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Competition or Showmanship?

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.. Competition or Showmanship?

Post by stormy on Sat 6 Sep - 0:10:00

Over the past week I have watched many clips on various sites of Piping Live, The Worlds and Cowal.
I personally view Piping Live as a "showcase" event where bands can show to the public and also to the piping world just how far the pipes can be taken as a musical instrument. By "bands" I also include the drum corps in this.
I consider the Worlds and Cowal to be serious competitions where the "technicalities" of playing these instruments in the pipe band context are brought out to full potential.
I find it difficult to accept the "showmanship" of twirling tenor sticks, pipers turning out from the circle, "fanfares" rather than clean breaks between time signatures etc, etc in a competition environment.
Am I just being "old fashioned" or is there now becoming a need for a "showmanship" judge at major competitions?

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.. Re: Competition or Showmanship?

Post by janelle on Sat 6 Sep - 3:12:36

For me, the short answers is, no, it's not needed at the majors. However, I've never considered flourishing to be showmanship, instead, an interpretation of the music. As a part of the tenor drummers skills, naturally there will be a lot more at a the highest level.
As for the break between time signatures, there is nothing like a clean crisp break from one to another and a lift in tempo to send a tingle up your spine.
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.. Re: Competition or Showmanship?

Post by True_Blue_Piper on Sat 6 Sep - 12:52:57

....the fanfares are becoming ridiculous.
One a medley, fine....but no more.
The same with the harmonies....do they really have to be played almost every damn tune?
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.. Re: Competition or Showmanship?

Post by stormy on Sun 7 Sep - 13:00:30

janelle wrote:I've never considered flourishing to be showmanship, instead, an interpretation of the music.

Janelle, I don't mean to be awkward by any means but could you explain this further.
Is a Drum Major who throws his Mace also interpreting the music?

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.. Re: Competition or Showmanship?

Post by janelle on Sun 7 Sep - 16:48:18

You've made me stop and think now!
No i don't consider the Drum Major flourishes as interpretation of the music. He's either giving commands or commanding attention with his skill of mace flourishing.
Tenor drummers are taught that each flourish should be a visual interpretation of the music. Not required but a nice touch. So based on that principle, yes, it is a form of showmanship. Your point well made.
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.. Re: Competition or Showmanship?

Post by stormy on Sun 7 Sep - 17:25:58

janelle wrote:.....Not required but a nice touch.

So if a tenor or bass drummer efs up the flourishing and misses the beat......when he / she does not need to flourish......and costs the band points.....and the band is second in G1 rather then 1st.........I think you get my point.

If flourishing is not required then why do it in a competition and if it is the "done thing these days" then why not judge it?

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.. Re: Competition or Showmanship?

Post by tankiedrummie on Mon 8 Sep - 12:16:51

Tenor drum flourishing has always been a part of playing tenor in a drum corps, not just in pipe bands but in brass and other military bands. I think it should be judged at competition, I also think that there should be a max number of tenors enforced, I really like Shotts but they are starting to take the p""h with the amount of tenors.

In conclusion, Tenor drum flourishing should be judged on in competition. Whilst on the subject of competition who thinks that the marking system is wrong it is , to my understanding, 66% of the marks for piping and 33% for drumming? your views Stormy et all.....
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.. Re: Competition or Showmanship?

Post by stormy on Tue 9 Sep - 21:32:23

tankiedrummie wrote:Tenor drum flourishing has always been a part of playing tenor in a drum corps.............to my understanding, 66% of the marks for piping and 33% for drumming?

You are quite correct and I love watching the "spectacle", but that is what it is, a spectacle / showmanship.
I cannot recall "flourishing" in the competition circle being as prevelant as it is today.
It's another thing to go wrong when it is not required. Try explaining to your bandmates you never got the 1st prize cause you messed up the flourishing and missed a beat. The flourishing is not judged but surely missing a beat would be picked up by the drumming judge.

Keep it for shows and non-competitive situations.



The marking system changed some years ago and if you are correct then it does appear to be biased to the pipe corp. Considering the size of bands these days maybe it needs to be looked at again, particularly for G1.

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.. Re: Competition or Showmanship?

Post by tankiedrummie on Wed 10 Sep - 0:31:30

[quote="but surely missing a beat would be picked up by the drumming judge."
[/quote]

Oh my sides are splitting.... laughing Competing this year reminded me why I stopped competing in the first place. Judges have there top 6 already picked and hardly listen to the rest. Just look at 3a at the worlds this year, some decent judging there not.
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.. Re: Competition or Showmanship?

Post by stormy on Wed 10 Sep - 20:13:21

tankiedrummie wrote:Judges have there top 6 already picked and hardly listen to the rest.

Yer kiddin ne oan surely, is that right??????? laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing

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.. Re: Competition or Showmanship?

Post by Gordy88 on Wed 10 Sep - 20:50:57

stormy wrote:

The marking system changed some years ago and if you are correct then it does appear to be biased to the pipe corp. Considering the size of bands these days maybe it needs to be looked at again, particularly for G1.

And quite right too,

It is a pipe band after all

The split is 50% pipes, 25% drums(of all persuasion) and 25% ensemble, this is supposed to be the band judged as a complete musical unit, but this rarely happens, usually the ensemble judge (understandably) leans toward his own discipline, I would like to see Ensemble judged by a certified musician from another branch of music used here, an Accordianist for example, or someone with an orchestral background


Stormy, you are right about the judging, it does need looked at, as do the judges, the placings, the vested interests, the crazy swings between judges we see all the time, the mass of inconsistancies we see week in and week out,

It won't happen in our lifetime laughing

cheers
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.. Re: Competition or Showmanship?

Post by DavidH on Thu 11 Sep - 3:24:37

I agree with Janelle's take on the flourishing, that it is a visual interpretation of the music. To really pick up on that, you have to focus on the tenor corps and really watch what they are doing.

Stormy, you have a good point that if one flourish is f*cked up and a judge catches it, it can be costly. But that is no different than any other sort of f*ckup by any piper or drummer. They happen, sometimes at a price, other times not.

Is the flourishing not judged as part of the ensemble, or at least intended to be?

I think there is actually less flourishing in higher levels of competition now than in the past. Take, for example, Andy Miller, a fabulous wee tenor drummer for Clan MacFarlane. He flourished very openly and continually, as did others that I recall seeing, and pretty much the same no matter the tune.

These days there is a lot more rhythm played to accent the music, usually on 3-4 different pitched drums. The flourishes tend to be short and quick, making a visual point in the music. Believe me, it's a whole lot harder to learn and get that right than it is to use a uniform style of flourishing.
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.. Re: Competition or Showmanship?

Post by stormy on Fri 12 Sep - 21:13:51

DavidH wrote:I agree with Janelle's take on the flourishing, that it is a visual interpretation of the music.................Stormy, you have a good point that if one flourish is f*cked up and a judge catches it, it can be costly. But that is no different than any other sort of f*ckup by any piper or drummer. They happen, sometimes at a price, other times not.

I'd love to watch ONE tenor drummer "interpretate" Scotland the Brave and Greenwoodside (both 4/4's) and Barren Rocks, Highland Laddie (both 2/4's). Could you tell which tune they were playing just by watching the flourishing???

My whole point is that flourishing is NOT REQUIRED, piping and drumming (snares if you like ARE!). Why take tha chance of effing up on something that is not required?
Either judge the flourishing in competition or leave it out and concentrate on the drum score.

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.. Re: Competition or Showmanship?

Post by stormy on Fri 12 Sep - 21:17:00

Gordy88 wrote:The split is 50% pipes, 25% drums(of all persuasion) and 25% ensemble, this is supposed to be the band judged as a complete musical unit, but this rarely happens,

If memory serves me correct this is how the judging used to be but this system was changed.
That is why it rarely happens......it's impossible under the present system!!

I stand to be corrected on this.

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.. Re: Competition or Showmanship?

Post by Gordy88 on Sat 13 Sep - 14:26:32

stormy wrote:
Gordy88 wrote:The split is 50% pipes, 25% drums(of all persuasion) and 25% ensemble, this is supposed to be the band judged as a complete musical unit, but this rarely happens,

If memory serves me correct this is how the judging used to be but this system was changed.
That is why it rarely happens......it's impossible under the present system!!

I stand to be corrected on this.

I have always assumed that because there are 2 piping judges, 1 drums and 1 ensemble, that it is a 50/25/25 split, the mark they give makes up a quarter of the bands final tally

A matter of how you look at it,

In an ensemleless competition, it is always judged on piping preference, yet ensemble carries the day when it is there,

Is this for a musical reason? or is it because there is only one judge doing it, so there can't be a tie?

I don't know, but would appreciate if someone did know that reason

cheers
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.. Re: Competition or Showmanship?

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