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Seasonal Competitions Suggestions

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1 minute ago, Gustav Johnson said:

Hi! It may be easier to organize the compositions in terms of ensemble size as well as ensemble type, for example:

  • Large instrumental ensemble (i.e. concert band, orchestra, large electronic ensemble, etc.)
  • Large non-instrumental ensemble (i.e. large choir, etc.)
  • Mid-size instrumental ensemble (i.e. chamber instrumental ensembles, small electronic, rock/pop bands, etc.)
  • Mid-size non-instrumental ensemble (i.e. chamber vocal ensembles, etc.)
  • Small instrumental ensemble (i.e. solo instruments, etc.)
  • Small non-instrumental ensemble (i.e. solo vocal, etc.)

I know where you're coming from, but in the few I've personally hosted in the past, it dampened the creativity I saw in the entries. Maybe it was a different experience for you, but when I gave prospectives an overarching theme to recreate or tackle, the diversity in how they went about to interpret it was much more enjoyable and much more learning-conducive. I get where having a control group would help, but for art's sake, keeping it open-ended has always yielded better results.

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  • 2 months later...
Just now, johnbucket said:

Would anybody be interested in competitions that involve coming up with something given a rubric but within a more focussed time span  - say, to write a complete fugue in a day?


It's always been a thought but I always dismiss it personally, simply because there's perhaps not really a way to monitor that:

  • If you gave competitors the option to start whenever they want, ideas could brew in their head which makes it not a day's worth of work.
  • If you say "FROM NOW" start writing, people with time constraints would be at a disadvantage.
  • If you say "from this certain date" you run into the same problems from both the above issues.
  • There is some luck that goes into fugue writing, from what I've experienced (unless you plan very well, in which case, that's not me, haha), which is an added advantage for some.

Perhaps I simply haven't thought enough about it.

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The idea is that people don't spend too much time on it. I think we could try co-ordinating free dates with Doodle (EDIT: whoops) or something. I mean, nobody's going to spend all 24 hours or whatever it is - the idea is that people have 6 hours or something to work with it, but the time span is specified as such to accommodate various schedules, and any time spent beyond the first 6 or whatever it is is probably not going to be very helpful anyway.

Alternatively, we could release the subject list individually within a certain time period depending on when people can devote their 6 hours or whatever it is (assuming that people don't go about sharing it, but why would they if they want to win?). We could penalise people for lateness so as to discourage cheating.


It's always possible to write a decent fugue of acceptable length in 4 hours (that's what I had to do), and I don't plan very well either.


EDIT: This would be more propitiously done outside the quarterly approach, I think - perhaps monthly?

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I like @johnbucket's idea. We could say the date when the subject will be released (say, a Saturday afternoon) and people would already know that, from that specific moment on, the challenge begins. People will have time to schedule and will not start composing without the subject.

I've composed fugues in a day. It's totally ok. I'm in! o/

(I am totally in the mood of composing fugues, but I can't come with a convincing subject... maybe this challenge is everything I need)

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I like the idea of a fugue competition as a sort of quick, one-day challenge.

I was also thinking the next seasonal competition could be to set a poem (maybe even a poem about winter?) as a Lied or aria. The accompaniment could be whatever you wanted. I've never written anything for voice before, so it would be a good challenge for me. 

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This seems like a good idea, but there is the problem of having everybody come up with a mutually agreeable time to start the timer. 

We could just have each entrant tell the competition admin when they'd like to receive the subject in a PM, and then the admin could give the entrant six hours to submit a fugue from the time the message was sent. Points could be docked for each 30 minutes it's late (or even straight-up disqualify them, if we're feeling strict).

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Having looked through this a little, I think sending each participant the subject list manually would be preferable, because I don't see how we can control access with online forms unless we gather emails or something, which I think most of us would prefer not to give out. I will write up a draft soon.

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  • 4 years later...
On 5/12/2014 at 1:13 PM, Morivou said:

Nice, Austenite. We definitely want to be diverse. We should make sure to cover "odd ensemble" writing if we can. I've found that's important in my composition life. haha.


Some suggestions: Tone poems (based off of stories/poetry), Seasonal, Educational ensemble, writing for kids, writing in old styles, inventing new forms, reinventing old forms, imposing limitations on pitch classes, imposing limitations on range.


Those alone could carry you a whole year. hahah >.<


I love the tone poem idea

we could all have a source and make pieces off of it

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