Onion - why would I waste my time on a tenor drum? One note!
Do you really want to go there about what is more demanding between playing pipes and playing tenor drum?
Put a bagpipe and a tenor drum in front of two people who have never played them before, and then see who is furthered progressed in 6 months time. End of argument.
Would FMM still be a chance to win the worlds sans tenor drummers? You could easily argue 'yes', and would struggle to argue 'no'.
Would FMM be a chance to win without pipe corps? You could easily argue 'no' and it would be pointless to argue 'yes'....about as pointless as giving an element within and element a say in the final result. End of argument.
Wow, you can actually be bothered to tune your drums these days (ten years ago your lot argued it wasn't important). Wow, you can flourish and pose like peacocks doing a gymnastics floor routine. Wow, you might hit your drums a little bit more these days....wow!! I'm stunned!
One trick ponies!
hmmm....let me think. Assuming there are now 3 sections in a pipe band, as some would love to believe, what's the one section a pipe band could live/survive without......?
Pipe corps? Nope.
Bass drum? Nope.
Dream on people. You do good work but please, get over yourselves and be a part of the drum corps, not lost in your own special little worlds.
Since when has what the masses thought been enough reason for the rulemakers to enact change?
That aside, mid-sections are not that important in my opinion, sorry. To have a stand-alone judge and impact on the overall result...? It is delusional to even suggest it.
I look at what Pipe Major's have to do in order to get their pipe sections heading in the right direction. It would be ridiculous and unjust to elevate yet another element of the band to a position that can impact on the end result of a PIPE band contest, especially if it is the 'twirling dish mop' brigade.
The pipe tune is written or selected, the snare line is then written...and then the tenor drums get a look in, and play a bit here and there in between twirling their mallets. Sounds about right to me, so why push them up the food chain in contest scoring? We already have ensemble, best bass, best drum corps......and ONLY one piping award. Get a grip!
Onlooker - I'm really looking forward to seeing a video of you playing tenor beating with flourishing sometime soon. I'm sure it'll be easy to conjure up some music and 'twisty turny bits' that would rival even a semi-decent tenor corps in no time, since, as you put it, it's such as easy instrument to play.
Tenors should be a part of the overall scoring and they are a legitimate and musical section of a pipe band.
Pipers: The golden rule when working with a reed is, "You can always take material off the cane, but you cannot put it back." So, remember, when removing the slightest amount of material, blow the reed again.