Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
The following was forwarded to When Steel Talks by veteran arranger Pelham Goddard
Pelham Goddard challenges the qualifications of the judges
It is the view of the public-at-large that panorama music today has become the judges' piece and does not have the sound and feel of arrangers' music of long ago. Recently I read a comment on When Steel Talks in which the person spoke about the real panorama hit tunes of years gone by.
Pan Trinbago is conducting seminars in which arrangers meet with the judges who will guide the arrangers in producing their work for the market. This is bordering on insanity since these very judges are unqualified to guide any arranger as they are generally NOT arrangers. Judges are usually selected from musicians whose specialties and certifications do not include arranging, orchestration and composition. How then can these judges guide arrangers who are, more likely than not, more skilled than they in the area of arranging?
Arrangers are usually more knowledgeable and creative than the judges since they must know all their chords, harmonic progressions, voicings in all keys, counter melodies, counterpoint, modulations and so on. I will like to see or to hear or, as a matter of fact, go to where these judges perform their work; at the least, they should provide examples to the arrangers.
This has always been happening in Caiso music we used to laugh about it saying that some calypsonians like to
arrange the arranger....meanwhile some of them don't even know what key they are singing in....same thing with panorama
judges...we need to set up a forum where we would audition the judges by asking them some basic musical questions like
questions about key signatures and different intervals and other basic and elementary questions about music theory that if you can't answer these questions you can't be a judge also we don't nuture and take care of our elders ....which is where our
judges should come from.
“Some say Panorama is not a “music festival” as such. I agree. It is more than that. It is a celebration of our Carnival music—created, arranged and played by our musicians on our national instrument with set rules and allocation of points.
Choice of tune, which comprises theme and lyrics, even as it carries no points, is one of two effective viewpoints psychologically factored-in in its adjudication. Theme and lyrics can assist an arranger to shape his interpretation, eg, Renegades’ Bee’s Melody, Mystery Band; Exodus’ War, All Stars’ Curry Tabanca, to name an instantly recognizable few. The other effective viewpoint is crowd response.”
This was the opening two paragraphs of my letter to the Trinidad Guardian’s Editor in 2007 opinions which I hold fast today.
As a result, I agree with the all those who oppose ‘foreign’ judges for they underscored the points made above. What I am about to propose may have been discussed before – I don’t know and it may well be considered inane but, for what it’s worth, I’ll throw the general idea into the ring anyway:
Whilst I am aware time for an arranger is of the essence, would three five-hour sessions really hamper any arranger bearing in mind that those qualified for the finals would automatically be exempted?
Jeff jeff nuff respect to you bro, but you have some catching up to do all of the judges know theory of music, and they allways have seminars that has been going on for decades,some arrangers in Kaiso know less than the kaisonian, I have been both and I gave two arrangers to score one song each, I had to scrap the first one and write it myself, the other one did pretty ok and added some nice flavour to my bassline, If they ask you leston or pelham to judge a panorama would you accept the harsh way people are using the broad brush on the judges when the results are a tally of the points and not a general reflection of all the judges in totality, Smooth was a judge in New York when Yohan Popwell arranged the winning song for Sonatas, they deserved to win but the element of bias was possible especially when he was the one that recomended Popwell, what is to prevent a judge from being higly favoured to a particular band simply because it reflected his or her personal taste, Mackie Burnette made a bake at our house he liked it and said "only Raymond (my roomates son) and Pascall (the house pet dog) liked my bake" point is If I like red and one contestant where red I will pick red even if it is half baked, that is a natural reflex, or in the case of a judge being affiliated with a group might mark them hard so to avoid being called biased this also happens
WHY WHY WHY WHY CAN"T GET OVERS THIS JUDGING THING IT IS A WASTE OF TIME, LOOK AT SOME OLD BOXING TAPES THAT WERE JUDGED SLOW THEM DOWN AND SOME OF THE WINNERS WERE ON THE RECIEVING END BUT THE RESULTS WERE MERELY A POINT OF VIEW AND HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FIGHT AND EVEN THOUGH THE LOSER MAY BE POPULAR WITH THE MAJORITY IT COMES DOWN TO THE TOTAL OF POINTS, PERHAPS SIMPLE MAJORITY SHOULD EARN CONTESTANTS MARKS FOR EXAMPLE IF 5 OUT OF 7 JUDGES LIKE YOU THEN THE UNPOPULAR POINTS ELIMINATED, IT WILL PREVENT BIASED JUDGES FROM DUCKING BANDS AS THEY HAVE PERSISTENTLY DONE ALL THE TIME IRREGADLESS TO WHO IS ON THE PANEL, FOREIGN JUDGES ALSO HAVE THEIR FAVORITES , SO THERE IS LITTLE OR NO CHANCES OF ELIMINATING CURRY FAVOUR, COME ON LETS CLOSE THIS PLEASE
Correction Khruent the evolvement of the kaiso movement is just like pan it is the result of a series of sponteanous reactions it has no connection to the Greek mythological character called calypso as a matter of fact it was derived from the word kaiso and I believed it was a high fulooton way of saying kaiso, which was a colouquial way of saying carusoe, which was the nickname for the carousell ballads, kaiso is just the way we pronounced caruso, just like Americans say it is pon and mon of course we know there is no E in man or pan, just as there is no A in tom, in the early days as the slaves interpreted an old french ballad to come up with one of the earliest kaiso "bam way ah tee bow"when the chantweels sang a good caruso the natives shouted "kaiso kaiso" really intending to say caruso, jus a lil info for you bro
Great information, Sid. I always knew that the old timers shouted "Kaiso, Kaiso, maestro" in appreciation of a good performance.
I knew it had nothing to do with Greek mythology, but I didn't know what it meant.
Thanks for the info.
BTW, I still say "Kaiso, kaiso. maestro" when I hear a great calypso, with outstanding lyrics!
Thanks. This is a great forum for sharing all kinds of information, I find. Thanks WST. Happy I'm able to contribute.
- Big Sid
One thing we seem to be forgetting here is that Music is a Universal Language. Music is not an American Language nor is it an English Language it is not a Trinidad Language It is Universal.....meaning not only on Planet Earth but anywhere and everywhere in the Universe.Also the laws of music are more strigent than the laws of Man....That's why harmony is such a wonderful thing.The third of C can only be one note...And the 5th of A can only be one note.The 9th of C can only be D....
There is no if , ands, or buts ....So once you understand the theory of Music you should be able to understand Music anywhere in the Universe.....Unfortunately some people listen with their Eyes.