Brief explanations about the
categories found on the Adjudicator Evaluations of the
NSMTA Sonata-Sonatina Festival 2015
from Bruce Berr and Yeeseon Kwon
Co-Chairs of the Festival

Large-scale categories at the top of the sheet

Stylistic projection: How clearly and appropriately did the performer communicate the style of the specific piece? Classical period, romantic, and modern pieces each tend to have different style characteristics.

Expressiveness: How expressively did the performer play? This could be independent of Stylistic projection if the student communicated gestures in such a way that were not appropriate for the style of the music.

Accuracy: Judges were free to interpret this in several ways: mainly note accuracy. But some might also use it to communicate accuracy across a broader area, such as rhythm and other aspects.

Memory: How well did the student memorize the piece? Some judges also might use this to additionally indicate how well someone was able to play their way through slight memory lapses.

Facility: Did the performer display physical ease in how they played their music?


Detailed categories at the bottom of the sheet
Please be aware that these are optional. Some judges may have marked all or most of the categories; others may have marked only the strongest and weakest aspects that contributed to the final score; others may not have marked anything at all. Since judges have to do detailed listening and much thinking and writing in a short amount of time, we leave it up to each judge to decide how they best can communicate on these sheets.

Performance continuity: This can indicate whether the performer was always able to keep going, regardless of any note mistakes or memory slips. Some judges might also use it to indicate a more general assessment of how cohesively the various sections of the piece worked together as a whole.

Tempo: This can indicate either the appropriateness of the speed the performer took, or it might indicate whether the performer maintained the same perceived speed throughout the piece.

Tone quality: Indicates whether the quality of the tone was appropriate for the various sections and with the style of the music.

Rhythm: Can indicate either how accurately the performer executed the written rhythms on the page, and/or can also indicate how well and appropriately the performer approached the rhythms with flexibility, based on the style of the music.

Phrasing/Shaping: Indicates whether the shorter musical sentences sounded coherent and expressive based on their context and style.

Long lines: Indicates how well those shorter musical sentences combined to make longer “paragraphs” and “chapters.”

Balance/voicing: Indicates how well and appropriately the performer created different levels of sound simultaneously to create a three-dimensional effect.

Dynamics: Indicates whether the performer communicated the overall loudness and softness of sections clearly and accurately to a listener.

Technique: Indicates anything about the performer’s physical approach to the instrument.

Pedaling: Indicates how well and appropriately the student used the damper pedal (the one on the right).