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danishali903

YC SUMMER COMPETITION ANNOUNCEMENT

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SUMMER COMPETITION - 2016

Hello! As part of the website's recent "makeover", we have decided to bring back the seasonal competitions after a hiatus. As of now, these competitions will be held on a seasonal quarterly basis, each based on a specific theme/topic. If anyone has suggestions for future competitions, please send me a private message on this site. 

As some of you know, this year marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. For those of you unfamiliar with Shakespeare, he was a renowned poet and playwright who wrote many of the English language's greatest works, including 38 stage plays (which include the famous plays Macbeth, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, etc.) and 154 sonnets. Many composers have been inspired by Shakespeare's works and adapted his works into musical forms. Some examples include: Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, Verdi's operas Macbeth and Othello, Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet, and many more. 

As you probably guessed by now, the competition's theme is Shakespeare! Please read the specific instructions below regarding topic, scoring, etc.

Topic: Compose a piece based on something Shakespeare wrote. This could include incidental music to his stage plays, music inspired by any of his works, set his poems/sonnets/etc. to music. 

Guidelines:

  • Anyone who is a member of this site is allowed to enter. (Though we'll have an unofficial sign up at the bottom)
  • No restrictions on instrumentation - it can be for a solo piano, full orchestra with chorus, or anything in between
  • The minimum length of the piece is 5 minutes, maximum up to 20 minutes
  • Piece can be in multiple movements, but overall maximum time must not exceed 20 minutes
  • You have to submit audio (midi, live, whatever) AND a score to be eligible for scoring by the deadline- NO EXCUSES
  • If you decide to volunteer as a judge, you may NOT enter as a participant!

 

Scoring Criteria - The point system is arbitrary at the moment and might be amended later on

  • Piece's relation to chosen Shakespeare work - pretty self explanatory:  /15 points
  • Structure and coherence - also pretty self explanatory:  /15 points
  • Instrumentation/Orchestration - how well did you write for your instrument(s), etc.:  /10 points
  • Quality of the Score/8 points
  • Audio Quality/2 points

(Points above [in total out of 50 pts] are given at the judges' discretion: for instance, with "Structure and coherence", an entrant can be given anywhere between 0-15pts.)

  • 5 BONUS points will be given (at the discretion of the judges) if entrant provides a PDF program of their work.

 

DEADLINE: While I don't have a specific deadline at the moment, I WOULD like everything (including getting judges' scores and awarding winners) by September 1st. SO, I will set an arbitrary deadline of AUGUST 15, 2016.

We will have an unofficial signup just to gauge interest. If you are interested in entering as a participant, please state your interest by replying to this thread. If you don't feel like competing, you can also sign up to be a judge for this competition. Since there will only 3-4 open positions for being a judge, we'll have a first-come-first-serve rule. 

SO, if you have any questions and/or concerns, please don't hesitate to voice them below in this thread, or contact me. Have fun composing and good luck to those who participate!

PLEASE DO NOT POST MUSIC ON THIS THREAD. I will make another thread where we'll gather all the entries. 

 

ENTRIES ARE POSTED HERE: http://www.youngcomposers.com/t34086/summer-competition-2016-entries/

 

Confirmed Entrants (this list will be updated...please let me know if your name doesn't show up):

 

  1. Austenite
  2. AmaraAppogiature
  3. KJ
  4. mk390
  5. J.S. Destro
  6. Fishyfry
  7. ChristianP (who has already completed his piece, you slowpokes!)
  8. Marc O'C.
  9. NoahB.
  10. Ken320
  11. Casper Belier
  12. Alexander Mika
  13. gesisignature
  14. Monarcheon
  15. Gylfi

Confirmed Judges (ALL SLOTS FILLED)

  1. Bkho
  2. JohnBucket
  3. Sojar
  4. danishali903

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Big time Shakespeare fan myself... Although overwhelmed by Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet and The Tempest, not to mention Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night Dream, Verdi's Othello, Beethoven's Coriolanus and Shostakovich's Macbeth... I'd want to do this anyway!

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If you need judges, I humbly offer my services.  I probably wouldn't have the time to submit an entry but would love to help judge!

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There has been many good pieces based on a Shakespeare's topic. It will be a challenge! I'll consider an option to enter as a contestant. It will likely be a choral piece if I decide to compete.

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7 hours ago, Sojar Voglar said:

It will be a challenge! I'll consider an option to enter as a contestant.

Now THIS will be a challenge.

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Hey!

I will change my position from contestant to jury. I have received two commissions and neither one is for choir so I will abandon my chances to compose something. I don't believe I will have time so - consider me as a member of the jury. Thanks! :)

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I'd like to offer a suggestion for this competition regarding the length, in order to make it fairer. There is a big difference between 5 and 20 minutes. I mean one is a song and the other a symphonic movement. This difference will tend to skew both the composer's intention and the judge's appraisal. They are two different forms. One requires concision, the other, development. Why not just say 5 minutes +/- a minute? Or 20 minutes, +/- a minute? Then everyone will be competing evenly, the expectations clearer from the start.

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32 minutes ago, Ken320 said:

I'd like to offer a suggestion for this competition regarding the length, in order to make it fairer. There is a big difference between 5 and 20 minutes. I mean one is a song and the other a symphonic movement. This difference will tend to skew both the composer's intention and the judge's appraisal. They are two different forms. One requires concision, the other, development. Why not just say 5 minutes +/- a minute? Or 20 minutes, +/- a minute? Then everyone will be competing evenly, the expectations clearer from the start.

 

You make a very valid point. I mean there are composers that can write a well developed piece with appropriate musical and emotional content that is 5 minutes long, but I see where you are coming from. That is one of the reasons I mentioned that you can have multiple movements, so composers have the option of writing multiple short "movements" (aka a song cycle) as part of a larger work. 

 

I guess I can just say that the maximum length of the piece must not exceed 20 minutes. Would that be more fair? 

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Danish,

No, not really. You'd still have the gray area, the possibility of skewing. If I were judging and someone churned out 4 works @ 5 minutes a piece, or any combination totaling 20 minutes. I might look more favorably to that music just from the sheer amount of work put into it, among other things. That's not trivial! I don't have that kind of time, so I would possibly be competing with people that do and can game the system to their advantage, because you cannot prove or insure that a judge will not factor that in.

Judges are human after all. With tighter, more circumscribed rules, you greatly increase trust and decrease bias in rulings, in the process. It's simply more fair. Further, you would probably attract more competitors, with more longevity in the contests, imo. Then you have a better chance of keeping competitors for the next contest, under which you can specify a longer length requirement if you want, whatever you want. If people smell a whiff of unfairness, it will be very difficult to regain their trust. What do you think?

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I would be interested in taking part, although I have other compositional "duties" this summer and am writing my bachelor's thesis so I am not going to compose anything big.

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5 hours ago, Ken320 said:

Danish,

No, not really. You'd still have the gray area, the possibility of skewing. If I were judging and someone churned out 4 works @ 5 minutes a piece, or any combination totaling 20 minutes. I might look more favorably to that music just from the sheer amount of work put into it, among other things. That's not trivial! I don't have that kind of time, so I would possibly be competing with people that do and can game the system to their advantage, because you cannot prove or insure that a judge will not factor that in.

Judges are human after all. With tighter, more circumscribed rules, you greatly increase trust and decrease bias in rulings, in the process. It's simply more fair. Further, you would probably attract more competitors, with more longevity in the contests, imo. Then you have a better chance of keeping competitors for the next contest, under which you can specify a longer length requirement if you want, whatever you want. If people smell a whiff of unfairness, it will be very difficult to regain their trust. What do you think?

 

I do see your point, but I don't think the bias should be THAT much of an issue. As a compromise, we can say that the maximum length cannot exceed 10 minutes, AND it must be a single movement work. 

What does everyone else think? 

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43 minutes ago, danishali903 said:

I do see your point, but I don't think the bias should be THAT much of an issue. As a compromise, we can say that the maximum length cannot exceed 10 minutes, AND it must be a single movement work. 

What does everyone else think? 

 

Maybe, but you cannot guarantee it. Shouldn't contest promoters offer a guarantee? Length is a very important factor in music, maybe the most important factor. Comparing a five minute piece to a ten minute piece is like comparing apples and oranges. Seriously. Speaking of apples and oranges, have you seen "The Great British Baking Show?" It's brutal, but it's fair as contests go. They all have the exact same amount of time, the same ingredients, and the same goal, give or take their artistic spin on it. So ... Keep the time constraints tight. Very tight. I've made my case and won't beat a dead horse anymore.:grin:

I would also like to hear what other people think in terms of fairness.

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Time constraints do challenge many of us to dig deep down and be extra-creative, but I believe that creativity also depends on the composer himself (or herself).  For instance, I could still write a piece of music that's 5 mins long, or one that's 15-20 mins long, but if I'm just not a good composer, then it's a piece of crap regardless.  The "fair playing field" is, in fact, that variation in time limit. Maybe some people are better at writing shorter pieces, and some people are better at writing longer ones; their level of compositional acumen will (or should) show through any constraints thrown at them.  If 5 mins is enough for you to write a knock-out piece, then I'm sure the judges would love to hear it, and judge you fairly based on the content!  Honestly, I'd rather hear a shorter piece that's halfway decent than a really long, atrocious piece...

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12 hours ago, mk390 said:

Time constraints do challenge many of us to dig deep down and be extra-creative, but I believe that creativity also depends on the composer himself (or herself).  For instance, I could still write a piece of music that's 5 mins long, or one that's 15-20 mins long, but if I'm just not a good composer, then it's a piece of crap regardless.  The "fair playing field" is, in fact, that variation in time limit. Maybe some people are better at writing shorter pieces, and some people are better at writing longer ones; their level of compositional acumen will (or should) show through any constraints thrown at them.  If 5 mins is enough for you to write a knock-out piece, then I'm sure the judges would love to hear it, and judge you fairly based on the content!  Honestly, I'd rather hear a shorter piece that's halfway decent than a really long, atrocious piece...

 

I agree with you. But only in the abstract. The whole purpose of well-defined time constraints in music contests is to insure fairness. You can never have too much fairness.

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I'll write what I'm planning, that's it. Personally I've done well with fairly long pieces, so I'm not very enthusiastic about too many time constraints. Also, there is already an inherent difficulty on writing a multi-movement piece and have it thoroughly reviewed by the community (which is the added benefit of these competitions), so if we go once again into requesting miniatures, we'll never get past that.

In that case, we could also argue that anyone writing a choral or orchestral work would have an advantage as well over chamber/solo works, due to the supposed bias towards longer, larger, more complex works (a bias I haven't seen any real evidence of). So that might pull the trigger on a request limiting the forces to a chamber ensemble and 5 min. pieces. That won't certainly set my imagination on fire.

My 2 cents :blink:

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