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Thread: "Speed" vs. "Music" in Free Skate

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    "Speed" vs. "Music" in Free Skate

    A Question: How important is Speed in scoring a FS program?

    There is no doubt about it YuNa is the faster skater in the West. That takes care of the fastest, now; how fast should others skate? and how do Judges look at speed in a program?

    Another Question: How important is Musicality in scoring a FS program?

    There are tempos and composers notes on how his music should be played.

    I bring these questions up to clear up matter of Caroline Zhang being put down on being slow.

    How fast should Caroline skate to a prayerful type of music? At what speed would YuNa interpret the Ave Maria? (I think the Schubert one was not written with religion in mind.)

    More to the point: Isn't speed scored on it's specific varieties? and Shouldn't Music be scored on what it is?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    A Question: How important is Speed in scoring a FS program?
    Interesting questions.

    I don't think we can quantify exactly how important it is . . . or exactly how fast the skaters are going.

    We can estimate visually and see the difference between very slow, slow, medium, fast, and very fast, but human beings don't have built-in capacity to estimate much finer than that and there would be technical impediments to using external equipment to measure skaters' speed. (I discussed those limitations here)

    Absolute speed will affect the Skating Skills component -- the highest speed the skater is able to achieve, the average speed s/he's able to maintain, whether that speed is carried through the jumps and other elements or whether there's a lot of visible slowing down in elements and speeding up in between, etc.

    Keeping speed through elements would also have a positive effect on the GOE for those elements.

    But how the speed is generated and how it is used will also affect the Skating Skills score, or the skating skills aspects of the Technical Merit mark in 6.0 judging. If you skate fast just because you have strong muscles and do a lot of crossovers, that might not be worth as much as someone who skates less fast in absolute terms but is able to generate speed from a variety of edge techniques.

    Another Question: How important is Musicality in scoring a FS program?

    There are tempos and composers notes on how his music should be played.

    I bring these questions up to clear up matter of Caroline Zhang being put down on being slow.

    How fast should Caroline skate to a prayerful type of music? At what speed would YuNa interpret the Ave Maria? (I think the Schubert one was not written with religion in mind.)

    More to the point: Isn't speed scored on it's specific varieties? and Shouldn't Music be scored on what it is?
    I'm not sure exactly what you mean here.
    There's a difference between speed in the sense of how fast one covers the ice in miles per hour and tempo in the sense of how quickly one moves one's body parts, including how many strokes one takes in a given number of seconds.

    Slow music, mostly slow movement tempo, very fast ice speed:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSZg9-Af7kU

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Interesting questions.

    I'm not sure exactly what you mean here.
    There's a difference between speed in the sense of how fast one covers the ice in miles per hour and tempo in the sense of how quickly one moves one's body parts, including how many strokes one takes in a given number of seconds.

    Slow music, mostly slow movement tempo, very fast ice speed:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSZg9-Af7kU
    That clip is an excellent example of great ice coverage to slower music - while maintaining a proper lyrical interpretation. Many Russian teams have done this so well over the years and it is something many North American Pairs teams do not do as well.
    If Yuna were skating to Ave Maria I suspect she would interpret it in a similar fashion. At a faster speed but with a similar lyrical interpretation.
    Ave Maria may have been specifically picked for Caroline in the hope that her slower skating would look and feel more appropriate with the slower tempo of the music. With that in mind it is easy to see how a skater like Yuna could be skating faster while having the same visual effect as Caroline but would probably score higher. Although Caroline does do some amazing spirals and spins
    Last edited by janetfan; 06-12-2009 at 12:29 PM.

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    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post

    Slow music, mostly slow movement tempo, very fast ice speed:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSZg9-Af7kU
    Oh my goodness! I have nothing to add to this conversation but just wanted to say that i haven't watched this programme in probably about 5 years and i'd forgotten just how perfect and beautiful it was. Sucha shame what COP has done to pairs skating.

    Ant

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    Speed is an indication of edge control and good basic skating. It certainly helps to have long legs, like Carolina Kostner.

    To your first question, ideally jumps are done with speed. Caroline cuts off speed before she takes off, most notably her double axel at near stand still.

    Music is very revealing. Caroline's La Bayadere best showcase her weakness, especially during her footwork. The piece of music is building up in a crescendo but Caroline's skating is barely keeping up with it. It's totally Caroline's fault, considering Lori Nichol chose the music. Even then, picking slower music can't hide the lack of speed when it's apparent in her jumps. Slower music can be skated to quickly but without being frenatic, like Michelle's Feeling Begins.
    Last edited by DarkestMoon; 06-12-2009 at 12:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Slow music, mostly slow movement tempo, very fast ice speed:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSZg9-Af7kU
    That program was absolutely sublime (maybe the best pairs SP ever?). It was definitely a travesty that they didn't get any 6.0s--or that the NA media even suggested that S/P should've placed above them (ugh).

    Anyways, in B/S's case, I think it really helped to have that seemingly effortless speed they had through excellent edges, etc--they could maintain a lyrical expression with long and stretched-out moves conveying the languidness of the music while flying across the ice without lots of back-pumping or crossovers.

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    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    A Question:
    Another Question: How important is Musicality in scoring a FS program?

    There are tempos and composers notes on how his music should be played.

    I bring these questions up to clear up matter of Caroline Zhang being put down on being slow.

    How fast should Caroline skate to a prayerful type of music? At what speed would YuNa interpret the Ave Maria? (I think the Schubert one was not written with religion in mind.)

    More to the point: Isn't speed scored on it's specific varieties? and Shouldn't Music be scored on what it is?
    There's a difference between SPEED and MOVEMENT. In the case of any skater, he/she should cover the ice with an economy of motion (ie make it look easy) at the fastest speed he/she can go while maintaining control of edges and elements. The MOVEMENTS (ie choreography) should match the music. The movements may be slow (to match a prayerful type of music such as Ave Maria). They may be soft and deliberate or sharp and quick but in no way relate to the speed at which a skater travels.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    That program was absolutely sublime (maybe the best pairs SP ever?). It was definitely a travesty that they didn't get any 6.0s--or that the NA media even suggested that S/P should've placed above them (ugh).

    Anyways, in B/S's case, I think it really helped to have that seemingly effortless speed they had through excellent edges, etc--they could maintain a lyrical expression with long and stretched-out moves conveying the languidness of the music while flying across the ice without lots of back-pumping or crossovers.
    That was a beautiful Pairs routine. Given the music, imo, it did not need top speed skating. The couple followed the dictates of the music as composed and played, and for me, that is how it should be judged. Of course, it was B&S and that is not a surprise. If they were to speed it up, it would lose the sensitivity of the piece. Use of music and speed in Figure Skating is relevant and important in judging a program.

    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    There's a difference between SPEED and MOVEMENT. In the case of any skater, he/she should cover the ice with an economy of motion (ie make it look easy) at the fastest speed he/she can go while maintaining control of edges and elements. The MOVEMENTS (ie choreography) should match the music. The movements may be slow (to match a prayerful type of music such as Ave Maria). They may be soft and deliberate or sharp and quick but in no way relate to the speed at which a skater travels.
    Very good points about the movements which should show a variety of speed and also show how versatile a skater can be, to the varied beats of the music.
    But by using a piece of music that really does not offer much variety does not give the skater a chance to show versatility, no matter how fast a skater performs it I think the SPs are all beautiful but not challenging in different tempos...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    That was a beautiful Pairs routine. Given the music, imo, it did not need top speed skating.
    You're missing the point. In terms of the kind of speed that is rewarded in skating -- ice coverage in miles per hour, or feet per second -- that WAS top speed skating. They were skating VERY FAST with relatively few, relatively slow-tempo strokes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    You're missing the point. In terms of the kind of speed that is rewarded in skating -- ice coverage in miles per hour, or feet per second -- that WAS top speed skating. They were skating VERY FAST with relatively few, relatively slow-tempo strokes.
    I agree and maybe this is redundant - but compared to what other Pairs teams are capable of that was especially fast - but still beautiful and fluid.

    There is also another possibilty with skaters moving across the ice at a slower or medium slow speed but to very fast music.
    Any examples of this?
    Last edited by janetfan; 06-12-2009 at 05:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    There is also another possibilty with skaters moving across the ice at a slower or medium slow speed but to very fast music.
    Any examples of this?
    Well, it's hard to find appropriate examples on youtube because for the most part it would be lower-level skaters. Here are some comparisons of junior and senior teams doing the same compulsory dance, so you can see the difference in ice coverage (ice speed) as they skate at the same tempo:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3IWiIO7zCM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUX9--ZfW9o

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xNh9sOsyOQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9x3Xf76NfI

    ETA:
    This one isn't used at junior level, but here's a lower ranked senior team and a higher ranked one

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rmEL3kt2hU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9X0yH3EZGU


    And then there's always this
    Last edited by gkelly; 06-13-2009 at 10:20 AM.

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    speed looks good no matter what type of music one skates to for the most part. I am not sure that Yu-na is faster than Carolina, but she certainly maintains good flow throughout the whole program. She never looks hesitant or scared in her program as caroline sometimes does. Having a lot of speed going into jumps usually increases the flow coming out of them as well as the height two things which boost GOE scores. Speed in a footwork sequecence makes it flow and move with the music...and makes it look easy...also GOE boosters.

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    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    This is kind of a double edge question as both speed and musicality are equally important. It's true some skaters do choose slow music to skate to as well, but believe it or not it is more difficult to skate to slow music.

    A skater like Elvis Stojko can really cover the ice and make it look effortless.

    Anyway, to answer your question - both elements are important.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Apparently what I am reading is that Speed is much more important than the tempo of the music, or is it that the two go hand and hand and can not be separated? If so then speed should be included in Interpretation, and tempo should not even be considered. I'm not sure what happens to 'variety in speed' which I believe is based on the tempo of the music.

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Apparently what I am reading is that Speed is much more important than the tempo of the music, or is it that the two go hand and hand and can not be separated? If so then speed should be included in Interpretation, and tempo should not even be considered. I'm not sure what happens to 'variety in speed' which I believe is based on the tempo of the music.
    Haven't you heard - "speed kills"

    Speed, as in ice-flow looks good - and the better the skater's technique in producing this flow - coupled with how wel the music is interpreted - will have a major imapct on how they are scored. It is all inter-related.
    Last edited by janetfan; 06-13-2009 at 07:10 AM.

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