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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Contests Showing Scores


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/50914

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soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/04/2019:  14:52:18


Most contests I've attended don't allow the contestants to see the scores. The only one I've been to where I know they post them for everyone to see is 1890s Day in Ringold, GA. Do you know of any others that show the scores?


Edited by - soppinthegravy on 04/04/2019 14:52:41

DougD - Posted - 04/04/2019:  16:30:00


I don't go to too many contests these days, but I don't think I've ever seen scores posted. I'm not sure I see what advantage there would be in doing that.

Cyndy - Posted - 04/04/2019:  20:57:36


Topanga in California sends scores to contestants—personal scores, winner’s scores (for comparison) and rank.

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/04/2019:  21:15:55


I've only seen it at one fiddle contest. From my perspective, it gives some insight into how the judges are voting and how the contestants can improve their playing.  It was only the total points for each contestant. Personally, I'd like to see a festival show the scores for individual criteria so I can tell whether my score is because of objective things like intonation or subjective things like taste. I like to know more than just 1st, 2nd and 3rd. If I'm 3rd, I want to see on paper the reason for placing 3rd instead of 4th, but that's just me. I'm not in to win as much as to learn how to be a better fiddler. 


quote:

Originally posted by DougD

I don't go to too many contests these days, but I don't think I've ever seen scores posted. I'm not sure I see what advantage there would be in doing that.






 


Edited by - soppinthegravy on 04/04/2019 21:16:35

carlb - Posted - 04/05/2019:  05:12:54


In the past, Clifftop did post scores, but someone, a number of years ago, started griping about theirs to the volunteers, at the table sign up table, and they stopped doing that. The volunteers didn't need that sort of crap.

gapbob - Posted - 04/05/2019:  11:29:52


quote:

Originally posted by carlb

In the past, Clifftop did post scores, but someone, a number of years ago, started griping about theirs to the volunteers, at the table sign up table, and they stopped doing that. The volunteers didn't need that sort of crap.






Yeah, that was unfortunate, it was nice to be able to know how I did in the contest, not that it means a lot.  Nowadays everyone gets to say they came in 6th at Clifftop.

mackeagan - Posted - 04/05/2019:  14:29:48


I'll second what Cyndy and Soppin said. I've been to several Scottish Fiddling Revival competitions, and we were always given a copy of our score sheets. Also if we asked, competitors could opt to just compete for the scores, as an evaluation of personal progress. I guess folks thought the judges to be fair, as I can't say I've ever heard anyone complain.

DougD - Posted - 04/05/2019:  14:42:33


If I were relying on contest judges to evaluate my fiddling skills or progress I'd immediately go and have my head examined. And I'm speaking as a (usually reluctant) sometime contest judge, who in fact helped award a blue riband to soppinthegravy (on banjo) last year.
Tommy Jarrell didn't enter contests, supposedly because Charlie Lowe, the best musician he knew, didn't compete, and I'm following Tommy's lead. I did watch the contest at Mt. Airy with him for awhile one afternoon, and his comments were instructive, more so than most judges.

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/05/2019:  17:01:21


You make a good point. I agree. I'm just trying to put together a list in case people need one. I think Flag Pond last year was the first time I saw you in person. I'm honored that you thought so much of my playing. Like many, I'm a big fan of Highwoods.


quote:

Originally posted by DougD

If I were relying on contest judges to evaluate my fiddling skills or progress I'd immediately go and have my head examined. And I'm speaking as a (usually reluctant) sometime contest judge, who in fact helped award a blue riband to soppinthegravy (on banjo) last year.

Tommy Jarrell didn't enter contests, supposedly because Charlie Lowe, the best musician he knew, didn't compete, and I'm following Tommy's lead. I did watch the contest at Mt. Airy with him for awhile one afternoon, and his comments were instructive, more so than most judges.






 

captainhook - Posted - 04/06/2019:  14:25:46


I can't see any point to a contest where you can't find out how you did. I used to (long ago) enter sheep shearing contests. The scores were always posted for all to see. Some parts were objective, some subjective. I didn't always totally agree, but never saw anybody get overly upset. I quit fiddle contests because I couldn't learn anything, or even find out how I placed.

farmerjones - Posted - 04/06/2019:  19:36:21


South Dakota fiddlers contest years ago. I was sent the judges sheets by mail, weeks later. Not much to be gleaned from them.

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/09/2019:  11:06:32


This gives rise to another question. How could judging sheets be better structured so the contestants can glean something from them? Also, did you see the other contestants' scores or just your own?


quote:

Originally posted by farmerjones

South Dakota fiddlers contest years ago. I was sent the judges sheets by mail, weeks later. Not much to be gleaned from them.






 

ChickenMan - Posted - 04/09/2019:  11:28:07


As someone who's participated in contests since high school band and chorus, I can say that sharing everyone's score is not the norm, but seeing one's own score sheet was not unusual. To be honest, most judging is subjective. Examples: several years ago, a "fiddle" contest judge penalized a friend for tapping their foot and told her so after the contest, in college another friend, after three years of college vocal contests only ever had one comment on his score sheets beyond the numbers written in the scoring boxes "when wearing a jacket with 3 buttons you should not button the bottom button." That was it. He always did well at contests but was a bit incredulous that the only comment he ever received was about his attire and not his singing. As a result of these two incidents, one person stopped caring about how well they did at fiddle contests (even stopped participating for a few years) and the other changed their major in college away from a music degree because it seems so frivolous and completely subjective.
I would worry less about it. Maybe have someone record your contest round so YOU can judge it for yourself. We're our own worst critic anyway.

farmerjones - Posted - 04/09/2019:  12:00:47


Indeed, the only thing i learned from fiddlers contests, is they are indeed subjective (polite term for 'sort a rigged'). Not really a good place to learn. Not the greatest for social aspects either. If the conest is within the festival, i treat it like a 'when in Rome. . . ' deal. If everybody is doing it, and it's freindly, sure. If everybody is shunning it, i keep jamming.

Didn't Groucho say, " I found a store where you can buy trophies, now I'm good at most everything."

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/09/2019:  12:45:55


The goal of getting rid of subjectivity and holding judges accountable is another of the reasons I want scores to be shown. Subjective judging leaves room for what a buddy of mine and I have often referred to as "home cooking" or a "good-ol' boys/girls contest", scoring people based on their clique.


quote:

Originally posted by ChickenMan

As someone who's participated in contests since high school band and chorus, I can say that sharing everyone's score is not the norm, but seeing one's own score sheet was not unusual. To be honest, most judging is subjective. Examples: several years ago, a "fiddle" contest judge penalized a friend for tapping their foot and told her so after the contest, in college another friend, after three years of college vocal contests only ever had one comment on his score sheets beyond the numbers written in the scoring boxes "when wearing a jacket with 3 buttons you should not button the bottom button." That was it. He always did well at contests but was a bit incredulous that the only comment he ever received was about his attire and not his singing. As a result of these two incidents, one person stopped caring about how well they did at fiddle contests (even stopped participating for a few years) and the other changed their major in college away from a music degree because it seems so frivolous and completely subjective.

I would worry less about it. Maybe have someone record your contest round so YOU can judge it for yourself. We're our own worst critic anyway.






 

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/09/2019:  12:50:00


To paraphrase the old saying, ... When in Rome, do as the Georgians do. Get it? Rome, Georgia. LOL


quote:

Originally posted by farmerjones

Indeed, the only thing i learned from fiddlers contests, is they are indeed subjective (polite term for 'sort a rigged'). Not really a good place to learn. Not the greatest for social aspects either. If the conest is within the festival, i treat it like a 'when in Rome. . . ' deal. If everybody is doing it, and it's freindly, sure. If everybody is shunning it, i keep jamming.



Didn't Groucho say, " I found a store where you can buy trophies, now I'm good at most everything."






 

ChickenMan - Posted - 04/09/2019:  17:12:03


My personal experience locally seems like "home cooking" since the winner is often the president of the Iowa Fiddler's Association who does have good tone but always plays one of more of those tunes banned from most contests ("Back up and Push" "OBS" "Listen to the Mockingbird" etc) where bowing tricks are the norm. Edit to add: this contest is not much like other contests out there as there are no tune restrictions, but there's still the conteststyle restrictions of Breakdown, waltz  tune of choice other than those two. Anyway, he seems a little stiff to me but the judges, who sit in chairs in front of the stage, literally ten feet from the contestants, seem to like that sort of thing. I watched a video from a news story where they interviewed a judge I played for and his comment was, "I'm listening for the chord changes and everything is done in a smooth fashion, that's what it's all about." Chord changes?!? So if you play without accompaniment I guess you are automatically S.O.L.  I've attached a video highlighting two Jr winners. The 2nd place guy has matured in his playing over the years. I even hired him to play for a dance my wife and I sponsored for our anniversary. Notice the tunes played.  



Jr division 1st and second



Nowadays, I only play this contest to show the audience there is more than one type of fiddle music; I never expect to place. 


Edited by - ChickenMan on 04/09/2019 17:15:56

Cyndy - Posted - 04/09/2019:  17:20:40


quote:

Originally posted by ChickenMan

Nowadays, I only play this contest to show the audience there is more than one type of fiddle music; I never expect to place. 






I think there's something to be said for that. One of the reasons I'm getting ready to play in the intermediate fiddle contest at Topanga again this year is because I like the idea of contributing an old-time tune. This year, if all goes well, I'll be accompanied by spoons! :)

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/10/2019:  15:27:41


Here's a little something I designed. It doesn't take genre/style into account. Thoughts?


Cyndy - Posted - 04/10/2019:  16:05:53


I haven't thought, in depth, about every box on the rubric, but overall, I like that approach a lot. It goes a long way toward putting everyone on the same page and, as a contestant, it would be very helpful to have this sort of feedback--especially, if the judges added a sentence or two of free-form comment at the bottom. Of course, the form would need to be tweaked to reflect the goals of whatever contest used it.

Old Scratch - Posted - 04/10/2019:  21:57:57


Hmmm - I'm not so sure about the importance of a "Thorough list of references with complete citations and annotations" ... !

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/10/2019:  22:22:27


Oh, crap. I forgot to delete that part. I made this using a template. LOL Just throw out page 3. Man, this is funny. It was supposed to be one page, but I screwed up, obviously. How 'bout this one?  


quote:

Originally posted by Old Scratch

Hmmm - I'm not so sure about the importance of a "Thorough list of references with complete citations and annotations" ... !






 


Cyndy - Posted - 04/10/2019:  22:44:17


As a genealogist, I personally think it's very important to cite one's sources. :)

And I think musicians who do should be given bonus points.

(Seriously, though. The few times I've played in contests, I've made a point to let the audience know where the tune came from because I think that's an important part of old-time music.)

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/10/2019:  23:33:16


I used to cite my sources all the time. Most times, I'd play a piece and simply credit my source. Other times, when I felt mischievous, I'd go up there and say something like "I'm gonna render y'all one called the 'Grey Eagle', but I ain't gonna play it like them Texas boys, and I ain't gonna play it like them Georgia boys, neither. We're gonna reach way back yonder and play a good'rn I picked up from..." I get tired of the guys who just state their tune with no indication of excitement about being there and those who play in the same manner. I always got the vibe that people get screwed based on their sources. I remember playing "Walking in my Sleep" with a band once when the bass player told me not to mention Arthur Smith,...but he copyrighted the tune. Thoughts? I always believed it's not the tune that matters, but how you play it.


quote:

Originally posted by Cyndy

As a genealogist, I personally think it's very important to cite one's sources. :)



And I think musicians who do should be given bonus points.



(Seriously, though. The few times I've played in contests, I've made a point to let the audience know where the tune came from because I think that's an important part of old-time music.)






 


Edited by - soppinthegravy on 04/10/2019 23:36:15

Cyndy - Posted - 04/11/2019:  07:55:30


Without a history and/or personal connection, it seems like a tune is just a tune. Most of them can stand on their own, right? And, if a contest is all about how a person plays a tune, then there's really no need for comment.

But, somehow, to me, that added dimension is important and if I'm playing for an audience, I want my offering to be more than just a demonstration of how I can play in the moment. I want to communicate how important the music that I'm sharing is to me.

Now, whether I'm able to do that is DEFINITELY up for question as, really, I'm just a run-of-the-mill old want-to-be. But, I have to try, best as I can, right? :)

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/11/2019:  12:01:22


That's part of my view. Tunes are just tunes. It's how you play them that matters. I definitely think that contests strip the soul out of the music. That said, my point is to draw a line between subjective and objective. If you can find a good way to make room for subjective elements in this format, please let me know. This rubric is just the calcified skeleton. Y'all are welcome to add cartilage. Does that make sense? I made it using a rubric template I found on Google.


Also , I'm personally shifting further away from naming my sources, since I realize I don't sound like them. Someone speak to implied that if I want to turn people onto my heroes, lecturing about their tunes when I'm still butchering them isn't the best idea. I see the fruit of that with a lot of reenactors.


quote:

Originally posted by Cyndy

Without a history and/or personal connection, it seems like a tune is just a tune. Most of them can stand on their own, right? And, if a contest is all about how a person plays a tune, then there's really no need for comment.



But, somehow, to me, that added dimension is important and if I'm playing for an audience, I want my offering to be more than just a demonstration of how I can play in the moment. I want to communicate how important the music that I'm sharing is to me.



Now, whether I'm able to do that is DEFINITELY up for question as, really, I'm just a run-of-the-mill old want-to-be. But, I have to try, best as I can, right? :)






 


Edited by - soppinthegravy on 04/11/2019 12:16:13

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/11/2019:  12:37:42


Same. This is kinda how our local contests used to be, but then, the "no showboating" rules and others came in, probably in an attempt to get rid of "home cooking", but it wound up giving the Texas contest style the chief advantage. I love Tommy Jarrell, but if I can only choose between Scotty Stoneman and Benny Thomasson, I prefer Scotty. That's just me. I used to be part of the Old-Time police and hated the type of stuff in that video, but now that it's gone, I love and miss it like an old friend who used to heckle me. Funny, huh? Like you say, I'm just entering to show people there's more than one kind of fiddle. Does that festival have a website?


quote:

Originally posted by ChickenMan

My personal experience locally seems like "home cooking" since the winner is often the president of the Iowa Fiddler's Association who does have good tone but always plays one of more of those tunes banned from most contests ("Back up and Push" "OBS" "Listen to the Mockingbird" etc) where bowing tricks are the norm. Edit to add: this contest is not much like other contests out there as there are no tune restrictions, but there's still the conteststyle restrictions of Breakdown, waltz  tune of choice other than those two. Anyway, he seems a little stiff to me but the judges, who sit in chairs in front of the stage, literally ten feet from the contestants, seem to like that sort of thing. I watched a video from a news story where they interviewed a judge I played for and his comment was, "I'm listening for the chord changes and everything is done in a smooth fashion, that's what it's all about." Chord changes?!? So if you play without accompaniment I guess you are automatically S.O.L.  I've attached a video highlighting two Jr winners. The 2nd place guy has matured in his playing over the years. I even hired him to play for a dance my wife and I sponsored for our anniversary. Notice the tunes played.  



Jr division 1st and second



Nowadays, I only play this contest to show the audience there is more than one type of fiddle music; I never expect to place. 






 


Edited by - soppinthegravy on 04/11/2019 12:40:49

TuneWeaver - Posted - 04/11/2019:  12:53:47


I have NOT read most of the comments on this topic...but the first thing that comes to mind for me would be that the judges should NOT get to see the contestant....or know anything about the contestant... Would that help a judge be objective??? Could the judge, knowing the fiddler be influenced? ( is this off topic?).

Old Scratch - Posted - 04/11/2019:  13:16:28


"I get tired of the guys who just state their tune with no indication of excitement about being there"

In the traditions I cut my teeth in (Cape Breton/Prince Edward Island/Metis), it wasn't cool to indicate excitement about being anywhere, much less talk about the tunes, or anything else. You got up with a straight face, played, then walked away like you were going to see a man about a dog. That's changed quite a bit in recent years; there's been a lot of show-biz influence.

DougD - Posted - 04/11/2019:  14:06:28


When I was active in fiddle conrests at Galax, Union Grove, and other smaller ones in that area in the 1970's it was discouraged or even prohibited to say anything on stage. I don't think people like Benton Flippen or Earnest East aspired to be musicologists or cultural historians. Its not open mic night at the Comedy Cellar or a history class - its a fiddle contest. At contests where there's an emphasis on local or regional traditions the judges are chosen because they are familiar with those traditions - they don't need people demonstating that there are "other styles" of fiddling. Save that for the parking lot or your back porch. Also judging can be a long and sometimes tedious day. Anything that moves things along is probably appreciated, while things that slow it down may be resented.

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/11/2019:  14:16:08


Does "going to see a man about a dog" mean the same thing in Canada as it does in the USA? LOL!


quote:

Originally posted by Old Scratch

"I get tired of the guys who just state their tune with no indication of excitement about being there"



In the traditions I cut my teeth in (Cape Breton/Prince Edward Island/Metis), it wasn't cool to indicate excitement about being anywhere, much less talk about the tunes, or anything else. You got up with a straight face, played, then walked away like you were going to see a man about a dog. That's changed quite a bit in recent years; there's been a lot of show-biz influence.






 

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/11/2019:  14:20:34


I'd say you hit the nail right on the head. There's a lot to be said for that point of view. 


quote:

Originally posted by DougD

When I was active in fiddle conrests at Galax, Union Grove, and other smaller ones in that area in the 1970's it was discouraged or even prohibited to say anything on stage. I don't think people like Benton Flippen or Earnest East aspired to be musicologists or cultural historians. Its not open mic night at the Comedy Cellar or a history class - its a fiddle contest. At contests where there's an emphasis on local or regional traditions the judges are chosen because they are familiar with those traditions - they don't need people demonstating that there are "other styles" of fiddling. Save that for the parking lot or your back porch. Also judging can be a long and sometimes tedious day. Anything that moves things along is probably appreciated, while things that slow it down may be resented.






 

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/11/2019:  15:18:12


I can name a guy whom I consider a true-vine musician who it appears did aspire to one or both of those things, but I never knew any of them, so I'm not sure whether he was like Earnest East or Benton Flippen.


Bascom Lamar Lunsford. Seeing David Hoffman's films about/related to him is what made me interested in those fields. He had his biases and agendas, but don't we all, whether we realize it or not? The footage I've seen of Berry C. Williams in Blaine Dunlap's "Showdown at the Hoedown" reminds me of Bascom. I think my trouble is that I have a similar personality and opinions about music to those guys.


quote:

Originally posted by DougD

 I don't think people like Benton Flippen or Earnest East aspired to be musicologists or cultural historians.






 


Edited by - soppinthegravy on 04/11/2019 15:18:54

Cyndy - Posted - 04/11/2019:  16:48:13


quote:

Originally posted by DougD

At contests where there's an emphasis on local or regional traditions the judges are chosen because they are familiar with those traditions - they don't need people demonstating that there are "other styles" of fiddling. 






I can definitely see that point, too. In a contest that emphasizes a particular style, it seems like there's no need to go on and on about a tune that most people know--and know about--and play.



There's no need to go on and on in any performance situation, right? I mean, let's get on with it! But I think in some situations (like the contest I'm planning to participate in that will include a number of genres) a little bit of context can help an uninformed audience have a better chance of appreciating what's being played.



One of my all-time favorite things is to hear Erynn Marshall say "I'm going to play French Carpenter's Old Christmas Morning" from the Clifftop stage. To me, there's love in her voice and it really warms my old-time heart. :) youtube.com/watch?v=j3t6AVKt43k



 

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/11/2019:  19:54:49


She's the real deal, and just as nice as that warm intro suggests. We need more fiddlers like Erynn. She's got that good mix of taste and exuberance. I enjoy the fiddle but I look like it's killing me. Erynn, on the other hand, reminds me of Clayton McMichen saying he always tried to make it look like a fiddle was the easiest thing in the world to play. quote:

Originally posted by Cyndy

quote:

Originally posted by DougD

At contests where there's an emphasis on local or regional traditions the judges are chosen because they are familiar with those traditions - they don't need people demonstating that there are "other styles" of fiddling. 






I can definitely see that point, too. In a contest that emphasizes a particular style, it seems like there's no need to go on and on about a tune that most people know--and know about--and play.



There's no need to go on and on in any performance situation, right? I mean, let's get on with it! But I think in some situations (like the contest I'm planning to participate in that will include a number of genres) a little bit of context can help an uninformed audience have a better chance of appreciating what's being played.



One of my all-time favorite things is to hear Erynn Marshall say "I'm going to play French Carpenter's Old Christmas Morning" from the Clifftop stage. To me, there's love in her voice and it really warms my old-time heart. :) youtube.com/watch?v=j3t6AVKt43k



 






 

Old Scratch - Posted - 04/11/2019:  20:36:11


@soppinthegravy Does "going to see a man about a dog" mean the same thing in Canada as it does in the USA? LOL!

Well ... come to think of it, I don't know if it is actually used much in Canada - I don't know where I picked up that expression. When I was about 19, I bought a very big, used, American dictionary that had a mini-dictionary of slang appended, which I studied. It had great terms like, "Adam & Eve on a raft" - which was said to be "restaurant jargon" for two poached eggs on one slice of toast. That's the kind of thing I was filling my head with while other guys were learning engineering, accounting, and auto mechanics. Then I picked up the fiddle.

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/11/2019:  22:13:55


I just see "Canada" under your name. What province do you hail from? One of my best friends is from Quebec. He turned me onto a lot of music. Everything from Stanley, to Caruso, to Zappa. LOL


quote:

Originally posted by Old Scratch

@soppinthegravy Does "going to see a man about a dog" mean the same thing in Canada as it does in the USA? LOL!



Well ... come to think of it, I don't know if it is actually used much in Canada - I don't know where I picked up that expression. When I was about 19, I bought a very big, used, American dictionary that had a mini-dictionary of slang appended, which I studied. It had great terms like, "Adam & Eve on a raft" - which was said to be "restaurant jargon" for two poached eggs on one slice of toast. That's the kind of thing I was filling my head with while other guys were learning engineering, accounting, and auto mechanics. Then I picked up the fiddle.






 

Old Scratch - Posted - 04/11/2019:  22:57:51


@soppinthegravy I'm in Calgary, Alberta, now - but I've lived all over the country. Started out in Nova Scotia, grew up in Ontario .... Spent a few years in Quebec .....

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/12/2019:  00:33:37


Agreed.


quote:

Originally posted by TuneWeaver

I have NOT read most of the comments on this topic...but the first thing that comes to mind for me would be that the judges should NOT get to see the contestant....or know anything about the contestant... Would that help a judge be objective??? Could the judge, knowing the fiddler be influenced? ( is this off topic?).






 

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/12/2019:  01:14:02


I'd like to add that a lot of the places where I try to show them something different are contests where they're not really judging according to the tradition. There are festivals where the rules clearly state that the judges are supposed to favor Appalachian, Old-Time styles, but they don't. That's part of why I think scores and judges names and comments should be public, making it harder for them to cook the books. There are a lot of contests where they don't want to shell out the necessary money for qualified judges, so they get Joe Blow, who I assume doesn't read the rules or use the score sheet. I agree with you about curtailing the talking. It's not an easy task for a talkative guy, but I like to think I've managed to rein myself in a little better over the years. LOL


 posted by DougD

When I was active in fiddle conrests at Galax, Union Grove, and other smaller ones in that area in the 1970's it was discouraged or even prohibited to say anything on stage. I don't think people like Benton Flippen or Earnest East aspired to be musicologists or cultural historians. Its not open mic night at the Comedy Cellar or a history class - its a fiddle contest. At contests where there's an emphasis on local or regional traditions the judges are chosen because they are familiar with those traditions - they don't need people demonstating that there are "other styles" of fiddling. Save that for the parking lot or your back porch. Also judging can be a long and sometimes tedious day. Anything that moves things along is probably appreciated, while things that slow it down may be resented.






 


Edited by - soppinthegravy on 04/12/2019 01:15:47

Old Scratch - Posted - 04/12/2019:  09:35:34


Don't you think maybe the problem is contests themselves? Why do you want contests? (That's a rhetorical question.)

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/12/2019:  15:36:06


I don't, but it's easier to get people on board for a contest than square-dance events, for some reason. I wish would put athe least a quarter of the energy they put into dance contests into starting community square dances.


quote:

Originally posted by Old Scratch

Don't you think maybe the problem is contests themselves? Why do you want contests? (That's a rhetorical question.)






 


Edited by - soppinthegravy on 04/12/2019 15:46:02

Old Scratch - Posted - 04/12/2019:  17:08:16


In Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island, there's a great tradition of fiddle festivals: everyone gathers at an outdoor stage or in a hall, and one fiddler after another gets up and plays for 10-15 minutes - sometimes it's by invitation; other times, there's just a sign-up sheet. Usually there are a couple of 'guest stars' hired from outside the immediate area. Sometimes it's for a few hours, sometimes for a couple of days. But there's no competition; no announcement of who's better than whom. Just lots of good fiddling!

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/16/2019:  06:07:56


Posting a little something to keep this thread going, I have seen many music and dance contests where people were/are judged on their dress.

farmerjones - Posted - 04/16/2019:  12:01:41


Bares to say Weiser, one of the proclaimed national champioships, the judges are in another isolated room, and only know a contestant by number only. Contestants dont speak. The announcer introduces the tunes. Probably as fare as can be.
Its human nature, that if a judges knows a contestant, the contestant is not only judged by the immediate tunes, but also potential and/or reputation, both good or bad.
It was Mark O'Connor himself that said the edge goes to whomever plays what a judge likes. I've always felt that to be an investment in time i was unwilling to make. I.e. There are folks that participate in the Iowa State Fair fiddlers contest year after year. While i've done it a few times, it's never been a priority. It requires a three hour drive, and at least an overnight stay. Add up gas, hotel, food, entry fee, DesMoines summer heat and traffic, etc. I would maybe do it again, but it's a big maybe.

DougD - Posted - 04/16/2019:  12:43:03


And look what happened at Weiser. Despite whatever "objective" rules and methods it might have in place, it became a Mecca for Texas "contest" style, I think largely because one individual, a very good fiddler, moved to the Pacific Northwest.
Here's a list of past winners at Weiser, so you can see what I mean: fiddlecontest.org/past-winners-2/


Edited by - DougD on 04/16/2019 12:48:11

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/16/2019:  13:53:56


Sad, isn't it? I wonder if that's just going to be the nature of things, no matter what. I never knew that guy who moved there, but from what I've heard about him, I think he would be mad to hear that everyone plays the same style, because the main point of what he was doing was innovation. The same can be said for Scruggs-style banjo. It reminds me of what the villain from one of the Disney-Pixar films said: "When everyone's super, noone will be." 


quote:

Originally posted by DougD

And look what happened at Weiser. Despite whatever "objective" rules and methods it might have in place, it became a Mecca for Texas "contest" style, I think largely because one individual, a very good fiddler, moved to the Pacific Northwest.

Here's a list of past winners at Weiser, so you can see what I mean: fiddlecontest.org/past-winners-2/






 

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/18/2019:  14:29:20


Here's a further simplified rubric boiling things down to the essentials.


TuneWeaver - Posted - 04/18/2019:  14:39:40


Here is an idea.. How about a contest where all entrants play the same tunes, say, a series of three tunes..???

I've often wanted (but never have) to walk around festivals and ask fiddlers to play their version of Turkey in the Straw, or Martha Campbell and compare them when I got home...I know, I know, just another hairbrained idea but THINK about it.. ..


Edited by - TuneWeaver on 04/18/2019 14:41:08

soppinthegravy - Posted - 04/18/2019:  16:12:20


I'd like to see that as well. Sure, it's possible that we might get sick of hearing the same tune, but that limitation might help spur some creativity. Frankly, I think people need to stick to the classics. 


quote:

Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Here is an idea.. How about a contest where all entrants play the same tunes, say, a series of three tunes..???

I've often wanted (but never have) to walk around festivals and ask fiddlers to play their version of Turkey in the Straw, or Martha Campbell and compare them when I got home...I know, I know, just another hairbrained idea but THINK about it.. ..






 


Edited by - soppinthegravy on 04/18/2019 16:28:54

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