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Classical Composition Contest Talk

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MJTTOMB
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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 10:13 AM Reply

BrokenDeck, though I see your point, your statement isn't entirely true. Classical music, though it specifically refers to a long-gone era in the history of music, can be accurately used as an umbrella term for the western school of music that is based on classical forms and harmonic practices.

The thread starter obviously meant classical, not orchestral. And i'm sure the OP knows the difference. If you want to start an exclusive orchestration contest, feel free. But don't come into a thread hoping to boot out anyone interested in writing piano compositions as well.


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 10:27 AM Reply

Well in any case of what we mean by "Classical" we need to be specifics about what the requirements are. By repeatedly saying classical there's going to be the seperation of is its a "Classical" Piece, or a "Newgrounds Classical" Genre. So if we're saying classical, and really just mean an orchestra, then we need to get that clear.

At 12/19/10 03:23 AM, S3C wrote: 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 :|

If anything the prettiest melody would be more apparent if it was a purely classical structured piece. I know it was suggested that providing a theme was a bad idea but I do have to try and remind those all who remember it the huge number of different pieces which were done. I just think by saying create a classical waltz or whatever youre going to easily half if not less the number of people who would do this. Consider that there is a huge number of Film-Score orchestral tracks in the classical portal, none of them would really take part. Heck we even have Rock Orchestra in the classical portal.


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 10:53 AM Reply

At 12/18/10 10:38 PM, brokendeck wrote: 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

Then it should be able to be used in this competition.

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

I never said that.

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.

You would be correcting in saying the classical period, in its strictest definition, would only apply to mid 18th century to the early 19th century when Beethoven came around. However, that would leave out the romantic and modern periods - which I'm sure we all associate with the term "classical music," a term that is not the same as "classical period" - in addition to the Baroque period, which should be included as well. Classical, in the case of this competition, should refer to more than just its own short period for the sake of variety.

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'd agree, but neither the OP nor I suggested it was.

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. ;)

I was directed to this page in searching "Classical music."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_m usic

As you can see, the page agrees with my stance. It considers classical music being any western art music from the year 1000 AD and onward. Baroque, Romantic, and modern are included, in addition to the works of 20th and 21st century composers (that would include John Williams, as recent as his work is).

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 02:46 PM Reply

cool already have a title for a rag time piece... was thinking of the having it called the old ass rag..

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

I'm totally up for judging if you need extras... i don't write music, but ive been playing piano for about 8 years and tuba for 3. :) Contact me.


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 03:50 PM Reply

actually really if need a trumpet or cornet played for this. am up for it...

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 04:59 PM Reply

PLEASE READ THIS POST BEFORE YOU POST ANYTHING ELSE!

Alright, let's see what I can clear up here...

At 12/19/10 02:40 AM, LogicalDefiance wrote: 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.

Nope. Sonata is a 1 movement work. Sometimes a movement of a larger work.

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.

Yup.

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

The point is kind of to help people write in the incredibly simple forms that make up "classical" music. People just don't understand how easy it is to do this. And I can read midi files, and if necessary I can write down a whole damn piece by ear. Shouldn't be a problem.

At 12/19/10 02:55 AM, jpbear wrote: 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?

No idea. What the hell is multi round form? A canon?

At 12/19/10 02:58 AM, InvisibleObserver wrote: 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.

That's the whole point. We'll give a number of styles/forms that people can fit pieces into. The idea is to force people to become more creative under some loose guidelines.

At 12/19/10 10:27 AM, PeterSatera wrote: Well in any case of what we mean by "Classical" we need to be specifics about what the requirements are. By repeatedly saying classical there's going to be the seperation of is its a "Classical" Piece, or a "Newgrounds Classical" Genre. So if we're saying classical, and really just mean an orchestra, then we need to get that clear.

THE DEFINITION OF CLASSICAL MUSIC AS IT PERTAINS TO THIS THREAD: COMMON PRACTICE PERIOD. THIS IS "ART" MUSIC UNDER THE WESTERN SYSTEM FROM ROUGHLY 1600 TO 1900.

thanks peter.

At 12/19/10 03:50 PM, AccountableMasses wrote: actually really if need a trumpet or cornet played for this. am up for it...

Thanks. ^_^

Hopefully that clears some things up. Do continue the conversation. It's fascinating.


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 06:50 PM Reply

At 12/19/10 10:27 AM, PeterSatera wrote:
I just think by saying create a classical waltz or whatever youre going to easily half if not less the number of people who would do this.

Yes that would be a probable outcome. But it would be a more interesting, IMO, less generic competition that features some of the more under-noticed artists of the classical section on this site. All the "film score classical" or whatever it shall be called is all great music, but there's been contests for that kind of stuff in the past. Personally I think it would be cooler if there was an actual contest that was based on following classical or common-practice era compositions. Unfortunately there would be significantly less musicians to enter, but it doesnt mean someone who normally doesn't write these type of compositions won't be successful doing so and at the very least they can attempt to write in a style that they are not used to, and receive good feedback.


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 07:04 PM Reply

At 12/19/10 06:50 PM, S3C wrote: Unfortunately there would be significantly less musicians to enter, but it doesnt mean someone who normally doesn't write these type of compositions won't be successful doing so and at the very least they can attempt to write in a style that they are not used to, and receive good feedback.

I love you.


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 07:29 PM Reply

Well looks like I need a lesson on the definition of section vs. movement.

Also, what S3c said...agreed

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 08:47 PM Reply

At 12/19/10 07:29 PM, LogicalDefiance wrote: Well looks like I need a lesson on the definition of section vs. movement.

Ah. I understand. Yes, if you changed all of those "movements" to sections I think you would be good.


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 09:58 PM Reply

lol, yeah... section and movement are two completely different things... Anyways, out of curiousity does anyone have any referal links so that people who have trouble writing music under this style have an understanding of what they are trying to make... Please don't simply give a link to Fur Elise. I mainly would like to see this, because multiple references would greatly help influence our artists in this competition. :D


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 10:01 PM Reply

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

I vote a Waltz-off =P

I second this! :D

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 10:14 PM Reply

At 12/19/10 09:58 PM, GamekrazzyProduction wrote: Anyways, out of curiousity does anyone have any referal links so that people who have trouble writing music under this style have an understanding of what they are trying to make... Please don't simply give a link to Fur Elise. I mainly would like to see this, because multiple references would greatly help influence our artists in this competition. :D

Wait, referral links to every form outlined so far? Or just the sonata? I'm confused. Especially since the Für Elise is a rondo.


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 19th, 2010 @ 10:46 PM Reply

At 12/19/10 10:13 AM, MJTTOMB wrote:
But don't come into a thread hoping to boot out anyone interested in writing piano compositions as well.

That wasn't what I was attempting to do. Rather than limit the amount of entrants and entries, it is my intent to broaden the scope of the contest and allow a wider range of styles and instruments to be used.

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 20th, 2010 @ 11:04 AM Reply

At 12/19/10 09:58 PM, GamekrazzyProduction wrote: lol, yeah... section and movement are two completely different things... Anyways, out of curiousity does anyone have any referal links so that people who have trouble writing music under this style have an understanding of what they are trying to make... Please don't simply give a link to Fur Elise. I mainly would like to see this, because multiple references would greatly help influence our artists in this competition. :D

Okay, so the basics of classical form. The central premise: Good music is based on contrast, and on setting expectations, only to break these expectations. People actually enjoy being surprised (to an extent).

The basic forms:

Ternary-
Ternary form is a study in contrast. It features 3 major sections, arranged ABA. The first A section presents and develops a motive in one key. The B section presents a second, contrasting melody in a different key. Toward the end of the B section, the music begins to modulate back to the home key of the piece, and the A theme is revisited. One can also conclude the piece with an optional coda, or other material that is not necessarily related to the preceding thematic material but that brings the piece to a nice close.

Binary-
Binary form is very simple, and like Ternary it is about contrast. It is often notated AB, but it is more accurately described as AABB, since each section of thematic material is repeated once. Again, the B section should present contrasting material and be in a contrasting key.

Rounded Binary-
This one's a bit confusing since it's so similar to Ternary. It is essentially binary with a brief reprise of the A theme at the end. It is traditionally notated ABA'
Example: http://soundcloud.com/mjttomb/quartet-no -1-in-g-major-haydnesque-1o-3o-mvmnts
Skip ahead to 5:33, the first movement is a Sonata-Allegro form, which I'll cover later. The third movement is Rounded Binary (Minuet and Trio). The first presentation of the A theme The "Minuet") is in G major. This is contrasted with a B theme in the relative minor, E minor. Toward the end, the A theme is heard in a new key, E major.

Rondo Form-
Traditionally notated ABA'CA''... The Rondo utilizes a catchy melody that is revisited in different ways throughout the piece. Between passages with this catchy theme are contrasting themes.

Example: http://soundcloud.com/mjttomb/quartet-no -1-4o-mvmnt-vivace-1
The initial theme group is presented from 0:00 to 1:01, featuring two themes in the same key (G major), think of them as A and A'. At 1:02, the B section begins. This section is in a different key (E major). At 1:26, A is heard again in the new key, and it goes through a series of modulations, getting farther from the home key. At about 1:40, A' is heard in the key of A major. At 2:00 the C theme is heard. It is in another contrasting key, this time G minor (the parallel minor of the home key G major). At 2:34 the original theme returns and the piece concludes.

Sonata-Allegro-
This one is complicated and I wouldn't recommend it for beginners. It's divided into an Exposition, a Development, and a Recapitulation (Simple versions, Beginning, Middle, End). Sounds easy enough, but it's not. Another way of looking at it is: Introduction, Conflict, Resolution.

Example: http://soundcloud.com/mjttomb/quartet-no -1-in-g-major-haydnesque-1o-3o-mvmnts
I'll walk you through this one in-depth because it's a pretty confusing form. There's not just one theme. In fact, there are theme "groups". The Exposition begins with the first theme "group", in G major. At 0:45, there is a brief bridge passage to change keys and introduce the second theme group. The second theme group is in D major. At 1:30-3:00, the exposition is repeated in its entirety. After the exposition comes the development. Think of this section as a sort of battle. The two theme groups will "fight" one another. They travel through different keys and different compositional techniques. This section is typically dissonant and rather "heavy". At the end of the development comes the recapitulation (4:06). In the recapitulation, both theme groups are heard in the home key (in this case G major), to give a sense that the conflict has been resolved.

If anyone has questions I'm more than happy to answer.


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 20th, 2010 @ 11:10 AM Reply

At 12/17/10 02:48 AM, TheBenjerman wrote:

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.

Am I reading correctly that I need to use a MIDI sequencer like Finale Notepad to create a [General] MIDI file for the song?

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 20th, 2010 @ 11:22 AM Reply

At 12/20/10 11:10 AM, FaeryTaleAdventurer wrote:
At 12/17/10 02:48 AM, TheBenjerman wrote:

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.
Am I reading correctly that I need to use a MIDI sequencer like Finale Notepad to create a [General] MIDI file for the song?

I'm pretty he mainly wants sheet music. You can use a free sheet music writing tool like MuseScore

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 20th, 2010 @ 12:21 PM Reply

At 12/19/10 03:23 AM, S3C wrote:
At 12/18/10 09:13 PM, brokendeck wrote:

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 :|

Dude, totally disagree. There are plenty of songs in pop culture with discernible and heart-stopping melodies but a monkey could write it.

Delivery is just as important as the final product.

Even so.. that doesn't mean a composition has to be complex to be considered good. How the composer utilizes the style as well as fitting their own personal taste and elements in the mix are important factors for what makes a composition great and a composer just as good.

...and I mean, a pretty melody never hurt any body...


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 20th, 2010 @ 12:29 PM Reply

Gees, ignore my previous post.

Thanks a lot for the references and in-depth descriptions of the genres! This is extremely helpful!


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 20th, 2010 @ 01:34 PM Reply

I'm up for this.

I actually was hoping for a classical contest!

I will probably do some orchestral song.....if I have the time.....and if orchestral is allowed....

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 20th, 2010 @ 01:43 PM Reply

At 12/20/10 12:21 PM, SkatingIsGenetic wrote: ...and I mean, a pretty melody never hurt any body...

not unless a xylophone mallet head comes off and fly towards you across from the room..

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 20th, 2010 @ 01:51 PM Reply

At 12/20/10 01:43 PM, AccountableMasses wrote:
At 12/20/10 12:21 PM, SkatingIsGenetic wrote: ...and I mean, a pretty melody never hurt any body...
not unless a xylophone mallet head comes off and fly towards you across from the room..

lol that actually happened to me last tuesday in our percussion ensemble

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 20th, 2010 @ 02:43 PM Reply

At 12/19/10 10:14 PM, TheBenjerman wrote: Wait, referral links to every form outlined so far? Or just the sonata? I'm confused. Especially since the Für Elise is a rondo.

I was refering to every form... :D which was previously posted. Thanks btw.


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 20th, 2010 @ 03:23 PM Reply

At 12/20/10 11:04 AM, MJTTOMB wrote: stuff

Thanks sir! I wasn't going to give the option of just simple binary, ternary and rounded binary, but these are some of the most basic forms and they are certainly good to know.

At 12/20/10 02:43 PM, GamekrazzyProduction wrote: I was refering to every form... :D which was previously posted. Thanks btw.

And I'll post definitions of the other forms in a sec...


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 20th, 2010 @ 05:33 PM Reply

At 12/20/10 03:23 PM, TheBenjerman wrote:
At 12/20/10 11:04 AM, MJTTOMB wrote: stuff
Thanks sir! I wasn't going to give the option of just simple binary, ternary and rounded binary, but these are some of the most basic forms and they are certainly good to know.

I'm aware, but there's no specific waltz form, or a form for, say, nocturnes or other pieces, so those basic structures were just intended to help people with writing in genres that have no specific structure, per se.


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 21st, 2010 @ 12:07 AM Reply

This contest looks promising!
Will collab entries be permitted?

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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 21st, 2010 @ 03:43 AM Reply

At 12/21/10 12:07 AM, acmeDyne wrote: This contest looks promising!
Will collab entries be permitted?

Hmm. I suppose so, but if you are tied with someone who did everything themselves, you will lose.


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 21st, 2010 @ 03:44 AM Reply

DEFINITIONS OF CLASSICAL FORMS FOR THE SAKE OF THIS COMPETITION

I will make this as clear as possible.

When I write ABAC or something like this, the letters represent a musical section usually an even number of measures long. So if you write an 8 measure A section, and the form goes AAAB, you would repeat that exact phrase 3 times, followed by a contrasting one.

Keep in mind that the musical examples are works of masters and may be more complex than the exact form indicates.

I posted earlier:

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.

RAGTIME:
This is a looser form, almost through composed. We'll follow this link and say a ragtime should be written AABBACC, AABBCCDD or AABBCCA. We'll throw AABBACCDD in as well since the famous Maple Leaf Rag follows this form. The first B section starts at 0:42, the third A section starts at 1:17, the first C section starts at 1:35 and the first D section starts at 2:12.

WALTZ:
MJTTOMB is right, there is no standard form for a waltz, partly because there are so many types of waltzes. A waltz can be just about anything in a triple meter (3/4, 3/8 usually) with a strong first beat and weak second and third beats. Think oom-pa-pa. Chopin's Minute Waltz (Valse au petit chien) has always been one of my favorites, but a simpler one would be Waltz in B Minor by Schubert. I'm a little hesitant to allow this style of piece due to lack of form, but there was a lot of interest so it's all good.

MINUET/SCHERZO:
We'll go with minuet form or rounded binary or ternary form. MJTTOMB had a good example of this in his post. Let's keep this in triple meter as well, with the ABA' (the A' is a variation of the A section) of rounded binary, or the ABA of ternary form. Two additional examples of this would be Beethoven's or Bach's Minuet in G.

SONATA:
Look at MJTTOMB's definition. It's spot on. Basically three parts: exposition (2 or three themes that may or may not repeat) development (a section that creatively warps the three themes and plays around with using the themes to make new material) and the recapitulation (a restatement of the original themes, though not usually exactly in their original forms, and a conclusion).

RONDO:
A rondo form is basically ABACA, ABACADA, ABACADAEA, etc. Basically an evolving piece comprised of varying sections, with an original theme before and after all of the varying sections. There are tons of these pieces. The Für Elise (cool video huh?) is one of a huge number of rondos. The first theme is repeated and ends at 1:03, then comes back in at 1:30, and ends at 2:00, then comes in for a final time at 2:33, with B and C sections in between.

THEME AND VARIATIONS/PASSACAGLIA:
A theme and variations is exactly what it sounds like. You start with a theme and write a number of variations on that theme for the rest of the piece. For the purpose of this contest lets say at least 3 variations, and the theme and variations should all be of a decent length. I'll leave that up to you. Also, keep all sections close to the same duration. If I were a real stickler I would say they all should be the same length, but if you keep them close we should be fine. I love this piece by Vaughn Williams, and the start and finish of the variations should be fairly obvious. A passacaglia is basically a theme and variations with a repeating bassline underneath the entire piece.

FUGUE:
This should not be attempted by the n00bcakes of the competition, but if you write a successful fugue I will give you mad props and probably bonus points. I am not going to explain the entire thing to you, but the wiki page isn't too terrible. If you write a fugue according to Bach's rules I will acknowledge you as a schnazzy person. If you write a 3,4 or 5 voice imitative motet in the style of Palestrina (not really a fugue, but close) I will most likely bow down before you. I've written a couple before and they are incredibly difficult.

INVENTION:
I am going to be quite picky about this one. But I'll also give you props if you do it well. We will follow a 2 part invention in the style of Bach with these guidelines. I would refer to Bach's Invention No. 2 in C Minor. It's awesome. I will not explain the whole form as I will run out of characters, but if you look it up, keep strictly to the guidelines.

CANON:
A canon would be a piece there is only one melodic line. This melodic line is written in such a way that you can start playing that melodic line from the beginning while the existing line is already playing to form a sort of counterpoint. Row, row, row your boat is a good example (I'm not linking you on that one.) If you want to write variations of canons, check out the wiki.

Alright, that's it. You're welcome to post more forms if you'd like that I could approve, but I think these will be the only official ones once the contest starts. I know these seem strict, but they really aren't, which you will realize as you are writing. Also, there is room for creativity, just let me know before you get totally out of hand.

No fantasias, nocturnes, or anything strictly through-composed!

I love you guys.


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Response to Classical Composition Contest Talk Dec. 21st, 2010 @ 09:48 AM Reply

Question does it need to be strict genre as you said above, wich are very distinct manners of composition. Either orchestral suite or solo piano or violin for instance.. Or do you also allow less used instrumentation such as for instance the Vibrophone. I ask this because i just started on a solo vibrophone piece.

If you only want to allow the more casual instrumentation thats fine with me too but please make it clear before this all starts :)


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