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luderart

How Do You Value Criticism For Your Compositions?

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What is its role for you as a composer? Do you disregard it, listen to it and find it beneficial, or do you even depend on it to guide you in what to compose and how to compose?

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I have seen you ask many questions here. Yet somehow that seems about all you do. And that is rather easy, don't you think? What is your oppinion, your experience? or can I assume by this lack of own oppinion you thrive on the positions of others? (your 3rd option)If that is the case, I wont help you and you should develop your own self

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I have seen you ask many questions here. Yet somehow that seems about all you do. And that is rather easy, don't you think? What is your oppinion, your experience? or can I assume by this lack of own oppinion you thrive on the positions of others? (your 3rd option)If that is the case, I wont help you and you should develop your own self

No, thank you I'll choose the 1st option in this case!

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To answer your question (which might better be answered by you giving your own opinion), I believe criticism is necessary.

Nobody is the best. There are a lot of people who are bad. A ton of people who are good. A fewer number of people who are great, but none of them is the best. Trust me. So, in that regard: take ANYTHING you can to become better. If you disagree, ask yourself WHY you disagree with an opinion. Is it aesthetic? Or are you really just trying to cover up your own ignorance? I've done that before.

What I always do when receiving criticism from somebody I am not sure I trust is to ask them for an example. For them to show me what they mean on staff paper or in a recording. If they are offering suggestions, they should be able to offer an example. Then you can go see for yourself if the method they are suggesting is better.

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For someone who disregards the opinion of others you ask a lot of questions. Or am I missing someting?

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For someone who disregards the opinion of others you ask a lot of questions. Or am I missing someting?

It is one thing to disregard the opinion of others where artistic creation is concerned and completely another thing to disregard it concerning a relatively trivial matter such as behaviour in a forum like this. Don't you agree?

I am just trying to stimulate some discussion. What is a forum for otherwise? Everybody can benefit from it. Do you have a problem with that or is there a rule concerning number of posts? If so, please enlighten me.

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I do not think a forum is to discuss some abstract object that haven't to do anything with the OP. You created the illusion of just asking, and when it seems you are not interested in others, it just didn't add up. Thats all ;)

I agree with Tyler. Its necessary. I can use all the input, feedback I can get. It sharpens you, and lets you hear things and lets you think about things that you would not have done on your one.

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Frankly, my answer is that it depends very much on the tone and content of this criticism. Because that is a very eloquent way to discern the true intention of whoever is making the critique. There's a difference between being rigorous, even blunt, and being plainly rude and insulting.

Criticism aimed to point out my flaws (and why not, strenghts) and help me to improve as a composer is welcome. Sometimes I'll agree with it and attempt to correct these flaws (or to build on these strenghts), and otherwise I might disagree (most likely on aesthetic matters). But I'll certainly learn from that.

On the other hand, criticism aimed only to discredit or to act out envy and jealousy must promptly be dismissed. I don't think Tchaikovsky found anything to build on from Hanslick's verbal abuse on his Violin Concerto, or that Rachmaninov thought that Cui was actually helping him when dubbing his First Symphony "a program symphony commissioned by Satan on the Ten Plagues of Egypt".

Listen to the critics - but keep in mind what Sibelius said: "I have yet to see a statue of a critique".

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Silly Jaap: ludeart has already demonstrated how little he cares about criticism of his own work! :P

I missed that convo :) But I am not anymore behind, I caught up and read all pages long, maybe they build a statute for that?

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Guest Ryan K

I like criticism, especially with the benefit of being a free individual :nod:

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I think it's a tricky course to steer between critical feedback and personal conviction. Everyone has to find the perfect balance for themselves and to decide how to best make use of constructive criticism to improve oneself, one's knowledge and technique, and sometimes to change one's original decisions.

Considering how the great composers have dealt with criticism, we can see both extremes of dismissing criticism out of hand and of following it as though it were their guide. Beethoven presented the first extreme. However there were exceptions, such as his compliance to the request to write a replacement finale to his Op. 130 string quartet (the original being the Great Fugue), and to have the original finale published separately (as Op. 133).

On the other hand we have Bruckner who, faced with the criticism of his works, endlessly revised them. As a result we have two editions of most of his symphonies (except the sixth) and sometimes even more.

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Agreed. One can also point out to Tchaikovsky snapping back "I'll not alter a single note" to Nikolai Rubinstein's criticism of his First Piano Concerto and totally ignoring Cui's egregious insults - but also being quick to revise Romeo & Juliet (twice!) upon Balakirev's suggestions. And there are a lot of further examples.

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There is also the issue of self-criticism. I think every composer has some degree of self-criticism they subject their compositions to before sharing them with the world. Perhaps the greatest self-critic was Brahms who is said to have destroyed 20 string quartets before publishing his first two string quartets.

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If they understand what I was trying to do in a piece of music, I listen to them.

If their criticism boils down to "it doesn't sound nice", I ignore them. I've been composing for 12 years, it is not hard to make music that sounds pretty.

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I think that any critisism might include something useful to take: Even the 'gently caress you Nikolas your music sucks' means that the person posting this doesn't like me one bit and this extends to my music. So it's not about my music, but about myself and since we are social beings and we are public figures, through our music it's worth looking into the reason for that quote...

PS. that quote is actually real! :D

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I think that any critisism might include something useful to take: Even the 'gently caress you Nikolas your music sucks' means that the person posting this doesn't like me one bit and this extends to my music.

It could mean that, but usually people who make comments that devoid of meaning are either obscenely arrogant or trolling, neither of which is useful to anyone in any sense.

Frankly, my answer is that it depends very much on the tone and content of this criticism. Because that is a very eloquent way to discern the true intention of whoever is making the critique. There's a difference between being rigorous, even blunt, and being plainly rude and insulting.

I wholly agree with this comment. I saw a perfect example of the latter type of critique among the compositions on this forum. The person doing the critiquing, no doubt, came out of the womb penning elegant strains and found it his God-given right to completely demean the other composer's work and ability.

The people dishing the destructive criticism usually have such sensitive egos that they can't take criticism in return, even when it's actually well-meaning (a.k.a. constructive).

It's my humble opinion that people who have gained success in a field should use those skills to mentor and build up other young composers who are pursuing the same dream, instead of trying to tear them down. Only then is their advice worth anything.

~rapunzel

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Late to the party.

Criticism is what it is. Clearly you can't sit there and pore over every minor thing ("oh, well, you missed a note here and that just RUINS the piece") but taking it into account is always wisest.

The worst criticism to me is "I don't get it" or outright dismissal. If someone won't play in your sandbox, why are they looming over it? On the other hand, I don't "get" a lot of music, and some people might want to hear that.

Also, I'm all about getting detailed, biting criticism, even if I'm done with the piece -- if they put that much time into it, the least I can do is hear them.

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Well I have been given a gift from God -he made me the best composer in the world and I know everything, so I don't value criticism at all: especially since those giving it are just jealous of my greatness and making things up to tarnish my reputation as a composer.

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I learned that critique of your music is one of the most important and helpful things in your music. If you take the critiques and use some of their suggestions (or a form of their suggestions) it often helps your piece, or helps you in another section of your piece. So, I usually try to look at it as helpful and try to find what I agree with and use it in a positive way :)

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Well I have been given a gift from God -he made me the best composer in the world and I know everything, so I don't value criticism at all: especially since those giving it are just jealous of my greatness and making things up to tarnish my reputation as a composer.

Isn't it quite hypocritical to your faith, to idolise yourself so much?

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