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Old 05-10-2017, 01:09 PM   #11
will103
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Default Re: Why do Pibroch Judges Want to See the Sheet Music?

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Originally Posted by Ron Teague View Post
It could and probably does, I have seen folk give a judge the music and have hand written in their alterations and such, so the judge can evaluate what they are playing better. That being said, in piobaireachd playing there is a lot of 'well that is nice what you played but it certainly not what Old Jock MacFiffle played and handed down". As if Old Jock MacFiffle owned the music. Even composers don't always have the final say. Covers can be a good thing.
Hi, yes, variety of style (within reason) is in my opinion a good thing. With all of the online resources available to pipers now, we can see most of versions available in the major collections. I remember my tutor saying something like - I will teach how X played it and I was taught it, then I will show you how to play it at competition. It is a brave piper that plays differently from the PS scores at a competition. Perhaps this is changing - we shall see.

Can we really say as pipers that we understand a tune if we do not put our own mark on it - playing the way we appreciate most? if everyone plays exactly to the book - is that really a living tradition?

Will 103
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:57 AM   #12
moderntraditional
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Default Re: Why do Pibroch Judges Want to See the Sheet Music?

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Originally Posted by will103 View Post
Hi, yes, variety of style (within reason) is in my opinion a good thing. With all of the online resources available to pipers now, we can see most of versions available in the major collections. I remember my tutor saying something like - I will teach how X played it and I was taught it, then I will show you how to play it at competition. It is a brave piper that plays differently from the PS scores at a competition. Perhaps this is changing - we shall see.

Can we really say as pipers that we understand a tune if we do not put our own mark on it - playing the way we appreciate most? if everyone plays exactly to the book - is that really a living tradition?

Will 103
I completely agree.

I was told by one judge that even in light music, if a judge doesn't know the tune, it is really hard for them to feel certain that the player isn't completely making a hash of it. It would look bad on the judge to award someone something if someone else comes along (say, with a recorder and played it back - as happened to Bill Livingstone) and shows the judge that the competitor "did it wrong".

So, "being brave" comes from both sides of the table.

That said, because there are sites making all the settings available, both the players and the judges are realizing that the pibroch world is changing, and change isn't always bad. So a bit more give-and-take is happening.

Oh, there are a few, very opinionated judges who would rather have everything just as it was, and they tend to be the loudest. But a very many judges don't agree and are excited to experience something different.

The question for you as a competitor then becomes: are you competing to win? or are you competing to be a musician? If the former, you would typically think playing it safe is the way to go.

If the latter, you wouldn't care what the outcome is, you are excited about the prospect of bringing something new, different and exciting to the performance.
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:52 AM   #13
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Why do Pibroch Judges Want to See the Sheet Music?

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The question for you as a competitor then becomes: are you competing to win? or are you competing to be a musician? If the former, you would typically think playing it safe is the way to go.

If the latter, you wouldn't care what the outcome is, you are excited about the prospect of bringing something new, different and exciting to the performance.
I think that's exactly right. If you're trying to win the prize, then play a setting that the judges will know, in a conventional way that's easy for them to appreciate. If you're trying to use the competitive stage as a platform to get other ways of playing out there, I think that's perfectly valid, but you need to do it knowing that you may not win (at least, right away) for all the reasons discussed above.

I'm not much of a solo competitor, but the same is absolutely true in the band world. Some of the most innovative bands ever had to take some serious lumps before they gained wide recognition (the 78th Frasers come instantly to mind, and the Vale of Atholl bands from the 90s). Not all musical experiments bear competitive fruit (such as the "variations on a theme"-style medleys that the Toronto Police played a few years ago) but all of them add to the breadth of our appreciation of the art form. The Frasers ultimately did win the "big prize," but their perhaps more lasting contribution is that it's now commonly accepted to play tunes from the other Celtic nations, arrange medleys with complex harmonies and counterpoints, play "conducted" tunes, use elements of piobaireachd in band playing, etc. It's impossible to listen to a band like Inveraray or Scottish Power today and not hear echoes of 1987.

If you want to win, play to win. If you want to use competition as a platform to go in a different direction, do that. It might be "rewarded" or it might not, but if your intent is the latter, the reward is in getting your music heard.
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Old 05-12-2017, 05:53 PM   #14
el gaitero
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Default Re: Why do Pibroch Judges Want to See the Sheet Music?

Speaking of innovation.....how's that 'turn yer back into the circle' thing going?
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:47 PM   #15
John Blunt
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Default Re: Why do Pibroch Judges Want to See the Sheet Music?

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It's not really reasonable to expect any judge to know EVERY tune that any competitor might submit. The sheet music is a reference.
Although, if you're in a piobaireachd competition judged by Andrew Wright, you probably won't need to submit sheet music.

JMB
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:33 PM   #16
Heatherbelle
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Default Re: Why do Pibroch Judges Want to See the Sheet Music?

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Although, if you're in a piobaireachd competition judged by Andrew Wright, you probably won't need to submit sheet music.

JMB
Very true and very impressive!
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:49 PM   #17
Rooklidge
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Default Re: Why do Pibroch Judges Want to See the Sheet Music?

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Although, if you're in a piobaireachd competition judged by Andrew Wright, you probably won't need to submit sheet music.

JMB
Andrew judged me at Portland last year and I gave him the David Glen arrangement so he could point at the sheet and say "och, wandered off about here." He smiled and I laughed because we both knew where I buggered it and it was an easy task to tell me holding the sheet. Great judge.
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:17 AM   #18
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Default Re: Why do Pibroch Judges Want to See the Sheet Music?

Ceol Beag is judged on how you play the tune and how your pipes are going. Although the same could be said about Ceol Mor, you have the added requirement to play a recognised setting of the tune, accurately. Some competitions have judges and readers to ensure that you don't stray from the score. That is part of the skill, to ensure that you accurately perform the piece. Much like if you played a classical piece in a piano competition, they obviously would be judging that you strictly adhered to the score. Providing the manuscript ensures that there are no disputes after and the competition is judged on the fairest possible terms.
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