Competitions

The Festival competitions take place on Saturday afternoon from 2pm. The Men and Women’s Traditional Singing competitions run simultaneously and are then followed by the Bothy Ballad competition. All the singing competitions will be held this year in the downstairs room of the Old Town Hall (clock tower). See below for guidelines on song selection. The winner of the Bothy Ballad competition automatically goes forwards to be entered in the Elgin “Champion of Champions” Competition which takes place in February 2019. Our traditional singing judges this year are Kevin and Ellen Mitchell and our bothy ballad judge is Allan Taylor.

The Instrumental competitions are held in Falkland Community Hall, also from 2pm. The categories for fiddle and accordion are: Under 12, Under 16, and Open. The catogories for Instrumental Pairs and Ceilidh Band are: Under 16, and Open. The approximate start time for each instrument is as follows: Fiddle 2pm, Accordion 3pm, Instrumental Pairs/Ceilidh Band 4pm. Again, see below for guidelines on tune selection. Adjudicators this year are Dave Husband and Marie Fielding.

We wish our entrants the very best of luck but most importantly, enjoy yourselves! The winner of each category will be invited to perform their winning song or tune in the Saturday evening concert; a great opportunity to play to an appreciative audience.

How to enter

Entry to competitions can only be made on the day so please arrive in time to register. Entries should be made on Saturday morning at the Festival Office in the Community Hall up to 30 minutes before the indicated starting time. The Festival Office is open from 9am-5pm on Saturday 11 August.

Entry fees are £3 per solo class and £3 per person in Duet, Instrumental Pairs and Ceilidh Bands. The Falkland Traditional Music Festival is affiliated to the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland(TMSA) and the competitions are run under TMSA rules.

Competition Rules

The competitions are designed to give encouragement to the revival of interest in the traditional music and songs of Scotland. The rules for competition allow a wide choice to the competitor. However, the competitor should aim to choose pieces that are “traditional” in the best sense of the word. Recently composed tunes or songs should only be selected in competitions for new tunes or songs. The individual pieces chosen may be from written sources or may have been acquired by the competitor from oral tradition. Adjudicators will be looking for traditional style in the performance and will not be expecting strict adherence to any written arrangement.

Accordion & Fiddle

Any three tunes of the competitor’s own choice played as a set, each to be played twice through, chosen from the following: Slow Air, Slow Strathspey, Strathspey, Reel, March, Jig, Hornpipe, Scottish waltz and Polka. Instruments in the Open solo competitions should be unaccompanied. Accompaniment for fiddle is permitted for Under 12 fiddle competitions. Duration up to 5 minutes. Marks will be awarded (out of 100) as follows: Style & Ornamentation (20), Liveliness or Feeling (20), Command of Instrument (20), Rhythm & Phrasing (10), Time (15), Accuracy (15).

Eva Deas – Winner of Fiddle Under 16 in 2017 (Photo copyright Duncan McNab)

Instrumental Pairs

Any two instruments. Choice of pieces and marking as per Accordion & Fiddle. Any competitor who wishes to enter the competition more than once must play a different instrument each time. Competitors should play as a pair, not as one instrument accompanying the other. Duration up to 5 minutes.

Ceilidh Band

Three or more instruments. Two or more pieces as per Accordion & Fiddle except that the set may comprise three tunes of the same type as for a dance. Any two groups should not have more than one player in common. Any competitor who wishes to enter the competition more than once must play a different instrument each time. Duration up to 5 minutes. Marking as per Accordion and Fiddle.

Most Promising Player

Now in it’s second year, this beautiful shield will be awarded to the Most Promising Player taking part in the Instrumental Competitions. The shield was generously donated by Falkland Community Development Trust and is intended for the encouragement of all musicians to take part in our competitions. We hope that you do.

Traditional Singing

Any two songs from Scottish tradition of contrasting nature to be sung unaccompanied. Marks will be awarded (out of 100) as follows: Traditional Style (25), Liveliness or Feeling (30), Time & Phrasing (25), Tone & Pitch (10), Choice of Song (10).

Siging Competition (Photo ©Sean Purser)
Dougie Mackenzie – winner of Men’s Traditional Singing Competition 2014 and 2016 (Photo ©Sean Purser)

Bothy Ballad

Any one bothy ballad to be sung unaccompanied. Marking as for Traditional Singing.

Entry To Competitions

Entry to competitions can only be made on the day so please arrive in time to register. If you’d like to buy tickets in advance for concerts and workshops then please use our tickets form to contact us and we’ll reply with details of how to pay for tickets.

Entries should be made on Saturday morning at the Festival Office in the Community Hall up to 30 minutes before the indicated starting time.

Entry fees are £3 per solo class and £3 per person in Duet, Instrumental Pairs and Ceilidh Bands. The Falkland Traditional Music Festival is affiliated to the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) and the competitions are run under TMSA rules.

Instrumental Competition (Photo ©Sean Purser)
Instrumental Competition (Photo ©Sean Purser)
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