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Hey guys!

As Monthly Competition God, I have a few things that need to change to make this system work:

1. Monthly competitions will only be held if more than 3 participants can "commit" to the challenge.

  • Commit means: the participant thinks he/she can produce a mostly complete work or complete work in the 20 day maximum the competitions will have.

2. In order to make that happen, I am going to put some limits on the idea of Monthly Competition:

  • Competitions MUST have 20 days in the month to start and finish a competition. For example: if a competition starts on the 4th of a month, that is ok. But, if the host doesn't assign any competition details until after the 10th (11th?), the competition will NOT take place.
  • There will be a 20 day limit. Competitions will ask for pieces that exceed NOT MORE than 5 minutes, and composers will not be asked to write for an ensemble of more than 5 instruments. The 5-5 rule will be in effect from now on.

3. Monthly competition hosts will be determined by those who PM ME and ask me to do the current month (coming up). So, somebody can PM me for the January competition now.

  • All competition hosts MUST commit to also judge the prescribed competition. They may not participate.
  • If you just don't think you will have time, do NOT volunteer. winking.gif

4. Competitions may not exceed 20 days worth of working material.

  • The 5-5 rule applies here. Do not ask for 5 minutes of SCARY virtuoso material.
  • Judges need not try to listen to many works that will take forever to review. They are volunteer too. winking.gif

5. Judging commitment and time scale

  • Judges are not needed until AFTER the competition is over. Only the Host may address rules of the competition or clarify things. They should, however, still be posted in the main forum instead of a PM. This will allow ALL members to benefit from a clarification by the Host.
  • Judges, following a competition will have 9 days from the deadline to write a WRITTEN review and give a rating (determined by the Host) to the Host so that he may edit his original post and provide links to the pieces and their reviews and their rankings.
  • In the event only 2 members submit music, the judges MUST STILL assign rankings.
  • In the event only 1 member submits music, the judges MUST STILL review the piece.
  • Competitions will not be "abandoned" unless the NO members submit music.
  • If you volunteer to be a Judge, but do not fulfill your requirements, you will be respectfully not invited back to judge again. (no warning system)
  • Judges may self-forfeit until 3 days before the end of submission period. If this is not met, they will respectfully not be invited back to participate.

6. Members may opt into a competition at ANY TIME during the competition. HOWEVER, there cannot be anymore than 15 members of any one competition. (this should not be an issue.)

  • Hosts may have FEWER contestants in a competition. This is ok. But, they should set the lower cap at 6. I.E. - "This competition expands rule 6 of the CHANGES FOR 2012 rule guidelines for Monthly Competitions by only allowing 7 people to enter this competition."
  • This rule is NOT followed if the Host or the Monthly Competition Moderator deems an "opt in" deadline is necessary to make a decent work. See each month's thread for specific deadlines.
  • Competitors are held to a certain expectation of participation, but, we understand that sometimes things DO come up. SO: if after the competition "sign-up" period ends (if there is one), the member finds that they are unable to participate, they can withdraw before 5 days after said period. If there is NO sign up deadline, they will have 10 days from when they requested to be on the docket to do so.
  • IF MEMBERS DROP OUT AFTER THEIR GRACE PERIOD OF 5/10 DAYS (more than once), then they will not be invited back to participate for six months. It is not fair to the judges and to other competitors. Additionally, we want you to submit WHATEVER you have. Even if it is just a measure of material, it CAN and will be judged. You may not win, but you will have the satisfaction of being critiqued and knowing you have accomplished something important and worthwhile.

7. Things Hosts should consider in making Monthly Competitions:

  • REQUIRED: A purpose and a set of guidelines: ex. (This competition is designed to help composers develop counterpoint in the 21st century. The composer must make a work that explores modern counterpoint. The composition shall NOT have any homophony in it as a harmonic basis. But, it may be used a melodic gesture if the independent lines deem so."
  • REQUIRED: A point system (use common sense): ex. (The Judges will assign points based on this: Good independent line (X/10), Strong harmonic figures developed by the interplay of melodic lines (X/5), Creativity (X/5) = X/20. Judges will add points up and the one with the MOST points will be the winner)
  • The Host might also decide to change the limit of people that enter.
  • There does not HAVE to be a set instrumentation. But, mention that you cannot score for more than 5 instruments. If the example one is used above, it would do well to mention if it has to be two part counterpoint, three part... if it has to be for piano, for anything else. BE CREATIVE but also BE SPECIFIC.


  • Monthly competitions are NOT like normal competitions. They are meant to be educational experiences for students of composition to explore what they can do with limited time and material.
  • All of these rules seek to put a limit on what hosts can ask for. This will encourage participation because hosts will not ask too much of composers. These tasks should be able to be completed by people that compose AS A HOBBY. I.E. - in their spare time, or in preparation for a professional career in the future.
  • Of course, professionals are encouraged to participate. Monthly competitions are open to EVERY MEMBER.

THANK YOU all for reading and taking this into consideration. I will be taking action against those who do not follow these "guidelines". Remember, this is all done in the interest of EDUCATION which is the purpose of this site.

If you are looking for something more hardhitting and involved, please make a "regular" competition or ask for a competition to be made. That's not my jurisdiction.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Right. So it would be impossible to hold a MONTHLY competition including a Piano Sextet. Vn (x2) Va Vc Db and Piano. Cause that would be six instruments.

But, you could hold a regular, more than a month long competition using that instrumentation. :)

And, these rules are going to be tested from January 1st - December 31st 2012.

If they don't work, or they need changing throughout the year, I will revise them.

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Question about the instrumental limit. As written ("composers will not be asked to write for an ensemble of more than 5 instruments"), it places the restriction on the minimum instrumentation that the host can ask for. Assuming the host does not place more specific guidelines on instrumentation as part of the challenge, it seems to allow participants to submit something for a larger ensemble if desired. They just can't be required to do so by the host.

Is that an intentional allowance, or am I reading too much into it?

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Oh good! Somebody found the loophole!

The instructions do not say an instrumentation HAS to be asked for. Example: a computer music competition, where it would judged based on sounds.

You cannot put a "limit" on sounds really.

So, in that case, the performer could use as many instruments as they like AS LONG as the Host does not specify a "five instrument" limit.

It is VERY technical, yes. But, beautiful, really.

I am very glad somebody caught on. You will also notice I use a lot of those: "The composers will not be ASKED to..."

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But, like I said, I WANT the Monthly comps to be limited to mostly solo pieces, duets, and up to Quintets.

This is by design.

If you want to hold a competition with a larger instrumentation, it can be a Full Competition, and must have SOME kind of Reward system that I haven't figured out yet. Like I said, I am flexible, but I want to at least TRY this method. Just, humor me for a couple of months. If it doesn't work, I WILL change the rules and figure out something better for everyone.

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I can hold this rule to mean "5 instrumental lines" (which could be a string orchestra or paired woodwinds). But still seems a bit tight for me (like Cramer said, it would strictly limit the scope of the competitions to solo or chamber music at best).

EDIT: I feel the most at ease within the orchestral works, followed by piano music - but I don't really know if I'm as strong in a chamber environment. Perhaps this could actually help me - but I'm speaking anyway.

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I think people are being misinformed... I'm trying to CHANGE the Monthly Competitions to smaller scale exercise-like competitions.

Are you guys trying to tell me you would compose FASTER with larger instrumentation than with a chamber ensemble?

I don't know if I would be personally FASTER, but probably BETTER. I once composed a 3 mov. String Quartet in about 3 weeks - but the second movement possitively SUCKED. On the other hand, I can compose a decent tone poem in a month. But then again, that's just me.

Alright, if it's chamber focused, let it be, I'll make a few nice tries...

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ok. good!

Think of it as a challenge in itself. It's not only chamber stuff. You could do a Saxophone sonata, a wind trio, a piano quartet, a string orchestra piece (for either two violins or one violin and double bass. ANY solo instrument piece (including organ and keyboard), ANY combination of Percussion. As a loophole, ANY amount of percussion played by ONE player is just ONE instrument.

In that way, though, ANY piece that has ONE player with any amount of instruments is also allowed. Like, a flutist that doubles with a piccolo, is counted as one instrument.

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