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Different interpretation by Judges
Posted By: News
Date: Wednesday, 30 June 2004, at 1:51 p.m.
Years ago when I got wind of the term I went to one of the officials in Pan Trinbago and asked him to define “Spirit of Carnival.” He was unable to give me a definition. I am not going to mention any band’s name, but could you imagine what this will do for the so-called unknown band that has a great arrangement filled with innovative musical ideas, but because the crowd may not understand their arrangement, they will lose points. What happens when one of the so-called big bands comes to the savannah with their multitudes and they just go crazy after a repetitive chromatic passage? Is a band with these numbers destined to win Panorama? Is this really happening in the 21st century?
I am comfortable addressing the adjudication process having had a major role in re-writing the criteria that I presume will now be changed to accommodate “Spirit of Carnival.” Prior to 1993, the old criteria were simply inadequate in terms of articulating what was happening when I heard the music. The criteria had arrangement 40 points; tone (quality of sound, quantity control, colour, blend, balance) 15 points; rhythm (life, freedom, steadiness, continuity) 10 points; phrasing (shape, flow, melodic line) 15 points; and interpretation 20 points.
At the time when I recommended changing the criteria, there were no definitions of the criteria and I (as a musician) could not understand what several of the sub categories meant. Quantity control, life, freedom, steadiness, continuity, shape, flow are all words that are used in everyday life, but when you use them in a musical context, the applications are very subjective. Melodic line is a legitimate musical term and it has merits in any musical competition, but the manner in which it was used in the criteria prior to 1993 was very ambiguous. Having said that, you could imagine the different interpretations applied by the adjudicators to the music they were hearing.
The present criteria are:
ARRANGEMENT 40 points
INTRODUCTION: The ability of the arranger to compose an appropriate introduction for the calypso chosen as the prepared piece.
RE-HARMONISATION: The ability of the arranger to re-harmonise the calypso chosen as the prepared piece. After the calypso has been played in its original form (harmonically) the re-harmonisation could be limited to one specific section or could be applied to the remainder of the arrangement.
MELODIC DEVELOPMENT: The ability of the arranger to embellish/solo on, and utilise rhythmic variations of the melody in the arrangement.
MOTIVIC DEVELOPMENT: The ability of the arranger to take a melodic motif(s) of the calypso and effectively utilise it (them) during the arrangement.
GENERAL PERFORMANCE 40 points
INTERPRETATION: The ability of the band to creatively execute the arrangement with all the nuances therein. This includes the initial appropriate melodic and/or harmonic statement of the calypso, and development of the arrangement to climatic points.
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