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For years I have been hearing about 'what the judges are looking for' and  'the direction of the judges' as it relates to the arrangements offered by the bands. This year someone even singled out the arrangements of Boogsie and Carlton Zanda as the arrangements of the future, what the judges are now gravitating to. If what the judges are looking for strictly relates to improvements in areas of an arrangement, I have no problem with that. If it is geared  to individual pieces, I have no problem with that either.

However if the judges are determining the direction of musical style of a panorama season then I take great exception to that. What do you my fellow bloggers think about this, is it an issue or none issue? Personally I think that the judges subtly insert themselves into the competition as the integrity of panorama judging has been compromised over the years. There was a time when results were hardly even queried because they were in line with what john public recognized. 

Within recent times more and more results are being questioned by john public, who by the way knows his panorama arrangements. Why don't we have these issues when the steelband music festival comes around?

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we dont have these issues on steelband music festival, cause the judges have the music scores to go by.

How many of the judges know  the tunes being played?,

How will the judges know if a band is playing the right melody if they dont know the tune or have the scores?

Panorama will be always SUBJECTIVE.

Stop judging panorama and bring on the steelband music testivals.

The Panorama judging really blows my mind. From the 1970s to now the remarks blow my mind. For instance, I am a pannist of Renegades and it's ironic that you raise the judging issue as I have read our remarks from five adjudicators and one alternate. I will use comments made for the Introduction. The laid-down criteria is: "The ability of the arranger to compose an appropriate prelude for the calypso chosen as the prepared piece; symmetrical or related to the tune. The length of which should be left to the arranger's discretion. " Judge #1 say: "a pretty short intro. could do with more of a variety in the beginning.However, good use of bits of the actual tune. can be improved"  Judge #2: "Quite appropriate introduction. Good re-harmonization." Judge #3: "18sec into the intro the syncopated line into the tenors could be cleaner with a little more practice." Judge #4: "This introduction was well thought out and was very focussed. Some very musical ideas here..." Judge #5: Good clear initial statement of the verse and chorus..."  and Judge #6: "Very powerful introduction suitable to arrangement." So were the tenors unclear? Was the intro too short, appropriate, or? etc, etc. Have a good day!
Very nice piece Sandra.  It speaks of six judges, and in my humble opinion therein lies the problem.  Funny enough, I have not come across anyone who finds this as being strange.  Will somebody please tell me, if there are between eight and ten competitors in any event, WHY ON GOD'S EARTH WOULD YOU NEED SIX (6) JUDGES?  That my friend is the biggest problem.  Too many cooks in the kitchen.  Three (3) qualified, reputable judges are more than adequate to judge any PANORAMA.
The problem with these Panorama judges is that, they dont know what is a Panorama tune. If you ask these same judges to arrange a Panorama piece, they wont have a clue. Most of these judges are musicologists and dont have the soul to really understand what thought process is used to create a Panorama tune. They are too clinical with their accessment of what a Panorama piece should sound like. Pantrinbago should appoint people who have been involved with Panorama music. The only critiera that a Panorama tune should have is, to play a calypso for eight [8] minutes in calypso tempo and judge the completed piece on its creativity. Every one would be happy with that, because thats the way it should be.

I tend to agree, Valentine Young.  As a former arranger myself, I have subject to the judges' evaluations, and at times it was difficult to correlate their feedback with the actual musical content or performance as I thought I did it.  It would be a good idea to judge judges as panorama tune arrangers (with prize monry too).



If you take issue with judges determining the direction of musical style, then I take exception to that.  Because, as I have written before, it is precisely the job of a Panorama judge to assess (and provide feedback about) the musical content of pan and the delivery of that content on stage.  So inevitably they must shape the direction of future arrangements.  I suspect thereal issue is that few if any judges have the sheer competence to "judge" Clive Braadley or Boogsie (or Ray Holman for that matter).  Just my 2 cents ...


















Thanks for your input Peter.I think we both are in agreement about judges roles in assessing and providing feedback. However we differ on the issue of whether they are to "shape the direction of future arrangements" as you put it or determine the direction of musical style as I put it. Style is intrinsic to the arranger as is seen in the sounds that emanate from the orchestras i.e that Despers,  Phase 2 , Renrgades or All Stars sound we have all come to recognize and also know when they are being imitated. If Judges are to shape the direction of future arrangements then innovation is dead. Those names you mentioned Bradley, Boogsie and Holman are noted innovators with their individual styles, they helped shaped the direction of panorama arrangements as any arranger with musical genius should.

This area is the domain of the panman, judges are there for the sole purpose of assessment, feedback and giving the thumbs up or down through their subjective understanding of what the arranger is trying to project, nothing else. 

If you backtrack over the last ten years, the criticisms are the same. Judges incompetency, some score high, some low, some judges are bias, some doh understand the arrangements. I dont have answers, but I cyar wait for some genius to come up with something to eliminate all the crap that goes on before, during and after panorama.


Hi to every one I played Pan whit Hatters Steelband for about 10yrs and as i understand the pan has improved at a very high standed over the yrs gone by, but the judging have not change and i will leave it at that  thank you.

because more often than not foreign judges are used in the music festival and they judge you on how you interpret the piece of music placed in front of them, maybe it's time to try a foreign judge or two for panorama.
You hit the nail on the head micheal and there are people that study the pan and also play and grad with a master in pan music from univ like NIu and other univ.one love.
I do think it is an issue when judges try to influence or are influenced by people based on the direction for the panorama season...judges need to understand what this does to the other bands who work so hard and sacrifice so much.this brings into question whats the use of the pan yard judging.


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