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ChristianPerrotta

Seasonal Competitions Suggestions

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Wouldn't it be difficult to get people who make films and want to put them in other's hands?

I also like writing for films, but I've always done it for old silent films (with no copyright, public domain). Synchronizing is difficult.

 

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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.)

You obviously have flexibility to decide how you'd categorize the different classes, but it's a start. This is similar to how musicians are classified in student performance contests/festivals around where I teach. The nice thing is that it allows for categorization without restricting composers to an instrumentation that they don't feel reflects their best work for the competition. You could then use these guidelines as a backbone, and then add unique limitations for each competition (style, form, topic, etc.).

Just some thoughts from a band teacher & closet composer!

Gustav Johnson

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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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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?

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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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When I was in college, I took a couple of online tests. You went to the class's website and clicked a link, and you had a certain amount of time to finish the test before the link expired. I'm not sure how to do that, but it is possible and may be an option for a timed contest...?

Gustav Johnson

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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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