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wolfgang

Hypothetical brass judging experiment

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As an experiment, it would be interesting if some of the people who judge the British Brass Band Championships were allowed to judge brass at a DCI show. Would their rankings mirror those of the current DCI judges, or would the approach they are used to yield different results?

 

Not that this would happen, but just to see what a group of competent evaluators with minimal preconceptions would do.

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34 minutes ago, wolfgang said:

As an experiment, it would be interesting if some of the people who judge the British Brass Band Championships were allowed to judge brass at a DCI show. Would their rankings mirror those of the current DCI judges, or would the approach they are used to yield different results?

 

Not that this would happen, but just to see what a group of competent evaluators with minimal preconceptions would do.

 Good question.. guess we'll never know. Likewise, if the DCI Brass judges. judged the Brittish Brass Band Championships, would their rankings mirror the Brittish Brass Band rankings there at their Championships, or would their approach yield different results ? I'm not really up on whether or not the Brittish Brass Line evaluation system is identical or not with the DCI Brass Caption judging system. if its not the same evaluative process and yardstick utilized, then naturally one would assume a degree of variance in the results. On the other hand, if the brass evaluation criteria is the same, the results might be close to the same. It might be worth noting too however, that DCI Brass judges don't always agree on DCI Corps Brass rankings/ scores among even themselves sometimes either.

Edited by BRASSO
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Having been a DCI brass caption head (Cadets,  Crown and Glassmen) and also a conductor of a professional level British Brass Band (Imperial Brass).  I am sure the training could be done for either side of the pond to learn the ins and outs of judging for the opposite circuit.  The fundamental difference in  judging brass bands is that timbres are conceptualized differently than we do here with outdoor pageantry.  It is not about the pyramid of sound as much as it is about each section having their own distinct timbre and blends as a whole.  Also the whole use of vibrato is always a conversation to be had among judges.  

For British brass judges coming over to DCI; I believe the challenge would be teaching them how to ##### and reward simultaneous demands that are inherent in the visual design and how that plays into overall.

The one thing both circuits have in common is excellence and technical proficiency.  Both cultures revere and reward displays of these skills and I would consider it to be universal.

*Last thing to keep in mind is the idea of "test pieces".  I would love for the idea of DCI to have compulsory competition...maybe at Allentown in the park or on Wednesday of finals week.  

Imagine is there was a figure 8 basics block or "move & play" circle drill competition.  Or some sort of color guard 1-2 minute choregraphed piece that everyone had to perform?  Drum lines kind of have their parking lot thing...imagine if it moved into a competition format?

Sorry to pontificating as I rarely go on this forum...but this was an interesting post.

Just some food for thought.

Anyway...I am happily retired from the activity.....and just enjoy watching my past students teach, design and march.  

Sincerely,

Larry

 

 

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20 hours ago, Ageout90 said:

*Last thing to keep in mind is the idea of "test pieces".  I would love for the idea of DCI to have compulsory competition...maybe at Allentown in the park or on Wednesday of finals week. 

Love what compulsories would accomplish.  It would be all about execution, which is something the MMs have complete control over... instead of design/GE.  

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Test pieces were mentioned ("Trittico" anyone?). Listening to various bands play them in a contest can be rather illuminating as to what sections of a band are strong, weak, or whether the whole band is capable. It also sheds light on the conductor and the various band's musicality and creative thought.

 

The minimal preconceptions aspect... well...something else to consider here-- Keep in mind the judges are behind an opaque screen and can't see the band perform. The announcer of the contest refers to them as "Band number three", for instance and will quote the concert selections and in what order, or introduce each piece. The Brits were very concerned about reputations of various organizations affecting the judge's impressions, hence the whole blind listen.

 

One of the issues there ... keep in mind the Brass bands have identical instrumentation and numbers. The ensembles pretty much the same with very little nuance in overall timbre, blend unless someone's really... not good, or exceptional. Many people say that the difference between various DCI brass sections have diminished, but Crown, Cadets, Blue Coats, Phantom, and Devils have certain sonic footprints and certain arranging techniques that would give them away very quickly, screen or no screen.

 

In terms of a good listen to a great test piece, I recommend doing a search for "Trittico Merum-Roermund" and listen to their 2005 1st place test piece rendition or it at the world championships. Curnow was one of the judges. A real feather in the cap for them in that aspect, even though they lost overall to Ratby Co-Op for the overall title.

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4 hours ago, Ediker said:

Love what compulsories would accomplish.  It would be all about execution, which is something the MMs have complete control over... instead of design/GE.  

Were not compulsories something DCI eliminated when they stepped away from American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars requirements back in 1972? 

One set of these championships dictated cadence levels. When Soundcoast Sound was originally The Band of Gold from Largo, Florida (a nice Gulfcoast suburb outside of Tampa and Clearwater Beach)  and competed in the summer national veterans band championships run in conjunction with the veterans drum corps championships akin to how DCI does Soundsport alongside drum corps championships, they had to perform set compulsorary pieces before doing their field show; so too for other units. Drum corps that didn't do Flag Presentations had to pay the penalties. Color Guards had to do 3 moving fronts of the full ensemble for sixteen forward moving steps PLUS either the manual of arms or the posting of the National colors (and all other flags as well.) It seems what goes around, comes around; if you keep an old suit/dress in the closet long enough, it comes back in style (ask Bloo.)

Perhaps the young theoreticians who joined the activity after 1972 A.D. might find some history research and digging quite a surprise to how we got to where we are in 21st century drum corps

Edited by xandandl

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23 hours ago, xandandl said:

Were not compulsories something DCI eliminated when they stepped away from American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars requirements back in 1972?  

Yes, one of the many reasons they did. And DCA in 1964. Inspections, etc. etc. etc.

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A lot of similarities and certainly some major differences. Without much training or explaining, I believe British Brass Band judges would lean toward corps who perform highly demanding music with technical proficiency and some flash. The visual side of things would not mean much to them, nor would taking into account simultaneous demand in body movement and music making. It would be what their ears tell them in terms of arrangement and performance. I still think corps like Crown, SCV, BD, and Bluecoats from this past year would impress them. I think they would be wise enough to take into consideration all the movement and physical demand.  My guess is some of these judges and performers follow a little drum corps. 

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On 9/22/2018 at 1:40 PM, BigW said:

Yes, one of the many reasons they did. And DCA in 1964. Inspections, etc. etc. etc.

I loved inspections. NOT.  :tongue: So open to gamesmanship to avoid an inspection tick.

I also remember a "cadence" requirement... shows had to be within a certain BPM frame, from what I recall. Perhaps Mike Davis can fill us in more on what that was all about.

Edited by Fran Haring

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24 minutes ago, Fran Haring said:

I loved inspections. NOT.  :tongue: So open to gamesmanship to avoid an inspection tick.

I also remember a "cadence" requirement... shows had to be within a certain BPM frame, from what I recall. Perhaps Mike Davis can fill us in more on what that was all about.

Yes, at one time the music had to fall within a specific tempo range, which can explain how sometimes, pieces became stilted. I heard a dub off of a 78 of the Westshoremen's VFW title and it was explained to me that was one of the reasons certain sections sounded very contrived.

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