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Classical Composition Contest Talk

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TheBenjerman
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Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 02:48 AM Reply

Hello everyone.

So here's the deal. We haven't really had a classical composition contest or anything similar for a while. NathanAllenPinard had an orchestration contest about a year and a quarter ago, and I know he has done that before, but that doesn't quite fit the description anyway. I am proposing starting a classical composition competition, and I would like to hear who would be interested in competing, any suggestions as to the guidelines of this competition, and suggestions for prizes as well. I'll also take judging suggestions, although I could probably pull a few strings and get some professional composers to judge the finalists if need be.

The goals of this competition would be to bring in some well-needed recognition and exposure for the struggling NG classical population, improve composers' skills in writing traditional classical music, and maybe get the finalists a decent prize as well as some reviews from people who know a little more about what they are talking about.

Here's a basic concept for a possible competition I'll put on the table just to start bringing in the comments:

Some sort of traditional classical form (minuet, rondo, theme and variation, sonata, etc.), sheet music and/or midi file required, at least 2 minutes in length.

Any takers/suggestions/random comments?


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 02:57 AM Reply

I'm definitely down for this.

I vote a Waltz-off =P

TheBenjerman
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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 02:59 AM Reply

At 12/17/10 02:57 AM, LogicalDefiance wrote: I'm definitely down for this.

I vote a Waltz-off =P

Haha. Surprisingly that has a lot of potential! I'm not sure how the judges would feel about that though...


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 03:05 AM Reply

Well as cool as doing stuff like sonatas might be for a competition, I honestly don't think youll find many people interested who know how to write in that form. Maybe 4 or 5 active forum users.

So to gather as many people as possible, perhaps having a choice between a few single movement forms would be a good idea.

InvisibleObserver
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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 03:05 AM Reply

Classical is pretty far flung from what I do, but I'd be willing to participate.

For the contest I'd avoid any sort of classical that tradiationally have vocal parts connected, sprechstimme/aria's/lieder cause we simply don't all have wonderful vocalists/voices/mics at our disposal. :P

I'm not a fan of waltzs, I think if you go the route of requesting a classical sub-genre, maybe give a few alternatives.


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Calamaistr
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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 04:19 AM Reply

this interests me i might want to join in offsite.


Original, classical and retro videogame music composer. pm me for (free) hire, depending on your project i will make you a ost.

TheBenjerman
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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 04:30 AM Reply

At 12/17/10 03:05 AM, InvisibleObserver wrote: Classical is pretty far flung from what I do, but I'd be willing to participate.

For the contest I'd avoid any sort of classical that tradiationally have vocal parts connected, sprechstimme/aria's/lieder cause we simply don't all have wonderful vocalists/voices/mics at our disposal. :P

I'm not a fan of waltzs, I think if you go the route of requesting a classical sub-genre, maybe give a few alternatives.

Yeah, the waltz's could be cool if we had the support, but I think we definitely don't have the interest. It could be one of many possible forms though. And yeah, definitely single-movement works. I'm open to suggestions on form.

I would like to leave vocal music open, but keep in mind that it will be graded on the compositional material, not the performance.

Calamaistr if you want to join in offsite that's fine with me, but I think we'd have to figure out some way to post your music here anyway. Otherwise things could get really confusing. We can figure that out as we go.

An idea for a prize that could be interesting would be a performance of your piece by a live ensemble and a recording. We may have to limit the instrumentation in that case though.


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Funkypotat0
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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 10:49 AM Reply

Seeing as how every one of my 13 uploads here are Classical, I would be out of line to not apply for such a contest. Sign me up.

Or if you need judges, I would be down to do that also. All I know is that this could be a fine opportunity for those among such a rare breed around here.


Don't mind me, I'm just some lingerer with a dry sense of humor and a big stick.
Check out my about.me profile - it's a work in progress

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SkatingIsGenetic
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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 11:40 AM Reply

This is really interesting! Although my compositional works are limited, I do love composing and am trying to do more and more of it, so this would be a good opportunity.

I'm up for participating. :D


MuZiCk.::.iS.::.E>

ShatterTheSky22
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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 12:06 PM Reply

I would definitely be in as well.
I write a lot of classical and classical-infused pieces.

Just a thought, how about single-instrument only? Show off the strength of the composition itself?

[TSR Audio]


[TSR Audio]
Click the Banner To Visit My Music Page!
^__^

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CosmicAlfonzo
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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 12:10 PM Reply

I'd enter, but fat chance I'd give away any sheet music.

TheBenjerman
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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 12:31 PM Reply

At 12/17/10 12:06 PM, ShatterTheSky22 wrote: I would definitely be in as well.
I write a lot of classical and classical-infused pieces.

Just a thought, how about single-instrument only? Show off the strength of the composition itself?

[TSR Audio]

Hmm. Maybe, but I'd like to keep at least a couple of instruments available. Some instruments just aren't fair. We can keep the possibility of a solo piece open though.

Funky, thanks for the support, and Cosmic, I think it would be silly to require sheet music because that would discourage some people who have trouble writing sheet music from participating. I'll be honest though, if you submit sheet music you have a little bit of an extra advantage. I'll probably be converting everything to sheet music in the process anyway (or getting some friends of mine to help) so if you do that for me I have a better chance of getting your piece right in terms of dynamics, articulation, style, etc.

Also any ideas about competition rules or prizes?


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CosmicAlfonzo
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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 05:38 PM Reply

In the first post, you say that you requite sheet music... o.O

Well, if you don't, here is something. It's not exactly done in the 18th or 19th century style, it's more in imitation of mid 20th century avant-guarde/classical music.

  • Down in The Cups
    Down in The Cups by CosmicAlfonzo

    Click to listen.

    Score
    4.14 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Classical
    Popularity
    161 Views

If that doesn't work for you, this is a little bit less weird, a little bit more traditional, though I like the other one more.

  • W.T.t.T.o t.M.(Piano Version)
    W.T.t.T.o t.M.(Piano Version) by CosmicAlfonzo

    Click to listen.

    Score
    3.42 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Miscellaneous
    Popularity
    75 Views

I'm going to be honest, I don't have sheet music for the first one, it is a fantasia, completely improvised, however the second one, if you like it, I have sheet music for it. It is meant to be played with multiple instruments, but I don't really have a satisfactory DAW for rendering classical music, so it never really sounds the way I like it to.

Actually, even then, I'm not really eager to give up sheet music.. I mean, how do I know you aren't just trying to plagiarize for a grade in school or something? That is almost what this topic sounds like an excuse for.

TheBenjerman
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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 07:18 PM Reply

At 12/17/10 05:38 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote: In the first post, you say that you requite sheet music... o.O

Well, if you don't, here is something. It's not exactly done in the 18th or 19th century style, it's more in imitation of mid 20th century avant-guarde/classical music.
http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/3 62932

Yeah, I think we'd better to stick to something with a more traditional form. Makes it easier to grade objectively.

If that doesn't work for you, this is a little bit less weird, a little bit more traditional, though I like the other one more.
http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/3 65647

Could work I suppose. Again, going for something a little more traditional. And I like the other one more as well, but that is besides the point.

I'm going to be honest, I don't have sheet music for the first one, it is a fantasia, completely improvised, however the second one, if you like it, I have sheet music for it. It is meant to be played with multiple instruments, but I don't really have a satisfactory DAW for rendering classical music, so it never really sounds the way I like it to.

Well first of all, if this competition does go over (and we aren't even to that point yet) I'm not going to tell you what to submit. Second, part of the reason sheet music comes in handy is that I can take your lack of DAW into account while grading.

Actually, even then, I'm not really eager to give up sheet music.. I mean, how do I know you aren't just trying to plagiarize for a grade in school or something? That is almost what this topic sounds like an excuse for.

First, that would be completely counterintuitive. Grading all of this stuff will take a lot longer than actually writing the pieces myself since I get the feeling I am going to be doing a LOT of dictation if people don't have sheet music.

Second, no offense to anyone here, I have my own style and I like what I write. I wouldn't put my name on anything on NG that isn't mine.

Third, I am way past any classes that would ask for pieces of this nature. I'm looking for traditional form in this competition to improve people's chops and to offer a style and genre that I am extremely comfortable with and would be good at judging.

And Fourth, I think I mentioned earlier that any piece that is submitted will be graded in sheet-music form, since that is what I am comfortable with and any of the other judges should hopefully be comfortable with. Sheet music is just easier to read. If you don't submit sheet music, I will listen to your piece and write it down. Or convert it from midi. Whatever works. This is part of the reason that your first piece would not be ideal for this contest. It is improv. Sure, I could dictate it if you gave me a couple of hours, but let's keep everything in the same ball park shall we?


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 08:37 PM Reply

Thing is - Nathan had a different idea which interested a wider orchestral composing audience. The restrictions of Waltz and Classical implies that there is a set audience and appeal. It's a good idea. But basically Classical is very different to say orchestral.

If you're going to do this, I suggest it's done the same way, like the orchestration '09 contest. A midi provided, and from there it's up to the user.


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TheBenjerman
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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 08:56 PM Reply

At 12/17/10 08:37 PM, PeterSatera wrote: Thing is - Nathan had a different idea which interested a wider orchestral composing audience. The restrictions of Waltz and Classical implies that there is a set audience and appeal. It's a good idea. But basically Classical is very different to say orchestral.

If you're going to do this, I suggest it's done the same way, like the orchestration '09 contest. A midi provided, and from there it's up to the user.

I understand where you are coming from, but I have some reservations about that. I might be ok with an arrangement of a piece, but I would really prefer to let people write their own piece. It is really not terribly difficult to put something into classical form, and if people really want to they can take an existing piece and just twist it a little to meet the requirements. We still need to decide which forms to use, and define them very well in the official contest.

And here's the thing: I realize classical is different from orchestral, and that is intentional. I never said orchestral. If someone wants to submit a piece of techno or house or something that technically meets the requirements, I am more than happy to judge that piece alongside the others.

If you think there won't be a large enough following with the guidelines provided, I could see changing a few of them. This is just a discussion thread after all. Perhaps I could include a number of motives that people could pick from. I just have a bit of a problem making people quote a pre-existing melody verbatim. Suggested melodic material... maybe. Let's see how far we can get with this before we have to come to that.

Any comments anyone?


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 17th, 2010 @ 11:03 PM Reply

Hey... Im down... :D Nothing like a good ol' competition to get things going.


Check out my music at http://gamekrazzyproduction.newgrou nds.com/audio/

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 18th, 2010 @ 12:05 PM Reply

So... I guess my question is, what are the guidelines? I think it would make it a tad simpler if we were given a selection of instruments to orchestrate for. Instead of trying to narrow it down to a specified genre, which would become quite boring, I would think, for those who are judging, we would have an idea of exactly WHAT we are writing for instead of what we are writing ABOUT.

And for those who are fairly inexperienced with composition, I think it would be easier if you just said.. "Write for this!"...


MuZiCk.::.iS.::.E>

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 18th, 2010 @ 01:50 PM Reply

I'd be down for waltzes. A really easy form to write, particularly good for allowing beginners to participate as well.


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 18th, 2010 @ 02:03 PM Reply

Would like to hear an old time rag.... what are those like to write?

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 18th, 2010 @ 06:54 PM Reply

At 12/18/10 02:03 PM, AccountableMasses wrote: Would like to hear an old time rag.... what are those like to write?

Hmm. Not exactly what I had in mind, it's a lot more modern. What do you all think? Let's decide the possible styles.

And rags are pretty much swung marches. You'd generally have 3 or four themes that repeat once and follow each other sequentially. Some rags have a reiteration of the first theme as well, usually with no repetition.

Alright, people. The suggestions so far have been ragtime, waltz (in a classical sense), minuet or scherzo, sonata, rondo, theme and variation (passacaglias would fall under this category). I would also like to suggest the fugue, invention, canon. I think these are all valid.

I will include these, along with definitions of the forms in the first post of the contest thread. I'm certainly still open to suggestions, and if someone in the competition wants to choose a different style that is fine too. These are just suggestions for people who are less familiar with the terms. Just nothing random or through-composed.

Now for prizes: I can get a professional recording of the winning composition with a certain instrumentation. I can also premier the piece at my university if desired. I could also offer a small cash prize. I'll see what I can scrounge up. Any other suggestions?


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 18th, 2010 @ 08:11 PM Reply

I'm actually in the middle of writing a waltz... I'd definitely be in if that's the genre chosen. Even if we choose a different genre, classical seems to be my strong point since I'm in the midst of learning its theory.

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 18th, 2010 @ 09:13 PM Reply

By classical you mean "Orchestral" don't you?

Actually me and Varrin7 were thinking of just such a competition. We've been PMing lots about it, but maybe we should form a group here. I'm pretty sure varrin7 would love to be involved, and so would I.

I believe that the main component should be ORCHESTRAL rather than classical. Most music you hear being played by orchestras these days is not classical music.

I have some more ideas. Let's swap IMs

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 18th, 2010 @ 10:22 PM Reply

At 12/18/10 09:13 PM, brokendeck wrote: By classical you mean "Orchestral" don't you?

Actually me and Varrin7 were thinking of just such a competition. We've been PMing lots about it, but maybe we should form a group here. I'm pretty sure varrin7 would love to be involved, and so would I.

I believe that the main component should be ORCHESTRAL rather than classical. Most music you hear being played by orchestras these days is not classical music.

I have some more ideas. Let's swap IMs

But Piano is classical. I think classical just refers to the academic-type music from the past from baroque to the post-war period. I know that doesn't quite cover it's meaning, but anyone who knows what classical is should get what I mean.

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 18th, 2010 @ 10:38 PM Reply

At 12/18/10 10:22 PM, WizMystery wrote:
But Piano is classical. I think classical just refers to the academic-type music from the past from baroque to the post-war period. I know that doesn't quite cover it's meaning, but anyone who knows what classical is should get what I mean.

Piano, when played by itself, can be any genre, not just classical, or baroque, or even romantic. The piano is a multi-genre instrument capable of playing a vast variety of styles and mixes of styles, just like almost every other instrument actually. :D

Also, "academic type" music is NOT limited to "Classical" music.

Baroque music is a different era from Classical music. The Baroque period lasted roughly from the 17th century to roughly the mid-18th century. And from there till about the early 19th century is where the classical period resides. Then after that till the turn of the century is the Romantic period.

These days it is a common mistake to refer to all orchestral music as "classical". This is propagated further on the NewGrounds Audio portal especially since everything orchestral is placed in a sub-genre labeled "classical".

I could write so much more, but it's easier to Wiki it, Goggle it, or go the the library and borrow a "Academic style" book. ;)

P
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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 18th, 2010 @ 10:43 PM Reply

Yeah... I like the idea of Orchestral alot more then waltz to be honest. Although I don't believe I am real good at it. The Waltz and Rag Time are just things that I actually have trouble with surprisingly. lol


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 02:40 AM Reply

I am in favor of doing all those forms except the sonata. Didnt we agree on one movement forms? sonata would definitely be 3 or 4 movements.

And you were saying you might get them reviewed by professional composers? So having it written out in sheet music and in a certain form might be leverage for getting said reviews right? I can see that.

I am also down for an orchestral competition, since like i previously said a lot of newgrounders will have trouble with both writing sheet music out and with writing in a specific form so we wont have many contestants. Also with an orchestral comp, I can flex with my east west software =P

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 02:55 AM Reply

im workin on a piece that could be described as classical jazz, just piano and drums(i could throw in a little classical guitar as well). But the writing isnt in a jazzy scale, its mostly melodic. Legal?

And this wouldnt be in multi round form right?

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 02:58 AM Reply

Certainly needs to be focused more then just "classical" cause that's a huge array of styles/genres. Just don't rail-road the creativity onto a specific set track though.


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 03:23 AM Reply

At 12/18/10 09:13 PM, brokendeck wrote:
I believe that the main component should be ORCHESTRAL rather than classical. Most music you hear being played by orchestras these days is not classical music.

If this is the decided course, then this will become yet another generic competition where the person with the prettiest melody and most epic (hate using that word) drum rolls wins :|


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