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Competing Pipers Questions, issues, or discussions specifically related to Piping and Pipers competition.

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Old 02-23-2017, 05:50 PM   #1
Jim Fogelman
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Default Playing tunes the judges don't know

What's the protocol on playing tunes the judges don't know?

I figure most of the time this isn't an issue, but I was at a workshop a few weeks ago with Jack Lee, where we got to ask him for help on expressing our marches or strathspeys. When I asked him about the strathspey I recently started working on, he said he didn't know it and moved on to the next person.

Just trying to get an idea of what to do if I find myself in a similar situation with a judge.
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Old 02-24-2017, 03:03 AM   #2
Bluescottygirl
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Default Re: Playing tunes the judges don't know

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Originally Posted by Jim Fogelman View Post

Just trying to get an idea of what to do if I find myself in a similar situation with a judge.
Carry a fresh, unmarked copy of the music with you and politely offer it as you submit your tune. "I'm not sure if you need this but here it is" type of thing.

I play a tune that not all judges carry the music for so I offer printed music and after I've played I sometimes suggest they might like to keep it.

I've heard first hand of a competitor submitting a tune that both her and the judge really wanted her to play but as neither had the music, she had to play something else. Quite disappointing for both so best I think to have it. In both instances I'm talking about piobaireachd.
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Old 02-24-2017, 04:22 AM   #3
CalumII
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Default Re: Playing tunes the judges don't know

For light music, I wouldn't consider offering music, though if it's an unusual setting (say, Reid's Highland Wedding with no second time last part) I would mention it, especially anything that could be perceived as a mistake.

For piobaireachd, I'd normally not offer music that's in PS or Kilberry, unless it is a proper rarity. For something off the beaten track it's worth considering, especially if it's non obvious.
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Old 02-24-2017, 05:19 AM   #4
el gaitero
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Default Re: Playing tunes the judges don't know

How would one know if the judge knows the tune or not?

But... I think playing a codified setting of a popular tune is more likely to get you nearer the winners circle.

I think in solo competition playing a one off or a tune not heard since black n white TV days might get the judge foot tapping.....but might provide little/no basis for direct comparison against those having played more traditional circuit tunes.
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:00 AM   #5
bob864
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Default Re: Playing tunes the judges don't know

An EUSPBA piping judge told me that in light music you can play whatever you like (even a tune you compose) and you have no duty to supply any music. I have played tunes judges did not know -- you know for sure they don't know the tune if they ask you to spell the title .
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Old 02-24-2017, 01:35 PM   #6
John McCain
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Default Re: Playing tunes the judges don't know

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Originally Posted by Bluescottygirl View Post
Carry a fresh, unmarked copy of the music with you and politely offer it as you submit your tune. "I'm not sure if you need this but here it is" type of thing.

I play a tune that not all judges carry the music for so I offer printed music and after I've played I sometimes suggest they might like to keep it.
I do this, too, even with light music. Playing unfamiliar tunes doesn't seem to be a disadvantage. When I play well, I place well. When I don't...
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:34 AM   #7
classicbagpipes
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Default Re: Playing tunes the judges don't know

I agree that one can play anything that one wants in competition, as there is a very wide circle of standard tunes that one can use.
But I feel that it is courtesy to the judge, as one other has mentioned below, that if you are a playing a tune that is not in the common repitoire that it is good to have a copy for the judge to follow.
I have had it offered to me as a judge and have suggested it to those who offer up an none standard tune.
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Old 03-11-2017, 06:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: Playing tunes the judges don't know

So,
I assume most judges are judges because they a capable enough as musicians to understand a musical an idiomatic tune when they hear one.

That said, I had a judge once explain that, even with light music, if he was unfamiliar with it, it put him at a disadvantage because it could be that the piper played it wrong and how was he to know? It made him feel put on the spot.
Honestly, though - the question is whether we should be fixating on the minutiae or judging the musicality.

Bill Livingstone's experience aside, churning out a bunch of players who robotic mimicry of their better peers doesn't further the art. I'd prefer judges to be a bit more open minded about the deeper dimensions of the music, which would allow them to listen to any piece of work, known or unknown.

Sure, the result may be subjective, but that's the nature of judging and competition.
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:47 PM   #9
el gaitero
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Default Re: Playing tunes the judges don't know

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So,
.

Sure, the result may be subjective, but that's the nature of judging and competition.
IMHO...vs playing an 'unknown'....not if three or six ,etc, equal players ( in the same Grade) play the same 'old' tune....giving the judge the opportunity to identify who plays it the most correctly and flawlessly, in addition to instrument setup...thus the prize winner will rise from the flock.
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Old 03-13-2017, 06:34 PM   #10
John McCain
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Default Re: Playing tunes the judges don't know

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Originally Posted by moderntraditional View Post
So,
I assume most judges are judges because they a capable enough as musicians to understand a musical an idiomatic tune when they hear one.
... I'd prefer judges to be a bit more open minded about the deeper dimensions of the music, which would allow them to listen to any piece of work, known or unknown.
Some are. There's one here on this forum that when I offered sheet music to a little-known strathspey (by a well-known composer), said - no thanks, I know what a strathspey should sound like. He was wasn't kidding and it totally makes sense to me.
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