Suggestions for a Future Keurlijst (Score Sheet)
By Jaap Plokker
Translated using Alta Vista’s Babel Fish
Re-edited by Sebastian Vallelunga
Foreword to the English Translation
What follows is one Dutch breeder’s vision of where the Dutch score sheet for waterslagers should go in the future. It once again shows that the human understanding and appreciation of waterslager song is growing all the time and that there is room for different interpretations of it.
I have included the foreword which appears on the homepage of the entire website in order to give readers a better feel for the author and his views. Suggestions for a Future Keurlijst is one small portion of the material available at this site. The original is written in Dutch.
I have heard it said that there can be a lot of tension between the breeders of Dutch and Belgian birds. The voices can be distinctly different although both are still currently considered to be members of the same breed with two song styles. Although I sincerely believe such accusations to be untrue, I’m told that some Dutch breeders openly claim that Belgians are too free in crossing their birds with rollers in order to gain a smoother overall song, and that some Belgian breeders state that the Dutch birds are frequently crossed with border fancy canaries to get their characteristic staccato song. The only time I was in the same room with both a Dutch breeder and a Belgian one, both behaved themselves…but perhaps this was because they were both away from their home turf at a Western Waterslager Club contest in California.
Sebastian Vallelunga, Editor
Learning to recognize and assess the melodies of a song canary is one of the most difficult aspects of bird keeping. Moreover, the desire on the part of individual breeders to learn the canary song has been nearly lost. It is in the bird breeders association "De Kanarievogel” at Kalwijk for this reason that a fixed time of year was set aside for expert judges and breeders of good waterslager lines to take turns listening to and discussing each other’s birds. Besides creating a mutual bond between breeders, one also especially hopes to reach a “song knowledge” of the lines that are bred with these song study evenings. To allow the breeders to review and go over the discussion again at home, “lesson books” were written by me in 1982. Since then this notebook has been revised three times and the contents have been here and there adapted again as a result of setting up the "De Kanarievogel” internet site. The text is the result of both reading literature and my own experiences with breeding and keeping waterslagers since 1973. As a result, the whole text has what might be called my personal touch. I hope that good waterslager lines increase as breeders read the text below; I hope it will also increase their enjoyment in keeping and breeding song canaries in general and waterslagers in particular.
Kalwijk, The Netherlands, October 2003
Suggestions for a Future Keurlijst (Score Sheet)
In my preceding comments on current song theory, I have wondered openly to what extent the current “keurlijst” or score sheet is still current. Considerations mentioned below have been based on the conviction that the Dutch waterslager must be considered as a separate song canary race. Not for this reason alone, however, I say that there must another score sheet to come. Up until the Second World War, there were still described such tours as the gloeken (glucks—editor), the lachtoer (laughter tour—editor), and the heulrol (hollow roll—editor), and these were known as valuable tours. These have disappeared from the keurlijst.
I am persuaded that it is high time to once again sweep the dust off of song theory; namely, tours that have "died out" and those tours which do not lead toward reinforcing the “geslagen” (beaten or interrupted, as opposed to rolled or uninterrupted—editor) structure of the waterslager song should be removed from the keurlijst. For these various reasons, I plead for removing the following headings from the keurlijst: bollende waterslag, tjonken, soeten, woeten and schokkel. Moreover, I plead for the abolishment of the "nightingale accent” heading, but the nightingale accent, as I have defined it elsewhere, should be incorporated into the appraisal of separate tours and appreciation of it should also be shown under the "impression" heading. Furthermore, I am for maintaining and, yes, even increasing the value of the "impression" heading, and thereby plead for an expansion of the contents of this heading in accordance with the proposals I have brought forward. Because I believe that since 1981 the importance of the “inside song” (the minor tours—editor) in figuring the total scores has increased and the importance of the klokkende waterslag has decreased relatively, I plead for an increased point value for this tour up to a maximum of 15 points.
My proposal for the “song tour values” of the keurlijst of the Dutch waterslager is as follows:
Klokkende waterslag, 15 points
Rollende waterslag, 9 points
Chor and knor, 6 points
Staaltonen, 6 points
Flutes, 6 points
Fluitenrol, 6 points
Bells (belrol,) 6 points
Tjokken, 6 points
Tjokkenrol, 6 points
Impression, 6 points