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Date Posted: 17:31:45 08/11/17 Fri
Author: Chris McLoughlin (Chris McLoughlin)
Subject: From a musicians point of view
In reply to: So frustrating 's message, "Music speed. Why is it never consistent for grades? Even when on the syllabus?" on 15:38:02 08/06/17 Sun

The set speeds regarded by CLRG were introduced in January of this year. The biggest difference was the speeds for beginner and advanced beginner regarding reels, slip jigs, and light jigs. The speeds for novice through open champs are the same for all light dances. For heavy rounds, dancers from novice through prizewinners have a choice of speed for their jig or hornpipe. Those dancers should know their music before getting on line. Another thing that throws a wrench in the works, is having one or 2 musicians playing for 4 stages at a time. Stage A might be a beginner 1 competition, stage B could be beginner 2, stage C could be novice, and stage D could be prizewinners. When we set up first thing in the morning (especially on a grades stage) we pretty much assume we're starting with beginners. It's not always the case but generally it is. 2 out of 4 stages potentially could be doing different speeds for light dances. Perhaps the person doing the schedule doesn't realize that and expects 4 stages to be going at the same time. This can make for an uncomfortable situation.

I can also tell the posters above, that the majority of musicians have danced themselves and certainly understand the difference between fast and slow. We all have metronomes and drum machines and each are set to the proper speeds for each dance. I can also tell you that it's very difficult to start a metronome app on your phone to get in time with the music that's being played. We play to a speed that's recorded in beats per minute. So unless you have an internal clock (other than one Mississippi) it's impossible to take a metronome app and gauge the speed of the music. A good experiment to prove the example is to try and set it to a tick-tock clock. 60 BPM. I know I'm only responding to a such a small percentage of people who choose to place the blame on musicians. To those that do, this is more than a job, this is giving up weekends, vacations, etc. There's loads of brilliant musicians out there, but not too many who do what we do. Anyway, happy dancing! And if you think I messed up, make a point of coming up to me and telling me. We're all open to criticism, and I genuinely think that we're the first to admit a mistake.

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