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Please do not reply to this thread. You can discuss this FAQ here.


Q - What is this BFT thing?

A - BFT means Blindfold Test. A Blindfold Test presents you music without telling you what it is, or who are playing. This forces you to listen with an open ear and without preconceived ideas and opinions. A Blindfold Test is generally presented each month in this forum.

Q - Why have a Blindfold Test?

A - There are several reasons for doing these Blindfold Tests. First of all, it is fun. Secondly, you will be listening to music you probably have not heard before; you may discover something you like a lot. Thirdly, it will allow you to sharpen your senses when listening to music. If you are going to express an opinion about it, you cannot rely on generally accepted or otherwise openly expressed opinions, as you would not know where to look for these. Furthermore, you can test your knowledge of music by trying to guess who, what, where, and when. Lastly, others will share their impressions and opinions with you on the music. An informed discussion is always helpful to improve your knowledge and ability to express ideas.

Q - Who makes these Blindfold Tests?

A - Any member of this Board can compile a BFT and distribute it to the participants in the Test. There are some guidelines, though (see below).

Q - Who can participate in these Blindfold Tests?

A - Any member of this board may sign up to participate as a listener.

Q – How is the music distributed to the participants?

A – Most listeners prefer to download the BFT through a file-sharing site such as Mediafire or Rapidshare, but there are still participants who prefer to receive a physical CD through the mail. Presenters should be prepared to share their BFT through both methods.


Q - How do I sign up to participate as a listener?

A - The compiler of a BFT will start a thread usually titled "Blindfold Test #X - sign up" or something similar. Follow the instructions of the compiler in that thread.

Q - The BFT has already started; can I still sign up?

A - Yes, post a request in the sign up thread for someone to get the music to you.

Q - What is the task of the participants?

A - They listen to the disc and may then post their ideas in a destined thread, usually titled "Blindfold Test #X ? discussion" or similar. Posting is not compulsory, but very much appreciated. Apart from wanting to present some own favorite music, the presenter compiled the music to receive reactions on it.

Q - Will the correct answers be revealed eventually?

A - Yes, the compiler will post the correct answers in a separate thread at the end of the month.

Q - Can I participate even if I will not be able to make any correct guesses?

A – Yes. The BFT is not about showing off how much you know; it is about sharing music and opinions about music, and about learning to appreciate new styles and artists. All opinions are equal, just as all tastes are equal.

Q - What's with the costs? Do I have to pay?

A - No. The consensus of the Board is that what comes around goes around and everyone will receive as many discs as are sent out eventually. Then there is Karma, and that works for most. In other words, there is no strict need to pay for discs. Some compilers may ask for assistance, either monetary or in form of copying or postage. If you feel uneasy in receiving without giving, you may offer help yourself.

Q - I cannot/prefer not to make my own compilation, can I participate anyhow?

A - Yes, "free-riders" are allowed. You may offer help in copying or distribution if you feel uneasy about receiving without giving.

Q - I am interested in a previous Blindfold Test disc. How can I get it?

A - You may post a request in this thread for someone to make you a copy.


Q - I want to do a compilation myself. How do I go about that?

A - You sign up in this thread. You may want to check the Blindfold Test forum to find the latest list of upcoming BFTs. You can pick the next available position or request to do any later test.

Q - What kind of music can I include on my BFT disc?

A - Anything goes, but remember that this is a jazz discussion board. The selected tracks should at least tangentially be related to what is commonly called jazz music. Discuss here.

Q - How long should my BFT be?

A - It is suggested that you make your BFT no longer than the length of a CD - 80 minutes. Some listeners have stated that longer BFTs may reduce their interest in participating. You may make your BFT longer if you wish, but that increases the chances that participants may not listen to every selection.

Q – I’m not comfortable with the technical aspects of uploading/downloading music. Does that mean I cannot present a BFT?

A – No. Contact the BFT manager (at the time of this posting, jeffcrom) for assistance. Such assistance can include a short tutorial on uploading music or, if necessary, the manager can upload the music for you.

Q - Postage is expensive; I cannot afford it. Does this mean I cannot present a BFT?

A - No. Some people have less money than others. This does not mean they have less interesting taste in music. You can request help from fellow board members (in particular, the BFT manager) to assist you in your test by copying and/or posting discs.

Q - When do I post my announcement and call for participants?

A - Make your call early enough. There are a lot of logistic issues to deal with and it will need time before all have read your call to sign up as well. As a rule, you should post your sign-up thread after the previous compiler starts the discussion – around the middle of the month before your BFT is about right. This not only shows good style by not interfering with another BFT, but will also allow you enough time to get your music uploaded and your discs out.

Q - When do I begin my BFT?

A – Assuming that the presenter before you has posted his/her answer thread by the last day of the month, you can start your discussion thread on the first of the month. You can start later if you wish, but that will give less time for your test, since you will still be expected to finish up by the end of your month. The download links for your music should not be sent to participants until the previous month’s answers have been posted. Physical discs should be mailed to those requesting them a few days earlier. Much, of course, depends on the speed of postal delivery. Discs going out to overseas addresses are ideally sent out up to a week earlier.

Q – When do I end my BFT?

A – You should post your answer thread by the end of your month. It might be a good idea to post the thread a couple of days before the end of the month to allow for further discussion that listeners may have after knowing the artists and selections.

Edited by jeffcrom

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