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Question about vocal music and illegal elements

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Poggi, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. madm

    madm Well-Known Member

    I couldn't disagree more. Just because some skaters make bad music choices doesn't mean that vocals should be banned. There are pieces of music that are MUCH better with the words. For example, the performance of Singing in the Rain by ice dancers Dubreuil and Lauzon at 2004 Skate Canada was fabulous. They used the Gene Kelly song from the movie, complete with thunderclaps and falling rain. My daughter is skating this year to an instrumental version of Singing in the Rain by the Boston Pops, and it just doesn't pack the same punch as the vocal version. The routine has to rely on people to remember the words in their heads in order to get the connection with the acting that's going on (e.g. opening umbrellas, kicking puddles of water, feeling the first raindrops, etc.). The best routine ever to this number was done by Kurt Browning. Another good one was by Braden Overett. You can argue that those numbers were exhibition pieces, but Dubreuil and Lauzon did it in competition.

    Another piece of music many skaters have used is Carmina Burana, and that definitely has words in it in Latin. No one seems to get deductions for using that music. It is very powerful, and there is no all-instrumental version of it available. I would hate to see this music disqualified in a competition.
  2. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Danish Ice Dance! Go Laurence & Nikolaj!

    Crap music is crap, lyrics or no. As a casual viewer (as much casual as you can get when you're actually paying for events and using FSU :p), I would *much* prefer lyrics for a lot music, I think it is much, much more engaging.

    Allowing lyrics would hopefully eliminate terrible muzak versions of pop songs too. I still shudder thinking about that instrumental Hotel California a Chinese man used some seasons ago.

    I also think that it would encourage using non-classical music a lot more, which I think would help pull in viewers.

    My husband, who is no fan of classical music, usually enjoys modern pieces a lot more when he casually views, simply because he can relate to it. Interesting though, if the skating is good enough, he stays watching, regardless of music :p.
    Poggi and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Kwantumleap

    Kwantumleap Well-Known Member

  4. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

    What about interpretation mark? Like if you are intepretating words it may become less interpretation because you could be following lyrics rather than trying to interpret music. If you used lyrics judges could be like "well they are bing told by the lyrics how to act on the ice so I will like give them a 3 in interpration!" So not only would you get a minus one deduction on the music but totally hammered in the intepretation mark.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  5. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    My concern is that the lyrics can be distracting.

    A fan might be engaged with the lyrics and enjoy the program on that level completely apart from the quality of the skating including the skater's interpretation of the music and lyrics. That's great from an entertainment point of view, irrelevant to the sport as sport.

    But it could be a problem if judges are devoting too much of their brain power to following the lyrics, even without trying to, and missing details of the technical performance or of the skater's interpretation of the melody and rhythm as a result.

    With songs you already know, you can follow the lyrics in your head without expending much brain power on the process. And for songs with lyrics in languages you're completely unfamiliar with, it might as well be nonsense syllables. But for a song you've never heard before in a language you're fluent in, there will be a temptation to listen to what the singer is saying. And for a song in a language you sort-of know, there's a tendency to try to pick out recognizable words.

    Skating is an international sport. Not all judges are fluent in the same languages (yes, they have to have a working knowledge of English, but that doesn't necessarily mean easy fluency even in listening). Differences in cultural experience can also mean that songs that are very familiar to one person will be brand new to another and therefore claim more listening attention.

    The same is true of audiences and of skaters themselves. If a skater chooses a popular song in his/her own country and gets extra enthusiasm from home audiences that are familiar with the song, they may find the same program falling flat in front of audiences who never heard it before and don't know its cultural context.

    I don't like terrible muzak versions either. I do like it when skaters choose instrumental rock pieces, or jazz that's more challenging than big band swing.

    When using instrumental versions of music that was originally written with lyrics, the trick is to choose versions that retain the musical flavor of the original or add new colorings that add interest, not flatten them out into muzak.

    Take the Jeff Beck version of A Day in the Life (personally I prefer Jeremy Abbott's interpretation to Michelle Kwan's). I think that makes a good translation of a song with lyrics into a musical piece suitable for skating.

    I'd actually love to see an exhibition program to the Beatles song with the lyrics. But I would not like to be listening to the lyrics and scrutinizing lutz edges or counting spin revolutions at the same time.

    And then there's pop music. Most pop songs are just not very interesting musically. They may be fun and catchy and make for good exhibitions, but they don't give much more room for the skaters to show much nuance or finesse in their interpretation than muzaked songs.

    However, I fear that that's the kind of music most skaters would choose if allowed to skate to music with lyrics.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  6. geod2

    geod2 New Member

    Setting a boundary of "voice(s), OK....lyrics Not OK" finally makes some sense to me from your rationale. Thank you, gkelly.

    Also, given the taste (or lack of) that we see often in costumes, if the door were thrown open to allow music with lyrics.... I would be afraid.....very afraid.

  7. skatefan

    skatefan home in England

    :lol: Me too ;)
    Poggi and (deleted member) like this.