I have been keeping track of the music skaters use over the past several years. I try to include skaters that will be at international competitions, in front of international judging panels in my lists, including Grand Prix Assignments and big international competitions like Worlds. What always surprises me the most is the total lack of originality among so many skaters who one would suppose to have some artistic sensibility since figure skating is an artistic sport.
Perhaps some skaters don’t have a lot of musical knowledge and depend on others to guide them. Or perhaps skaters don’t pay attention to what other skaters use or really follow skating broadly and so are unaware of how well used their selection may be. Or it could be the reverse – a skater loved another skater’s music so much they want to emulate them. Maybe they are just athletes with no artistic soul. Whatever the case, I am here, in that time of year when new programs are being contemplated, to encourage skaters and coaches to educate themselves. Before you make that final decision, check how often that music has been used. If it has been used before, put it aside because there is a LOT of music out there, more than what the skating world would suggest. And – and this is the crucial bit – because skating is a small world, the music selections can get very repetitive and boring, I’m assuming for the judges (who can be in the sport for a long time and I’m sure have long memories) as well as the audience.
What I am going to do is deal with the heavily used, recognizable music that is used in skating in a two parts: what you often hear called “warhorses” (I), and then a category of “well used music – to be avoided” that includes moderately used but recognizable music to heavily used music (II).
I. Let’s talk about the warhorses.