OK, that's fair. I think you're conflating the issues of "core vs. non-core" and "primary text vs. secondary text," but I agree that it might be a little dull to have only the former in both cases in all tournaments. I overstated my position.Ike wrote:Jacob, I agree with Andrew Hart's view of the editorship, in that an editor has the right to do as he sees fit, but that doesn't mean "nobody complains" if the editor's taste is repetitive, eccentric or bonkers. To use your literature example, I actually kind of like the core-minded, primary-text driven approach to a lot of literature in tournaments, especially for lower levels, but I would be driven nuts if every tournament took such an approach. To say that "nobody complains" is a misunderstanding of a lot of people's positions: I would complain if literature in every tournament were core driven, E.G.: I don't mind playing your tossup on Thomas Sutpen, but I don't want to have fucking play a Thomas Sutpen question every tournament at the cost of playing your question on Donald Barthelme's Snow White because people with real knowledge of literature don't read Snow White (not saying anyone actually subscribes to that exact thought, but it sure feels like it!). One of the reasons why I agree with Yaphe's editorial choices for ICT even though other core-minded writers openly disagree with him is that Yaphe is still rewarding legitimate knowledge, and his material is intellectually entertaining to those anyone. I think a lot of your music questions were interesting, Jacob, but a lot of them were also white noise to me, as I'll talk a bit about down below.I'll repeat my literature analogy: lots of tournaments have literature questions only from primary texts. Nobody complains. If you don't want clues that you learn from listening to music (a lot of these clues were designed to NOT require having seen the score or knowing more details than you could find in the cd track info), I don't see why I'm writing music questions for you. Other kinds of knowledge of music seem wholly secondary to me--Quizbowl is not a piano competition.
I based this judgement on the fact that the decree doesn't show up at all in one of the most-used music history textbooks (Grout/Palisca/Burkholder) and I didn't remember it playing a huge part in the Shostakovich "memoir" Testimony (Zhdanov appears twice for a few pages); but, it appears to be pretty quizbowl famous (especially recently). I still remain unconvinced that there would be a good distribution of buzzes here.Ike wrote:I agree with Rob on Zhdanov, I actually think the Zhdanov degree isn't too hard to be asked about, and I also think that the tossup is quite transparent as presented but that it is fixable. I also agree that it uses cultural history, but that's okay - some of my literature for example used history and myth to name a few subjects that I waded into.Ukonvasara wrote:...no it's not? If anything, the early clues are a little too obvious/to-the-point, but certainly not unfixably so. I'm certainly not trying to argue that you don't have the right to edit your category as you see fit, but I for one would've enjoyed a bit more variety, especially in the form of more questions like this and fewer impenetrable, top-heavy tossups on instruments.
I admit that the Rite of Spring tossup was pretty miscalculated in a few ways, and unfortunately that came first in the set.Ike wrote: But that last paragraph I wrote is secondary to my point: the part of Rob's post that I think you should take away is the fact that the music for this tournament is very dense to intellectually curious "musical amateurs," whose interaction to classical music is some combination of listening at concerts + listen to music appreciation lectures + read program notes, but not actually study scores. I think of Mike Sorice and Rob Carson, for example, as great players who do this: I have fond memories of Sorice playing a bunch of music appreciation lectures or podcasts about the great composers on the radio on the way back from many tournaments. As an example of a bonus part that is accessible to them, I cite the Eliot Carter 3 symphonies bonus part - I have listened to enough about Carter to know he uses big orchestral ensembles. To someone like Rob who didn't get the bonus part, he will no doubt find it interesting to learn from that bonus that Carter uses big ensembles. However, if you contrast that bonus part with what you did for The Rite of Spring tossup, you have to understand that most of that question to someone like Rob or Mike is going to be white noise.
Again, that's not to say what you did for this tournament was illegitimate (I can't really musically judge that), it's just that the way you wrote questions isn't going to gel well with the quizbowl populace's generalist music knowledge, and you have to acknowledge that you are cutting these people off from the question. I personally like music editors like Jonathan Magin or Rob who will find ways of incorporating these clues that I am able to parse over someone who goes for specialist only knowledge.
Edit1: for grammars
I PMed Rob about the instrument tossups:
Genuinely curious here.I'm a bit worried by the word "impenetrable" here--I really, really tried to restrict the technical terms in those four questions (I think I used "recapitulation" twice and "second theme" once), instead saying things like "this instrument plays at the beginning of this piece." What did I miss?/what could I do to make these more accessible?