Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
Challenge to the pan fraternity,governing body of pan,arrangers,leaders and players. Why aren't computers used to judge pan competitions? Why are pans not amplified so they can hold their own on the streets at carnival time. If these issues are addressed successfully pan can regain the throne of carnival.
I don't think we are advanced enough at this point to have computers judge pan competitions...in the future maybe , but not now because there are too many variables. What makes a good arrangement? It's a subject open for debate due to interpretation ...however a computer can check the execution of an arrangement if it has the score inputted and each pan is mic'd...but that's a lot of work for each band.
The solution for amplified pans maybe midi pans like the E-Pan, etc....just plug them into an amp and you should be good to go.
Now Robots to judge Panorama??? What next?
The problem with pan on the road at Carnival time is not only about the bands themselves but the competition they are forced to deal with. First of all, the music trucks blasting music on Carnival are are too loud, so the pan, amplified or not,will never be able to compete. The second aspect about pan that we seem all to have forgotten is that pan emerged out of the experiences first of ordinary but very bright and and creative individuals. There were and still are passion,emotional responses and natural musical genius in pan. Take these out and the result is mechanical,even when it is musically sound. The third and most obvious, and this why pan on the road seems to be dying, the band and its music and its rhythms must connect with the people around it. We have all but lost the community band and the pans are now carried on trucks high above the people who, in spite of everything, still love pan music with a passion.
Here is the problem with judging any art form, (musical, visual, performing or literary').
In sports , you can time and measure performance ie. the fastest, strongest, etc, This is true of many other areas of life, things and actions can be timed, weighed and measured. But when you try to apply that to the arts/music it becomes irrelevant. Ok, you can have criteria: so many runs-so many key changes-clarity-balance-spirit of carnival, but no matter how skilled , and impartial, the judges are, the judging of art/music is always subjective. Ultimately: It is what you like and furthermore, it is the intangible qualities that make a work of art or a piece of music great
It is also humanly impossible, to listen attentively and with a clear mind for 6-7 hours at a stretch. At some point, your mind "goes shopping" or just calls 'time out' in fits and starts. Which it why it is important to have a judges conference before announcing the final results. Numbers alone cannot yield a fair, or even reasonable. result.
And here is another problem with the judging of art: by striving to perform within the prescribed criteria and pleasing the judges, innovation, adventure and flair are gradually stifled and the music becomes institutionalized."There are not' too many' but an infinite number of 'variables' in panorama tunes. Computers will be able to judge pan when it is played by computers. Not before.
Thank you Lilian. Excellent contribution. "......it is important to have a judges conference before announcing the final results. Numbers alone cannot yield a fair, or even reasonable. result."
I don't think any arranger would object to this especially with your salient point expressed in your final paragraph.
Computers? Technology is no silver bullet. Only a human can judge the expression of another human, even if it is subject to their own whims and tastes. Judging of any art always has been, and always will be, subjective. Really, the only competition in which you will get an objective victory is sports, and even that is often subject to a certain level of human interpretation.