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(OK, maybe some hyperbole there, but read on!)

 

These were Carolina Crown's percussion scores in Finals for the five years prior to last season:

2012 -- 18.800 (6th)

2013 -- 18.700 (6th)

2014 -- 18.450 (7th)

2015 -- 18.950 (5th)

2016 -- 18.675 (5th)

(As given at the From the Pressbox website, which does seem to lop off decimals from time to time.)

 

In those five years, it was repeatedly said on these forums and elsewhere (even by the commentators on the cinema screenings) that Crown's percussion was weak, bad, faulty, deficient, imperfect, defective, inferior, poor, lame, inadequate, shoddy, and so forth.

And not just relatively bad but absolutely bad. I remember querying this point on more than one occasion. I noted that these are all Box 5 scores and thus, by any absolute measure, Crown was fielding very strong percussion lines. But no, came the replies: it wasn't just that Crown's percussion wasn't as strong as Crown's other elements or as other corps' percussion or that it was (with one exception) keeping them from a championship or medals position; no: Crown's percussion was just not good. That claim was made repeatedly.

 

So these appear to be the five best scores achieved by DCI percussion this past weekend:

17.50 -- Cavaliers

17.50 -- Carolina Crown

17.25 -- Blue Devils

17.20 -- Santa Clara Vanguard

17.20 -- Boston Crusaders

(I may have missed one or more, but you get the point. Again I used From the Pressbox as my source.)

 

Not one Box 5 score among them, and yet commentators here are offering a fair bit of praise for these lines. But if you had a time machine and could drop any one of these corps of last weekend into the 2012-2016 Finals, surely their percussion would be crushed by Finals-Crown of those years . . .

Wouldn't they?

I'm genuinely curious to know what people think about that.

Are these 2018 mid-season percussion scores too low? Were Crown's 2012-2016 Box 5 Finals percussion scores too high?

That is to say: do Cavaliers right now actually have a Box 5 percussion section? And did Crown by Finals in 2012-2016 still have a Box 4 percussion section (or worse)?

(How much improvement in numbers is real, relative to the descriptions on the sheets, and how much is just numbers management?)

 

Or when people say that Crown's percussion as the 2012-2016 seasons ended was bad, is that a serious exaggeration?

In scoring terms, where is the dividing line between good percussion and bad percussion anyway? Was Crown's percussion ever very good in those years? Is Cavaliers' percussion section already very good?

 

Feel free to apply any of those questions to other elements or to corps as a whole. Already people are talking about how they have listened to this or that early season performance repeatedly. Does anyone do that with a poor performance? At what point, as far as scores are concerned, does a corps become worth listening to?

I look forward to everyone's thoughts.

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Abandon all hope ye who enter here

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8 minutes ago, ThePlanets said:

Abandon all hope ye who enter here

That was a great show!

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1 hour ago, N.E. Brigand said:

 

Or when people say that Crown's percussion as the 2012-2016 seasons ended was bad, is that a serious exaggeration?

 

I'm gonna go with this

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In this competitive activity, any perceived deficiency is compounded by the incredible levels of performance surrounding it.  Plus, if you have a couple bad years, people project their expectations of you having bad years on your current product until you prove them wrong over time.  It's all about perception.  Crown's drumlines weren't bad by any stretch of the imagination; the scores, as you point out, reflect that.  It's too bad they were compared with so many other better lines in DCI those years as well as the brass line in Crown's own corps.  If the brass was worse, then the drumline would not have seemed as bad to people.  

Me, I just like it when people hit instruments together in rapid succession with blunt objects.  mmmmmm....

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percussion isn't bad. You must remember the judge is back on the field all the time now, every show, and there's no upstairs percussion judge. year to year scores mean little, and Crown over the last 2 years has improved a ton! If anything, books are getting ballsier, and sometimes that takes a little longer to clean....but percussion isn't bad by any means this year

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1 hour ago, N.E. Brigand said:

. Already people are talking about how they have listened to this or that early season performance repeatedly. Does anyone do that with a poor performance? At what point, as far as scores are concerned, does a corps become worth listening to?

.

 If their show entertaining for me. There are Corps I'll watch again in Open Class, and a few I'll take a pass on in World Class in any given year. The Percussion I'll watch if they are part of a Corps that I've already seen and find engaging. entertaining. But if the Percussion is very good by DCI Judging standards, but the show does not appeal to me, and I've seen it before, I'll probably take a break when they come on.

 As for Carolina Crown, I've always enjoyed their shows ( some years more than others ). So I'll always watch their shows, listen to them play. As such, I'll watch their Percussion play too during their performances. I don't know all that much about what seperates percussion lines abilities at the upper tier levels. It becomes especially difficult when comparing Front Ensembles in the overall Percussion section evaluations of abilities, and asked to compare " good " and " bad ". I guess I just have to trust the Percussion judges. They're scores tell us that season who were the best among the good upper tier Percussion lines. As I look at the Percussion scores, it appears that Carolina Crown ( according to the judges ) were not a top 4 or 5 Percussion line in the years you mentioned. This season however, the judges so far seem to be telling us their Percussion line has improved since then,. Its still early. Not yet at the 1st regional, but all the indications are that Carolina Crown will have a very good and improved Percussion line compared to the years you cited above. So much so, that the best section for Crown this season could turn out to be Percussion, and not their Brass line. Would this mean that Crown's Brass line is not as good as past seasons ? Not neccessarily, imo. Crown's brass line, like their Percussion line, will be compared by the judges to THIS season's Brass lines and Percussion lines among all the other Corps. But in any event, Carolina Crown, as an upper tier DCI Corps, that produces entertaining shows, including this season, will definately be among the World Class and Open Class Corps I will continue to find worth listening to, and watching from here on out

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Your comparing finals scores to early july scores.  This yr scores are going to go up by finals. I dont get it 

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If you want to get a real sense of “bad percussion” in a top flight drum corps, listen to ‘81 Blue Devils at Finals; their drum solo is simply ghastly. I’m just a horn guy, but it’s that obvious. I was in Montreal in the stands, and you could hear the train wreck as it unfolded right after opener. BD took High GE (with SCV a close 2nd), High Brass (another close 2nd for SCV), and were only .05 in back of SCV for High M&M (aka Visual, for younger readers.) SCV took 2nd in Percussion that night behind the Bridgemen. Here’s the kicker: BD percussion was so bad, SCV incurred a 0.2 penalty (can’t remember what for) and *still* won Finals by 3 tenths. 

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7 hours ago, N.E. Brigand said:

In those five years, it was repeatedly said on these forums and elsewhere (even by the commentators on the cinema screenings) that Crown's percussion was weak, bad, faulty, deficient, imperfect, defective, inferior, poor, lame, inadequate, shoddy, and so forth.

Are these 2018 mid-season percussion scores too low? Were Crown's 2012-2016 Box 5 Finals percussion scores too high?

Or when people say that Crown's percussion as the 2012-2016 seasons ended was bad, is that a serious exaggeration?

When a corps is competing for a championship, as Crown often is, then the perception will be that 5th or 6th place in percussion is weak. If Crown was a 6th place corps most years then their percussion would fall in line and people would be cool with it.  Crown has fantastic percussion lines...even those that finished 6th or lower.  The top 12+ lines in DCI are usually very good.  Most high school and college bands would kill to have a line as good as most in the top 15 to 20 DCI standings.  So I think the term "good" and "bad" are thrown out too loosely, but this only happens because DCI is competitive and fans want their corps to win.  If a fan finds a supposed weakness with a corps they will often describe that element as bad or lacking or faulty or weak.  Fans tend to react to numbers given by judges because they see placement and winning and losing. 

So yes, lots of exaggeration going on when describing DCI's percussion and brass lines (guard too). 

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