Ben Cole wrote:
Jane Fairfax wrote:I guess since the set is posted, this is now open for discussion.
Wait, where is it posted? I don't see it in any of the packet archives.
It's not labelled as "Lully," it's labelled as Chicago Open Arts Tournament.
Sorry. I could have sworn that wasn't there when I checked yesterday morning. Anyway....
I thought that this was going to be a longer post, because I had some specific complaints about the set that we played at Chicago. It was a little bit of a mixed bag: difficulty seemed to be all over the place, with many tossups easier than regular difficulty sitting next to canon-expanding very high difficulty questions. And I think all three of the closest matches I played were strongly and negatively affected by hoses and misplaced clues. The best questions, however, were very well chosen answers, well written. And it was, on the whole, one of my favorite quizbowl experiences.
Well, basically every question I was going to complain about has been removed or edited in the set that has been posted. And Shantanu appears to have mixed in the questions he read in the IRC to produce a more consistent level of high difficulty. This tournament in the published form is truly excellent (I speak of the music questions of course, I have insufficient knowledge of painting to judge). It contains what I think is the best set of music questions produced for any tournament I've played/read. I hope its approach to writing is seen as an example for future music question-writing, and that its answer choices filter down into becoming Nationals level canon.
First and foremost, the answer choices: At the end of last semester, I made a list of all the really important pieces in the classical music world that I'd been expecting to see in packets since I started playing quizbowl, but never saw. It was a long enough list that I decided I would try to write a Fine Arts tournament sometime this year to try to break them into the canon. This tournament took down about two thirds of my list in one fell swoop. Chopin's Ballades, Schubert's Impromptus, Shostakovich's Tenth, the Bach Partitas and Sonatas, Bartok's String Quartets, common-link on the Serenade, Prokofiev's Piano Concertos, etc. I could go on. I've been waiting for these for a while, and I can't tell you how happy it made me to finally be able to answer questions on them. There seemed to be a particularly conscious effort to expand the chamber music, solo piano, and concerto canon, which is great.
I should also praise the answers choices in non-foreign film (Rear Window, Manhattan, Charade, etc.). I'm glad you tossed up mainstream American/British films with artistic merit, instead of tossing up only self-described art film and foreign films, as this is often neglected.
I was also very happy that music was treated as a performing art: that is, as an art in which significant interpretations (recordings and/or performances) in a piece's history matter. Recording clues are often some random recording given as a clue; these weren't.
There are still some problematic questions (some of them reflecting general problematic tendencies in quizbowl music question-writing). I'm going to look through the set again this weekend, and get back to you with specifics. But I don't want those criticisms to detract from my thanks to all three of you for writing this most enjoyable tournament.