Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

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Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
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Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:34 pm

Chicago Open has now sparked a very miniature crusade I'm embarking upon. Here's the real world hierarchy of Finnish composers:

Jean Sibelius











































Everybody else.

There's been a really silly, small trend over the last year in some hard tournaments to indulge in stupid ideas like a common link tossup on Finnish composers, or using clues about Rautavaara, or whatever. It cropped up again in a question this weekend using clues about Rautavaara's 7th symphony. Here's the real talk about Finnish composers. Jean Sibelius is the only one who should be coming up more than, like, once every 4 years. He's way important, the rest of them can't remotely begin to touch him. I assume this is part of a larger trend of quizbowlers being nuts about Finland (which could also afford to cool off a little), and it has all the hallmarks of a trend that could catch on in a bad way over the next year among writers who like being hip, so I would like us to nip this poor idea for music questions in the bud now before we see a tossup at regionals on Kaija Saariaho.
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:20 pm

The best thread title.
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:34 pm

Not to go all music mafia on you, but while Saariaho obviously shouldn't be coming up at regionals, why shouldn't she happen as a bonus part at CO (or Nats, if you're being a little mean, I guess)? She's actually important to electronic music, and to the development of a (still regrettably small) cohort of highly respected and acclaimed female composers. And she recently won a Grammy, if I'm not mistaken.

That being said, a trend toward tossing up Sibelius using more substantial clues in favor of name-dropping his mythologically titled works (e.g. Swan of Tuonela) would be a good thing to see.
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:48 pm

Not That Kind of Christian!! wrote:Not to go all music mafia on you, but while Saariaho obviously shouldn't be coming up at regionals, why shouldn't she happen as a bonus part at CO (or Nats, if you're being a little mean, I guess)? She's actually important to electronic music, and to the development of a (still regrettably small) cohort of highly respected and acclaimed female composers. And she recently won a Grammy, if I'm not mistaken.
Alright, let's just keep asking questions about a ton of modern composers that almost nobody will ever encounter in concert or class or in a CD section then.
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:01 pm

College Park Spyders wrote:
Not That Kind of Christian!! wrote:Not to go all music mafia on you, but while Saariaho obviously shouldn't be coming up at regionals, why shouldn't she happen as a bonus part at CO (or Nats, if you're being a little mean, I guess)? She's actually important to electronic music, and to the development of a (still regrettably small) cohort of highly respected and acclaimed female composers. And she recently won a Grammy, if I'm not mistaken.
Alright, let's just keep asking questions about a ton of modern composers that almost nobody will ever encounter in concert or class or in a CD section then.
Because that's... not what I was suggesting at all, actually?

My point is that her (or Rautavaara) coming up in a bonus part at CO or Nats is far from the worst sin that quizbowl can commit. Below the loftiest of difficulty levels, no, she shouldn't come up; in those cases, if Finland is what you want to ask about, it should be Sibelius every time. But at CO, fine, she can come up (amidst a host of more warhorsey composers or pieces), and maybe someone who's interested in music will gain a little exposure that they wouldn't have otherwise gained and seek her out in a CD section or whatever. Like I said, her music is respected and cool; it's not like we're combining quizbowl sins and asking about the music of Hikari Oe.
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:06 pm

Of course that's what you're doing if you seriously think we should be asking about her. She's a random modern composer which an incredibly limited group of people in the world will have any interest in, and you could easily find 100 other equally "important" people to ask about and fill up quizbowl questions with, and who will be equally poor ideas that do nothing to reward the music knowledge of pretty much anybody who will actually play in the tournament.
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:07 pm

I was waiting to open a music discussion thread until there was also a main one, but I guess this is as good a place as any to discuss the CO music in general. I got to read or otherwise hear everything except the two finals packets, so if there were any issues with the music questions there, please bring them to my attention because I have no first-hand knowledge of how they played.

Although it appeared in a submitted packet, that question on the number 7 was one of mine, so I take full responsibility for this tournament's Rautavaara content and I'm sorry that people may have been frustrated by an overused topic coming up. For what it's worth, I mentioned Rautavaara because he's a composer I genuinely like and am familiar with outside of quizbowl, and not because it's what all the cool kids were doing or anything like that.
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by No Rules Westbrook » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:27 pm

Noone could possibly object to a stray mention of Rautavaara as a leadin in a question.

I don't ever plan to write another classical music question particularly, but if I do, I'll be awfully tempted to have it be a "Finland from composers" tossup.
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:30 pm

Distance model wrote:I was waiting to open a music discussion thread until there was also a main one, but I guess this is as good a place as any to discuss the CO music in general. I got to read or otherwise hear everything except the two finals packets, so if there were any issues with the music questions there, please bring them to my attention because I have no first-hand knowledge of how they played.

Although it appeared in a submitted packet, that question on the number 7 was one of mine, so I take full responsibility for this tournament's Rautavaara content and I'm sorry that people may have been frustrated by an overused topic coming up. For what it's worth, I mentioned Rautavaara because he's a composer I genuinely like and am familiar with outside of quizbowl, and not because it's what all the cool kids were doing or anything like that.
Yeah Charlie, I frankly have no problem with this. I'll admit that my team laughed at the Rautavaraa clue, but come on. It's one lead-in. There was no other Finnish music in the entire tournament. Now, the tossups IO and Penn Bowl had on "Finland" were stupid, but it's not like that was any less real-world notable than any of the other lead-in clues Chicago Open had.
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:28 am

I'm afraid I'm to blame for introducing Rautavaara into the canon as a hard part at the Emergency back in '09... and you know what - I don't regret it. He'll come up once a year or so at the hardest-difficulty tournaments, and if someone tries to write a tossup on him (or Saariaho or Magnus Lindberg, etc) for regionals, I think we can trust the editors to cut it.
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:57 am

Der Rosenbergkavalier wrote:I'm afraid I'm to blame for introducing Rautavaara into the canon as a hard part at the Emergency back in '09... and you know what - I don't regret it. He'll come up once a year or so at the hardest-difficulty tournaments, and if someone tries to write a tossup on him (or Saariaho or Magnus Lindberg, etc) for regionals, I think we can trust the editors to cut it.
I used the Rautavaara flute concerto as the leadin for an ACF Fall question on "the piccolo" in ’08…it was literally the first packet-submission tournament I ever submitted anything to. It made it into the set, too, Rautavaara and all. :lol:

Also, I'm inclined to argue that if I use Rautavaara in a clue, I'm not even "writing about Finland" necessarily; I could be writing about "flute concertos" or "song settings of Rilke poems" or "works for orchestra and tape". And has anyone ever done any really wacky Fennophile things like, say, tossing up Toivo Kuula or something (I mean, I like Kuula, but…)?
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:42 am

You win, Miriam. :lol:
I don't know if anyone's done Tovio Kuula, although there has been at least one question on Esa-Pekka Salonen. Who knows, maybe the day will come when someone writes an event on opera stars and people get to show off their Matti Salminen knowledge.
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:15 am

Der Rosenbergkavalier wrote:I don't know if anyone's done Tovio Kuula, although there has been at least one question on Esa-Pekka Salonen.
I don't know how inherently academic "having been the conductor of the LA Phil" is, but at least it means people know his name.
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by Auroni » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:05 am

Oddly enough, I've encountered Salonen outside of quizbowl before, since NPR seems to love plsying him.
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by Sir Thopas » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:06 am

Blanford's Fringe-fingered Lizard wrote:Oddly enough, I've encountered Salonen outside of quizbowl before, since NPR seems to love plsying him.
That's not odd at all; he's Important in the real world!
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by Not That Kind of Christian!! » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:26 am

Sir Thopas wrote:
Blanford's Fringe-fingered Lizard wrote:Oddly enough, I've encountered Salonen outside of quizbowl before, since NPR seems to love plsying him.
That's not odd at all; he's Important in the real world!
Indeed, it's far from odd; and as long as we're talking about who should come up, more Important conductors/educators should come up, like Barenboim and his ilk.

Charlie: Yes, I could find other equally important composers to ask about. Happily, people have their choice when considering hard parts of bonuses of contemporary composers who have and will make lasting impressions on music. In this hypothetical case, it's Saariaho. In another hypothetical case, it could be Rzewski. At CO, like that Rautavaara leadin, why the heck not?
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by Auroni » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:40 am

I think that the mere mention of Rautavaara is more than made up for by tossups on stuff like Les Preludes and the Grosse Fugue, which I'm led to believe are overlooked things musicians actually care about. I don't think Miriam has ever edited a category for a tournament before, but she handled it very well.
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Re: Stop using so many goddamn clues about Finnish composers

Post by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen » Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:21 pm

Blanford's Fringe-fingered Lizard wrote:I don't think Miriam has ever edited a category for a tournament before
You're right, and I've been quite relieved over the past 48 hours or so that nobody has said "I loved this tournament, except for the fact that the music was absolute crap" or anything like that.
tossups on stuff like Les Preludes and the Grosse Fugue
Les Preludes was one of mine; Grosse Fuge was submitted by Rob Carson's team. Speaking of which, I know that several past tournaments have been criticised for having too much 20th-century music at the expense of everything else; what did people think in this case? Or was there anything else that seemed overemphasized (e.g., woodwinds)?
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