Rules

2019 Official Contest Rules

GENERAL

  1. Three competent judges will evaluate contestants’ fiddling based on intonation, timing, danceability, and style. JUDGES' DECISIONS ARE FINAL.
  2. No electrical or amplified fiddles will be permitted.
  3. Mutes must be removed or backed away from the bridge.
  4. In the event that a tie-breaker is needed in either the Preliminary or Final Rounds, the first ‘play-off’ tune will be a REEL, and if required, the second ‘play-off’ tune would be a JIG.
  5. Any competitor who wins the same class 2 years in a row must move to a different class (as indicated in the classification chart) or sit out one year.
  6. If you feel your ability is above your age class, refer to the classification chart to choose a different class.
  7. Preliminary and Final rounds will be scored independently, with the Final round determining the placement.
  8. In the event that there are only enough competitors to fill a class, everyone will be required to play their tunes in the Preliminary round. Any player under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be disqualified. This decision is made by the contest committee. Only Junior/Junior class may use sheet music.

Classification Chart (as per Rule #5)

Previous Class (Same winner for 2 consecutive years) →New Class
Junior Junior →Junior
Junior →Youth
Youth →Intermediate
Intermediate →Adv. Intermediate or Championship
Adv. Intermediate →Championship
Championship →
Golden →Senior
Senior →Adv. Intermediate or Championship

REGISTRATION

  1. Contestants must be registered prior to the previous class being called to play and in all cases no later than 11:00 a.m. on the day of your class.
  2. With the exception of Alberta residents, contestants may enter a maximum of three classes: one Standard Core, the Twin Harmony, and the Traditional. Alberta residents may also enter the Alberta Open class.
  3. Contestants of the Alberta Open class must have proof of Alberta residency, i.e. Alberta Health Care card.
  4. Tunes for the Preliminary and the Final Rounds must be listed on the registration form.
Standard Core Classes (choose one)Specialty Classes (any age)
Championship (any age)Golden (70 & over)Traditional
Advanced Intermediate (any age)Youth (15-18)Twin Fiddle Harmony
Intermediate (19-54)Junior (10-14)
Senior (55-69)Junior Junior (9 & under)

ACCOMPANIMENT

  1. Contestants may have ONE accompanist – electronic stage keyboard OR other acoustic instrument. A keyboard and house accompanist are available.
  2. Accompanists must chord Old Time style. NO MELODY, NO INTRO.
  3. When registering, provide name and key of tune. The accompanist would appreciate chord charts.
  4. In the Traditional class, the fiddler drums with the feet. No other accompaniment is permitted.

PLAYING TIME

  1. All contestants playing two (2) or three (3) tunes must finish their tunes in four (4) minutes.
  2. All contestants playing four (4) tunes must finish their tunes in five (5) minutes. This applies specifically to contestants in the Final Round of the Alberta Open and/or the Championship Class.
  3. A signal will indicate the END of the allotted playing times. Judging will stop immediately. Contest etiquette requires that contestants complete their tune within 15 seconds of that signal.

CHOICE and ORDER OF TUNES

      1. All tunes in all classes, (except Tune of Choice) must be played in Old Time Style.
      2. Junior/Junior class
        • Must play in order: a WALTZ followed by one OTHER tune
        • May play the same tunes for both the Preliminary and Final Rounds
        • May play from sheet music
      3. Twin Harmony classes
        • Must play in order: a WALTZ, followed by one OTHER tune.
        • Must play different tunes for each of the Preliminary and Final Rounds. No tune may be repeated, not even in a tie-breaker.
      4. Traditional class
        • Must play a REEL (Traditional, Metis or French Canadian)
        • The only accompaniment is the drumming of the player's feet
        • Style and tempo must be in unison without variation of tempo
        • The music and the drumming must start simultaneously
        • Must play a different tune for each of the Preliminary and Final Rounds. No tune may be repeated, not even in a tie-breaker.
      5. See below for rules specific to the Alberta Open and Championship classes.
      6. All other classes not listed above:
        • Must play in order: a WALTZ, then a JIG, and end with a REEL. (Hornpipes and hoedowns qualify as reels.)
        • Must play different tunes for each of the Preliminary and Final Rounds. No tune may be repeated, not even in a tie-breaker.
        • Other dance rhythms, i.e. Fox Trot, Swing, Pattern or Clog tunes are not accepted.

Additional Rules for Alberta Open and Championship Classes Only

PRELIMINARY ROUND

  1. Must play in order: a WALTZ, then a JIG, and end with a REEL. (Hornpipes and hoedowns qualify as reels.)
  2. Must play different tunes for each of the Preliminary and Final Rounds. No tune may be repeated, not even in a tie-breaker.
  3. Other dance rhythms, i.e. Fox Trot, Swing, Pattern or Clog tunes are not accepted.
  4. Playing time: four (4) minutes.

FINAL ROUND

Contestants in these categories have been exposed to a broader range of musical styles, have matured in their art, and therefore; may wish to change the order of their tunes in the Final Round to enhance their presentation.

  1. Must play four (4) tunes
    • three (3) tunes in any order: a WALTZ, a JIG, and a REEL. (Hornpipes and hoedowns qualify as reels.)
    • one (1) additional TUNE OF CHOICE (See RECOGNIZED FIDDLE STYLES to the right.)
  2. Playing time: five (5) minutes.

TUNE OF CHOICE

  1. Recognized fiddle styles include: Country, Old Time, Cape Breton, Swing, Metis, bluegrass, French Canadian, etc. Contrasting tunes can be played in one style
    (e.g. four contrasting Old-tunes) or in any number of a variety of styles
    (e.g. Old-time waltz, Irish polka, Cape Breton jig)
  2. The following are not allowed:
    • Classical jazz, blues and other non-traditional fiddle styles
    • Show tunes such as Black Mountain Rag, Orange Blossom Special and Mockingbird

ALBERTA OPEN AND CHAMPIONSHIP DANCE RHYTHMS

  1. Waltz, Aire
  2. March (6/8), Jig
  3. Reel (2/4 or 4/4), Hornpipe, Strathspey, Polka, Clog, or Two-Step

ALBERTA OPEN CLASS SPONSORSHIP

The Wild Rose Old Tyme Fiddlers Association believes in creating opportunities for as many people as possible to gain valuable experience and hone their skills at Canada's top fiddle contest, the Canadian Grand Masters (CGM). The winner of the Alberta Open class is eligible for funding of travel costs and two nights' accommodation, if invited to attend the CGM the subsequent year. However, a contestant who wins the Alberta Open for a second consecutive year will not receive sponsorship funding. Instead, the funds will go to the runner up, if invited, to attend the CGM.

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