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Vaadya Vaahini FAQ's

Q1. Can a contestant compete in both the “Percussion” and “String, Wind, Keyboard” categories?

Yes. Just make sure we receive two separate applications, with a $20 registration fee for each application.

Q2. Can a contestant in one category participate as an accompanying artist with someone else competing in the same or a different category with a different instrument?

Yes. Submit an application for yourself as the contestant. Let the other contestant submit his/her application separately.

Q3. Can anyone register, or do they have to register through their music school?

ANY individual can register. No need to register through a school. Schools can also register their students as long as the applications and registration fees are paid for each individual contestant. Parents can register on behalf of their minor children. Just make sure we have the correct contact details for us to communicate.

Q1. Is a contestant allowed to choose only a classical piece in the String, Wind, Keyboard category? What about Semi-classical or Bollywood?

The contest is intended to encourage traditional, Indian classical musicians. Both “pure” Classical and Semi-classical pieces are allowed. Semi-classical pieces can include Bhajans, Abhangs, Bhav Geet, and medleys of various Raags.

As far as Bollywood music is concerned, we want you to be careful with your selection. Don’t neglect the spirit and intent of this contest!

Western music is not allowed, regardless of whether it is Classical or Rock or Hip Hop or any other genre. We may consider it in the future.

Q2. In the String, Wind, Keyboard category, is it mandatory for a contestant to demonstrate his/her ability to elaborate, in the form of “manodharmam” or “Kalpana swaras”?

No, “manodharmam” or “Kalpana swaras” are not a mandatory requirement for ANY contestant in ANY age group. However, no contestant is penalized if included in the performance. Every contestant is encouraged to demonstrate as much creativity as he/she is capable of, within the 8 minutes allotted for the performance.

Q3. What can I play on the percussion?

Rhythmic patterns fitting into a taaLa, collage of choreographed beat cycles and tempos, Thani avarathanam, or any other taaLa vaadya composition. Please consult your guru to find your expertise and level before choosing.

Q1. Can a contestant’s performance exceed 8 minutes?

Time allotted for performance: 8 minutes maximum; 5 points penalty if performance exceeds beyond a reasonable time 20-30 seconds, if absolutely necessary, to avoid abrupt ending. There is no penalty for time usage under 8 minutes.

Q2. Can a contestant use less than 8 minutes for his/her performance?

Absolutely! There is no penalty or reward for finishing within 8 minutes.

Q1. What can I play for Junior classical?

Contestants can choose any item in discussion with their teacher. Typically, varnam/keerthana/dEvarnaama/thillana all fall in this category.

Q2. What can I play in Junior semi-classical?

Typically, bhajan/ naatyageet/ bhaavageete/ghazal/thillana all fall in this category.

Q3. Can I play a Bollywood song?

Please choose in the spirit of the contest. Raaga based Bollywood songs can be chosen.

Q4. Can I do raaga/swara manOdharma?

Yes, in the given timeframe.

Q5. What if I don’t do manOdharma?

No points for adding manOdharma, musical quality, and perfection as a whole will be judged. So, one can add if they think that will elevate their presentation.

Q6. My student is still at Geetham/swarajati level - can I enroll them? How will they be judged?

The contests are based on the age group. In the spirit of participation, pls feel free to enroll your student. We encourage young artists.

Q7. Can I play western classical for a classical category?

No, at this time we are restricting to only Indian classical.

Q8. Can I play western music for semi-classical?

No. Only Indian semi-classical music is allowed.

Q9. What are the accompaniments allowed for String/wind/keyboard instruments?

You can have one percussion accompaniment besides the shruti box. No vocal/other instrument support allowed.

Q5. Why are Contestants at different levels of learning (for example Geetham vs. Keerthana" being judged together in the same group?

At this time, we have grouped students only by age group. Should there be any change to this based on the signups, we will let you know no later than 3/20.

Q1. When will the contestants know the date, time, and order of performance? How will the contest be conducted?

The deadline for receiving applications is March 13, 2021. We hope to finalize all the logistical details by March 15, 2021. All contestants will be informed accordingly.

We plan on conducting three separate Zoom calls prior to the contest as follows:

  • For all the contestants and their family members, to clarify any questions they may have.
  • For all the judges.
  • A dry run with a few selected contestants to ensure sound quality, set up, etc. We will choose one or two instruments from each category - such as Veena, Sitar, Violin, Flute, harmonium, tabla, and mridangam. All contestants can note down the setup and clarify any concerns they may have.
  • The contest will utilize Zoom for performances and will be streamed on YouTube and Facebook.
  • Multiple rooms will be set up on Zoom, so that when one contestant is performing in the main Zoom set up, the next one can prepare in one of the rooms, seated properly in front of the camera, an instrument tuned and ready to go. Look out for detailed instructions from us.

Percussion Category: (Max. 50 points)

  • Tuning and Tone (15 points)
  • Rhythmic accuracy (15 points)
  • Artistry (20 points)

String, Wind, Keyboard Category: (Max. 50 points)

  • Tuning and Tone (15 points)
  • Rhythmic accuracy (15 points)
  • Artistry (20 points)


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