very safe dynamic. Also agree on david childs, though i think holding that top Eb makes no musical sense, its only a dotted quaver pause!

snazzy_cornet_sound
19.10.2009, 16:16
It is marked 'Lunga' though. How do you define how long that is?

ghost
19.10.2009, 16:53
I sat and listened to all 20 performances. Congrats to Dyke but i had a tough choice between Foden and Cory with Dyke third. I was pleased to have Rothwell 4th once again a further improvement - well done.

David Childs was amazing as was Glyn Williams but I am so surprised not to have heard Robert Jose' name mentioned here - he was right on their heels! Well done Robert and well done to Richard Evans the coolest senior citizen in the land by far! Wow, didn't you work Camborne well!

I thought Russell Gray provided a really lyrical interpretation but so sad this was marred with so many slips or a higher placing would have ensued.

I was surprised by the Desford result. I had them well in the top 10.

Generally there seems to be an agreement overall with only a few surprises. I would have liked more of a clue from Mr Read as to their overriding criteria for marking - though I do acknowledge that this can then be used as ammunition, so I see why they don't say alot.

Does that young lad on Sop for Dykes ever miss a note? Is he the same lad that played for them a year ago? He is superb! Well done him.

This is the first year that I felt that I wanted to hear every performance. The writing was excellent - and that is why the hall is so full! Hopefully next year we will have an old classic to draw the crowds once again. So, which old piece would be best for players as a test but most enjoyable for the crowds? Benvienuto Cellini? Any suggestions?

Humphrey
19.10.2009, 16:57
Accordingto Peter Graham there has been further additions to that errata since the Monday rehearsal. I for one take his statement as fact. Dyke conspiracy theorists again? Black Dyke were merely helping out the composer by allowing him to hear the piece performed as a tool to perfect it..... He was bound to pick a quality band to listen to playing the piece wasn't he? If he had gone to some bands rehearsals there could have been the risk of more individual errors which i assume would make it harder to decifer if it was him or them!
At least when those bands get a **** result they can say it was a fix!!

It's not often I disagree with you but Peter Graham attending Dyke's open rehearsal was an error of judgement at the very least. At a time when the word "fix" is used almost daily, it shouldn't be unreasonable to expect transparency.
Would there have been such a muted discussion (excuse the pun) if Mr Graham had chosen to attend a Fodens rehearsal instead? Having spent 6 years at Dyke, I already know the answer to that one.

The truth is that a certain "personality" has become much bigger than the brass band movement and enjoys immunity from criticism sadly not enjoyed by others.

stephenmrry
19.10.2009, 18:06
I travelled over to the contest and listened to all 20 bands from the circle. Nobody has yet mentioned Reg Vardy who I thought were excellent. After the overall top 4 you couldnt have found a better performance. Real musically and Tina Mortimer (It looked like anne Hughes) on PC was for me the PC of the day. Her top D was awesome picked out of the sky!! Wonderful stuff. The standard overall was excellent. I had Fodens to Beat Dyke with Rothwell Cory Reg Vardy and Desford. Not bad getting 5/6. My second year at the contest and will be back it was a terrific day minus Corys Concert at the end. David Childs Brilliante was great but I have already seen all the pieces live before this year (Enter the Galaxies, An American Tale, Sing Sing Sing etc) No doubting they were played well but the same tricks and what not its getting a bit boring for me but overall great day!!

Scotty
19.10.2009, 18:48
I managed to listen to the first ten bands plus Newstead, I came back for Rothwell but missed them. I had Fodens followed by Cory then Black Dyke. There is no doubt that all three were quality performances and IMHO a different league from the other bands I heard. Fodens were just immense the band and soloists were superb especially Mark Wilkinson it was great reading from Garry Cutt! Cory were excellent but for me didn't have the same sparkle as Fodens, Dave Childs was just superb though and little unlucky not to get the soloists prize. Black Dyke sounded great but for me there were just a few too many slips and why such a great band felt the need to try and pull the wool over the judges eyes with the mutes in the pp section is beyond me, just play what's written!

From the bands I heard some of the results seemed a bit strange, although Desford and Hepworth weren't at their very best I certainly thought they would have had enough quality to be safely in the top 10, no disrespect to Newstead but it was a bit of a struggle in places. I was also impressed by Reg Vardy who's PC was very good and amongst the best I heard.

Certainly fustrating being a spectator for a change, good weekend all the same!

mxb59307
20.10.2009, 09:07
Given the ineviatable conspiracy therories surrounding Dyke, I was wondering if it is possible to tell one band from another simply by their sound, as is the case for the adjudicators?

If this is not possible then surely that puts to bed the theories? Or are those promoting them suggesting that there is more to it and that the men in the box are perhaps being supplied with info about running order etc?

I realise crowd response is an audiable indicator that a popular band has taken to the platform, but more than one band solicited such a response.

Perhaps the writer for 4br should do his reviews blindfold, that way we wouldn't get his partisan opinions and he might give a more impartial and accurate account of what he has just heard!

brassneck
20.10.2009, 09:12
Given the ineviatable conspiracy therories surrounding Dyke, I was wondering if it is possible to tell one band from another simply by their sound, as is the case for the adjudicators?

Not just by their sound, but individual players' styles also help identify bands.

tkhbss
20.10.2009, 09:40
Perhaps the writer for 4br should do his reviews blindfold, that way we wouldn't get his partisan opinions and he might give a more impartial and accurate account of what he has just heard!
He would then not be in a position say that playing muted was "very obvious" - clearly it was not very obvious to the adjudicators, or at least it did not affect their opinion of the playing. Dyke achieved fantastic dynamic contracts and I am not surprised by the result, although I would have accepted any of the top three in any of the top three positions, it was that close for me.

KMJ Recordings
20.10.2009, 09:43
Not just by their sound, but individual players' styles also help identify bands.

Absolutely.

My Dad had a 'discussion' with Trevor Sharpe and (I think) Bill Relton after one of the televised contests in the 80s where (at least) one of them said that they couldn't tell who was playing...his counter was that if he could do it and he wasn't an adjudicator why couldn't they?

To an extent it's sometimes more difficult now that it was then as there's arguably less individuality to the overall Band sound.....but some of the corner men are almost instantly identifiable.

mxb59307
20.10.2009, 09:44
Perhaps they need two reviewers then - one blindfold for objective analysis and one not, so that we continue to get the biased and opinionated drivel that seems to flow so easily from his pen (or should that be keyboard!).

snazzy_cornet_sound
20.10.2009, 11:24
Did anyone feel Mr Fox's comments were quite harsh on the day? he seemed to have a moan about every single band in his live comments! not very positive.

mxb59307
20.10.2009, 11:30
Agreed. Much criticism and little praise. Some would say that at this level its expected that things should be right and that its the mistakes that need pointing out, but it makes for quite downbeat reading.

Bass Trumpet
20.10.2009, 11:55
There has been a lot of debate recently, and a lot of mud being thrown about. There are some who seem convinced that the adjudicators know who is in the box and that they all seem to have a secret agenda. I don't doubt that an experienced adjudicator can tell the difference between Roger Webster or Philip McCann (showing my age), but I think we must all ask ourselves do they really care who is on stage?

If was asked to adjudicate a contest, I would not give two hoots who was playing on stage. The most important thing is that the band who, in the opinion of the men in the box, plays the piece the best, wins.

If we look at some recent contests, surely the results prove there is no favouritism? Hepworth and Rothwell qualify in Yorkshire and a couple of the traditional 'big boys' don't. Dyke wins the National and Cory fail to get their clean sweep. Last year, Cory didn't win the Welsh area. A few years back, Stocksbridge ASDA qualified in Yorkshire. These are only a few results off the top of my head that have been questioned by the experts in the bar.

My point is this: The only ones in the hall who cannot be biased are the three gents who can't see who's playing. Everybody else will have, albeit subconciously, some emotional leanings towards or against some band or other.

What really gets my goat is the recent rubbish that's been circulated on this forum and others about the age, ability and senility of our most experienced adjudicators in the banding movement and implications of favouritism by them. Surely a result based purely on what they hear is the most honest one there is?

Ah, but of course, I'm forgetting that the ones in the bar are the REAL experts.....;)

Thirteen Ball
20.10.2009, 13:39
Well you had the professional conductor and a long time fellow of Brighouse and Rastrick band in the box, in the shape of messers King and Broadbent - yet they put arguably their fiercest rivals first.

I think that probably rules bias out of the question.....

As far as the top three goes, based on what I heard (and this is probably over-simplifying) Dyke had the better overall band sound, Cory had the most overall precision, Fodens had the most musically exciting and atmospheric performance. It was just a matter of the adjudicators deciding what they thought was the best performance as there were very few mistakes in any of them.

ghost
20.10.2009, 13:49
There has been a lot of debate recently, and a lot of mud being thrown about. There are some who seem convinced that the adjudicators know who is in the box and that they all seem to have a secret agenda. I don't doubt that an experienced adjudicator can tell the difference between Roger Webster or Philip McCann (showing my age), but I think we must all ask ourselves do they really care who is on stage?

If was asked to adjudicate a contest, I would not give two hoots who was playing on stage. The most important thing is that the band who, in the opinion of the men in the box, plays the piece the best, wins.

If we look at some recent contests, surely the results prove there is no favouritism? Hepworth and Rothwell qualify in Yorkshire and a couple of the traditional 'big boys' don't. Dyke wins the National and Cory fail to get their clean sweep. Last year, Cory didn't win the Welsh area. A few years back, Stocksbridge ASDA qualified in Yorkshire. These are only a few results off the top of my head that have been questioned by the experts in the bar.

My point is this: The only ones in the hall who cannot be biased are the three gents who can't see who's playing. Everybody else will have, albeit subconciously, some emotional leanings towards or against some band or other.

What really gets my goat is the recent rubbish that's been circulated on this forum and others about the age, ability and senility of our most experienced adjudicators in the banding movement and implications of favouritism by them. Surely a result based purely on what they hear is the most honest one there is?

Ah, but of course, I'm forgetting that the ones in the bar are the REAL experts.....;)

Yup - spot on! Lets face it, the general opinion here in this forum is that the top four were correct and only the odd surprise or two lower down. So bearing in mind that we are all different and have our own strong opinions, this is as good as it gets. And if one band comes lower down than we think, the adjudicators may have heard something which went against their preordained criteria. That is their job and overall it was a fantastic day and I am sure that if given the choice of having the Nationals or not, including the area qualifiers, the vast majority would agree that it is a great contest. Long live the Nationals - its a wonderful tradition and i will continue my pilgrimage to the RAH for decades I hope!

Anglo Music Press
20.10.2009, 14:13
There are some who seem convinced that the adjudicators know who is in the box......



I have to admit I am one of them.............. :)

But you make a very valid point, Duncan. There are much more important things to worry about in the box than who is actually on stage.

Pierre
20.10.2009, 14:39
Hi All, Just wondered if there were any views out there about our performance?
:confused:
4bars rest seemed to like it. :clap: We know there were a few clips and blips but it seems 4br and the men in the box were at opposite ends of the spectrum on this one. Did we do something different?? I love contesting (honest) :wink:

snazzy_cornet_sound
20.10.2009, 14:55
What we all must remember is the men in the box in there have all been on the contesting stage at the same level, one way or another and have had mixed results themselves, Just mention the word Blitz and you will know what I mean. They all know the preperation Bands put in and the hard work, to say they have there own agenda is wrong. Every contest has the odd result but that is the nature of the beast, we are all only human and any system you put in place in regards to adjudication there will be some flaw one way or another.

snazzy_cornet_sound
20.10.2009, 15:07
Hi All, Just wondered if there were any views out there about our performance?
:confused:
4bars rest seemed to like it. :clap: We know there were a few clips and blips but it seems 4br and the men in the box were at opposite ends of the spectrum on this one. Did we do something different?? I love contesting (honest) :wink:

What did your adjudication remarks say? interesting o see how differant they are to 4barsrest

brassneck
20.10.2009, 15:45
Hi All, Just wondered if there were any views out there about our performance?
:confused:
4bars rest seemed to like it. :clap: We know there were a few clips and blips but it seems 4br and the men in the box were at opposite ends of the spectrum on this one. Did we do something different?? I love contesting (honest) :wink:

Did your band not get a recording? Doyen/BBC were there for the contest.

trombone-john
20.10.2009, 17:39
Hi All, Just wondered if there were any views out there about our performance?
:confused:
4bars rest seemed to like it. :clap: We know there were a few clips and blips but it seems 4br and the men in the box were at opposite ends of the spectrum on this one. Did we do something different?? I love contesting (honest) :wink:

Sop player was awesome!!

Pierre
20.10.2009, 17:50
CERTAINLY WAS:clap::clap::clap::clap:

xRinat
20.10.2009, 19:59
Can someone write what the top 3 bands played at the contest? And how many points they gotten? It never says on 4barsrest about this.

And if anyone here knows where I can listen to some of it, please give me a link or something! ;)

Congrats to Black Dyke!

tubalation
20.10.2009, 20:15
Can someone write what the top 3 bands played at the contest? And how many points they gotten? It never says on 4barsrest about this.

And if anyone here knows where I can listen to some of it, please give me a link or something! ;)



Like a lot of top contests (British Open plus it's feeder Spring Festival) the nationals appear to have gone over to places only (no points). There were no points announced from the platform nor, as far as I know, any points on the adjudicators written remarks. However the roll of honour in the programme gives points for all the preceeding years.

I think we can assume that ithis year's would be Black Dyke 198, Fodens 197, Cory 196!

There should be most of the winning performance on Listen to The Band on Radio 2 this Friday (October 23rd) from 9.30 pm. I'm not sure whether internet radio (www.bbc.co.uk/radio2 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2)) is available outside the UK.

tubalation
20.10.2009, 20:19
Did your band not get a recording? Doyen/BBC were there for the contest.

They certainly were, but I think it takes them a little while to get in touch with the competing bands, find out how many copies each band wants and then burn / copy and ship them.
I think they came as a welcome Christmas present idea ;) the previous time we competed at the RAH (2006)!

agentorange
20.10.2009, 20:21
Hi All, Just wondered if there were any views out there about our performance?
:confused:
4bars rest seemed to like it. :clap: We know there were a few clips and blips but it seems 4br and the men in the box were at opposite ends of the spectrum on this one. Did we do something different?? I love contesting (honest) :wink:

To be honest Pierre i couldn't give a stuff any more what the three wise men thought. As you say, 4BR liked it and given the ovation we received, the audience obviously liked it too. A number of people have expressed to me their surprise that we finished at the bottom of the pile (including a few on this forum - thanks for your support guys!). We obviously did something the adjudicators didn't like, but the opinion of the MAJORITY was favourable. All th e placing has done for me is made me more determined to perform better next time.

Mrs Fruity
20.10.2009, 20:34
Yep, and had we listened to 4 bars rest, we'd have been suicidal in the Mews. As it happened several seasoned listeners (including Derek Garside-we are not worthy- my cornet hero!) sought out members of our band to say how well we'd played. Then again lots of people broke their necks to come and tell us "4 bars rest thought you were ****!!!!" All I can say is if we pleased Prof King (and we certainly did having read the remarks) we must have done something right! And after it's the adjudicators who decide the placings not the band press. We've learned from bitter experience not to take "the press experts'" opinions as read (as we very seldom seem to find favour with them)

It's swings and roundabouts. Don't let the brass band press sway your judgement, after all the adjudicators can only judge with their ears, not their eyes ;)

brassneck
20.10.2009, 21:12
They certainly were, but I think it takes them a little while to get in touch with the competing bands, find out how many copies each band wants and then burn / copy and ship them.
I think they came as a welcome Christmas present idea ;) the previous time we competed at the RAH (2006)!

Shame no copies were burned at the RAH as souvenirs.

KMJ Recordings
20.10.2009, 21:38
Shame no copies were burned at the RAH as souvenirs.

It's a complete 180 from the service that was reported from Harrogate..

jockinafrock
21.10.2009, 10:16
There should be most of the winning performance on Listen to The Band on Radio 2 this Friday (October 23rd) from 9.30 pm. I'm not sure whether internet radio (www.bbc.co.uk/radio2 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2)) is available outside the UK.[/quote]

Sorry, but I don't reckon you'll hear the euph splits on this... :rolleyes:
Not often anyone can accuse me of being controversial, but I'm sure a few will get their knives out. Fill your boots, but the best band didn't win...! :(

snazzy_cornet_sound
21.10.2009, 10:34
We've learned from bitter experience not to take "the press experts'" opinions as read (as we very seldom seem to find favour with them)

It's swings and roundabouts. Don't let the brass band press sway your judgement, after all the adjudicators can only judge with their ears, not their eyes ;)

I can agree with that! 4barsrest hated us this weekend along with the majority of weekends! For once we got to stick two fingers up at them :D

greenegiant
21.10.2009, 10:35
Follow tMP with great interest and can almost expect to be shot down on my first post, but I'm not hiding who I am.

Although I don't appear to be the first to comment about the National Finals on Saturday I feel there are a few issues which require answering irrespective of the final result. I also agree with the majority of observers that inviting the composer to attend a rehearsal prior to the final is asking for trouble but when Black Dyke used mutes to allow them to play quiet why didn't Professor Graham issue an errata to allow if required other bands to use mutes? This, in my opinion sends the wrong message to up an coming players that if you have a problem playing quiet that you should opt for the easy option and pop a mute in.

Whilst I enjoyed many performances in addition to Dyke, such as Cory and Foden's, I also heard Dyke last week at Rhyl where they played the Torchbearers and in my opinion played it better than on Saturday. Had that performance of been judged I'm sure there would have been less speculation and controversy that currently. Many years ago I always understood that world premieres meant just that, and public performance were not allowed to the paying public. Maybe times have changed!
Irrespective of the result and the gossip, these top bands are a role model to many players and should exude the right qualities off and on the stage and as the great Maurice Murphy once commented "if the conductor wants it quieter then I just don't blow as loud".
Well done to all the bands and to Professor Graham on a great piece.
Simon.

Hornted
21.10.2009, 10:50
Quote of the year for me - just so right

It's swings and roundabouts. Don't let the brass band press sway your judgement, after all the adjudicators can only judge with their ears, not their eyes ;)[/QUOTE]

We all get so hung up re the comments and really does it make any difference at all to the result - absolutely not!

cockaigne
21.10.2009, 11:04
Mutes in Dyke's performance didn't detract for me, thought that aspect was rather overhyped in the media...

It's only been hyped because they won, surely; a case of the 4BR wise men getting on their high horse.

Personally I don't like re-writing, particularly at this level the score as it stands should be playable (and to a high standard at that). However sometimes we have to be pragmatic, and make small changes to achieve the desired effect...

greenegiant
21.10.2009, 11:29
Fine to make small changes to achieve the desired effect, but when it's clearly not written then it shouldn't be played. Artisitic licence is a great thing, but taking the law into your own hands is not - much has been said in previous threads about David Read's comments telling bands that they should play what's written, and mutes certainly weren't!

I enjoyed the whole day and heard every band - I was disappointed with Dyke, finding their sound brash and hard, but I have heard them quite a few times recently, and feel that this is 'their sound' now. Not a big sonorous sound as exemplified by the likes of Cory or Fodens. Cory, as I would have expected, had a wonderful round sound, but Fodens playing couldn't be matched. What other band had the audience standing before even the last bar started, accompanied by more than rapturous applause? The feeling of disappointment and disbelief in the hall was palpable, and I didn't overhear many say that Fodens were beaten fairly and squarely. At least soloists from other bands won't have to feel so guilty about results if they knock more than a few over - they'll still be in the running for a prize..

Or maybe that was it - did the judges think that Fodens performance was actually Cory, about to make a clean sweep of all the major comps? Or that it was Dyke who were about to produce the winning performance yet again. Hmmm! Conspiracy theories - don't get me started...! To me, Fodens are the humble masters. Nothing to be won or lost by whinging, and appearing to keep a dignified silence despite what must have been a kick in the stomach. :clap:

marc71178
21.10.2009, 11:33
I also agree with the majority of observers that inviting the composer to attend a rehearsal prior to the final is asking for trouble

So that's how you invite someone is it - by them ringing you up to ask if they can come along?

http://www.4barsrest.com/news/detail.asp?id=10583

greenegiant
21.10.2009, 11:44
So that's how you invite someone is it - by them ringing you up to ask if they can come along?

http://www.4barsrest.com/news/detail.asp?id=10583


Well, they are good friends...

WhatSharp?
21.10.2009, 12:22
I must be in a minority ( although seemingly not with the adjudicators ) in that I had Dyke & Cory ahead of Fodens, something about the Fodens performance just didn't do it for me. but then I' felt that the Fodens sound was slightly too dominant in some sections of the band. It may be just because I was sitting behind rather than in front..

Thought Zone one might have been a bit higher though.

Cracking day though and a super piece ( still humming bits of it :) )

Thirteen Ball
21.10.2009, 13:05
It's only been hyped because they won, surely; a case of the 4BR wise men getting on their high horse.

Personally I don't like re-writing, particularly at this level the score as it stands should be playable (and to a high standard at that). However sometimes we have to be pragmatic, and make small changes to achieve the desired effect...

I wasn't going to mention this - but had they won I wonder how high 4br's horse would have been about David Childs playing both the solo and second euphonium solos during Cory's performance?

As far as I'm aware it didn't even get a mention in their live remarks - yet it's no different than "mutegate" because the score is clearly marked for the second player to play the solo.

It does rather smack of double standards. Either both are issues worthy of mention, or both are trivialities to be remembered as asides.

Or maybe they just chose not to mention if, for whatever reasons they may have.....

snazzy_cornet_sound
21.10.2009, 14:41
Theres nothing in the rule book to say you can't use mutes, or nothing to say you can't play another persons part. So neither Bands are of any wrongdoing by doing so. All Bands have strengths and weeknesses (listen to Bob Child's Grand Slam Aspiration on 4barsrest) and to play to your strengths and hide your weekneses is all part of the competition.

xRinat
21.10.2009, 15:02
Was the solo meant for the second euphonium? Who cares about that, I played a solo that was meant for the principal when I was a second principal...

And the mute issue, that was just clever, as you can see Black Dyke got their cup doing what they did, they played the best even though many people on this thread are saying that Foden should have gotten the win, the mutes did not bother the aducators ;)

Thirteen Ball
21.10.2009, 15:56
Was the solo meant for the second euphonium? Who cares about that, I played a solo that was meant for the principal when I was a second principal...

And the mute issue, that was just clever, as you can see Black Dyke got their cup doing what they did, they played the best even though many people on this thread are saying that Foden should have gotten the win, the mutes did not bother the aducators ;)

My point is not that either band were wrong to do what they did.

My point is the way that 4br reported it was demonstrably not from a neutral perspective.

themusicalrentboy
21.10.2009, 15:59
how dare you suggest such things Andi - thou shalt be cast out!

JesTperfect!
21.10.2009, 16:55
I can agree with that! 4barsrest hated us this weekend along with the majority of weekends! For once we got to stick two fingers up at them :D

They can't have hated us THAT much....they said we had the 'best opening of the day' - when you bear in mind that we played AFTER Fodens, Dyke and Cory (and they never said that anyone had bettered our opening) ....well, I'm a very happy girl.

BEST opening? I'm going to be dining out on this one for years........................

greenegiant
21.10.2009, 17:12
Was the solo meant for the second euphonium? Who cares about that, I played a solo that was meant for the principal when I was a second principal...

And the mute issue, that was just clever, as you can see Black Dyke got their cup doing what they did, they played the best even though many people on this thread are saying that Foden should have gotten the win, the mutes did not bother the aducators ;)

I'm very disappointed to read your response in that "cleverness"in avoiding what is written ie playing muted and hiding weaknesses is inferring that Black Dyke cannot play quiet or that you infer that the adjudicators cannot tell when a cornet is muted or open. I've seen many 4th section bands achieve pp and ppp but popping a mute in i.e. cheating and deceiving what the composer actually intended. Is this how young players watching their idols perform learn correctly??
The fact that Black Dyke got away with this still fuels the debate that this was maybe what the composer wanted from his trip to the infamous rehearsal or that in the Albert Hall it makes no difference if you play open or muted. Maybe this is a tip for competing bands in 2010?
As for your last point, it was not coincidence that Foden's got a massive applause and on one of the rival sites were tipped to beat Dyke hands down. I think I share in the majority that the bands in second and third both would either have been worthy winners.
Within all this particular thread it still seems, irrespective of any proven foul play, Black Dyke will always have its followers for who they were rather than what they have become. Surely at this level of banding, transparency and ethical qualities by playing what is written and not interacting with composers is what is the most important thing.
Simon

tkhbss
21.10.2009, 17:22
I also agree with the majority of observers that inviting the composer to attend a rehearsal prior to the final is asking for trouble but when Black Dyke used mutes to allow them to play quiet why didn't Professor Graham issue an errata to allow if required other bands to use mutes?

Don't think Peter Graham was there to judge and advise, he was there to check that all the errata were correct I think I have read.


I also heard Dyke last week at Rhyl where they played the Torchbearers and in my opinion played it better than on Saturday. Had that performance of been judged I'm sure there would have been less speculation and controversy that currently. Many years ago I always understood that world premieres meant just that, and public performance were not allowed to the paying public.

Many bands hold open rehearsals before the contest, and this is surely no different to that. Is there a contract somewhere which prohibits the playing of a new test poiece before the day of the contest? Didn't the International Staff Band play it the previous day, also?

KMJ Recordings
21.10.2009, 18:17
Is there a contract somewhere which prohibits the playing of a new test poiece before the day of the contest?

There certainly used to be....this has been discussed before....although it used to read along the lines 'no concert / recordings". An 'open rehearsal' is a fudge for a public performance to a non-paying audience..

brassbandmaestro
21.10.2009, 18:24
i think, though, an open rehearsal is a good idea for the band's supporters to gauge on their favourite bands performance.

KMJ Recordings
21.10.2009, 18:26
i think, though, an open rehearsal is a good idea for the band's supporters to gauge on their favourite bands performance.

Taken to (a potential) extreme, though, these 'open rehearsals' could turn into a surrogate premiere for the piece....is that the proper thing to do?

KMJ Recordings
21.10.2009, 18:27
i think, though, an open rehearsal is a good idea for the band's supporters to gauge on their favourite bands performance.

And if they want to 'gauge their favourite band's performance' why don't they go to the contest where it actually matters?

brassbandmaestro
21.10.2009, 18:40
True enough, Kieth, on both posts. In some respects, though, depends where you are in the country, eg Yorkshire, the distance and the cost for some, may not be to their advantage and the logisitics of the event itself, just may be too much as well, perhaps?

KMJ Recordings
21.10.2009, 18:54
True enough, Kieth, on both posts. In some respects, though, depends where you are in the country, eg Yorkshire, the distance and the cost for some, may not be to their advantage and the logisitics of the event itself, just may be too much as well, perhaps?

Then I'm afraid they should be waiting until after the contest. IMO the control of the first public performance should belong to the commissioners of the piece or / and the composer.

xRinat
21.10.2009, 20:25
I'm very disappointed to read your response in that "cleverness"in avoiding what is written ie playing muted and hiding weaknesses is inferring that Black Dyke cannot play quiet or that you infer that the adjudicators cannot tell when a cornet is muted or open. I've seen many 4th section bands achieve pp and ppp but popping a mute in i.e. cheating and deceiving what the composer actually intended. Is this how young players watching their idols perform learn correctly??
The fact that Black Dyke got away with this still fuels the debate that this was maybe what the composer wanted from his trip to the infamous rehearsal or that in the Albert Hall it makes no difference if you play open or muted. Maybe this is a tip for competing bands in 2010?
As for your last point, it was not coincidence that Foden's got a massive applause and on one of the rival sites were tipped to beat Dyke hands down. I think I share in the majority that the bands in second and third both would either have been worthy winners.
Within all this particular thread it still seems, irrespective of any proven foul play, Black Dyke will always have its followers for who they were rather than what they have become. Surely at this level of banding, transparency and ethical qualities by playing what is written and not interacting with composers is what is the most important thing.
Simon
Your saying I am a big fan of Black Dyke? If so, yes I am and I am also supporting Fodens and Cory as well just as much.
Do you really really think that Black Dyke just won because the educators likes them more like persons or..?
This is not a poll, the audience can't decide who's going to win, whether Fodens gets more applause than Black Dyke it's up to the educators to decide who's the winner.
On the Norwegian Championships 2009 we got the most applause but came 2nd, people say we played the best, every time I listen to the recording of the winning band and ours, the winning band doesn't play as good as we did, and we played a piece that was 10 times as hard as theirs.

Do you really think that the educators gets the results by the applause? Your wrong.

towse1972
21.10.2009, 22:59
but I'm not hiding who I am.

Simon who?

towse1972
21.10.2009, 23:03
.......but taking the law into your own hands is not

Mutes are against the law?!!!! Im a serial offender. A recidavist! It's a fair cop guv.......etc!
Taking the law into your own hands....a tad extreme, but very funny. :clap:

markh
21.10.2009, 23:47
I've seen many 4th section bands achieve pp and ppp but popping a mute in i.e. cheating and deceiving what the composer actually intended.

I think cheating is a very strong word. It depends whether Music is an art or a science. The music was written to create an emotional effect. If a band choose a specific technique to generate that effect then that is a credit to their creativity. Taking it to the extreme, using mutes is no different to exaggerating dynamic contrasts to highlight a crescendo/diminuendo.

Having said all that in defence of Black Dyke, I felt that Fodens were the winners.

tkhbss
22.10.2009, 07:48
Having said all that in defence of Black Dyke, I felt that Fodens were the winners.
No, I was there. Black Dyke were the winners -announced from the stage and subsequently published in various media.

Anno Draconis
22.10.2009, 07:59
Then I'm afraid they should be waiting until after the contest. IMO the control of the first public performance should belong to the commissioners of the piece or / and the composer.

Absolutely right. It's a bit like a tin pot local cinema in, purely for example, Queensbury ;), having a sneaky illegal "preview" screening of a film before the official premiere in Leicester Square. I can't afford or be bothered to go to Leicester Square so I accept that I'll have to wait if I want to see the film. Those that can't make it to the contest should accept that they will have to wait for the CD to come out.

Personally, although I've been to a few "open rehearsals" and found them to be quite illuminating (e.g. Vienna Nights and The Night to Sing), I don't think it's fair on the comissioners or the composer to give what is effectively an illicit premiere to a non-paying audience in advance of the contest. I'd be interested to know what the players think of open rehearsals? Do they serve a useful purpose? Or is it simply part of the pre-contest psychological willy waving? "Look how well we can play it, and there's still a week to go" - that sort of thing.

greenegiant
22.10.2009, 08:20
Don't think Peter Graham was there to judge and advise, he was there to check that all the errata were correct I think I have read.

If you say so... :rolleyes:


Many bands hold open rehearsals before the contest, and this is surely no different to that. Is there a contract somewhere which prohibits the playing of a new test poiece before the day of the contest? Didn't the International Staff Band play it the previous day, also?

Depends what you hope to achieve , or who you wish to influence, as a result of an 'open rehearsal'... :rolleyes:

Can't recall seeing ISB at the comp... :rolleyes:

jockinafrock
22.10.2009, 09:07
Methinks there's a hornet's nest being stirred up here... Hope no-one gets hurt!

Thirteen Ball
22.10.2009, 09:20
Greenegiant, you clearly have a personal Agenda - which is disappointing as if you can let go of that, you do have a good point.

If you were railing against all rescoring/editing/moving parts around in any circumstances, you could rely on support from me. I've seen Tuba solos on euph, Bass Trombone solos on tenor, high trombone notes covered on tenor horn... and yes, bucket mutes to achieve ppp on open passages. To be honest, I completely disagree with it - as I think it's a long way from what the composer intended and I wouldn't take kindly to it being done in any of my work.

(Had I ever written anything of that stature...which I haven't...)

However, you cannot simply criticise Black Dyke and Black Dyke alone for what is a common practice - and one that (as I have previously stated) they were not alone in employing that day.

Since adjudication is closed (though I have never believed it should be) these things are much easier for us to spot than for the adjudicators. And the three men in the box that day have an impeccable brass band pedigree. I think we can rely on them having chosen what they genuinely believed was the best performance on the day - whether we agree with them or not.

Who knows, they may have deducted a point for the mute? Without looking at Dyke's comments we'll never know. But if the adjudicators had them 2 points clear, that still puts them first.

greenegiant
22.10.2009, 09:29
What agenda...? I am erely exercising my right to debate a topic that has sparked enough interest to motivate me to get involved with tMP - just as I see yo often do. I make no personal attacks, only stating what I perceive.

As has been alluded to on this, and manyother posts/sites, we have to remember that just because a band/person/club is at the top of its game (be it banding/sport/politics/THE MAFIA!!!) does not mean everything's fair and square or beyond reproach.

For too long people have pandered to those with perceived power and who think they have a monopoly in their chosen field. This means that we avoid questioning for fear of upsetting the status quo.

marc71178
22.10.2009, 09:45
There's a difference between debating, and making up things to attempt to discredit a band.

Aidan
22.10.2009, 09:46
It's only been hyped because they won, surely; a case of the 4BR wise men getting on their high horse.
Haha I've just seen the retrospective, first four paragraphs devoted to the subject, and another mention further down! Cmmon it's not like they were queuejumping or something..

brassneck
22.10.2009, 09:57
The situation's a no-brainer for both Peter Graham and Dyke. I thought the timing of his visit was a bit strange ... leaving it so late to review his score with a band. If he had attended any competing band leading up to the contest, open or closed rehearsal, the conspiracy theorists would be out to criticise his and that band's actions. Regarding the use of mutes (or any other ammendment to the written score), surely the risk taken is the MD's responsibility and if it works under the present adjudication system then the system is at fault for allowing it to happen.

greenegiant
22.10.2009, 10:16
There's a difference between debating, and making up things to attempt to discredit a band.

No one is out to discredit any band... Having no allegiance to any band I merely offer debate. I am impartial and have no axe to grind. What I do hear though, is players in bars and pubs (and concerts) who boast, brag and discuss information that should surely be kept within band walls. Bandsmen at the mews with their tongues loosened with ale should be silenced by their peers - it is those who incriminate players/conductors/bands and fuel speculation...

What is happening here though is that individuals take humbrage at others offerings and launch personal attacks. Tut! Tut! At least I can remain objective and not be swayed by allegiances. It's time for the brass band world to take off their rose tinted glasses - just because you're famous does not mean you are beyond reproach or criticism...


Therein endeth this lesson - for now!

snazzy_cornet_sound
22.10.2009, 14:37
I feel pretty hard done by! We used mutes and didnt even get a look in!

WorldofBrass.com
22.10.2009, 15:35
Didn't the International Staff Band play it the previous day, also?

Not exactly.
At Regent Hall on the Friday afternoon, Peter Graham gave a very interesting presentation about the piece and used the ISB to play extracts from it to ilustrate his talk.

Ex-Pat BBb
22.10.2009, 15:36
On the subject of Open Rehearsals and whether or not they break any pre-premiere agreements, I thought anyone could listen in on a Dyke rehearsal in their own bandroom. They had half a dozen chairs squeezed in behind their back row and would only turn people away if there was no room. Is this still the case does anyone know?

No band I've played for would refuse the odd person in for a sneaky listen just as long as they didn't disrupt the rehearsal

leahcim_brass
22.10.2009, 19:46
It is with great interest that I followed some of the discussions during the last days, and I would now like to take the opportunity to tell you about a foreign view on several points. Just to make this clear right now: I've not been in London and I haven't heard the new piece of Peter Graham, nor am I associated with any british band.

Open Rehearsals:

I can't see any reason at all why open rehearsals should be a problem, as long as adjudicators of the concerned contest are not attending. On the contrary, I think that it is the best preparation a band can have. All who ever experienced should agree on that, all who haven't... stop complaining and try it out. You are allowed to. Even though it might not be a tradition in Britain, most of continental even do "preparation concerts" to get used to actually perform a piece in public, and to be honest, here nobody at all even think about discussing about it.

Furthermore, thankfully there is no mention at all in any rules of the world that a new piece of music may not be performed before a contest. Because this would simply be ridiculous... Composed music is meant to be performed, not "contested".

Peter Graham - Black Dyke open rehearsal

Honestly, as a player, conductor and adjudicator, I am nearly shocked at the fact that there is such a discussion about PG's visit to dyke rehearsal. Peter had no influence on the performances of the following saturday, not speaking of the results. So there is no reason to ask yourself about it.

"Cheating", or whatever this should be called

Contesting is overcoming the problems given by a piece of music to make it sound great. All great Brass Band conductors of the History knew and know how to make things sound great, and sometimes it is just impossible without changing some parts, mutes, chords, dynamics, articulations... whatever you want, because composers are not allways right. Some passages just don't sound sometimes as imagined by the composer or the arranger, and it should be in the competence of any conductor to try to perfect the given piece of art. Please feel free to name me a SUCCESSFULL brass band conductor of the last 3 decades who did not change little or bigger things in scores... So all which are not happy with Dyke using mutes... well just use them too next times and stop complaining... It is FAIR, because all can do it if they want, and if they don't want it's just their problem. If the adjudicators like, ok, if not... that's the risk you take, not more than taking quicker or slower tempos which is in my view a much bigger changement to any score.

KMJ Recordings
22.10.2009, 19:58
Furthermore, thankfully there is no mention at all in any rules of the world that a new piece of music may not be performed before a contest..

Perhaps not any more....but it certainly used to be written in the rules....many times we had the National testpiece land on the doormat and the instruction was explicit. I'm going back a fairly long time though.

YMMV.

brassbandmaestro
22.10.2009, 20:03
It is with great interest that I followed some of the discussions during the last days, and I would now like to take the opportunity to tell you about a foreign view on several points. Just to make this clear right now: I've not been in London and I haven't heard the new piece of Peter Graham, nor am I associated with any british band.

Open Rehearsals:

I can't see any reason at all why open rehearsals should be a problem, as long as adjudicators of the concerned contest are not attending. On the contrary, I think that it is the best preparation a band can have. All who ever experienced should agree on that, all who haven't... stop complaining and try it out. You are allowed to. Even though it might not be a tradition in Britain, most of continental even do "preparation concerts" to get used to actually perform a piece in public, and to be honest, here nobody at all even think about discussing about it.

Furthermore, thankfully there is no mention at all in any rules of the world that a new piece of music may not be performed before a contest. Because this would simply be ridiculous... Composed music is meant to be performed, not "contested".

Peter Graham - Black Dyke open rehearsal

Honestly, as a player, conductor and adjudicator, I am nearly shocked at the fact that there is such a discussion about PG's visit to dyke rehearsal. Peter had no influence on the performances of the following saturday, not speaking of the results. So there is no reason to ask yourself about it.

"Cheating", or whatever this should be called

Contesting is overcoming the problems given by a piece of music to make it sound great. All great Brass Band conductors of the History knew and know how to make things sound great, and sometimes it is just impossible without changing some parts, mutes, chords, dynamics, articulations... whatever you want, because composers are not allways right. Some passages just don't sound sometimes as imagined by the composer or the arranger, and it should be in the competence of any conductor to try to perfect the given piece of art. Please feel free to name me a SUCCESSFULL brass band conductor of the last 3 decades who did not change little or bigger things in scores... So all which are not happy with Dyke using mutes... well just use them too next times and stop complaining... It is FAIR, because all can do it if they want, and if they don't want it's just their problem. If the adjudicators like, ok, if not... that's the risk you take, not more than taking quicker or slower tempos which is in my view a much bigger changement to any score.

| think I can wholeheartedly agrees with all that was said in this post. I still think there is nothing wrong with 'Open Rehearsals', and yes, come to think of it, why not play at a concert. Unless the publisher/composer says so, i see no reason why not. Obviously, on the continent, the brass band fraternity are more forward looking than we are. Are we too stuck in the mud about our traditions now? Have we gone too far down the road? Perhaps it's time to review everything we know and cherish in our band movement and sort things out!!

KMJ Recordings
22.10.2009, 20:09
Unless the publisher/composer says so, i see no reason why not.

They used to, Tim, as I've said.


Obviously, on the continent, the brass band fraternity are more forward looking than we are. Are we too stuck in the mud about our traditions now? Have we gone too far down the road? Perhaps it's time to review everything we know and cherish in our band movement and sort things out!!

Perhaps.

brassbandmaestro
22.10.2009, 20:12
I think not perhaps but definetly maybe

KMJ Recordings
22.10.2009, 20:13
Review, yes, modify everything.....perhaps not.....but some.....

Daisy Duck
22.10.2009, 22:29
Interesting discussion.
4BarsRest seem to have a real issue with Black Dyke using mutes where it wasn't marked. But they don't seem to have had any problems with Cory - where the Rep player did one of the principal cornet solos. In fact, for me, it was reassuring to see bands at this level doing this kind of thing. Personally, I don't have a problem with any of it. Use the strengths of your band. If your rep player does slow melodies beautifully, then give them to him. If it makes it easier to play quiet with a mute in, then stick a mute in. It didn't change the piece drastically. At my level (the other end of the banding scale), it's fairly common for 3rd/4th men down on the front row to help out the back row for tricky moments etc.

xRinat
22.10.2009, 22:47
Interesting discussion.
4BarsRest seem to have a real issue with Black Dyke using mutes where it wasn't marked. But they don't seem to have had any problems with Cory - where the Rep player did one of the principal cornet solos. In fact, for me, it was reassuring to see bands at this level doing this kind of thing. Personally, I don't have a problem with any of it. Use the strengths of your band. If your rep player does slow melodies beautifully, then give them to him. If it makes it easier to play quiet with a mute in, then stick a mute in. It didn't change the piece drastically. At my level (the other end of the banding scale), it's fairly common for 3rd/4th men down on the front row to help out the back row for tricky moments etc.
I couldn't agree more.

PeterBale
22.10.2009, 23:53
Regarding the use of mutes (or any other ammendment to the written score), surely the risk taken is the MD's responsibility and if it works under the present adjudication system then the system is at fault for allowing it to happen.

Maybe the fact one of the adjudicators has been known to use similar tactics in the past could have influenced that choice :eek:

KMJ Recordings
22.10.2009, 23:57
Maybe the fact one of the adjudicators has been known to use similar tactics in the past could have influenced that choice :eek:

Surely not ;)

brassneck
23.10.2009, 00:02
Maybe the fact one of the adjudicators has been known to use similar tactics in the past could have influenced that choice :eek:

Now ... which one would that be? :rolleyes:

greenegiant
23.10.2009, 08:03
So let me get this right if read the previous comments:
If it is difficult or too quite .......then just give it to someone elase or bang a mute in and hope you get lucky.


That's quite a healthy outlook for up and coming youngsters to follow when they watch the best bands in the world in public.



What ever happened to practice and try to achieve what the composer actually writes or are we endorsing the easy way out nowadays. It certainly seems that way!

Nijinsky
23.10.2009, 13:05
If I heard that a sop player with a band like Black Dyke had to use a mute to play quiet, that would suggest that their quiet playing wasn't up to scratch. I'm not sure who it is who's there now since Peter Roberts left but you sure wouldnt have had him puttin mutes in to play quiet thats for sure!

xRinat
23.10.2009, 13:12
I say use the best in the band, if the one person can't handle it give it to another person!

Am I right?

JesTperfect!
23.10.2009, 15:06
If I heard that a sop player with a band like Black Dyke had to use a mute to play quiet, that would suggest that their quiet playing wasn't up to scratch. I'm not sure who it is who's there now since Peter Roberts left but you sure wouldnt have had him puttin mutes in to play quiet thats for sure!

Paul Duffy is playing sop at Dyke now.

He's an excellent player, and well capable of playing quietly. I've heard it for myself.

Maybe it wasn't about the dynamic level at which he was playing. Maybe Dr Childs just felt that a muted effect was appropriate there.

At the end of the day....does it REALLY matter?!

Anglo Music Press
23.10.2009, 16:27
.

At the end of the day....does it REALLY matter?!

It depends on your perspective.

On a world scale it is, of course, insignificant; but in our tiny little world I happen to think it DOES matter.

What about repsect for the composer?

I'm mystified why our best bands (and Dyke were not the only ones in this instance) think they need to rewrite pieces in order to win, when they can play superbly anyway.

What worries me as a composer is if such actions are tacetly condoned by adjudicators, or a least considered a trifle, then this can only encourage others to take what I consider to be liberties.

I rarely ask for mutes to make things quieter (sometimes, of course) but usually for a change of colour. If bands are going to decide they will change the colour 'at will' then what happens to my own colour scheme?

I've already heard of one 4th section band who is going to rewrite my Area piece and indeed 'add a few bits'. I don't think it needs it really! I know contests have to be won, but where's the integrity?

If we want the larger musical world to take us seriously, we have to take ourselves seriously first.

snazzy_cornet_sound
23.10.2009, 16:32
What people are forgetting is that it is a competition.... If people want to use tactics to aid them winning then so be it. Theres nothing to say that they cant use mutes or play another persons part in the rule book so they have done no wrong.Some may think they are but Nobody is the perfect player and everyone will have there weeknesses, Thats how contests are won by playing to strenghts and hiding weekneses

KMJ Recordings
23.10.2009, 16:36
What people are forgetting is that it is a competition.... If people want to use tactics to aid them winning then so be it. Theres nothing to say that they cant use mutes or play another persons part in the rule book so they have done no wrong.Some may think they are but Nobody is the perfect player and everyone will have there weeknesses, Thats how contests are won by playing to strenghts and hiding weekneses

From a purely technical point of view, rewriting of parts is breach of copyright and therefore is against the rules.....

Anglo Music Press
23.10.2009, 16:50
What people are forgetting is that it is a competition.... If people want to use tactics to aid them winning then so be it. Theres nothing to say that they cant use mutes or play another persons part in the rule book so they have done no wrong.

Well, of course it's a competition! But the competition should be to see who can play a set piece the best, not who can re-arrange it best.

If we want to talk purely in competitive terms (and I don't think we should) most football teams would find it easier to win if they moved the goalposts.................

And I don't think we should lump 'mutes' and 'part changing' together. I don't mind which cornet player plays the cornet solo, but I don't like the addition of mutes one bit.

snazzy_cornet_sound
23.10.2009, 18:09
Well in that case its the fault of the BBBA and not the competitors as they allow the goalposts to be moved.

Bass Trumpet
23.10.2009, 18:19
Back in the day, cueing parts was against the rules. Everybody did it, but it was one of those accepted things. Have the rules on cueing been changed or have they been ignored completely? Mutes aside, playing another person's part is cueing, so I'd be surprised if any band is innocent.

xRinat
23.10.2009, 19:23
Well, of course it's a competition! But the competition should be to see who can play a set piece the best, not who can re-arrange it best.

If we want to talk purely in competitive terms (and I don't think we should) most football teams would find it easier to win if they moved the goalposts.................

And I don't think we should lump 'mutes' and 'part changing' together. I don't mind which cornet player plays the cornet solo, but I don't like the addition of mutes one bit.
This post made my mind clear, and you are right.

By the way, I'm a huge fan of your music.

brassneck
23.10.2009, 21:17
What worries me as a composer is if such actions are tacetly condoned by adjudicators, or a least considered a trifle, then this can only encourage others to take what I consider to be liberties.

I rarely ask for mutes to make things quieter (sometimes, of course) but usually for a change of colour. If bands are going to decide they will change the colour 'at will' then what happens to my own colour scheme?

I wonder what ABBA has to defend itself with as this has been allowed to happen at the RAH?

Anno Draconis
24.10.2009, 16:17
I wonder what ABBA has to defend itself with as this has been allowed to happen at the RAH?

I suspect the silence will be deafening...

brassneck
24.10.2009, 16:19
I suspect the silence will be deafening...

... don't you mean "muted"? :rolleyes:

KMJ Recordings
24.10.2009, 16:50
... don't you mean "muted"? :rolleyes:

Wouldn't that change the tone of their response? :D

brassneck
24.10.2009, 17:08
Wouldn't that change the tone of their response? :D

Difficult to keep an open debate under these circumstances I should imagine! :biggrin:

BigHorn
24.10.2009, 17:18
For all you people who think dyke won because they used mutes to play quieter, why don't you do a proper conspiricy theorists job and suggest they won because the mutes gave a coded signal to the adjudicators. I wasn't there but, but I heard that other bands used dusters in the quiet passages.
I also can't see why the composer going to a rehearsal gave them an advantage - unless the composer was in the box with the adjudicators.
Perhaps they may have actually won beacause they gave the adjudicator's favourite performance - it could happen you know.

greenegiant
24.10.2009, 19:07
If I heard that a sop player with a band like Black Dyke had to use a mute to play quiet, that would suggest that their quiet playing wasn't up to scratch. I'm not sure who it is who's there now since Peter Roberts left but you sure wouldnt have had him puttin mutes in to play quiet thats for sure!


It depends on your perspective.

On a world scale it is, of course, insignificant; but in our tiny little world I happen to think it DOES matter.

What about repsect for the composer?

I'm mystified why our best bands (and Dyke were not the only ones in this instance) think they need to rewrite pieces in order to win, when they can play superbly anyway.

What worries me as a composer is if such actions are tacetly condoned by adjudicators, or a least considered a trifle, then this can only encourage others to take what I consider to be liberties.

I rarely ask for mutes to make things quieter (sometimes, of course) but usually for a change of colour. If bands are going to decide they will change the colour 'at will' then what happens to my own colour scheme?

I've already heard of one 4th section band who is going to rewrite my Area piece and indeed 'add a few bits'. I don't think it needs it really! I know contests have to be won, but where's the integrity?

If we want the larger musical world to take us seriously, we have to take ourselves seriously first.


From a purely technical point of view, rewriting of parts is breach of copyright and therefore is against the rules.....


Well, of course it's a competition! But the competition should be to see who can play a set piece the best, not who can re-arrange it best.

If we want to talk purely in competitive terms (and I don't think we should) most football teams would find it easier to win if they moved the goalposts.................

And I don't think we should lump 'mutes' and 'part changing' together. I don't mind which cornet player plays the cornet solo, but I don't like the addition of mutes one bit.

Thank you Philip et al...! Now will people see that this is not a personal attack against the likes of 'Dyke'? Play what the composer asks for - simple as! Don't add bits, don't change bits, of course play to your strengths, but respect the composer's wishes first and foremost..!

Thirteen Ball
24.10.2009, 19:43
I suspect the silence will be deafening...

As it is on so many things....

JR
29.10.2009, 11:19
It depends on your perspective.

On a world scale it is, of course, insignificant; but in our tiny little world I happen to think it DOES matter.

What about repsect for the composer?

I'm mystified why our best bands (and Dyke were not the only ones in this instance) think they need to rewrite pieces in order to win, when they can play superbly anyway.

What worries me as a composer is if such actions are tacetly condoned by adjudicators, or a least considered a trifle, then this can only encourage others to take what I consider to be liberties.

I rarely ask for mutes to make things quieter (sometimes, of course) but usually for a change of colour. If bands are going to decide they will change the colour 'at will' then what happens to my own colour scheme?

I've already heard of one 4th section band who is going to rewrite my Area piece and indeed 'add a few bits'. I don't think it needs it really! I know contests have to be won, but where's the integrity?

If we want the larger musical world to take us seriously, we have to take ourselves seriously first.

This is the most important post I've read on tmp for years and should be noted

It will be 7 years in January since I stood up at the ABBA AGM and said "mute abuse" ( i.e. use of mutes when passages are clearly marked open) should be outlawed. I got no takers.

Here we are 7 years on and our leading composer has eloquently re-iterated one of my main points, namely respect for the composers wishes.

Hopefully we can progress this now

John R

brassneck
29.10.2009, 15:05
This is the most important post I've read on tmp for years and should be noted

It will be 7 years in January since I stood up at the ABBA AGM and said "mute abuse" ( i.e. use of mutes when passages are clearly marked open) should be outlawed. I got no takers.

Here we are 7 years on and our leading composer has eloquently re-iterated one of my main points, namely respect for the composers wishes.

Hopefully we can progress this now

John R

... by posting on tMP? You would have to get the official backing of leading composers/arrangers to re-submit your case to ABBA.

grandmothersclock
31.10.2009, 23:39
Is it the most important post on here for years because he is backing your point of view Mr Roberts?

brassneck
01.11.2009, 06:29
Interesting quote from ABBA ...



Nine: Concerns over the issue of part swapping.
Answer: Though there are differences of opinion amongst adjudicators about the ethics of part-swapping the majority of members accept that it does happen, that it would be very difficult to police and that basically, it is up to the conductor to produce the best possible performance with the material available. If the changing of parts or the unauthorised use of mutes detracts from the musical quality of the performance then it should expect to be penalised.


http://www.4barsrest.com/articles/2004/art359.asp

Anno Draconis
01.11.2009, 17:20
So unauthorised use of mutes is only penalised "if it detracts from the musical quality of the performance" in the opinion of the adjudicator. What is the point of composers marking "muted" or "open" on a score, or indeed specifying a type of mute, if conductors aren't to be automatically penalised for ignoring it?

Aidan
02.11.2009, 10:32
In my opinion this is an open door by ABBA to reduce the dying strains of musicality that linger in some of our top band's contest performances. Any more 'safe' performances and we might aswell have Durex sponsor the nationals. In a few years there will be a Yamaha robot band scouping all the titles.
Are not splitting loud notes and making quiet notes speak quietly the only musical attributes we are looking for now?
How long before the muted cornet wins the soloist prize for the best flugal candeza at one of the majors?

Anglo Music Press
02.11.2009, 13:06
What a bizarre statement!

Doesn't the unauthorised use of mutes ALWAYS detract from the musical quality of performance of (especially) a set piece, when the whole idea of the contest is to see who plays it best?

JR
03.11.2009, 09:44
So unauthorised use of mutes is only penalised "if it detracts from the musical quality of the performance" in the opinion of the adjudicator. What is the point of composers marking "muted" or "open" on a score, or indeed specifying a type of mute, if conductors aren't to be automatically penalised for ignoring it?

..Quite!!

JR

Thirteen Ball
03.11.2009, 12:23
Maybe ABBA think that they know more about what sounds good than the composer does....!?

Which is surely both inaccurate and disrespectful....

rosolino
03.11.2009, 15:47
I wonder what ABBA has to defend itself with as this has been allowed to happen at the RAH?

ABBA 28th December 2008 Continuing Professional Development Seminar (honest!) :sup

Use and Abuse of Mutes - Lecture and Demonstration by Derek Southcott

Maybe those members of the Association who were conducting at the RAH missed Derek's
presentation.

www.satiche.org.uk/abba/abbacpds.htm

brassneck
03.11.2009, 17:57
ABBA 28th December 2008 Continuing Professional Development Seminar (honest!) :sup

Use and Abuse of Mutes - Lecture and Demonstration by Derek Southcott

Maybe those members of the Association who were conducting at the RAH missed Derek's
presentation.

www.satiche.org.uk/abba/abbacpds.htm (http://www.satiche.org.uk/abba/abbacpds.htm)

The end result must have been reflected in the 4BR article ... it's down to the adjudicators on the day to decide for themselves if misuse of mutes detracts from the musical performance. Nothing about what the composer/arranger originally had in the score.

tkhbss
05.11.2009, 21:11
Thank you Philip et al...! Now will people see that this is not a personal attack against the likes of 'Dyke'? Play what the composer asks for - simple as! Don't add bits, don't change bits, of course play to your strengths, but respect the composer's wishes first and foremost..!
Baloney. Anyone who has played for any number of years will tell you that bands in ALL sections rearrange parts and write in parts to strengthen the sound of their band's performance. Always has been the case and always will be (unless it becomes illegal, which it is currently not of course).

One difference now is that Sibelius makes it even easier to disguise this (if you wanted to try) so that people would not even know you had a bar written in here and there unless they knew the piece intimately.

I don't really understand the issue, unless it is sour grapes. Black Dyke played with mutes in some places where it was not marked. Big deal. They probably did it because their MD thought the effect was a better representation, in his own opinion, for the adjudicators to hear. I have seen the adjudication remarks http://www.nationalbrassbandchampionships.com/index.php?id=3&newsID=207
and there is no mention of mutes being detected here (far from the silly comment of 4barsrest that this was obvious - it was only "obvious" if you could see!).

So, the adjuducators didn't see the mutes, or hear them it seems, and liked the Dyke performance more than the others. Thats it isn't it?

JR
06.11.2009, 09:19
ABBA 28th December 2008 Continuing Professional Development Seminar (honest!) :sup

Use and Abuse of Mutes - Lecture and Demonstration by Derek Southcott

Maybe those members of the Association who were conducting at the RAH missed Derek's
presentation.

www.satiche.org.uk/abba/abbacpds.htm

We didnt get into the recent controversy on this occasion - lecture was confined to a demonstration of the range of colours/timbre etc that can be obtained by different types of mute - and the understanding of each that's required.

John R

Thirteen Ball
06.11.2009, 15:04
So, the adjuducators didn't see the mutes, or hear them it seems, and liked the Dyke performance more than the others. Thats it isn't it?

And herein lies the be all and end all problem of every brass band contest - and the question I have never had an answer to, which would solve so much controversey.

Are we there to:

Play what the composer put on the score, to the best of our abilities?

Or are we there to:

Play something the Adjudicator(s) will like?

If the former, why is changing the score, rewriting parts, mute abuse etc. allowed?

If the latter, why are no open criteria laid down beforehand? Without which a large element of contesting (ie: interpretation/liberties taken with the score) is surely reduced to something of a guessing-game?

tkhbss
06.11.2009, 17:22
And herein lies the be all and end all problem of every brass band contest - and the question I have never had an answer to, which would solve so much controversey.

Are we there to:

Play what the composer put on the score, to the best of our abilities?

Or are we there to:

Play something the Adjudicator(s) will like?

If the former, why is changing the score, rewriting parts, mute abuse etc. allowed?

If the latter, why are no open criteria laid down beforehand? Without which a large element of contesting (ie: interpretation/liberties taken with the score) is surely reduced to something of a guessing-game?

Why not assume that the test is to play something the adjudicators will like? As I say, many if not all bands will rewrite parts, "abuse" mutes and use all the tricks they can to get the piece to sound as good they can for the adjudicators. There should be no band around who truly believes there is some honour or merit to be gained from sticking to the score and the original parts, and taking some high moral ground in order to demonstrate that this is what the unaltered version should sound like. The contest is there to be won and most bands do what it takes to win it.

Anglo Music Press
06.11.2009, 18:49
Why not assume that the test is to play something the adjudicators will like? As I say, many if not all bands will rewrite parts, "abuse" mutes and use all the tricks they can to get the piece to sound as good they can for the adjudicators. There should be no band around who truly believes there is some honour or merit to be gained from sticking to the score and the original parts, and taking some high moral ground in order to demonstrate that this is what the unaltered version should sound like. The contest is there to be won and most bands do what it takes to win it.

Now that really IS baloney!

1) You can't justify anything by saying 'but that's what everybody does'.

2) It's a common mistake to underestimate adjudicators' abilities. All the ones I've been priviledged to work with (which includes most of the usual suspects) just want to hear the piece - as presented in the score - played as well as possible. I'm aware that most bands have to jiggle parts around a bit (I've done it myself) to make up for deficiencies in the band. But to add things the composer has not written is tasteless, insulting and mercenary.

And what's wrong with taking a moral stance? I wish more people did.......

tkhbss
06.11.2009, 21:05
Now that really IS baloney!

1) You can't justify anything by saying 'but that's what everybody does'.

2) It's a common mistake to underestimate adjudicators' abilities. All the ones I've been priviledged to work with (which includes most of the usual suspects) just want to hear the piece - as presented in the score - played as well as possible. I'm aware that most bands have to jiggle parts around a bit (I've done it myself) to make up for deficiencies in the band. But to add things the composer has not written is tasteless, insulting and mercenary.

And what's wrong with taking a moral stance? I wish more people did.......
I am a big fan of your music and of you, Philip, but looks like you have your head in the sand.

brassneck
06.11.2009, 21:41
I am a big fan of your music and of you, Philip, but looks like you have your head in the sand.

Erm, I don't quite understand what you're getting at! Can you explain a little more, please?

jockinafrock
07.11.2009, 07:13
Now that really IS baloney!

1) You can't justify anything by saying 'but that's what everybody does'.

2) It's a common mistake to underestimate adjudicators' abilities. All the ones I've been priviledged to work with (which includes most of the usual suspects) just want to hear the piece - as presented in the score - played as well as possible. I'm aware that most bands have to jiggle parts around a bit (I've done it myself) to make up for deficiencies in the band. But to add things the composer has not written is tasteless, insulting and mercenary.

And what's wrong with taking a moral stance? I wish more people did.......

Thank you Phillip! :clap: We've all done it - when a player has perhaps struggled with a part it's often given to someone else to play, but to change what a composer has written is re-writing, and suggests that the conductor thinks he/she knows what the composer intended, or that this is what the composer should have put. Are these conductors mind readers, or do they think they know better? I don't think so...! If the composer wants it played they'll say so! Leave the music alone!

Thirteen Ball
07.11.2009, 12:17
I am a big fan of your music and of you, Philip, but looks like you have your head in the sand.

Yes obviously... After all, how could a chap who's been comissioned to wite albert hall test pieces and the like know anything about modern brass contesting..... :rolleyes:

(Sorry, I do know sarcasm is the lowest form of wit...)

Just because it goes on and just because adjudicators turn a blind eye does not make it right.

Speaking in general terms, would you move the (purposely high) part off the bassoons in the rite of spring simply because stravinsky "clearly didn't know what he was doing?"

In that example, they're up in the gods to create a feral and ungainly sound - which wouldn't happen with a higher woodwind instrument in it's normal register.

Brass composers do the same all the time. When peter Graham writes a top Eb for euph in "Torchbearer" it's because he wants one. He does not want a top Bb on a tenor horn, for example, which will sound harder and thinner - and like a tenor horn! Can you imagine the criticism if someone did that?

It's only in brass banding that this goes on. Why do we find it acceptable? Why do we as bands asume the composer didn't know what he/she was doing?

Having once been beaten by a band who re-wrote the Eb and BBb bass tuba quartet in Pagannini on to two basses and two euphs, (even though they had a full team on stage and which was so obvious it was nearly criminal,) it's pretty galling sometimes when no-one seems to care....

Anglo Music Press
07.11.2009, 12:43
It's only in brass banding that this goes on. Why do we find it acceptable? Why do we as bands asume the composer didn't know what he/she was doing?



Because you can win contests by doing it.............. :(

brassneck
07.11.2009, 12:52
This is a strong case for open adjudication. However, I wonder if this has been conveniantly overlooked because adjudicators in the past have used such tactics?

Anglo Music Press
07.11.2009, 13:04
This is a strong case for open adjudication. However, I wonder if this has been conveniantly overlooked because adjudicators in the past have used such tactics?

I would still advocate using the box for the adjudicators, but I think it's such a depressing trend that it would be worth having a 4th (non-judging) official in the open. Perhaps those bands which treat the score with integrity would not then be disadvantaged.

Bayerd
07.11.2009, 14:11
Thank you Phillip! :clap: We've all done it - when a player has perhaps struggled with a part it's often given to someone else to play, but to change what a composer has written is re-writing, and suggests that the conductor thinks he/she knows what the composer intended, or that this is what the composer should have put. Are these conductors mind readers, or do they think they know better? I don't think so...! If the composer wants it played they'll say so! Leave the music alone!

Re-writing of parts doesn't suggest that the conductor thinks he knows better at all, he just trying to get the best possible performance from the players in front of him. The 2 things are entirely different.

How often do conductors change parts for concerts? Not very often in my experience.

It's alright saying that players of that calibre should be able to play anything. Sometimes they can't.

Unfortunately re-writing is a symptom of the win at all costs attitude. I can appreciate that composers may get upset that their music is being changed, in my view conductors don't do it to upset the composer, more to give their band the best chance of winning.

tkhbss
07.11.2009, 17:11
Erm, I don't quite understand what you're getting at! Can you explain a little more, please?
My point, hopefully being put in an acceptable way to a distibuished composer such as Philip Sparke (whom I truly admire and really appreciate his comments) is that conductors always have and always wil change parts to get the effect that the composer is wanting. If he does that well (as clearly Dyke did in this example by playing mutes when not written - but not noticed by the adjudicators) than that is surely the best thing he could have done for the piece's performance.

brassneck
07.11.2009, 18:36
... conductors always have and always wil change parts to get the effect that the composer is wanting

Without consulting the composer, especially on a new commission, I cannot fathom why a conductor would question any effect scored. Only if the type of mute is not specifically requested, then it may be experimented with. I'm not targetting Dyke on this, but if you look at the score excerpts, it definitely cues parts as muted or open.

http://www.gramercymusic.com/image/Torchscore.pdf

Bayerd
07.11.2009, 19:26
My point, hopefully being put in an acceptable way to a distibuished composer such as Philip Sparke (whom I truly admire and really appreciate his comments) is that conductors always have and always wil change parts to get the effect that the composer is wanting. If he does that well (as clearly Dyke did in this example by playing mutes when not written - but not noticed by the adjudicators) than that is surely the best thing he could have done for the piece's performance.


Bullsh!t!

Conductors change parts to hopefully gain as much as they can out of a performance. It's got nowt to do with what they think the composer wants, the composer has already supplied a score to illustrate what he wants.

PeterBale
08.11.2009, 00:05
My point, hopefully being put in an acceptable way to a distibuished composer such as Philip Sparke (whom I truly admire and really appreciate his comments) is that conductors always have and always wil change parts to get the effect that the composer is wanting. If he does that well (as clearly Dyke did in this example by playing mutes when not written - but not noticed by the adjudicators) than that is surely the best thing he could have done for the piece's performance.

"Not noticed" or "not penalised"? If the prevailing opinion is that it is alright to make such amendments then bands and conductors are not likely to be marked down for it. I would personally like to see open adjudication, but failing that I like Philip's suggestion of a fourth adjudicator who can report on such failures to observe the score. How many times, for example, has a composer written both top trombones in unison on a high passage, only for it to be left to the first player on the day?

jockinafrock
08.11.2009, 21:55
Re-writing of parts doesn't suggest that the conductor thinks he knows better at all, he just trying to get the best possible performance from the players in front of him. The 2 things are entirely different.

How often do conductors change parts for concerts? Not very often in my experience.

It's alright saying that players of that calibre should be able to play anything. Sometimes they can't.

Unfortunately re-writing is a symptom of the win at all costs attitude. I can appreciate that composers may get upset that their music is being changed, in my view conductors don't do it to upset the composer, more to give their band the best chance of winning.

I don't think you've got the gist of what I was saying (or maybe I wasn't clear?). :-?When I say rewriting I mean writing or putting in notation/dynamics/instructions etc that are not there, (as opposed to using a bit of artistic or musical licence). For example - it WAS NOT WRITTEN that mutes should be used in the test piece where Dyke used them, quite simple. That is different from giving a part to someone else to play. Cory gave the solo to the rep, but it does just say solo, not necessarily principal cornet, (albeit frowned upon by some). And yes I know it was on the solo cornet part and not the rep part! :rolleyes: Are you going to tell Cory's former principal cornet that he doesn't have as nice a sound as the rep - I don't think so. Only Bob and the band will know why they do it that way (as also in the Open). IMO not as serious a charge as the rewriting - but I'm sure some will disagree. I know that if I can't play a part I would willingly give it to a player who could do a better job, but I certainly wouldn't deliberately undermine a composers intentions...

Thirteen Ball
09.11.2009, 11:24
It would only take one brave adjudicator to do it and in doing so make the point that they ARE aware of what goes on and won't put up with it.

I don't know about anyone else, but I've noticed a significant amount less bottom-octave flying in on the contest stage since Cory (I think) were penalised for pedalling where not written....

Valvecap
09.11.2009, 12:24
Interestingly it was mentioned at the lower section finals in Harrogate - I conducted FSEBB in the 2nd section, then went to listen to the Adjudicators comments - and one of their opening remarks was "am I correct in saying that some bands players to different places on the stage" - I think this was Mr Farr referring to a lot of bands who moved the rep to stand with the troms in a rep / trom quartet. They didnt mention whether they marked bands up or down for so doing. Id left my rep player sat where they were... and I tell you what, it made the piece a LOT more difficult - at piano in that hall, with the troms muted and the rep part muted... they could hardly hear each other!

Bungle
09.11.2009, 13:29
I suppose another question is how could you strictly enforce the rules so that a band coming second at a contest couldn't complain that the winning band did something differing from the score and wasn't penalised.

brassneck
09.11.2009, 13:38
I suppose another question is how could you strictly enforce the rules so that a band coming second at a contest couldn't complain that the winning band did something differing from the score and wasn't penalised.

Another way of looking at it is this way ... if the score doesn't say we cannot try this, will we go ahead if it improves the performance? Important if players have to move to accomodate ensemble issues if the stage acoustics (feedback) becomes a problem.

tkhbss
09.11.2009, 20:56
I suppose another question is how could you strictly enforce the rules so that a band coming second at a contest couldn't complain that the winning band did something differing from the score and wasn't penalised.
Open adjudication. I hear that adjudicators don't like the idea (don't understand why) but on the continent it is likely to be much more readily accepted. I am sure that, eventually, here in the UK contests will be adjudicated in the open and that will put a stop to all sorts of shenannigans that currently go on ...

KMJ Recordings
09.11.2009, 21:11
Open adjudication. I hear that adjudicators don't like the idea (don't understand why)

It can be too easy to be distracted is one explanation - Mr Sparke's already alluded to that somewhere, but it might not be this thread.

damarocto
10.11.2009, 22:31
Open adjudication. I hear that adjudicators don't like the idea (don't understand why) but on the continent it is likely to be much more readily accepted. I am sure that, eventually, here in the UK contests will be adjudicated in the open and that will put a stop to all sorts of shenannigans that currently go on ...
I personally dont like open adjudication, it gives an oppertunity to new/inexperienced adjudicators [or even some experienced ones]to give named bands a result rather than a lower ranked band. In this case even if a lower band played better, no-one who didn't hear the performances would think that the result was wrong whereas if a lower ranked band won doubts may be expressed about the quality of the judge. When someone knows half the band on stage it must be very difficult to be objective.

PeterBale
10.11.2009, 23:14
I personally dont like open adjudication, it gives an oppertunity to new/inexperienced adjudicators [or even some experienced ones]to give named bands a result rather than a lower ranked band. In this case even if a lower band played better, no-one who didn't hear the performances would think that the result was wrong whereas if a lower ranked band won doubts may be expressed about the quality of the judge. When someone knows half the band on stage it must be very difficult to be objective.

It could also have the opposite effect, with expectations being higher for one of the "top" bands, who one could expect to produce a top performance. As many other music competitions around the world seem to have no problem with open adjudication, I don't really see why we get so hung up over it.

Anno Draconis
10.11.2009, 23:28
I personally dont like open adjudication, it gives an oppertunity to new/inexperienced adjudicators [or even some experienced ones]to give named bands a result rather than a lower ranked band.

And yet....


As many other music competitions around the world seem to have no problem with open adjudication, I don't really see why we get so hung up over it.
:clap:
No-one has ever yet explained to me why they don't have the problems of distraction, or performance expectations, at the Leeds Piano Competiton, or Cardiff Singer of the World, or Young Musician of the Year, or any of the myriad other competitions that take place. Closed adjudication is an anachronistic insult to the integrity and ability of bands, conductors and adjudicators.

SMead
10.11.2009, 23:47
And yet....


:clap:
No-one has ever yet explained to me why they don't have the problems of distraction, or performance expectations, at the Leeds Piano Competiton, or Cardiff Singer of the World, or Young Musician of the Year, or any of the myriad other competitions that take place. Closed adjudication is an anachronistic insult to the integrity and ability of bands, conductors and adjudicators.

You are a very smart man

brassneck
11.11.2009, 00:10
Open adjudication would also expose what is hidden from view ... conferencing.

FlugelD
11.11.2009, 00:38
Since most areas now have two adjudicators, why not have one 'open', one 'closed': in the event of a tie, 'closed' (uninfluenced) counts one point extra...

Just floating an idea...;)

Anglo Music Press
11.11.2009, 08:33
No-one has ever yet explained to me why they don't have the problems of distraction, or performance expectations, at the Leeds Piano Competiton, or Cardiff Singer of the World, or Young Musician of the Year, or any of the myriad other competitions that take place. Closed adjudication is an anachronistic insult to the integrity and ability of bands, conductors and adjudicators.

I'm not sure of my facts here, but I guess they don't have to concentrate for up to 8 hours without a break....

Whenever I'm asked about the open/closed question (I prefer closed) I always raise this (admittedly extreme) scenario:-

If I'm in the open and Black Dyke (or Cory or Fodens) come on stage, no matter how objective I try to be, my expectations are probably raised. If they then give a performance below their best, I may view this performance negatively (subconciously, perhaps).

If a less high-profile band then comes on stage (my expectations are not so high) and gives exactly the same performance, I might view this positively.

So two bands, playing at the same level, have possibly (and the whole point is that I may not be aware of the extent) left me with totally different attitudes towards their performances.

When I don't know who is playing this can't happen and I can judge the two performances totally objectively.

The other competitions you mention don't, I'm sure, have judges who are so familiar with the reputations of the competitors.

brassbandmaestro
11.11.2009, 09:35
I expect this has been said before, but would adjudicators "know" a sound of say Dyke, Fodens or Cory, if they were in closed adjudication?

GJG
11.11.2009, 09:48
I would personally like to see open adjudication, but failing that I like Philip's suggestion of a fourth adjudicator who can report on such failures to observe the score. How many times, for example, has a composer written both top trombones in unison on a high passage, only for it to be left to the first player on the day?

I'm not sure a "fourth official" would make any difference in that scenario. In the (unlikely) event that I were to pull such an underhand trick (as in your example) then I would have instructed the 2nd trom to mime the passage in any case, closed adjudication or not ...

Still, opens up a whole world of new possiblilities ... "And the fourth adjudicator's prize for the most convincing mime of the day goes to ... "

Anglo Music Press
11.11.2009, 09:58
I expect this has been said before, but would adjudicators "know" a sound of say Dyke, Fodens or Cory, if they were in closed adjudication?

This is a real red herring.

Firstly, even if you could tell, there is too much to concentrate on to worry about it and, secondly, the point of my previous thread is that I don't WANT to know who is playing so I can judge the quality of the performance objectively.

Thirteen Ball
11.11.2009, 10:13
Even if the adjudicators CAN tell who's onstage, I'd argue it's more likely to be to a band's disadvantage.

When I used to play football as a kid, if the neutral referee couldn't make a game for any reason, the league rules were that the match referee then had to be provided by the home team - and in every eventuality where that happened he was biased... against his own team.

It's human nature not to want to be accused of favouritism, and usually it goes the otehr way.

Say, for example, you had three people in the box who had all at some time been strongly associated with a particular band. Then that band comes onstage, and they all start to have suspicions it's their old band playing.

Are they not then more likely to look further into the performance to try and find mistakes and mark the band down, in order to NOT be accused of favouritism?

As Philip said earlier, it very well may be subconscious, but I don't doubt it would happen.

brassbandmaestro
11.11.2009, 10:16
Quite true, I would suspect, Andi. IMO, I would be more particular if a "favourite" band was performing, if I had recognised their sound. My ears would be more alert to any problemes that may occur during the performance.

brassneck
11.11.2009, 14:11
Hopefully the music is the ultimate winner, despite how it is written. If the judge forms his opinion on how well the performance is lifted from the score, then (theoretically) it shouldn't matter if the competitiors are seen or not.