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Revisited - Pelham Goddard - Thoughts on Panorama and Judging

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.


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Phew! Lots of food for thought, but who's listening? Who's gonna follow through?

Do judges read these comments?

Can they/any one of respond, at least to allay concerns making it easier for the public/steelbands/arrangers to relate to their works?

Have a great weekend!

Panorama 2012 is about ten or eleven months away.  Some arrangers have spoken out, and given us their views.  Are there any concrete ideas in the works to change the flavour of next year's Panorama?  If the judges are incompetent, unfamiliar with the music, and unable to render verdicts that will please one and all, which maybe impossible, then, DROP THEM.   Would you pay an incompetent employee?  Interestingly, you are dissatisfied with the judges and their techniques, yet still every year you FAIL to take a stand and do something else.   You, the arranger work diligently on your music, you know all the shades and tones that are to be in the chords - can you not take turns doing the judging?  Chit chat is nice but it has to end somewhere.  Surely, there are a few level heads out there who are willing to TRY something NEW.  Instead of leaning on the judges, do your own work.

this is exactly what Pelham was suggesting, though.


I myself, wouldn't mind being a judge (once there is any category that I actually don't play in), except that I am not academically trained... my academic musical knowledge is not non-existant, but it is not that great (always say it'll take me a day to read a single scoresheet :P). I am not that musically literate.. but then again, neither is Boogsie... and listen to the music he puts down...


If they were willing to allow people like myself to judge, I would hand in my resume tomorrow :P lol

there is a  character in Greek mythology called "calypso" and it is in the dictionary as one of the meanings, Khruent so feel no way theslaves incorporated the giorot or as we say the peirot granade (another french charater, probably descended from its affrican connection) into the caruso expression and later when the Pakistanis brought Hosay the african decendents, got involved as the muslims migrated to St James, some of our calypso expressions were a result of the filtering of tassa music into it, so even though Kaiso was generally a caribbean oral tradition I would say the dividing lines were the tassa influence and the African influence in ghatcar (the east indian version of stick fight, and pardon my spelling if I am wrong) created what some high fullutoon folks trying not to be too colloquial called calypso, if any one knows around what exact era they started calling it Calypso please share with us,

seeing that we are also getting into what a panorama song should be you are right khruent it is a story, after all pan was formed as part of the calypso experience, until this judging became all this big deal bands tried to tell the story in music rather than some skit on stage, now every body focused on runs, runs, runs no story, that is what motivic development is all about reharmonization, Forget the judges, just try to make sweet music and give the patrons a good show for their money

The following supports what I said earlier and is a properly researched source:

(Taken from  http://www.languagehat.com/archives/003270.php)



I just discovered a very interesting etymology that has apparently been developed only recently. The OED says the origin of calypso (the name of an Afro-Caribbean style of satirical song) is unknown; Webster's Third New International (1961) says "probably after Calypso, island nymph." But Richard Allsopp's superb Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage (1996) has the following etymology:

[ < Efik ka isu 'go on!', also KID Ibibio kaa iso 'continue, go on', a common phrase used in urging sb on or in backing a contestant. The Efik-Ibibio being the established middlemen in the slave trade (ex at Calabar) the slaves of other ethnic groups would have brought this item (as they did BAKRA) to the CarA as part of the private vocabulary of slave life. In the context of CarA plantation-life, crowds backed creole teasing-songs against MASSA shouting 'Ka iso!' wh gradually lost its original meaning. Kaiso is still the regular ECar folk name, not calypso. The phonological development /ka-iso > kariso > kaliso/ is attested by KARISO (Dmca, etc), KARUSO (USVI), and KALISO (StLu) this last recognized as 'another form 'Calisseaux' ... in use at the same time as 'Carisseaux' ' —(Espinet & Pitts, Land of the Calypso, 1944, p. 47). The development > calypso is through corruption (through folk etym) by English writers in the 1930s, influenced by the name (Calypso) of the amorous island nymph of Greek mythology, plus an anglicized shift in pitch pattern /1'12/ > /1'21/]
Most of the abbreviations should be self-explanatory, but CarA is "Caribbean area" and KID in the first line is Elaine Kaufman's Ibibio Dictionary (Leiden, 1985). The key to the etymology is the recognition that the original form is kaiso; I love the fact that the transmogrification to the highfalutin "calypso" is called, quite properly, folk etymology—the ignorant "folk" aren't always poor and unlettered


Richard Allsopp's "Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage" seems to be the authoritative source. I had a copy of same until Katrina took it away.  Note that caruso is seen as just a variant of kaiso.  


- Big Sid

Unless all the bands are required to play the same piece, there is no way to accurately judge objectively. Arrangers must know what to expect in presenting a piece. Now it is a crap shoot.

exactly who were the judges in the large band category, in all fairness to those judges in the other categories (some of whom were involved in steelband when Pellham was still in shortpants) I do believe Pellham you need to withdraw your last comments Hugh Borde took pan where you will never be able to,Merle Albnino De coteau was involved in pan before you were and was an arranger before you were, just a sample of the people to whom your acidic comments are directed, a lot of us are extremely dissapointed with the results which may or may not be a true reflection of the general concensus of the majority of the judges, come on peoplehow many times do iI have to say this it is results, Khuent you are an intelligent fella results are a total of all the points awarded by each judge individually and not collectively so if the most popular band scores well on the majority of thew judges sheets they are still not guaranted to get the highest total, example Exodus may get 97, 95 98,96.5,73,96 , 75 eliminate the highest and the lowest their scoree will be 459.5 compared to like all stars who may be awarded 89,88, 93,90,92,97,98, after the highest and lowest is eliminated their score would be 463,

    stay focused and styop thinking like duncey heads it would be clear from the average popular points that Exodus would be popular with the judges but because of the extremely low scores and the fair scores plus the high scores the mats would favour all stars  as opposed to exodus, no fault of all the judges but some of the judges would have different taste or opinions ar they may be biased, the tale of the tape comes down to maths not choice, I am not chiding that this was the case this year but the semi final results looks closer to what the final results should be based on the concensus of some people

I fully agree. 


However, I don't think that judges should provide any examples to arrangers ...simply NOT the way to go. 



Let's introduce / reintroduce the People's Choice and put some hefty money behind it. You get a ballot when you buy you ticket into the North or South Stands. This should open up some interesting areas.

Reading the posts on this topic,has confirmed my long held theory that Panorama (especially as presently constituted and placed within the Carnival) would seriously affect the development of the Steelband.Too much energy and resources have to be expended in a very short space of time,at the expense of the Steelbands full participation in the Carnival,such as...playing in fetes,the once popular Pan Blockos ( reminds me of those glorious Solo Harmonites days) brining out Mas or playing for Mas bands on Carnival days.

I have said before,competitive Brass-O-Rama died because the brass bands saw the writing on the wall.....even DJ-Rama died because the then DJs also realized that having such a competition was not in their best interest.

Steelbands competitions disallows/ed amplification,but they are expected to compete with the "Brass Bands' and DJs with the KWs of power coming through top of the line sub-woofers,mid-range and treble speakers.Building and operating a proper system takes time and expertize,both of which has been loss or seriously curtailed ( reminds me of Fonclaire,who had a wicked set,with great sound ) by a short sighted movement.The irony of all this is,Steelbands are still amplified at the competition,and the sound engineers can make you or break you......And yes,they are not your band,resident sound engineers.

The judging would always be flawed or correct,it depends on who is answering/asking.....but I always believe if you are too judge music and give points ,you must have a body of work to show you are competent at doing,what you are asking of others.

I want to quote Sweet Eustace point,that is crucial to being the Champion and being a runner-up.....

"results are a total of all the points awarded by each judge individually and not collectively so if the most popular band scores well on the majority of thew judges sheets they are still not guaranted to get the highest total, example Exodus may get 97, 95 98,96.5,73,96 , 75 eliminate the highest and the lowest their scoree will be 459.5 compared to like all stars who may be awarded 89,88, 93,90,92,97,98, after the highest and lowest is eliminated their score would be 463,"

It has been suggested at PT meetings,that each judge's score be posted on screens,as soon as they are ready after a band's performance. 



Sooner or later , Oswald Alexander , it will become obvious to everyone , ( even Val Young :) ).
Let's hope its sooner and not later !

PG your article is very well said.


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