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The July 2012 Monthly Competition


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We apologize! We're trying to do our best. The results are ALL IN. So, stay tuned for results to come today. My internet connection at this hotel sucks, so the usually slow YC is even slower. Sorry!

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NathanHathawayAdams You did a fine job telling the general story. Unfortunately, I have never fulfilled ultimate nerdiness and I don't know all my superheros, sad childhood? I know :( so I don't know

Well this set of entries were, on the whole, very good stuff, so it required a lot of time to review everything thoroughly. Thanks to everyone for their patience!

Agreed :w00t: !!!

Here are my reviews:

Bachian:

Capturing the essence of the Source Material: 25/30

This was a really wonderful representation of the source material! I took off five points for the “dragging” quality of it. To be honest, I was done with the piece by measure 75. Nothing more was really said after that point. Of course, this was three- fourths of the way through the piece, so not too much damage was done. I thought you did a good job catching the melancholy with the very deep and expressive strings. And, I thought it was effective using the piano as a solo instrument. This is such a subjective category; all I can do is hope to capture the essence and put a number on it. Haha.

Score neatness and clarity: 8/10

Example: measure 36, your arpeggio lines go a little low.

Example: measure 45, if you just want continuous pedal, please mark (ped. Cont.) OR, if you want the artist to express it him/herself, please write (ped. Ad libitum). Or something to that effect. You aren’t clear enough.

Example: You especially do not mark when the pedaling should “stop”.

Example: on those big leaps in the strings in measures like 87-89, do you want the cello to do each of those with a new stroke? I’m not taking anything off because with your detailed bowings, I assume you know what you want. J

Other than that, VERY detailed and nice score! :D You know how I like my scores.

Instrumentation (do you use the right number of instruments? use more than 5 different types. All must be acoustic (organs still count, a live synthesizer would work as well. But, a digitally implemented synthesizer is not allowed): 9/10

Yes! I thought your use of the individual instruments was done with confidence and grace. Great work here.

MY only qualm here is this: In 47-48, you double the leading tone in the piano and you are missing the third in one of the 7th chords… to me, that just sounds incomplete. So, I took off a point for a purely subjective reason.

Orchestration (How well do you use the large ensemble together? The more work you put into this, the more points you will get. This is not a category that you will lose points from the maximum, but rather... this is a category where you must EARN the points): 14/20

While I loved the creative material, I thought it was a little stagnant. I could have used a lot more “moving” eighth note lines. The strings are known for their expressive chordal quality. But, if you block chord long enough, even in a melodic way, it will get boring. Your piano part made up for this, I feel. But, please in the future, when writing for strings… EVEN in a “mood piece”, get some more interesting ways to write for the ensemble. I think you would have gotten a lot more points here IF you had stopped the piece at page seven.

Creativity (this is where doing cliche things will get you points taken off. Don't do a love story and just go with the characteristic romantic moods. Do something different or out there that garners the same effect): 6/10

Not bad. I feel like you could have done “more” with the melodic material. A key change, an inversion, a minor episode… it was just pretty stagnant. I think what made it not so great was the “sectional” feel. A section here. A piano solo there. Another section almost exactly the same. It loses the “rondo” feel because there is “too much” repetition of general idea.

Musicality (is your piece a PIECE of music? Does it have a good beginning, development, and end? is it stagnant? What gives it its identity? Write about the musicality in A PARAGRAPH of 200 words. Make sure it matches what you wrote too. This is about awareness of your music. Does it do what you want it to do?): 20/20

Nothing to say about this. J

TOTAL: 82/100

Theviolinist7:

Capturing the essence of the Source Material: 20/30

I see what you’re going for. The eclectic India feel came through, definitely. Here’s my problem with it: I didn’t feel like it was “interesting”. You wrote pieces that were too short to have any real musical development other than the changes in activities. So, this would WORK for a Ballet. But, this is not a ballet competition. I think you would have needed to have more “line” across the themes to get more points here. BUT, you did get two thirds. Haha.

Score neatness and clarity: 3/10

Example: First and most important: List ALLL instruments to be used in a piece on the first page. Even if they are empty staves.

Example: On page 2, you do not mention if the harmonies in the clarinet are “divisi” or to be played by a freak clarinetist. This happens a couple of other times in the piece.

Example: MARK your harp scale. :P

There was also just a lot of sloppiness.

Instrumentation (do you use the right number of instruments? use more than 5 different types. All must be acoustic (organs still count, a live synthesizer would work as well. But, a digitally implemented synthesizer is not allowed): 5/10

You did a “fairly” good job at this. I don’t think going into all the detail will cover what you need to know. Study instrumentation more. I’m sure Tokke will give more intelligent comments to this than I could.

Orchestration (How well do you use the large ensemble together? The more work you put into this, the more points you will get. This is not a category that you will lose points from the maximum, but rather... this is a category where you must EARN the points): 13/20

Not bad. I feel like you stayed mainly within families. Study more. Branch out with your ideas. Sometimes, when you tried that, there was “too much” going on and I didn’t know where to focus. Be careful of that.

Creativity (this is where doing cliche things will get you points taken off. Don't do a love story and just go with the characteristic romantic moods. Do something different or out there that garners the same effect): 7/10

It WAS very creative. Good expression of the mood. Cool time sigs. Maybe next time, try changing the time sigs every once in a while.

Musicality (is your piece a PIECE of music? Does it have a good beginning, development, and end? is it stagnant? What gives it its identity? Write about the musicality in A PARAGRAPH of 200 words. Make sure it matches what you wrote too. This is about awareness of your music. Does it do what you want it to do?): 18/20

Just nicked two points for the structure and lack of flow.

Total: 66/100

John Pax:

Look, John. Wow. Hahaha. I have NOTHING critical to say about this. You put a ton of effort into it. You made a powerful, creative, extended technique piece without it being gimmicky. You expressed your source material with expertise. I bow to you. There was one place in the score where you beamed 4 eighth notes and you tied them. And, it annoyed me. So, I took off a point.

Capturing the essence of the Source Material: 30/30

Score neatness and clarity: 9/10

Instrumentation (do you use the right number of instruments? use more than 5 different types. All must be acoustic (organs still count, a live synthesizer would work as well. But, a digitally implemented synthesizer is not allowed): 10/10

Orchestration (How well do you use the large ensemble together? The more work you put into this, the more points you will get. This is not a category that you will lose points from the maximum, but rather... this is a category where you must EARN the points): 20/20

Creativity (this is where doing cliche things will get you points taken off. Don't do a love story and just go with the characteristic romantic moods. Do something different or out there that garners the same effect): 10/10

Musicality (is your piece a PIECE of music? Does it have a good beginning, development, and end? is it stagnant? What gives it its identity? Write about the musicality in A PARAGRAPH of 200 words. Make sure it matches what you wrote too. This is about awareness of your music. Does it do what you want it to do?): 20/20

Total: 99/100

ChristianPerrota:

Capturing the essence of the Source Material: 30/30

VERY nice capturing of the essence. You did a wonderful job making a “track” or “film score” to this painting/art. I dunno if it’s a master composition, but in this category you did a wonderful job.

Score neatness and clarity: 9/10

I took off a point because I felt like there just wasn’t “enough” on the page. You had specific instructions. But, I felt there could be a more “hands on” approach to your string writing and dynamic writing. Though, that’s just my opinion and I like a hands on approach.

Instrumentation (do you use the right number of instruments? use more than 5 different types. All must be acoustic (organs still count, a live synthesizer would work as well. But, a digitally implemented synthesizer is not allowed): 10/10

I felt that you demonstrated good knowledge of all the instruments you used, and you used the right number. Nothing too out of the ordinary.

Orchestration (How well do you use the large ensemble together? The more work you put into this, the more points you will get. This is not a category that you will lose points from the maximum, but rather... this is a category where you must EARN the points): 15/20

While I appreciate your trying to use Western instruments to get across the Oriental feel, I don’t know if the way you used them was as effective as you think. A piccolo would be a lot more shrill than the way it sounds on the midi. I feel that you might try actually USING an Eastern woodwind? Or, write for the piccolo in a lower register. THOUGH, I do think that you did a good job of keeping it low. I would have liked more solo instrument time with other instruments. It seemed either all piccolo or all bland chordy type writing. Your dance toward the end was good because it broke up that chordal feeling and replaced it with fugal material. I liked that the most. I will say that it’s hard to make it completely oriental without bleeding into other folk traditions. In the faster sections, you may have leaked into more Western folksy. Watch that.

Creativity (this is where doing cliche things will get you points taken off. Don't do a love story and just go with the characteristic romantic moods. Do something different or out there that garners the same effect): 4/10

There wasn’t much special here. You tried some unconventional things, and I wasn’t “too” impressed with them. Your slide kind of felt gimmicky. But, you didn’t use it very much. If you are going to use a gimmick to imitate an Eastern sound, use it a lot so we get the point.

Musicality (is your piece a PIECE of music? Does it have a good beginning, development, and end? is it stagnant? What gives it its identity? Write about the musicality in A PARAGRAPH of 200 words. Make sure it matches what you wrote too. This is about awareness of your music. Does it do what you want it to do?): 10/20

To be honest, it was pretty bland most of the time. While you did a good job with the art, you didn’t make an extremely engaging piece.

Total: 78/100

Joshm222

Capturing the essence of the Source Material: 20/30

You did have a sense of Objectivism pouring from this piece. When struggle becomes too great for democracy and socialistic thinking, make it every man for him/herself in this cruel, cruel world. I think you did an ok job at this. But, you also didn’t make a very convincing argument with “new” material. I think there should have been a “C” section with new material rather than repeating the A material.

Score neatness and clarity: 5/10

More details! Where is the bowing instruction? Where are all the dynamics (more than one set a page? Just more. Other than that, it was a good score.

Instrumentation (do you use the right number of instruments? use more than 5 different types. All must be acoustic (organs still count, a live synthesizer would work as well. But, a digitally implemented synthesizer is not allowed): 10/10

You did fine with writing for strings. Ranges were alright. Here’s what to be careful of: Strings DO NOT LIKE block chord writing. It may “sound” pretty. But, it gets bland fast. I liked (a lot) your ideas where the eighth notes moved and had syncopation movement. That was good. Do a lot more of that. Also, more accidentals… man… it was TOO diatonic.

Orchestration (How well do you use the large ensemble together? The more work you put into this, the more points you will get. This is not a category that you will lose points from the maximum, but rather... this is a category where you must EARN the points): 15/20

I’ve addressed my concern above. If you write chordally like this, you make a piece without a ton of movement. A C section would have been able to have much faster lines and better movement (in my opinion).

Creativity (this is where doing cliche things will get you points taken off. Don't do a love story and just go with the characteristic romantic moods. Do something different or out there that garners the same effect): 3/10

Nothing special here, in my opinion. You wrote a solid melody. But, it wasn’t above average in creativity.

Musicality (is your piece a PIECE of music? Does it have a good beginning, development, and end? is it stagnant? What gives it its identity? Write about the musicality in A PARAGRAPH of 200 words. Make sure it matches what you wrote too. This is about awareness of your music. Does it do what you want it to do?): 18/20

Good, but there was a lot of stagnancy.

Total: 71/100

Austenite:

I have no words. J This was creative and beautiful. Expertly composed.

Capturing the essence of the Source Material: 30/30

Score neatness and clarity: 9/10

TRANSPOSED SCORE! PUT IT. (that’s the worst I can say. :P hahah)

Instrumentation (do you use the right number of instruments? use more than 5 different types. All must be acoustic (organs still count, a live synthesizer would work as well. But, a digitally implemented synthesizer is not allowed): 10/10

Orchestration (How well do you use the large ensemble together? The more work you put into this, the more points you will get. This is not a category that you will lose points from the maximum, but rather... this is a category where you must EARN the points): 20/20

Creativity (this is where doing cliche things will get you points taken off. Don't do a love story and just go with the characteristic romantic moods. Do something different or out there that garners the same effect): 10/10

Musicality (is your piece a PIECE of music? Does it have a good beginning, development, and end? is it stagnant? What gives it its identity? Write about the musicality in A PARAGRAPH of 200 words. Make sure it matches what you wrote too. This is about awareness of your music. Does it do what you want it to do?): 20/20

Total: 99/100

NathanHathawayAdams:

Capturing the essence of the Source Material: 25/30

Good! Good! Good! I like this style. I am a post minimalist sometimes, and this reminds me of that. You did a good job with painting a scene. I think you made something a little boring, which is why I took off points. Here’s what I think would have made it more impressive: BUILD more. The best part about minimalism is when you start out with one line… then suddenly you’re at 12 and max volume and you can’t even remember how you got there. J haha

Score neatness and clarity: 3/10

Your notes were there… but that’s about it. I need breathing instructions for the clarinet. I need to know if it is a transposed or concert score. Measure 26, things bump into each other. More breathing instructions!

Instrumentation (do you use the right number of instruments? use more than 5 different types. All must be acoustic (organs still count, a live synthesizer would work as well. But, a digitally implemented synthesizer is not allowed): 8/10

Almost… you went out of range on the bassoon. I took of score points for breathing, so I won’t “nick” you here.

Orchestration (How well do you use the large ensemble together? The more work you put into this, the more points you will get. This is not a category that you will lose points from the maximum, but rather... this is a category where you must EARN the points): 20/20

Your ensemble writing was solid. I felt like it could have been a LOT more creative (with the orchestration). I know Tokke will hate it because it’s nothing special in accordance with creatively using all the instruments to their best together. But, I have no qualms with you simply assigning parts. It works in minimalism.

Creativity (this is where doing cliche things will get you points taken off. Don't do a love story and just go with the characteristic romantic moods. Do something different or out there that garners the same effect): 5/10

You did do alright with minimalism… but, I think you could have done what I suggested earlier with the build up MUCH better.

Musicality (is your piece a PIECE of music? Does it have a good beginning, development, and end? is it stagnant? What gives it its identity? Write about the musicality in A PARAGRAPH of 200 words. Make sure it matches what you wrote too. This is about awareness of your music. Does it do what you want it to do?): 10/20

Total: 71/100

MaqamDjinn:

Capturing the essence of the Source Material: 30/30

Score neatness and clarity: 10/10

Beautiful score!

Instrumentation (do you use the right number of instruments? use more than 5 different types. All must be acoustic (organs still count, a live synthesizer would work as well. But, a digitally implemented synthesizer is not allowed): 5/10

Split the hands on page two of the piano! That is a REALLY difficult marimba line. Maybe too difficult for this length of piece? I didn’t agree with your treatment of that at all.

Orchestration (How well do you use the large ensemble together? The more work you put into this, the more points you will get. This is not a category that you will lose points from the maximum, but rather... this is a category where you must EARN the points): 20/20

Creativity (this is where doing cliche things will get you points taken off. Don't do a love story and just go with the characteristic romantic moods. Do something different or out there that garners the same effect): 9/10

Musicality (is your piece a PIECE of music? Does it have a good beginning, development, and end? is it stagnant? What gives it its identity? Write about the musicality in A PARAGRAPH of 200 words. Make sure it matches what you wrote too. This is about awareness of your music. Does it do what you want it to do?): 20/20

Short, sweet, effective!

Total: 94/100

Muhmuhmuhmusic:

Capturing the essence of the Source Material: 25/30

Good! You did some nice work with this. Your melodies could have been a little more prominent and developed. But, overall this is solid.

Score neatness and clarity: 4/10

Put your set up on a different page on its own.

Phrasing for the strings?

Bracket for the string ensemble?

I didn’t like your beaming (ex. Piano on page one) at all. Just keep it to the beat. Less confusing for sure.

Instrumentation (do you use the right number of instruments? use more than 5 different types. All must be acoustic (organs still count, a live synthesizer would work as well. But, a digitally implemented synthesizer is not allowed): 10/10

Good. Job

Orchestration (How well do you use the large ensemble together? The more work you put into this, the more points you will get. This is not a category that you will lose points from the maximum, but rather... this is a category where you must EARN the points): 20/20

Very nice work with this as well!

Creativity (this is where doing cliche things will get you points taken off. Don't do a love story and just go with the characteristic romantic moods. Do something different or out there that garners the same effect): 5/10

I liked the speaking. Other than that, it was pretty good throughout. You did a nice vocal integration, and that’s what got you points here.

Musicality (is your piece a PIECE of music? Does it have a good beginning, development, and end? is it stagnant? What gives it its identity? Write about the musicality in A PARAGRAPH of 200 words. Make sure it matches what you wrote too. This is about awareness of your music. Does it do what you want it to do?): 15/20

Good material, but you used it (the same) a lot without too much build up.

Total: 79/100

Ad hoc:

Aw man! What a score! :D:D:D I love pretty scores.

Capturing the essence of the Source Material: 30/30

Score neatness and clarity: 10/10

I want to hang this on my wall then eat it. Good job.

Instrumentation (do you use the right number of instruments? use more than 5 different types. All must be acoustic (organs still count, a live synthesizer would work as well. But, a digitally implemented synthesizer is not allowed): 10/10

You certainly know how all the instruments work. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that you know where percussion goes. ;) I saw your comment in the thread.

Orchestration (How well do you use the large ensemble together? The more work you put into this, the more points you will get. This is not a category that you will lose points from the maximum, but rather... this is a category where you must EARN the points): 20/20

This was like… trippy. No problems here either.

Creativity (this is where doing cliche things will get you points taken off. Don't do a love story and just go with the characteristic romantic moods. Do something different or out there that garners the same effect): 8/10

Yay! Great points here for making a seemingly stagnant work have a lot of different lines going everywhere. You make it easy for me to judge because you show everything so clearly on your score. I loved your melodies. And, your percussion writing reinforces that so well.

Musicality (is your piece a PIECE of music? Does it have a good beginning, development, and end? is it stagnant? What gives it its identity? Write about the musicality in A PARAGRAPH of 200 words. Make sure it matches what you wrote too. This is about awareness of your music. Does it do what you want it to do?): 20/20

Total: 98/100

Maestrowick

This was perfect. J

Capturing the essence of the Source Material: 30/30

Score neatness and clarity: 10/10

Instrumentation (do you use the right number of instruments? use more than 5 different types. All must be acoustic (organs still count, a live synthesizer would work as well. But, a digitally implemented synthesizer is not allowed): 10/10

Orchestration (How well do you use the large ensemble together? The more work you put into this, the more points you will get. This is not a category that you will lose points from the maximum, but rather... this is a category where you must EARN the points): 20/20

Creativity (this is where doing cliche things will get you points taken off. Don't do a love story and just go with the characteristic romantic moods. Do something different or out there that garners the same effect): 10/10

Musicality (is your piece a PIECE of music? Does it have a good beginning, development, and end? is it stagnant? What gives it its identity? Write about the musicality in A PARAGRAPH of 200 words. Make sure it matches what you wrote too. This is about awareness of your music. Does it do what you want it to do?): 20/20

Total: 100/100

TreeHugger's reviews:

EVERYONE, FOR YOUR SCORE QUALITY, PLEASE PM ME SO I CAN SEND YOU A PDF! I PUT MY REVIEW RIGHT ON THE SCORE

Bachian

Essence

This piece is gorgeous! you perfectly described everything you noticed in the painting and your music described it even better. I could very well feel that sense of departure and the sunset, and I LOVE your modulations, and it helped a lot. You did a great job, but you could have done more, you could have looked more closely at the painting, and noticed some of the minor details, what they mean, and incorporate that in your music. Notice the trees sagging down, notice the children by the house. you may have already incorporated it into the music, but since music is such a personal language I need to depend on your analysis to help me out here. Now, I must also say this piece is gorgeous the way it is, and it may ruin the piece to add such tiny, but that belongs in the musicality section.

15/30

You had 5 different instruments, giving you 5 points, and your piece is playable, but your slurs are so long, they just can't be done in one bowing, and the piano is moderately difficult, especially in the 2 v. 3, so that's another 2 points

7/10 for instrumentation

Orchestration

here's what I like, the dialogue, the conversation with the piano and the strings is done masterfully, you're also a terrific composer for piano, and I particularly enjoyed your piano writing unfortunately, orchestration is something where you must earn points, and frankly, you didn't show as much mastery with the strings, you didn't give any bowings, or show much of what you can do with strings. I will give you an extra 3 points for your ethemeral feel

5/20

Creativity

you basically used strings in a normal way, and piano in a normal way. You did do a little rhythmic stuff with the triplets vs duplets,but not much above that

1/10

Musicality

Melody: Not much to this melodically, but it's constantly flowing, and the flow is what contributes to this piece

2.7/3

Harmony: just gorgeous, I love it to death!

3/3

Rhythm: this is always flowing, and you don't have to have complicated rhythm to make something interesting rhythmically, you can do a lot with simple rhythms, and you have

2.8/3

Timbre: you couldn't have chosen a better ensemble

3/3

Form: you know exactly when to change something, and yet, you don't do it too strictly, the flow is gorgeous

2/2

Dynamics: gorgeous

2/2

Tempo: perhaps some accel. and rall. would have added to the piece?

1.7/2

Texture: you have a variety of homophonic, polyphonic, monophonic

2/2

total: 19.2/20

52 total

theviolinist7

your idea of chaos is very weak, I think 11/4 stopped becoming hectic after a piece was written for a string quartet in a bunch of helicopters. Your harmonic language needs improvement, and that really hurts when you try to capture the essence of the piece. I find it interesting how you wrote something to resemble India, and I appreciate your bravery to attempt to write in an Indian style, but you went into it blindly, and the result, it didn't sound Indian. You can't just add a sitar, just guess its instrumentation, and call the piece Indian. You need to study the music! Being Arab myself, (which is slightly different from Indian, but we do have musical similarities) I can tell you, you did have the right idea of an ostinato, us arabs like to repeat stuff an unreasonable amount, however, almost every folk song I've heard was in 6/8 or 4/4, we're not that rhythmically interesting. We love Augmented intervals, and we have special scales which we mostly play to that include quarter tones, but can be modified to our system. One of them for example is a C Major scale with the flated E and A, creating two augmented 2nds. this is just an example though, I know India does it a bit differently. Also, tension is not created just by putting a random melody a tritone against itself. The melody itself needs to be harsh, with a bad melody and harsh harmony, that's not tension, that's awkward writing. I can understand what you were trying to do, but you need to work on it a bit more, your melody writing needs to improve to capture the right idea.

8/30

instrumentation

you used more than 5 instruments, so you get those points. Your flute part is low, your english horn part is high, your harp part is hard, your trombone parts are too low (use bass trombone if you want to go below the staff), your sitar part is rediculous, and your dynamics are too wild, using three fs and 3 ps much of the time. Playability wise, it's playable, but very difficult

6/10

Orchestration

it was bold and creative of you to add the sitar, and you will get points for that (although that probably made you loose more points in other fields. You get 3 points for Sitar, and your woodwinds are so colorful in the begining, I'm giving you an extra 2 points for that, I like the roaring brass at the end, 1 points. You generally treat an orchestra quite well. Your brass writing is a bit weak though

10/20

creativity

the sitar, also the use of 7/4 and 11/4, those will not go without some points, you have a very colorful beginning. What I don't like is that you went into a stereotype blindly...

6/10

Musicality

Melody: interesting melodies, could be better in brass though 2/3

Harmony: a bit weak, needs stronger chord writing and could be a lot more interesting 1/3

Rhythm: very interesting 3/3

Timbre: again, very interesting 3/3

form: it fit well into the program, but the piece could have been more organized 1/2

Dynamics: more in general, 1/2

Tempo: a bit more fluctuation would have made the piece more interesting 1.5/2

Texture: mostly homophonic, a bit more contrast and variation in texture would be nice 1/2

13.5/20

46.9 total

John Pax

essence

wow....I tried to make this as strict as possible, so I can be of the most help, my rubric gives the highest score to those who accurately and perfectly portray EVERY MINOR DETAIL of the piece. The first movement successfully did that! I could not find one detail you didn't go through and I loved your symbolism to death. since you wrote 2 movements, each one will be out of 15, for the first movement, I decided no one should get the highest score because no piece is perfect, but you sir impressed me so much, I'm giving you a 14.5/15 for this movement.

movement 2

dude, what happened? you only portrayed one idea, and it was done super well, but you didn't even mention the smile! It seems like you were just tired after such a first movement

8/15, you still did well though

22.5/30

I'm terribly sorry, but your file (along with 2 or 3 others) have disappeared from my computer, and all I have is the final score for your score quality, I'll repost all the notes, and send them to you in a PM once I'm done (remind me please) but your final score was 5/10

Instrumentation

you only have 4 instruments, so you lose 1 point, playability wise, your piece is quite difficult, on the verge of unplayable

5/10

Orchestration

you rocked in this, I love what you did with these 4 instruments. The viola entrance was fantastic! The color with the clarinet, Bass Clarinet and Viola, such an odd pairing, gives it such beauty. Your pizz. writing adds to that, so far, you have 3 points, the use of quarter tones adds 5 points, and the harmonics add another 3 points, your harmonic language with the quarter tones are outstanding plus 2 points. That HUGE range span in the clarinet in the 2nd movement creates such excitement, and your rhythm in the 2nd movement adds another 3

16/20

creativity

this piece could not have been more creative, the harmonics, the quarter tones, you've done some very unique tactics to create a unique piece! and it works! I'm not going to give you a 10/10 because you can certainly get more creative, but that doesn't necessarily mean you should.

9/10

Musicality

Melody: it's a tone row, there kind of isn't one that can get stuck in your head very easily, but your horizontal writing is superb for this style! 2.4/3

Harmony: so so interesting 3/3

Rhythm: again, so so interesting, get much more rhythmic and you'll have to just get rid of the barlines 3/3

Timbre: such a weird ensemble that works so well 3/3

Form: you kept my attention span in an atonal piece....bravo. You should know, I HATE serialism, what you write is not that, it's music, it's so easy to write serial music and make it bad, you sir are superb at this, keep it up 2/2

Tempo: static, but flowing 2/2

Dynamics: almost a bit too much contrast 1.8/2

texture: switches from homophonic to monophonic to polyphonic, pretty good variety 2/2

19.2/20

FINAL SCORE 76.7

ChristianPerotta

essence

I will judge this all as one piece, even though you have 2 movements

Great job! you were able to capture the essence of the piece, and caught so many details and treated them so well. I love your piccolo writing, and the symbolism of the entire piece. You could have done more though, there were so many tiny details in the artwork that weren't picked. This picture is full of little symbols, I saw at least a dozen eyes in the painting, but you mentioned nothing about those. But overall, great job!

18/30

score quality 3/10

Instrumentation

more than 5 instruments, and very well playable, but still a bit difficult due to so many key changes

9/10

Orchestration

4 for the great piccolo writing, 1 for gliss. in the strings, 1 for strong use of brass, 1 for for diologue between piano and chimes, 1 for grace notes, 1 for terrific use of expression in your string writing and its use with piano and picc. 1 for picc. and horn dialogue, 3 for claps, 1 for great use of chimes

14/20

creativity

You gave a very oriental sense with the piccolo, and the chimes added so much, I like the use of the piccolo cadenza in the beginning. you did something oriental, but not cheesy, great job! nice quasi-gliss in the 2nd movement

7/10

Musicality

Melody: Beatiful, but they don't really get stuck in your head, your melodies help a lot with the story, and make it oriental 2.8/3

Harmony: So interesting, not just triad after triad, you made something of the harmonic language to make it yours 3/3

Rhythm: your simple rhythms helped create that oriental effect, but you could have done more 2.5/3

Timbre: wow...3/3

Form: the flow was perfect, you knew exactly when to change and what to change to 2/2

Dynamics: just right 2/2

Texture: you have everything, monophony, polyphony, homophony, bravo! 2/2

Tempo: static, yet fluid 1.9/2

total 19.2

TOTAL 70.2

Joshm222

Bass drum was a nice touch! Your piece successfully captured the general essence of the quote, but more could have been done. You could have easily gone deeper into such a deep quote. Also, your attempt at portraying struggle would be much more effective if you had done more with the harmony and the key, this piece would go a whole new level if it included modulations and chromaticisms. Great job! you just need to keep working at it!

11/30

instrumentation

5 instruments, very playable, except bass drum does not trill, they roll

9/10

orchestration

4 points for use of bass drum, 1 point for Violin and bass writing in measure 30, 2 points for bowings in 78ish, Violin 2 is often above Violin 1, don't do that

7/20

Creativity

you used a normal string ensemble, in a normal way, but you did add a bass drum! You could have been more creative in your string writing, there's a lot you can do with strings, strings have as many bowings as Hollywood stars have divorces, make use of them.

1/10

Musicality

This part is probably the hardest to judge because it's very easy to let personal opinion rule this. I'll do my best not to let that happen

Melody /3 : Your melody was a bit bland, but you handled it well, since it's all based on one interval, it's not quite so catchy, but you used that melody very well, 2 points I do like the dotted 8ths though, and you're counterpoint's and counter-melodies are nice!

Harmony /3 : triads, though there are some very interesting dissonances, you could be a lot more interesting 1 point

Rhythm /3 : nice dotted 8ths rhythm, but this could have been more interesting with some sense of ambiguity in the rhythm 1 point

Timbre /3 : I like the way you use all the strings together, but the bass drum part is a bit boring 2 points

Dynamics /2 : more dynamic contrast would have made this piece VERY interesting 1.6

Tempo /2 : same throughout, you could add to that sense of gaining tension by speeding the tempo a bit, but you gave a good tempo 1.7

Texture /2 : Mostly homophonic, some hints of polyphony, some monophony 1.8

Form /2 : you knew when to change and that kept it interesting 2 points

13.1/20

44 total

Austenite

Impressive! Your overture reminded me of Berlioz's Symphony Fantastique, and how he wrote a piece so fitting to a story, but so musical at the same time. You did a brilliant job balancing musicality and programmatic features. You could always go deeper though, I'm sure there was some symbolism and deeper analysis that could have made this overture even deeper into the story.

I really don't have much else to say other than 21/30

Instrumentation

used more than 5 instruments, playability wise, it seems like you don't know that's it's not a good idea to put a run that seems fine on a flute to a xylophone, that's a freakin' hard part! the harp is also difficult at some points

6/10

Orchestration

I do love your use of the keyboard percussion, and you really know how to write for an orchestra! your woodwind writing is fantastic, your strings are fantastic, your brass are almost fantastic, and there are just so many tiny details bravo to you

19/20

creativity:

your percussion writing works really well here, if I were to play this, I would jump right away to the glockenspiel and xylophone, despite the fact that part is harder than sight transposing the Rite of Spring from A Clarinet to Tuba, you didn't do much other "out of the box" stuff, but you don't have to be avante-garde to be creative, you used the orchestration in this case for creativity, and added so many tiny details

7/10

Musicallity

Melody: gorgeous melodies 3/3

Harmony: be brave! this is very romantic-esque, which does make sense for a romantic novel, but don't be afraid to davel in the world of harmony, that's how your create your personal voice 1.8/3

Rhythm: I like the 6/8 with 2/4 the duple and triple work nice with each other 2.5/3 could still be more interesting

Timbre: you really know how to write for an orchestra 3/3

form: I felt this piece was a bit long, but the form was flawless, 1.5/2

Tempo: flawless 2/2

Dynamics: flawless 2/2

texture: monophony, homophony, didn't hear much polyphony 1.8/2

17.6/20

total 76.2

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NathanHathawayAdams

You did a fine job telling the general story. Unfortunately, I have never fulfilled ultimate nerdiness and I don't know all my superheros, sad childhood? I know :( so I don't know any specific stories, and you don't give me anything, all you gave me was that he had hard times, became a superhero, and feels sad forever, which is a nice general story line, and enough for the music, but you could have gone soooo much deeper! You could have gone deeper musically too. I didn't hear much dynamic contrast, and there's contrast between two themes here, heroism and personal anguish. But you don't distinguish the two enough, you just put them both there. There needs to be more contrast to add to the story.

9/30

instrumentation

5 instruments, and very well playable, just watch out for breathing

9/10

orchestration:

interesting ensemble and so much can be done with it, I really question your use of the A Clarinet...always use Bb, I can't think of a situation today where it's appropriate to use an A clarinet. I love soprano sax and it's so nice with a clarinet and an oboe, I also like how you have 2 bass instruments. 7 points for the ensemble, your use of them quite bland though

7/20

creativity:

you have such a creative ensemble. Unfortunately, that's really it. Your ensemble didn't do much too unique. I seems like you were trying to blend them in a unique way, but it didn't really work, the bad side to a unique ensemble. try to think more outside the box on how to make everything more interesting

1/10

Musicality:

Melody: arpeggios and a minor scale, quite boring, your melody needs leaps! otherwise it's boring! 1/3

Harmony: It appears that your harmonic language is underdeveloped, work on it, write a piece and focus 90% on harmony, try to do something interesting, a minor triad won't do it, see what combinations you could use, you don't have to use chords with an easy name! I've used 2 tritones a half step away from each other and that worked well 1/3

Rhythm: some syncopation, but it builds up to a disappointment since it always changes to something basic 1.2/3

Timbre: This is a nice ensemble! you just need to work on how to orchestrate it more 1.2/3

Tempo: fluctuation would not help this piece, in fact, I think if the tempo were stricter, your piece would be more interesting 1.2/2

Dynamics: you need more contrast! .7/2

Texture: your texture is actually pretty good, you have homophony, monophony, polyphony 2/2

8.3/20

TOTAL 36.2

My computer restarted itself and part of the last 4 scores went missing they will be put up and replaced by the morning! I'm terribly sorry I'm so late! I lost a third of my scores for the score quality in that little incident and because of how much detail I look into these scores, they take me hours (each!) to score properly! This entire judging process took at least 24 hours total, just so you know I did not procrastinate on these until today

Maqam Djinn

For a second, I thought you had the wrong link, because I did not understand a word you wrote about, or how it relates to the artwork, then I realized, you did. For some reason, the link sent me to a king chess piece, and under it says "to be" with a tennis ball underneath. I searched, and I found a key with a bunch of gems on top, and when I clicked "full image" on that, it changed the pic. either way, you did a great job with such a simple piece of art. This is so basic, yet can go so far, and you took it far. You took a bunch of colors, and made your own world with them. bravo! Now, musically, you could have done more, when I think of creating an entire world, I think of Mahler, which is probably too high a standard for you XD but you still could have done more, you created basic imagery, be more specific! show each wave of the ocean, define every creature in your world! Great job! do more!

20/30

Instrumentation

you meet the requirements, but your piece is a bit difficult, not as difficult as some of the other pieces, but you may want to work on making it easier, so more people can play it.

7/10

orchestration

you have a very interesting ensemble, a flute, 2 strings, marimba and piano, and you make them work so well. You matched each instrument very well, and made them all distinct while still making the music work. You put the pianos together very well, the strings together were perfect, you did an excellent job here!

17/20

Musicality:

Melody: your melody is very strong, and based on a long tone, that gives it such a unique effect 2.8/3

Harmony: your piece is tonal, and is interesting, but most of the interest comes from melody, orchestration, and counterpoint, you didn't do as much with harmony 1.5/3

Rhythm: interesting rhythms and lots of changing meter, your rhythm builds the melody very well 3/3

Timbre: again, great ensemble 3/3

form: very nice treatment of a theme and variations 2/2

Dynamics: I could have used more dynamics in general 2/2

Tempo: static, yet flowing, as long as it flows, the piece is good 1.8/2

texture: you have it all homophony, polyphony, not much monophony though, and in general more contrast between these would be nice 1/2

17.1/20

63.5 total

muhmuhmuhmusic

wow, creative piece! You did a great job with this quote, and what better way of portraying a quote than quoting it? that was a great touch, and you showed man's dangers very well. You could have done more though, I would have liked to see some musical symbolism here, and there's a lot you could work with. Pick any world problem, and put it to music. This quote by Albert Einstein is significant, and can be explored infinitely. yet, you only take advantage of the general picture. You need to show specifics in order to make it past 15 points, but you did such a great job showing all of today's problems intertwining with each other!

15/30

Instrumentation:

you meet all the requirements, my only complaint about playability is that you have a very difficult marimba part, it's possible, but difficult, especially compared to everything else.

8/10

Orchestration:

I'm trying to figure out how much I love that you included an electric bass. You have such an interesting ensemble and I do thank you for putting up a diagram on how they should be set up. you put the instruments together very well, the electric bass blended in nicely, but I would have liked to hear them more, I would have also liked to hear more conversation between all the instruments. Sometimes it felt like something was thrown in, and there wasn't much dialogue between the instruments.

8/20

Creativity:

very creative here! your diagram gets you some points, your use of the electric bass, and a narrator, your marimba was a nice touch, great job! You showed some really "outside the box" thinking here! But you could have done more, I would have liked to see more creativity within the music, within the harmony, the melody, the rhythm, those felt rather plain

6/10

Musicality:

Melody: you have a melody, but it could be stronger, the rhythm makes the melody a bit awkward sometimes, but otherwise very good 2/3

Harmony: not much here, you have chords, but you're not really Stravinsky when it comes to harmony, which is unfortunate because you can do sooo much with harmony! that's where your voice comes from, so do more with it, experiment 1/3

Rhythm: you should have changed the time signature to 8/8 at some point and I do like that rhythm, but you could have made it stronger, you need more accents on the 2 dotted quarters and the quarter, you also could have played around with it, the music would have been soo interesting if you did some stuff with the time, again, play around, experiment 1/3

Timbre: great ensemble, but they could have been treated better, it felt almost like a salad, and less like one ensemble 1/3

form: you developed the themes nicely, and put them in conversation with each other, sometimes at the same time, which is excellent! but a form for the whole piece could have been stronger 1.8/2

dynamics: more dynamics needed! more contrast! add those in and your piece would improve so much! 1/2

tempo: when building up, perhaps some accel. would help that, let the tempo flow with the music! 1/2

texture: the entire piece was homophonic, and I didn't really get much monophony or polyphony, and contrast between those 3 really build up a piece .3/2

9.1/20

TOTAL 49.1

ad hoc

You did a great job with this piece! You took such an interesting, haunting theme, and did such great work with it. The only problem is that's all I heard, a daunting theme. I couldn't really tell the difference between each statue's story or what the story was. The music just all worked together to create this daunting effect, which is still fine, it's just not as specific as you intended. The story is fantastic, and I really admire your telling of it, you just need to work more with the form, and creating some sort of contrast, to create the effect of these statues telling their stories.

17/30

instrumentation:

you meet all the requirements, but playability wise, your mallet percussion writing is very difficult, and the most difficult by far to play in this piece

7/10

orchestration:

you did a great job with the percussion! and it worked so nicely with the strings, it created such a daunting effect. The mallet percussion was put in nice contrast with the timpani and the percussion was put in nice contrast with the strings, yet everything worked together. You could have done more within the strings though, but overall you did a great job

15/20

creativity:

again, nice use of the percussion, you could have gone much further though, using percussion allows you to do so much, and opens up a huge world of possibilities. Frank Ticheli used a suspended cymbal on a timpani, while the percussionist rolled the cymbal and moved around the pedal on the timpani. You don't have to go that far, but it would have sounded sooo cool if perhaps bowed the glockenspiel? or the vibes? or really bowing anything would have added exponentially to that effect. you just need to think about what you can do, and which of these tools at your disposal would add to the music

3/10

musicality:

Melody: your melody does need a bit of work, it's mostly the rhythm that's hurting it, some notes are too long, and the rhythm repeats itself too much, but the melody is very close to being great! 1/3

Harmony: your harmonic language can be a lot more interesting, you did create some cool harmonies with the percussion and it worked well with the strings, but you could have done so much more! experiment! 1.5/3

Rhythm: your rhythm is a bit weak here, while you use the rhythm to allow the music to flow, you can also allow it to drive, but rather, it almost sags in the strings (not in the percussion) 1.5/3

Timbre: great ensemble 3/3

form: you do have a clear sense of form, but not enough contrast, rather it's just one thing building up, and it has certain checkpoints. I would love to hear more contrast in this piece .8/2

tempo: it felt slow at some points, not that you should change the tempo, but that you should make the tempo work better with the music 1/2

dynamics: WAY MORE CONTRAST, that would make your piece so much better! .5/2

texture: mostly homophonic, some hints at polyphony, and a little little bit of monophony, if you used each in contrast with each other, this piece would improve greatly 1/2

10.3

TOTAL 55.3

Maestrowick

Great piece! I could easily tell the plot from listening to the music, and at which points what happens. Great job! that shows you really have mastery over this. You. along with everyone else, could have done more though, you could have created a more detailed world, everything was great! but more detail was needed

23/30

Instrumentation:

you meet all the requirements but your piece is so darn difficult! I can't exagerate how much fear I get when looking at your cello part in the end

6/10

orchestration:

you know how to write for an orchestra! you use strings as the backbone, but your woodwinds and brass aren't left behind (mostly) I feel like you could have used the brass a lot more, and woodwinds too, but to a lesser extent. meanwhile, more percussion would be a nice touch, but you did do a great job using what you used

17/20

creativity:

solo strings are a nice touch! but everything else felt like a normal, romantic style piece. You didn't really do much out of the ordinary

2/10

musicality:

Melody: strong and flawless 3/3

Harmony: romantic style, but you used it excellently, but we're not in the 19th century, harmony has developed since then, and we need to recognize that, and if used right, you could do soo much more harmonically with this piece, but I understand your view point, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with what you've done 2.9/3

Rhythm: I like the 6/8, I like it a lot, along with the unreasonably terrifying runs, those do greatness rhythmically 3/3

Timbre: again, you know how to write for orchestra! 3/3

Dynamics: a bit (just a bit) more contrast would be nice 1.8/2

Tempo: I cannot think of anything tempo wise that would improve this piece 2/2

texture: you have it all, monophony, homophony, polyphony 2/2

form: flawless, but it did feel just a bit long at some points 1.9/2

19.6/20

Imperialflute

essence

I got the general idea, and I love how specific you went, but you could have gone so much further! Musically, your symbolism didn't really work as well as they should have, when I hear cowbell, I don't really think of rain...you need to stop for a moment and think "what best sounds like this?"

13/30

Score Quality:

Noteflight does not produce a legitimate score, I can't conduct an ensemble off of that, save up money and get Finale or Sibelius if you are serious about composing, and you can't become a good composer unless you're serious about it. Judging from what I can, dynamics are out of place at many points, make sure they are exactly underneath the note, you're missing brackets, your pedal markings are clashing everywhere in the piano. otherwise, not bad for noteflight

1/10

Instrumentation:

everything's playable and you meet the requirements

9/10

orchestration:

I like the spiccato, but I'd also advise never to use it, because it breaks the bow! I also like some of your percussion writing, otherwise, it sounds plain, and almost bland. Your brass writing needs some work, and I do like your use of singers, but they could be stronger! I've only ever heard one piece where the strings cover a choir, choirs like to show off, let them

4/20

creativity:

you've made an attempt, but ask yourself "did it work musically?" if the answer is no, then don't do it, it will only hurt you as a composer. I didn't really feel what you were getting at with the spicatto, or the choir, you needed to utilize them better to create that creative effect

2/10

Musicality:

Melody: not very strong, didn't really sense one melody, you need to work on creating that sense when you're in homophony or monophony .5/3

Harmony: your weakness, I can tell you don't have a strong enough sense of music theory. Study music theory, and learn start experimenting after that, you have to know the rules before you can break them .3/3

Rhythm: this keeps the piece interesting, and you did a fine job with rhythm, but you could have made it more complex, study more modern pieces, and look at how people like Ligeti (I know, he's not really modern, but still) and John Mackey, and study Stravinsky too, and look at how they all used rhythm, and learn off of that 1/3

Timbre: your orchestration was off, but very close, you could have done a lot with this ensemble .7/3

form: too many repeats, and not really a sense of any specific form, the music flows, but I couldn't tell in what direction it's flowing .3/2

dynamics: I hear very little of those, use more, and your piece will skyrocket .2/2

tempo: I couldn't tell if your tempo harms your piece, over what else does, but I think a little bit more fluctuation would have been helpful1/2

texture: I don't hear much polyphony, but I do hear monophony and homophony, keep good contrast between these, and all of them to the best of your ability 1/2

5/20

74.3 total

1. John Pax

2. Austenite

3. Maestrowick

Great job everyone! I was thoroughly impressed with everyone's works and look forward to listening to all of your works in the future. This was not an easy contest, and I spent countless hours judging your behemoths, and I did my best to be as fair as possible, which led me to spending 3 days in a row just non-stop judging, but thankfully, you all wrote music good enough for me to enjoy my job, and I hope you had as much fun in this competition as I did.

Thank you,

Nebal Maysaud/ treehugger1995

July 2012 Competition Judging – Justin Tokke (Tokkemon)

Bachian: Farewell

http://www.youngcomp...ion-submission/

Lovely little work! I especially liked how "warm" it feels, just like the picture's rays of sunlight making everything look orange. Good choice of instruments and "feel" in that regard.

Source Material: 25/30

You depicted the source material very well. I certainly felt the longing of not wanting to leave; this was most accentuated by the Bb augmented chords you littered here and there which, in my opinion, is the one of the most "heartbreaking" chords in music when it is used right (the other being the Major 7th). You said you tried to depict the style of 1875, when the painting was written, but I found this to be far more classical than romantic. Listen to Beethoven's Emperor Concerto, Mov. 2 (http://www.youtube.c...ailpage#t=1282s) and hear what I mean. Your piano writing was also very classical and nothing was very chromatic and didn't venture very far from the key, typical traits of a romantic piece. So that's where you lost 5 points.

Score Preparation: 7/10

Overall pretty good. You use of two cello sections was unnecessary but see below. Violas must always have an alto clef, no excuse for that one. A lot of your slurs were very large phrase markings that didn't really tell the players much other than sempre legato . Writing that in expression text is far more useful. Be careful of your accidentals too. Some enharmonics were incorrect (like bar 89 should be E-sharp, not F). Sometimes the phrases were not starting on strong beats. Not inherently a problem, but sometimes a distraction. For example, bar 49 should be a 5/4, then the rest of the phrase 53 should be shifted over a beat. You should notate the phrases on how they feel, not just how they fit in with the pulse.

Instrumentation: 7/10

You didn't need two cello sections in this piece. Really you treated the violas as a third violin section, which they are not, not at all. I'd recommend removing the first cellos and making that the viola part, then making the viola part a violin part, and then merging the three violin parts into two with divisi as necessary. There's no need to reinvent the wheel when the five-section string section has done wonders for hundreds of years. Also, while I loved the string orchestra thing, you could have used more instruments to give more color. A nice oboe or clarinet solo here or there would have done wonders for this piece interest-wise.

Orchestration: 14/20

You have some issues with cellos. Apart from the above mentioned re-organization of the sections, you don't have the cellos acting like true basses sometimes leaving the basses all lone, which is a bit exposed, especially in the lovely warm texture that you've created. Also the fragmentary strings of the second section kind of distract. Granted, it was nice to have little changes of color, but only having them play three notes and then cut off mid-phrase is awkward.

Creativity: 6/10

While it is a good piece, there was nothing really groundbreaking or unique here. Any competent film composer would have written something similar if given this image to score to. Besides Beethoven, I was thinking of Morricone's work (

) all the time during this.

Musicality: 15/20

I'm conflicted here. On the whole it is very nice, but I felt it went far too long. The middle section didn't really go anywhere and didn't deviate from the key very far so it felt stagnant and then boring. However, your main theme was actually quite good and probably this piece's saving grace. I really liked the warm textures and what it tried to convey, so you did well. Work on development of your material in a future work and you'll be in good shape.

Overall: 74/100

==================================================================================================

theviolinist7: A Passage To India

http://www.youngcomp...ion-submission/

Source Material: 15/30

I haven't read the book so I can't know if these movements specifically follow the plot, so all I have to go on is the time the book attempts to depict, namely, India under British rule. While it was clever to include the sitar, you need to write for sitar idiomatically. Most of it sounds like you were just writing for a solo violin and not taking advantage of the ragas, quarter-tones, accents, nuances of the instrument. You "westernized" it, which I think is a mistake if you're trying to depict a culture accurately.

Score Preparation: 4/10

The score was too small and messy. You have a lot of technical issues, such as not identifying your percussion instruments, or text colliding with other things on the staff. I would seriously consider re-writing both pieces in different time signatures. 11/4 is extremely hard to coordinate, especially the way you have it not really conforming to the 11/4 ideal of 3,3,3,2 (or one of its variants. If you used 11/4 just because it's not 4/4, don't do that again. No one in the audience will be able to tell. It would be far simpler (for the conductor but especially the players) just to write the music in a meter that fits the phrases best. Please also combine your like-instruments together, no matter what Finale says (which, most of the time, is wrong). Fix your enharmonics, especially in the second piece. There are double accidentals everywhere and it makes it very difficult to read.

Instrumentation: 8/10

Good job trying to write for orchestra including a sitar. That was the most clever thing about this piece, I find.

Orchestration: 10/20

This needs work. Your balance is all over the place. If you want more specifics I can give them, but it would be too long to list here.

Creativity: 6/10

Your most creative thing was including the sitar. But, like I said above, you didn't really try to get the "Indian" feel to the music. Using unusual modes or scales would have been cool, but all you did was double a weird theme at tritones. This isn't anything new, the 20th Century is full of it. Truly blending an Indian style with Western Instruments, like you attempted to do in the first piece, would have been far more creative.

Musicality: 7/20

Obviously, since these were so short, one couldn't get a full feeling of the complete story. Regardless, both movements were kind of just "pasted together", or at least that's what it felt like. There was no real thought to the development (if any) of the themes, just repeated in different guises. Cohesion simply wasn't there.

Overall: 50/100

==================================================================================================

John Pax: Redon

http://www.youngcomp...petition-entry/

Source Material: 27/30

You did capture the essence of the two paintings which was important. I think it was just a bit too reserved and/or restrained overall. Parsifal can be a very passionate character so a more intense first movement would have been nice, but your subdued interpretation was very appropriate for the painting. I think you took some of the elements too literally and turned them into cerebral things rather than evoking feeling in music, but that’s your call. The spider was pretty good too, though a more menacing or scary kind of music would have been nice. That spider clearly isn’t thinking about sunshine and rainbows. So essentially the same problem, don’t be so reserved! Let out the passion and craziness that only music can provide.

Score Preparation: 7/10

Very good except for a few things. The biggest most glaring thing of all is the bass clarinet in Bass Clef. Do not use the German system; players won’t be able to read it in this modern age. Also avoid using octave lines in woodwind parts as the fingerings for each octave differ, so the mental exercise of having to transpose the part on the staff can impede sight reading.

Your first movement was laid out gloriously in terms of rhythmic clarity; I just wish you did that in the second movement. In the second movement, having so many sixteenth notes and rests can get very daunting to read. I would suggest rewriting the passages where there are many of those and removing the rests, then writing “sempre stacc.” as necessary. This will make it much clearer where the beats actually lie. Also, breaming over rests usually isn’t helpful in a duple meter, there are exceptions, but when you’re beaming from a rest (2nd mov, bar 10, beat 2 in the clarinet and bass clarinet) it can get messy. But that’s more my opinion as a player and sightreader. What are the snap pizz. signs doing in the bass clarinet part? Is this explained in the score what they’re for?

Instrumentation: 5/10

You didn’t use five instruments as the contest required. However, you get saving grace here because the instruments you did use, you used quite effectively. It’s a very nice ensemble together with the capability to be warm and dark but also loud and bright.

Orchestration: 18/20

Bravo on this point! You use the extremes of the ranges, the virtuosity, and some unique quirks like microtones and clusters which are nice when used only here and there to foil the more “traditional” playing. You got points off because I thought you could have used the viola more, just in general, but especially in the spider movement. There wasn’t much fast arco work going on and I thought that color was drastically underused. You maybe could have used the piano in a harmonic sense more, but that’s a small point.

Creativity: 8/10

The first movement had some great creative moments. While I was skeptical of the microtonalism on the first listen, I listened again and loved the “out of tune-ness” you got between some of the instruments. The weird beating between the odd intervals was a very interesting texture that isn’t heard too often in Western music so I was impressed by that. I thought you could have done better in the second movement; it sounds a lot like mid-20th Centrury run-of-the-mill Eliot Carter and nothing really new.

Musicality: 16/20

The first movement on its own is very good. The second movement is okay, but it could have been longer and developed a bit more. Putting the two together it makes the first movement seem far too long and the second far too short. Try and balance out the time and pace of the two movements. Also, I didn’t like the ending of the second movement at all. I would have just ended it on the cluster; I get that it’s the spider scurrying away, but it’s too ambiguous. Perhaps a straight chromatic scale on the piano would have been better, I don’t know. Also the dynamic range of each movement was a bit constrained. It would be better to have the Parsifal movement expand further and intensify more and vice versa in the spider movement.

Still a good work with few flaws. It would be very cool to hear a whole suite of these movements based on these paintings, perhaps performed in concert with the painting projected on the stage wall or something.

Overall: 81/100

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ChristianPerrotta: Oriental Rhapsody

http://www.youngcomp...y-july-contest/

Very interesting piece with its different movements giving different guises on the same painting. Not many people did it quite like that so it was a refreshing change.

Source Material: 29/30

You captured the oriental spirit very well in this piece. The solo piccolo did a great impression of a dizi playing in what sounds to be a traditional Chinese mode. Whether it actually is or not is unimportant, to the Western ear, this is clearly "Oriental" music. You lose a point because the ending seemed a little too "dance-like" to be seem oriental. That may just be my perspective on oriental cultures, but I generally don't imagine them dancing to an odd meter at such a fast tempo.

Score Preparation: 7/10

Very good except for a few things. When you have "bells" there, I don't know what that means. You have to specify if you mean "Glockenspiel" or "Chimes (Tubular Bells)" or "Handbells" or "little bells" or "big bells", something more descriptive. Listening to the recording made it clear you meant Chimes, but that isn't clear from the score. You also aren't specific when you use the two horns enough. "a 2" and "1." symbols need to be used to specify when it's only one player at a time. I would change the score order to have the solo violin below the piano to fit with standard score order. Sometimes the ensemble string parts got a bit crowded and you didn't specify divisi such as in bar 57. Some entrances were missing dynamics and some dynamics were on rests. Always put dynamics on the first note of a phrase.

Some of your key signatures were unnecessarily complicated. Using accidentals is far easier if the change of key is short. In the fourth movement, it is clearly in 7/8 rather than 7/4. It would be far easier to count for the players.

Small point, but the opening Piccolo solo shouldn't say "solo senza tempo" but "solo, senza misura". There is clearly a tempo, but no meter.

Instrumentation: 9/10

You use a very eclectic group of instruments which was very cool to see. I loved the inclusion of the Piccolo and Solo Violin acting as "Westernized" versions of Chinese instruments (I guess). It's a pretty well rounded ensemble but a bit top-heavy. I would have liked a bass instrument such as a Double Bass or even Bass Clarinet included.

Orchestration: 17/20

Generally this is very good! The biggest glaring issue I saw the horn in the third movement. There is no way that high A could ever be played pianissimo reliably, especially with no preparation. Put it somewhere else. I thought you could have used all the instruments a little more adventurously, especially the piccolo and solo violin. You don't really go into the extremes of the range nor the virtuosic capabilities of said instruments. Again, the lack of a true bass instrument was problematic; this was most evident in the march I think.

Creativity: 7/10

There are some lovely moments of creativity here. The clapping was a novel idea in the last movement, though I wouldn't have ended on that. This may be why the climax there was lacking (see below). Your use of piccolo to imitate the Chinese instruments was very nice and a refreshing change for the instrument, especially using it in the lower register where it sounds very similar to the dizi. I thought the march was the least creative (and the most cliché-filled with open fifths everywhere). So you get knocked for that mostly. A more creative ending and transitions between the movements were also badly needed.

Musicality: 10/20

Really, on the technical level this piece is quite good. The problem lies in the musicality and flow. While each movement is nice in and of itself, they don't really fit together. The March seemed terribly out of place, for example. The transitions were abrupt and often awkward. The ending, especially, was very abrupt. I was waiting for a nice big climax to finish it off but that never came. That lack of intensity development really made the piece suffer. My favorite section was mov. 3 by far. It was mysterious and odd but still "relatable" (if that makes sense). However, it got a bit boring by the time the repeat came around. I'd suggest making the second time different, especially in the piccolo.

Certainly a good effort!

Overall: 79/100

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joshm222: Atlas

http://www.youngcomp...ly-competition/

Source Material: 10/30

This is a bit of an odd source material because it is so open ended. What does it mean for Atlas to shrug? I suppose unless you read the book you would know. I haven’t so I don’t know and I couldn’t interpret it from your music. So while you tried for the heaviness of Atlas carrying the world, and you did succeed there, the actual meaning of the quote was lost.

Score Preparation: 9/10

Nothing much to say here. There’s nothing egregious about the score. I would have liked it a bit smaller to fit three systems on a page, though.

Instrumentation: 6/10

While you did technically use five different instruments, you didn’t really. The string orchestra is the most homogenous of all the instrument families and accordingly has little variation in color. It would have been wiser to include some other instruments.

Orchestration: 6/20

The orchestration here was terribly unadventurous. It was pretty much the same range throughout and no real stretching of the range, timbre, or texture. This was detrimental to the musicality (see below). While nothing was technically wrong, it was boring. Also, be consistent to which part gets the higher notes between the Violins. If they’re always switching places then the continuity of line gets lost. It is much better to have the complete melody in one part than to have it jumping all over unless you do so for color reasons (like Klangfarbenmelodie), which was not the case here. Also, leaving the basses all alone to do the bass line alone will actually counteract the ‘heaviness” you’re trying to convey. Having the cellos divide where half take the existing line and half double the bass at octave will really help; this is not evident in the computer rendering but it would very much be evident with real players.

Creativity: 4/10

Nothing terribly creative here. I liked the idea of the bass drum and strings texture, but it went on for far too long (see musicality). This could have been transplanted from any old film score written by a non-classical composer who doesn’t know how to change key (trust me, there’s lots of those) and just repeats the same four chords over and over. Some audiences eat it up, but this is inappropriate for a concert setting.

Musicality: 6/20

This wasn’t a very appealing piece because you repeat things too many times without changing things up, and you didn’t do anything harmonically interesting. The entire piece stayed in one key and one meter, this is boring after a while. The incessant bass drum rhythm wasn’t a problem until it wouldn’t stop, then things got boring. I liked the “idea” of the pulsing bass drum and heavy strings but your execution wasn’t very good. Less repletion and more development, especially harmonically!

Overall: 41/100

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Austenite: Emma Overture, Op. 31

http://www.youngcomp...ly-competition/

I have to admit, I came into judging this piece with skepticism. I didn't know your work that well and didn't know the novel either. I've read Pride and Prejudice and enjoyed it a lot, mostly because of Austen's rich command of the English language, much like Shakespeare, who I also adore. After reading your synopsis it seemed oddly similar to Pride and Prejudice, but that may just be a coincidence. But, all I have to go on is your synopsis and I don't know the nuances of the plot or characters, so forgive me if I mischaracterize some of these elements in my critique.

On the overall, this is truly a great work; one of the best I've heard on YC on the order of years. I wouldn't call it a masterpiece by any stretch because I know you have a lot of growing to do as a composer, yet. However, this piece is very good, in execution, in pacing, in the simple fact that it is a joy to listen to, which, I think, a lot of composers tend to forget or add at the last minute making their pieces only lackluster. I will tell you that I didn't want this piece to end. By the time I got to the two-thirds mark of the piece, I was so blown away that I just wanted to see what you would do next; and you didn't disappoint. So my congratulations to you. Now, for the critique:

Source Material: 29.5/30

Splendid. Absolutely splendid. To disclaim as above, I don't know the nuances of the characters, but for what you described, this piece seemed to hit it spot on. The pacing was very good. When it hung around in one key too often, you jumped ahead. Where you lost one point is not identifying Mr. Knightley's theme clearly enough. It's obvious if you point it out, but to the uninitiated listener it may be hard to pick up on. I don't know if this is the theme itself or your orchestration but you should look into that.

Score Preparation: 6/10

You had the most trouble here, which is amazing to me because this score looks quite nice. There are several technical things that annoy me and have to be reconciled before you send it to an orchestra, however.

Your biggest issues are time signatures, key signatures, and tempo markings (only small things, right?). Most of your time signatures are ok but they change unnecessarily. For example, right on the first page the change to 6/8 is unnecessary. Two bars of 6/8 = one bar of 12/8. Why did you change it? I would recommend using 6/8 throughout because it "feels" more scherzo-y and far easier to count (less 8th notes) even if only a little bit. Simplify this as best as you can. Your cut time at bar 16 is not a true cut time but a fast four. Conductors may conduct it in two later as the pulse gets established but most certainly this would be started in four. This is a problem throughout; many of your cut times or 2/2 signatures should really be 4/4. Bar 138: why 2/4 instead of 4/4? No good reason from what I can tell. From letter "I" onward, all your 8/8 sections should be re-written as 4/4. No conductor would conduct it in three uneven beats, especially when the simultaneous main theme is, in fact, in 4/4. Don't complicate the beat pattern unnecessarily. If you must, add accents in the "8/8" parts to show the unique beat placement, but the overall pulse should be 4/4.

Your key signatures are all over the place. I even saw a one measure key signature, which is a definite no-no. It is better to have one big overarching key signature per section of music and then add accidentals as necessary (sometimes absurdly so, but it is easier to read than suddenly changing key every other bar). Also, cautionary naturals are rarely needed anymore. We know what you mean when you go from three sharps to five flats. Also, every key change barline should be a double barline.

The tempo markings generally are ok, but really should include a metronome mark for reference. Some composers don't, but it really makes things easier for the players to have an absolute reference point to what your "Allegro" means. All gradual changes like ritardando or accelerando should all be in the same text style as the main tempo markings, NOT in small italics. This is because the italics are harder to read and easy to miss by conductors.

Other qualms include smaller things like weird beamings. Don't beam together two beats of anything in 4/4 or even 2/2 unless it is ONLY four 8th notes. Having things like in 293 in the Violins is just annoying. There are a few isolated cases of this but they stand out like a sore thumb. Also don't beam over rests unless it is in 6/8 and the rest is in the middle. So things like in bar 300 don't happen. You have this everywhere and it can be confusing on first glance. It might even be better to write four quarters with staccato or marcato markings to eliminate those rests altogether.

General cleanliness of expression markings and dynamics were OK but could be better. Align everything together properly. Dynamics should never start on a rest, and make sure you add one for every entrance after even a moderate rest.

Split up your trumpet parts into two staves. Three parts on one is too many to be read accurately.

When winds and percussion are doubling, the left-hand instrument name should have the active instrument on the page listed, not both doublings, or the conductor can't know at an instant which is actually playing. Also, despite the Piccolo doubling the third flute, always put the Piccolo part above the first two flutes except where the Third Flute has notes on the same page before the switch. I.e. on page 38 that's correct, but on the next page the flute and piccolo should be swapped. With the percussion, indicate the instrument in the left-hand names, not just "Percussion 1 or 2".

Instrumentation: 10/10

Great job writing for orchestra! I was very pleased to see that you could handle the instruments properly and idiomatically. Usually I hate including pianos in orchestras because they're so bland in the middle of an orchestral tapestry; often young composers use it as a crutch rather than a member of the group. But you used it only sparingly and to add color, so I'm not taking off points for that.

Orchestration: 18/20

Very good. There are some technical issues that should be pointed out, mostly in the brass and percussion.

The biggest is don't use the Bass Trombone as a second tuba. I see this in countless works, even of the masters (especially in Tchaikovsky and it drives me up a wall). The Bass Trombone is meant to be the Bass of the trombone section, not a higher tuba. They don't really blend well anyway. If it's just to give the Bass Trombone something to do then either double it at pitch or leave it out. Octaves can work, but only sparingly. The trombone section work best as a trio, not a duo and a bass. It seems counterintuitive because of the overly-emphasized difference between a "Bass" and a "Tenor" trombone. (Seriously, in a score, I just write "Trombone 1, 2, 3". There's no need to distinguish between Tenor and Bass, this is the default and has been for almost 200 years now.) The differences between the Tuba and Bass Trombone are *WAY* more important than between Tenor and Bass Trombones. So please, treat the Trombones as a section. (Sorry, but I'm a trombone player and it is required that I rant about this because so many people don't get it.)

In the Horns at bar 137 and beyond I saw a word I had never seen before: "chiuso". After some Googling I found out it means "stopped". Please use a more universal word next time like "stopped" or "muted" (note, they're not the same thing!) or use the little + sign above the stopped note.

In the Bass Trombone in bar 175 your glissando is impossible. B-natural is in 7th position (or Trigger 2) and F-natural is 6th position. You can't get a continuous gliss between these two notes. You could from B-flat, but not B-natural. Please revise.

In the percussion, rolls are usually notated with tremolo signs in this modern era. Trill signs are an old classical terminology and shouldn't be used unless they mean something different than "unmeasured roll" (they do, for example, in Stravinsky's scores where a tr~~~ on a tambourine means to thumb roll while the three slashes means to shake the tambourine).

You didn't need two harps in this piece, so I'm wondering why you included them. They never play two unique parts so having two is just a waste of economics.

Also, for the coda, even though this isn't strictly orchestration it does involve the instruments. I'd change the key of the coda to either be C major or B-flat major. B major is a very tough key for brass, esp. in the rousing way you have it written. So unless you have a very specific reason for it (I didn't notice any) then change it.

Creativity: 7/10

Here is a difficult category. While this piece is an excellence of crafting, it isn't groundbreaking creatively. And that's ok. There doesn't have to be any miraculous epiphany in every score to make it worthwhile to play or listen to. Most film scores, for example, rarely, if ever, are doing anything groundbreaking, but are a joy to listen to. This piece lies somewhere in the middle. Perhaps adding more unique colors or "wild" moments in the score, rather than keeping it pretty calm and "romantic overture"-esque, would help. Wild dissonance when there is true conflict would be a nice foil to the splendor of the tonal conclusion. Romantic period composers didn't really have that idea in their mindset until the 20th Century. (It's no mistake that some of Strauss' and Mahler's best works are the later ones where the tonality almost breaks down but somehow manages to reappear from the ashes of the destruction.) Also more innovative percussion would be greatly warranted. This doesn't mean inventing new instruments (though you can) but more using unique instruments like wood blocks, or finger cymbals, brake drums, tom-toms, etc. Things not thought of as typically "romantic."

Musicality: 19.5/20

Apart from Mr. Knightley's theme, as I mentioned before, you did well keeping the themes distinct. I wish I heard Mr. Churchill's theme alone more, rather than have it so intertwined with Emma's theme, even though the development section does it beautifully. I loved the various tempos changing often and then suddenly going back to where they were just before. Well done.

Overall: 90/100

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NathanHathawayAdams: The Cosmic Savior

http://www.youngcomp...-cosmic-savior/

It is clear to me that you have learned how to use "Copy" and "Paste" in Finale. Now you have to learn how to compose without it. Repeating something just because you can is not composing, it's laziness.

Source Material: 5/30

I'm giving you grace here because you tried to explain the different "moods" of the character so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. But you didn't go very far at all. If he is a super hero, why not write some heroic music? If there's a struggle, write something dissonant and grueling with the hero's theme overcoming it. Listen to the battle section of "Ein Heldenleben" if you don't know what I mean.

Score Preparation: 5/10

Adequate but there's issues. The biggest is you didn't transpose the score. Do so, every time, unless someone specifically asks for a concert score. The header says "untitled", which is unacceptable. In the oboe in bar 17 onward the whole note should be written as two tied half notes to fit with the standard separation of 5/4. The dynamics are generally messy throughout.

Instrumentation: 8/10

You did use five instruments and an interesting not-often-used collection of winds. However, they were all winds, and not particularly interesting beyond the soprano sax (which I don't really like as an instrument, but that's beside the point). You should have stuck with the traditional Woodwind quintet of Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon. This would give you more freedom in range and color. Also, bass clarinet is NEVER in Bass Clef; the old German system is kaput (pardon my German).

Orchestration: 12/20

You kept everything in range....so that's good, I suppose. You also didn't use the instruments very well. You always kept the bassoon below the bass clarinet and the oboe above the clarinet. Use the extremes of the ranges more and especially cross voices to add color. Make the players work harder too. They're woodwinds so they have a great mount of agility and technical prowess, use it!

Creativity: 3/10

I don't know what to say here. There's nothing creative about this piece other than the unique ensemble.

Musicality: 5/20

You repeat and then repeat and then repeat again. Boring, boring, boring. There's no mincing words about it. I wanted to pull my hair out by the 10th time I heard that 5/4 "motif" in the bassoon (if you can call it that). It's just amateurish that you don't bother to change things up. And then you just awkwardly diminuendo, which isn't very idiomatic nor very musical. The B section's theme is very harmonically bland; transposing a couple bars up a fifth does not harmonic interest make! Please go back to the drawing board and learn your harmonic music theory. The C section theme was actually ok, but the fragmented exposition sounded just bizarre and turned me off to it immediately. Bar 70 was the best section in the piece despite some awkward voice leading and clashing intervals which could have been easily alleviated, but it just fizzled out and didn't go anywhere so it was ultimately a disappointment. There was no ending to speak of... with that blasted 5/4 coming back again. Please don't make the listener hate an idea and then bring it back.

This piece is weak and really should be thrown out and start anew. I'd encourage you to write for piano and/or a less eclectic group. Listen to classical pieces you like and study their scores. Find elements you like and incorporate them into your new pieces. Everyone has to start somewhere and this may be yours. Good luck.

Overall: 38/100

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MaqamDjinn: Realm

http://www.youngcomp...sic/2921/realm/

Very nice piece! It was so good that I didn’t want it to end! I was disappointed that there wasn’t more when I got to the end. I thought that was just one larger variation, though this may reveal some structural issues.

Source Material: 23/30

The explanation you give sheds some light on how each gem was represented in the music, but it was difficult to distinguish there one variation ended and another began, if at all. It felt like that while you tried to add an arch form, all it felt like was one great intense haul to the end of the piece. So I’d really consider reworking this because you have a lot of good material here.

Score Preparation: 8/10

Very good. Do hide staves when they’re not in use, especially the marimba grand staff. This combined with making the score just slightly smaller will make two systems fit on a page making the score easier to read. In the Pianos be a clearer where the pedals come up and down. If it is a sempre pedale then write it as such in an expression marking.

Instrumentation: 9/10

Nice choice of instruments! I wouldn’t have used two Marimbas, though. Some other percussion instrument would have been nice, like a vibraphone or some crotales to add color, perhaps the twinkle of the gems!

Orchestration: 18/20

Very good throughout. There was a concerning spot at bar 65 onward where everyone is more or less in unison. Having both Marimbas play in octaves is a waste of resources. It would be far easier for them to play just one octave with the two mallets and then have each marimba take a different octave. Like I said above, I would have liked a bit more percussion. Some more use of the low range of the piano would have been nice too but that’s not a biggie.

Creativity: 8/10

Your ensemble led to your creative use of the instruments. Likewise, your idea of varying one unified theme as a different colored gem was a good idea. You could have done more with the pianos and marimbas, I think. More creative uses of the instruments such as four mallets or big chordal sections etc., something to break up the texture.

Musicality: 17/20

The musicality suffered from a weak structure. Well, really the structure wasn’t weak in and of itself, but for what you were trying to convey. Musically, alone, the piece actually builds quite nicely and develops into an adequate climax, though I would have preferred a more controlled release than just letting things stop. The ending could also use some work.

Overall: 83/100

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muhmuhmuhmusic: Create/Destroy

http://www.youngcomp...tedestroy-july/

Source Material: 20/30

It was a smart move to directly include the quote as spoken text. This left no doubt as to what the music was trying to say. Musically you could have done a lot more to focus on the “creation” and “destruction” themes. Really the music is just painting an almost dystopian picture of which the quote just is added on top. So there was clearly inspiration from the original stuff here, but you could have gone further.

Score Preparation: 7/10

Pretty good. Be sure to add brackets around the string section. The whole score could have been smaller so you can fit more staves on a page. The stage setup should definitely be on a different page than right under the title. Writing things like “4 mallets” or “2 mallets” in the Marimba part is unnecessary and even offensive to the player. When there’s a four note chord it is obvious that four mallets will be needed. Don’t be Captain Obvious.

Instrumentation: 10/10

The most interesting ensemble yet! I really liked your mixing of different types of instruments and including the electric bass. It has a very symphonic-rock feel so this was appropriate.

Orchestration: 13/20

Not bad but not great either. You didn’t do anything particularly interesting orchestration-wise other than adding the baritone and electric bass. But that’s been done before. I get that the style doesn’t call for extremes of range or timbre like some other pieces so I gave you some grace there, but you really could have made things more interesting color-wise, especially on the percussion side.

Creativity: 8/10

Despite the lackluster execution and musicality (see below) this is actually a pretty creative concept. I like that you attempted to cross styles by adding weird instruments and the baritone. Also the narration was nice. It broke up the piece a bit by turning the monotonous ostinatos into underscore where they’re more appropriate.

Musicality: 5/20

This was the big problem. The musicality of the piece has a lot to be desired. For one, you used the same four chords throughout the entire piece, over and over again. This got tiring on the ear pretty quickly. I think a lot of your ideas in the first section, for some reason, didn’t work well on their own, but once I got to the third section after the narration, the first section’s themes came back and they magically worked well. So kudos on that. I don’t know if that was a happy accident or clever planning. The first section was just a bit boring and the constant 8/8 accents got rhythmically boring quickly. This piece really just needs to change things up, and often, because that’s what makes things interesting for the listener. One could even pass this off as a minimalist piece, I suppose, but nothing really changed over time, which is the whole point in minimalism.

The baritone I don’t think was necessary. It was an interesting tone color to change things up a bit, but the actually “alleluia” didn’t add much. In fact, I was confused it was in there at all; there was no mention of God or spirituality in the quote, why include a spiritual incantation? (“Alleluia”, the Latinized form of “Hallelujah” translates to “Praise the LORD” in Hebrew.)

The ending was also abrupt and really didn’t conclude anything. A nice release from a climax would have been nice, but it kind of just stops. This made it feel very unsatisfying as a listener.

Overall: 63/100

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ad hoc: Song of the Statue

http://www.youngcomp...-of-the-statue/

Source Material: 29/30

Like, woah! You captured the essence of the painting very well! I could clearly hear the cavernous space reverberating between the columns. The copious amounts of minor 7th chords really helped emphasize a modal and calm atmosphere. My only issue was the use of so much tuned percussion brought to my mind the ocean and underwater. This may just be my cultural upbringing on this:

Score Preparation: 8/10

Very good except for a few dynamics being misaligned or missing here and there. Also, don’t combine Violins I and II. Ever.

Instrumentation: 8/10

Nice ensemble! The percussion and strings thing seemed to be popular in this contest, can’t say that I blame people. I would have added more percussion though, at least more varied things like crotales or triangles.

Orchestration: 17/20

Fine throughout except for the strings. You treated Violin as the soprano part and the Viola as the alto which is not how the section should be laid out. Traditionally the Violin I part is Soprano, Violin II is Alto, Viola is Tenor, Cello is bass and double basses double the Cello at the octave. This setup would provide a much lusher texture than your currently top-heavy orchestration. The octaves in the bass can really add to that warm feeling which is what I think you were going for.

Creativity: 8/10

The clear influence of the French impressionist school notwithstanding, this is a lovely work full of creative little ideas that are unique. The piece itself, on the whole, isn’t that creative but it is those little moments that really make the piece work well. While tons of pieces start soft and slowly blossom, yours did it in a way that was subtly different than others, so you get a high score in this category.

Musicality: 17/20

I liked the buildup and cool down arch structure that you made. And, for once, this piece had a decent ending, even if it was nothing more than a quasi-fade out. I was concerned about the lack of harmonic variety but, unlike some other pieces, this was not a copy and paste fest where the same chords were played over and over. This was more of a slowly shifting modal center around C minor which was very nicely executed. Still, I was barely on the brink of modal exhaustion by the end. I wish there was a B section where you went somewhere completely different and then came back to the A section mode with a fresh new light. Also, your melodies, while absolutely exquisite, were not very memorable because you didn’t state them enough. This isn’t necessarily a problem but a choice; you decided to focus on the texture and harmony instead, which were both good.

Overall: 87/100

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maestrowick: Joshua and Caleb

http://www.youngcomp...shua-and-caleb/

If this had been just a double concerto with no programmatic intention I probably would have enjoyed it far more. But since you tried to overlay the Biblical story of Joshua and Caleb, I had to listen the piece with that filter in mind.

Source Material: 15/30

I couldn't find Joshua in here without you telling me. That's the big problem with this piece. The first section actually was quite akin to the mood of Moses when he was able to see but not live in Israel. But after this lovely darkness I wanted to hear a dramatic Joshua leading the Israelites across the Jordan. Instead I got a silly double concerto with a hoe-down-esque theme. Is this truly you trying to place the Biblical story into the music or did you just add that later because it seemed to fit? (Seemed being the key word here.) I used to do that when I was younger and often got laughed out of the room. No matter how much you try and hide it, inauthentic origins of a piece are easy to spot. I suspect so with this piece.

Score Preparation: 5/10

This is average. You did fine with the basic elements. The biggest issue is every instrument is separated onto their own stave when there's no reason for it. Combine all your like instruments together. Likewise, don't do the 1,3; 2,4 thing with the horns. You really have no reason to do it in this piece other than laziness.

When writing for solo strings, you don't show the part when they are not playing anything unless this is a concerto-style piece where they have their own separate part and are not considered part of the string section. If they are part of the string section then hide the empty stave and clearly indicate when the section leader should join the group.

Your bracket system is all wrong. There should be one large bracket for each section and that's it (except for a single bracket for the Timpani, a weird historical oddity). Likewise, the barlines should not be split between each group of instruments. This makes it far easier for the conductor to read. Often times when I was reading this score I kept mixing up whether I was looking at the bassoons or the horns because the barlines cue the eye as to where they start.

You have WAY too many accents everywhere. If you start to put them on every note in a passage they lose meaning. It is far more helpful to write marcato since that's really what you mean. See 210 through 218 to see what I mean. Having so many accents means nothing to the player because an accent is supposed to show where a note that is unusually accented.

Your instrument names are consistently incorrect. It should be like this with the full and short names: Piccolo; Picc.; Flutes 1, 2; Fl. 1, 2; Oboes 1, 2; Ob. 1, 2; English Horn; E.H. (or sometimes Eng. Hn.); Clarinets in Bb 1, 2; Cl. 1, 2; Bassoons 1, 2; Bsn. 1, 2; Horns in F 1, 2, 3, 4; Hn. 1, 2, 3, 4; Trumpets in Bb (or C) 1, 2, 3; Tpt. 1, 2, 3; Trombones 1, 2, 3; Trb. 1, 2, 3; Tuba; Tba.; Timpani; Timp.; Percussion; Perc.; Harp; Hp.; Violin I; Vln. I; Violin II; Vln. II; Viola; Vla.; Violoncello; Vlc.; Double Bass; D.B. (or Contrabass; Cb.)

You need to specify the percussion instruments on each page, not just use the generic catch-all "percussion" and then let the conductor figure it out.

Another maddening thing: Rehearsal marks belong at the BEGINNING of a bar, not the middle!

Bar numbers should not be above every clef. Ideally they should be under every bar underneath the bass part. "pizz." and "arco" should be technique text and non-italics. Bar 226 in the harp, the "armonici" is not necessary and the correct symbol is a circle over the notes.

Instrumentation: 9/10

Great job writing for orchestra. I would have liked more varied percussion, though. It seemed a bit conservative on that point.

Orchestration: 14/20

In your recording you amped up certain instruments to cause an artificial balance. In real life, some of the balance in this piece would be totally askew and the orchestration suffered as a result. First off, your solo violin won't be heard at 20. There are several spots where the brass would be much louder by the score compared to your recording. The most egregious is the entire passage starting at 198. The trumpets and would dominate this texture that the other counterpoint lines wouldn't be heard, which is a shame because there are some good things there.

At Bar 126 the violins will probably get covered up depending on how forceful the horns and trombones take to their parts. Also having the bass so overly doubled will make it quite heavy.

At bar 171 I'm perplexed why you doubled the bass in the tuba. This will make that line heavy and plodding which isn't the texture here. If you wanted quasi pizz, then just use the real thing by doubling the basses with the cellos pizzicato. That gives body but keeps it light enough not to interfere with the soloist.

Bar 226 in the harp, the lower octave descends into an area that is not practical for harmonics. Usually G2 is the lowest harmonics can be produced successfully. I would recommend getting rid of the lower octave completely.

At bar 90 the solo violin goes below its range. Mistake?

At bar 17, those high Bs in the Horns are going to stick out like a sore thumb. That's just the nature of that tessitura up there.

Bar 26 just doesn't make sense. It's not an effective transition and the trombones aren't a great choice for that being so exposed.

Bar 52: Vibraslap? Really?

Creativity: 7/10

The piece wasn't groundbreaking but I liked how you tried to incorporate the violin and cello as a quasi-double concerto. I wouldn't have expected that for this story, even if it didn't work out so well. It was a clever idea nonetheless.

Musicality: 18/20

Truly this piece's saving grace is the craftsmanship you demonstrated musically, harmonically, melodically, and contrapuntally. As a pure piece of music this is actually quite a fun ditty to enjoy. The opening dramatic slow section doesn't make much sense in the "fun ditty" regard but let's just chalk it up to an "Adagio and Allegro" and you're good to go! The hokey hoe-down-esque theme was a bit distracting but I got used to it after a while. I suppose it could be perfectly legitimate if I wasn't thinking of Joshua and his army the whole time. The biggest drawback musically was the ending. You built up to a great climax and then just stopped and went into a slow section. The final orchestral hit seemed out of place too, not really acting like the "button" that it should have. I would have ended loud if that was what you really wanted.

A good effort, just not very Joshua and Caleb-y.

Overall: 68/100

==================================================================================================

ImperialFlute: Noah and the Ark

http://www.youngcomp...-external-link/

I’ll put this as politely as I can. You need to go back to the drawing board and learn the craft of composition. There are technical issues everywhere and musical problems that will haunt you later if you don’t correct them now while you’re young.

Source Material: 5/30

I didn’t hear Noah. All I heard was a generic piece of quasi-game music. This story is a very dramatic and daunting one to depict in music; next time pick something more abstract and less program-oriented because you’re not able to produce dramatic music; someday you may be able to (everyone was a beginner once), but right now you don’t have that capability.

Score Preparation: 1/10

Noteflight can’t make a proper score. Next time make sure your program can do this.

Instrumentation: 3/10

While I applaud your ambition to write for orchestra, you’re not ready for this yet. Orchestras have a long tradition of specific instrumentations that have become standardized; you didn’t follow this, rather you just added what came to your fancy, I’m assuming. You can’t do this if you expect the work to be taken seriously.

Orchestration: 10/20

I’m glad you put an effort into it at least! Like above, you need to go back to the drawing board and learn about orchestration before trying to write for orchestra. I made the same mistake when I was younger, writing for orchestra when I wasn’t ready for it, and those early orchestra pieces really sucked! But, after long and hard study, and working with players,

Creativity: 4/10

Nothing is here that hasn’t been heard before in a million game scores. It is clear that is where you get your inspiration and that’s not all bad, but you must diversify your listening and broaden your musical acumen in order to become a solid composer.

Musicality: 8/20

Same problems elsewhere. The harmony is unchanging and the themes aren’t that well-crafted. However I give you points for trying to change up the key. That was a good move because it made the piece feel like it was going somewhere, even if only artificially.

Overall: 31/100

==================================================================================================

Overall Scores, in order of total points:

Austenite: 90/100

ad hoc: 87/100

MaqamDjinn: 83/100

John Pax: 81/100

ChristianPerrotta: 79/100

Bachian: 74/100

maestrowick: 68/100

muhmuhmuhmusic: 63/100

theviolinist7: 50/100

joshm222: 41/100

NathanHathawayAdams: 38/100

ImperialFlute: 31/100

==================================================

TOTAL FOR EACH PERSON (out of 300 points):

1. Austenite: 265.2

2. John Pax: 256.7

3. maestrowick: 242.3

MaqamDjinn: 240.5

ad hoc: 240.3

ChristianPerrotta: 227.2

Bachian: 208

muhmuhmuhmusic: 191.1

theviolinist7: 162.9

johnm222: 156

NathanHathawayAdams: 145.2

ImperialFlute: Disqualified. PM is coming for official reasoning behind this.

YAY for Austenite FINALLY winning! :D

Edited by Tokkemon
Put final tally in score order.
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Congrats, Austenite, on finally getting that gold medal!

It was just fitting that I got that one on the very day the Olympic Games were closing ;) ... And even more so having such a stiff, high-quality competition.

Thanks for everyone, this has been one of the coolest musical challenges I've been a part of :cool: :thumbsup: !

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I gotta say though... Treehugger giving me a 1/10 for creativity is a joke. And MaestroWick a 2/10... Lol... While I'm happy Austenite won, and would have given him the highest score, I gotta say, some of the judging was absolutely absurd.

Again, I think treehugger's judging is a joke. BUT I'm glad the best piece won, in my opinion.

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You have WAY too many accents everywhere. If you start to put them on every note in a passage they lose meaning. It is far more helpful to write marcato since that's really what you mean. See 210 through 218 to see what I mean. Having so many accents means nothing to the player because an accent is supposed to show where a note that is unusually accented.

Great point!

Your bracket system is all wrong. There should be one large bracket for each section and that's it (except for a single bracket for the Timpani, a weird historical oddity). Likewise, the barlines should not be split between each group of instruments. This makes it far easier for the conductor to read. Often times when I was reading this score I kept mixing up whether I was looking at the bassoons or the horns because the barlines cue the eye as to where they start.

Mixed emotions. The German and Italian system which you speak of is not a fan of mine. Conductors have told me they like my style of bracketing and others of the "new school" era are doing the same. As a conductor, I prefer this way to see the family. Once again, good point.

At bar 90 the solo violin goes below its range. Mistake?

absolutely

Bar 52: Vibraslap? Really?

:D

The final orchestral hit seemed out of place too, not really acting like the "button" that it should have. I would have ended loud if that was what you really wanted.

This is a multi movement work of the book of Joshua (this is the first movement). The ending was meant to "leave you hanging" because there will be more. I guess it worked because everyone is saying the same thing.

But after this lovely darkness I wanted to hear a dramatic Joshua leading the Israelites across the Jordan.

That is coming!!! :shiftyninja:

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I gotta say though... Treehugger giving me a 1/10 for creativity is a joke. And MaestroWick a 2/10... Lol... While I'm happy Austenite won, and would have given him the highest score, I gotta say, some of the judging was absolutely absurd.

Again, I think treehugger's judging is a joke. BUT I'm glad the best piece won, in my opinion.

lol. You're free to complain all you want.

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Well, if I had been a gambler I would have lost big :wacko: . But this time the people's favorite finally got it his way.

I'm rather mad at myself that I underestimated the jury's openness towards a more modernist piece like the runner-up John Pax's (BTW, it seems to have been taken down, I can't find it anymore). But I'm in fact glad that they proved me wrong on all accounts - and that the Austen finally has something to show up - no matter if a YC Competition doesn't mean much.

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I'm rather mad at myself that I underestimated the jury's openness towards a more modernist piece like the runner-up John Pax's

are you seriously mad because the jury understand the scope of musical history (that is until present day)

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What? I'm mad at myself for underestimating them - I actually thought highly of Pax's piece (BTW, where IS it?), but I couldn't count on my opinion being shared by the jury, so I didn't bet on it at all for the final results (not even mentioning it!). So I'm glad that they proved me wrong - if someone can't tell from my fav composers, I'm into more modern music - but it's not like I have this cult mindset of thinking higher of myself just because I have a wider (not necessarily better) taste.

Oh, and congrats to the Austen :unsure:

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Guest John Pax

Remember guys, the main point of these competitions is to get feedback from your peers on pieces that you've written. It shouldn't matter who won, or who didn't like your piece. :)

On that, thanks for the feedback - there were a lot of pieces, so well done judges on getting through them all with such depth.

I asked for my piece to me removed as I had only uploaded it for the competition, which is now over.

Congratulations, winner!

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Well, I'm sorry, I did my very best to give you a quite honest interpretation, I can give you my rubricks if you'd like but when it comes to creativity, I judge based on a very high standard, especially after what music has been through (anyone remember the helicopter quartet). I was purposely very strict on everything. Bachian, I really really enjoyed your piece, I really did, it was outstanding, and as a whole, your piece would probably be better off not so creative, but that was one of the criteria and I had to judge based on only that criteria. I'm sorry if you don't agree with me but I spent hours coming up with these scores and I promise you, I didn't consider those scores to be "jokes". and again, that's why we have 3 judges. Looking back, I can see I didn't really write as much as I should have on your creativity report. If you'd like, I can PM you a much more detailed explanation of your score

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I just realized I forgot to quote Bachian in my previous comment, just know that was to Bachian.... also as a judge I would absolutely LOVE to see people looking at these reviews and going back to their pieces to fix them based on those reviews. again, great job everyone! and if anyone has any questions at all, I know I was as strict as a Russian Olympic judge in some cases, please ask me! I would love to review your works in greater detail with you!

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