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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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I could never understand how judges can decide which arrangement is better or best unless they are arrangements of the same tune and even that would be difficult.

It's like saying a composition/arrangement by Mozart is better than one by Beethoven. It's all personal taste. What makes the judge be the arbiter of what is good, better or best out of two or more arrangements of two or more different songs?

Either scrap the competition or give all the bands a test piece to play.

Scrap d dam' ting. Let's have a vote


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